Matching Items (34)

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The Agassiz’s desert tortoise genome provides a resource for the conservation of a threatened species

Description

Agassiz’s desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) is a long-lived species native to the Mojave Desert and is listed as threatened under the US Endangered Species Act. To aid conservation efforts for

Agassiz’s desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) is a long-lived species native to the Mojave Desert and is listed as threatened under the US Endangered Species Act. To aid conservation efforts for preserving the genetic diversity of this species, we generated a whole genome reference sequence with an annotation based on deep transcriptome sequences of adult skeletal muscle, lung, brain, and blood. The draft genome assembly for G. agassizii has a scaffold N50 length of 252 kbp and a total length of 2.4 Gbp. Genome annotation reveals 20,172 protein-coding genes in the G. agassizii assembly, and that gene structure is more similar to chicken than other turtles. We provide a series of comparative analyses demonstrating (1) that turtles are among the slowest-evolving genome-enabled reptiles, (2) amino acid changes in genes controlling desert tortoise traits such as shell development, longevity and osmoregulation, and (3) fixed variants across the Gopherus species complex in genes related to desert adaptations, including circadian rhythm and innate immune response. This G. agassizii genome reference and annotation is the first such resource for any tortoise, and will serve as a foundation for future analysis of the genetic basis of adaptations to the desert environment, allow for investigation into genomic factors affecting tortoise health, disease and longevity, and serve as a valuable resource for additional studies in this species complex.

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Date Created
  • 2017-05-31

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Evolution of Dosage Compensation in Anolis carolinensis, a Reptile with XX/XY Chromosomal Sex Determination

Description

In species with highly heteromorphic sex chromosomes, the degradation of one of the sex chromosomes will result in unequal gene expression between the sexes (e.g. between XX females and XY

In species with highly heteromorphic sex chromosomes, the degradation of one of the sex chromosomes will result in unequal gene expression between the sexes (e.g. between XX females and XY males) and between the sex chromosomes and the autosomes. Dosage compensation is a process whereby genes on the sex chromosomes achieve equal gene expression. We compared genome-wide levels of transcription between males and females, and between the X chromosome and the autosomes in the green anole, Anolis carolinensis. We present evidence for dosage compensation between the sexes, and between the sex chromosomes and the autosomes. When dividing the X chromosome into regions based on linkage groups, we discovered that genes in the first reported X-linked region, anole linkage group b (LGb), exhibit complete dosage compensation, although the rest of the X-linked genes exhibit incomplete dosage compensation. Our data further suggest that the mechanism of this dosage compensation is upregulation of the X chromosome in males. We report that approximately 10% of coding genes, most of which are on the autosomes, are differentially expressed between males and females. In addition, genes on the X chromosome exhibited higher ratios of nonsynonymous to synonymous substitution than autosomal genes, consistent with the fast-X effect. Our results from the green anole add an additional observation of dosage compensation in a species with XX/XY sex determination.

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Date Created
  • 2016-11-09

The Agassiz’s desert tortoise genome provides a resource for the conservation of a threatened species

Description

Agassiz’s desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) is a long-lived species native to the Mojave Desert and is listed as threatened under the US Endangered Species Act. To aid conservation efforts for

Agassiz’s desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) is a long-lived species native to the Mojave Desert and is listed as threatened under the US Endangered Species Act. To aid conservation efforts for preserving the genetic diversity of this species, we generated a whole genome reference sequence with an annotation based on deep transcriptome sequences of adult skeletal muscle, lung, brain, and blood. The draft genome assembly for G. agassizii has a scaffold N50 length of 252 kbp and a total length of 2.4 Gbp. Genome annotation reveals 20,172 protein-coding genes in the G. agassizii assembly, and that gene structure is more similar to chicken than other turtles. We provide a series of comparative analyses demonstrating (1) that turtles are among the slowest-evolving genome-enabled reptiles, (2) amino acid changes in genes controlling desert tortoise traits such as shell development, longevity and osmoregulation, and (3) fixed variants across the Gopherus species complex in genes related to desert adaptations, including circadian rhythm and innate immune response. This G. agassizii genome reference and annotation is the first such resource for any tortoise, and will serve as a foundation for future analysis of the genetic basis of adaptations to the desert environment, allow for investigation into genomic factors affecting tortoise health, disease and longevity, and serve as a valuable resource for additional studies in this species complex.

