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Bibliography on: Origin of Multicellular Eukaryotes

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ESP: PubMed Auto Bibliography 14 Nov 2022 at 02:04 Created: 

Origin of Multicellular Eukaryotes

Created with PubMed® Query: (origin OR evolution) and (eukaryotes OR eukaryota) AND (multicelluarity OR multicellular) NOT 33634751[PMID] NOT pmcbook NOT ispreviousversion

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)


RevDate: 2022-11-07
CmpDate: 2022-11-07

Banijamali M, Höjer P, Nagy A, et al (2022)

Characterizing single extracellular vesicles by droplet barcode sequencing for protein analysis.

Journal of extracellular vesicles, 11(11):e12277.

Small extracellular vesicles (sEVs) have in recent years evolved as a source of biomarkers for disease diagnosis and therapeutic follow up. sEV samples derived from multicellular organisms exhibit a high heterogeneous repertoire of vesicles which current methods based on ensemble measurements cannot capture. In this work we present droplet barcode sequencing for protein analysis (DBS-Pro) to profile surface proteins on individual sEVs, facilitating identification of sEV-subtypes within and between samples. The method allows for analysis of multiple proteins through use of DNA barcoded affinity reagents and sequencing as readout. High throughput single vesicle profiling is enabled through compartmentalization of individual sEVs in emulsion droplets followed by droplet barcoding through PCR. In this proof-of-concept study we demonstrate that DBS-Pro allows for analysis of single sEVs, with a mixing rate below 2%. A total of over 120,000 individual sEVs obtained from a NSCLC cell line and from malignant pleural effusion (MPE) fluid of NSCLC patients have been analyzed based on their surface proteins. We also show that the method enables single vesicle surface protein profiling and by extension characterization of sEV-subtypes, which is essential to identify the cellular origin of vesicles in heterogenous samples.

RevDate: 2022-11-01
CmpDate: 2022-11-01

Grunt TW, P Valent (2022)

Cancer - A devastating disease, but also an eye-opener and window into the deep mysteries of life and its origins.

Progress in biophysics and molecular biology, 175:131-139.

Although cancer is still the second leading cause of death worldwide, basic research has largely elucidated the underlying mechanisms that lead us deep into the laws of animate and inanimate nature. This review aims to demonstrate that the cancer process profoundly affects and reprograms fundamental principles and concepts of cellular life by harnessing the natural mechanisms of biological evolution. It is shown that mutation and selection - the drivers of cancer formation and progression - are mandatory consequences of Boltzmann's version of the second law of thermodynamics, which stipulates that entropy (or disorder) according to probability never decreases, followed by Darwinian evolution by filtering for the suitable geno- and karyotypes. Cancer research has shown that malignant cells can develop gradually or abruptly depending on the prevailing stress conditions. Similar principles were then observed in the evolution of species, referred to as micro- and macroevolution. Cancer cells can be related to phylogenetically older forms of life, and malignant transformation can be viewed as reverse (atavistic) evolution, accompanied by typical rearrangement of system information and loss of 'social' behavior. It becomes obvious that in nature no distinction is made between normal biology and pathobiology. Instead, everything follows the rules of natural evolution. This illustrates the depth of the cancer problem and may explain the serious difficulties faced in trying to eradicate cancer.

RevDate: 2022-10-18

Bano N, Aalam S, SK Bag (2022)

Tubby-like proteins (TLPs) transcription factor in different regulatory mechanism in plants: a review.

Plant molecular biology [Epub ahead of print].

Tubby-like proteins (TLPs) transcription factors are found in single-celled to multi-cellular eukaryotes in the form of large multigene families. TLPs are identified through a specific signature of carboxyl terminal tubby domain, required for plasma membrane tethering and amino terminal F-box domain communicate as functional SCF-type E3 ligases. The comprehensive distribution of TLP gene family members in diverse species indicates some conserved functions of TLPs in multicellular organisms. Plant TLPs have higher gene members than animals and these members reported important role in multiple physiological and developmental processes and various environmental stress responses. Although the TLPs are suggested to be a putative transcription factors but their functional mechanism is not much clear. This review provides significant recent updates on TLP-mediated regulation with an insight into its functional roles, origin and evolution and also phytohormones related regulation to combat with various stresses and its involvement in adaptive stress response in crop plants.

RevDate: 2022-10-17

Günther M, Reimer C, Herbst R, et al (2022)

Yellow polyketide pigment suppresses premature hatching in social amoeba.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 119(43):e2116122119.

Low-molecular-weight natural products from microbes are indispensable in the development of potent drugs. However, their biological roles within an ecological context often remain elusive. Here, we shed light on natural products from eukaryotic microorganisms that have the ability to transition from single cells to multicellular organisms: the social amoebae. These eukaryotes harbor a large number of polyketide biosynthetic genes in their genomes, yet virtually none of the corresponding products can be isolated or characterized. Using complementary molecular biology approaches, including CRISPR-Cas9, we generated polyketide synthase (pks5) inactivation and overproduction strains of the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum. Differential, untargeted metabolomics of wild-type versus mutant fruiting bodies allowed us to pinpoint candidate metabolites derived from the amoebal PKS5. Extrachromosomal expression of the respective gene led to the identification of a yellow polyunsaturated fatty acid. Analysis of the temporospatial production pattern of this compound in conjunction with detailed bioactivity studies revealed the polyketide to be a spore germination suppressor.

RevDate: 2022-10-11

Silva VSD, CR Machado (2022)

Sex in protists: A new perspective on the reproduction mechanisms of trypanosomatids.

Genetics and molecular biology, 45(3):e20220065 pii:S1415-47572022000300401.

The Protist kingdom individuals are the most ancestral representatives of eukaryotes. They have inhabited Earth since ancient times and are currently found in the most diverse environments presenting a great heterogeneity of life forms. The unicellular and multicellular algae, photosynthetic and heterotrophic organisms, as well as free