Data Availability: All genomic and transcriptomic sequence files are available from the NIH-NCBI BioProject database (accession numbers PRJNA352725, PRJNA352726, and PRJNA281763). All genome assembly, transcriptome assembly, predicted protein, transcript, genome annotation, repeatmasker, phylogenetic trees, .vcf and GO enrichment files are available on Harvard Dataverse (doi:10.7910/DVN/EH2S9K).

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Date Created
  • 2017-05-31

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Bio HCI Toward Interfaces between People, Computer, and Bio/digital system

Description

We propose the Bio-HCI framework, that focuses on three major components: biological materials, intermediate platforms, and interaction with the user. In this context, "biological materials" is meant to broadly cover

We propose the Bio-HCI framework, that focuses on three major components: biological materials, intermediate platforms, and interaction with the user. In this context, "biological materials" is meant to broadly cover biological matter (DNA, RNA, enzyme), biological information (gene, epigenetic), biological process (mutation, reproduction, self assembling), and biological form. These biological materials serve as the design elements for designers to use in the same way as digital materials. Intermediate Platform focuses on methods of connecting biological materials to a user, or a digital platform that connect to users. In most current use-cases, biological materials need an intermediate platform to transfer the information to the user and transfer the user's response back to biological materials. Examples include a DNA sequencer, microscope, or petri dish. User interaction emphasizes the interactivity between a user and the biological machine (biological materials + intermediate platform). The interaction ranges from a basic human-computer interaction such as using a biological machine as a file storage to a unique interaction such as having a biological machine that evolves to solve user's task. To examine this framework further, we present four experiments which focus on the different aspect of the Bio-HCI framework.

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Date Created
  • 2017-12

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Differential Nucleotide Diversity and Linkage Disequilibrium Levels at Homoelogous Loci Associated with Fiber Traits in Cotton (G. barbadense L.)

Description

The modern tetraploid species Gossypium barbadense L. (AD2) traces its origins to an allopolyploidy event between diploid progenitors G. raimondii (DT Genome, Americas) and G. herbaceum (AT Genome, Asia/Africa). In

The modern tetraploid species Gossypium barbadense L. (AD2) traces its origins to an allopolyploidy event between diploid progenitors G. raimondii (DT Genome, Americas) and G. herbaceum (AT Genome, Asia/Africa). In this study, nine fiber-related genes consisting of seven MYB transcription factors, a cellulose synthase homolog, and a tubulin homolog were resequenced across 54 G. barbadense lines spanning the wild-to-domesticated spectrum. Tests for nucleotide diversity (π), linkage disequilibrium (LD), and Tajima’s D were performed to examine the extent to which evolutionary forces have acted on these nine loci in G. barbadense. Results indicated that the AT-genome loci had significantly higher levels of diversity and lower levels of LD relative to homoelogous loci from the DT-genome. Additionally, all loci showed signatures of a population size expansion after a bottleneck or selective sweep and/or purifying selection. As previously shown for a sister tetraploid taxa (G. hirsutum), gene conversion resulting from a DT-genome allele invasion into the AT-genome likely explains the higher levels of diversity and lower levels of intragenic LD in the AT-genome. Given the relatively very low level of genetic diversity in elite lines, introduction of novel alleles from wild, land race, or obsolete lines into modern Pima cotton breeding programs is needed to expand the narrow gene pool of G. barbadense for continual yield improvements.

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Date Created
  • 2013-05

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The Functional Anatomy of the Hindlimb of the Ringtail (Bassariscus astutus)

Description

The ringtail (Bassariscus astutus), a member of the Procyonidae, is capable of 180 degrees of hindlimb reversal during headfirst descent down a vertical substrate. The goal of this study was

The ringtail (Bassariscus astutus), a member of the Procyonidae, is capable of 180 degrees of hindlimb reversal during headfirst descent down a vertical substrate. The goal of this study was to determine the presence or absence of myological adaptations related to hindlimb reversal in the ringtail. Data for B. astutus are presented, including muscle weights and muscle maps ascertained from the dissection of four hindlimbs. Data from the current study were compared to published accounts of other species capable of hindlimb reversal, including procyonids (raccoon, coati, kinkajou, olingo), a mustelid (marten), palm civet, mongoose, tree squirrel, common tree shrew, and slow loris. Muscle mass data from this study demonstrate that the hip adductors of scansorial mammals are significantly more robust than those of terrestrial mammals, indicating a myological adaptation for climbing, but not necessarily hindlimb reversal. Among hindlimb reversers, the majority exhibit one belly of m. sartorius, the presence of m. extensor digiti I longus, and a fibular origin for m. fibularis longus. These characteristics indicate an emphasis on hip extension, ankle plantarflexion, and pes inversion. However, these characteristics are more likely due to phylogeny than hindlimb reversal because of their presence in closely-related non-reversers. Additional data on families outside of Carnivora may help determine if these myological traits are indeed due to phylogeny. Other myological data, such as moment arms and cross sectional areas, may provide evidence of adaptations for hindlimb reversal.

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Date Created
  • 2014-05

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A Histological Analysis of Cell Proliferation Patterns in the Regenerating Tail of the Lizard, Anolis carolinensis

Description

While a number of vertebrates, including fishes, salamanders, frogs, and lizards, display regenerative capacity, the process is not necessarily the same. It has been proposed that regeneration, while evolutionarily conserved,

While a number of vertebrates, including fishes, salamanders, frogs, and lizards, display regenerative capacity, the process is not necessarily the same. It has been proposed that regeneration, while evolutionarily conserved, has diverged during evolution. However, the extent to which the mechanisms of regeneration have changed between taxa still remains elusive. In the salamander limb, cells dedifferentiate to a more plastic state and aggregate in the distal portion of the appendage to form a blastema, which is responsible for outgrowth and tissue development. In contrast, no such mechanism has been identified in lizards, and it is unclear to what extent evolutionary divergence between amniotes and anamniotes has altered this mechanism. Anolis carolinensis lizards are capable of regenerating their tails after stress-induced autotomy or self-amputation. In this investigation, the distribution of proliferating cells in early A. carolinensis tail regeneration was visualized by immunohistochemistry to examine the location and quantity of proliferating cells. An aggregate of proliferating cells at the distal region of the regenerate is considered indicative of blastema formation. Proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) and minichromosome maintenance complex component 2 (MCM2) were utilized as proliferation markers. Positive cells were counted for each tail (n=9, n=8 respectively). The percent of proliferating cells at the tip and base of the regenerating tail were compared with a one-way ANOVA statistical test. Both markers showed no significant difference (P=0.585, P=0.603 respectively) indicating absence of a blastema-like structure. These results suggest an alternative mechanism of regeneration in lizards and potentially other amniotes.

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Date Created
  • 2014-05

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Comparative Osteology and Morphometrics of the Caudal Axial Skeleton in Anolis carolinensis and Anolis sagrei

Description

Anole lizards that inhabit the islands and mainland of the Caribbean basin have evolved morphological traits adapted to the microhabitat that they occupy. The anoles on these islands have been

Anole lizards that inhabit the islands and mainland of the Caribbean basin have evolved morphological traits adapted to the microhabitat that they occupy. The anoles on these islands have been characterized as "ecomorphs" or morphologically and behaviorally-adapted groups, including: crown-giant, trunk-crown, trunk, grass-bush, twig, and trunk-ground. Ecomorphs display morphological features that are specifically adapted to the habitat that the anole occupies. One key morphological difference is tail length. While the anoles Anolis carolinensis and A. sagrei have similar ratios of tail length versus snout-to-vent length (SVL), they occupy different microhabitats. Specifically, A. carolinensis inhabits trunk-crown habitats while A. sagrei is found in trunk-ground regions. In this study, I focused on analysis of the caudal vertebrae of these two species, to determine if the structure of the osteological elements reflected differences in microhabitat adaptation. Skeletal preparations reveal that A. carolinensis have 40 \u2014 46 caudal vertebrae, and A. sagrei have 38 \u2014 49 caudal vertebrae. Transverse processes are present in Ca1-8 in A. carolinensis whereas transverse processes in A. sagrei span from Ca1-42 vertebrae. Ca6\u201440 have autotomy planes in A. sagrei, whereas only Ca8\u201417 have autotomy planes in A. carolinensis. These findings indicate that A. carolinensis are limited in the ability to autotomize their tail compared to A. sagrei. A. carolinensis, living higher in the trees than A. sagrei, might incur a greater impairment of locomotor function if autotomized. There appears to be no differences between males and females of both species in respect to vertebrae lengths. Differences between A. carolinensis and A. sagrei in terms of vertebral length are found in Ca12-15, 29-30, 34, and 37. The finding indicates that almost all caudal vertebrae between A. carolinensis and A. sagrei have similar relative lengths, but seven vertebrae have statistically significant differences. The biological significance of the findings is not clear, but functional and myological studies may help elucidate the reason of the observed differences.

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Date Created
  • 2013-05

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The Sonoran Desert Tortoise (Gopherus morafkai) and Insights into Conservation Biology and Policy from the Mohave Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii)

Description

A literature review summarizing the current status of conservation efforts of the Mojave Desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) including a brief overview of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and its applicability

A literature review summarizing the current status of conservation efforts of the Mojave Desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) including a brief overview of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and its applicability to this species' conservation. A genetic and physiological comparison of the morphologically similar Mojave species with the Sonoran (Gopherus morafkai) species proceeded by an analysis of if and how the ESA should apply to the Sonoran population. Analysis of current plans and interagency cooperations followed by a multi-step proposal on how best to conserve the Sonoran population of Desert tortoise.

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Date Created
  • 2015-05

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Differential expression of conserved and novel microRNAs during tail regeneration in the lizard Anolis carolinensis

Description

Background
Lizards are evolutionarily the most closely related vertebrates to humans that can lose and regrow an entire appendage. Regeneration in lizards involves differential expression of hundreds of genes that

Background
Lizards are evolutionarily the most closely related vertebrates to humans that can lose and regrow an entire appendage. Regeneration in lizards involves differential expression of hundreds of genes that regulate wound healing, musculoskeletal development, hormonal response, and embryonic morphogenesis. While microRNAs are able to regulate large groups of genes, their role in lizard regeneration has not been investigated.
Results
MicroRNA sequencing of green anole lizard (Anolis carolinensis) regenerating tail and associated tissues revealed 350 putative novel and 196 known microRNA precursors. Eleven microRNAs were differentially expressed between the regenerating tail tip and base during maximum outgrowth (25 days post autotomy), including miR-133a, miR-133b, and miR-206, which have been reported to regulate regeneration and stem cell proliferation in other model systems. Three putative novel differentially expressed microRNAs were identified in the regenerating tail tip.
Conclusions
Differentially expressed microRNAs were identified in the regenerating lizard tail, including known regulators of stem cell proliferation. The identification of 3 putative novel microRNAs suggests that regulatory networks, either conserved in vertebrates and previously uncharacterized or specific to lizards, are involved in regeneration. These findings suggest that differential regulation of microRNAs may play a role in coordinating the timing and expression of hundreds of genes involved in regeneration.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-05-05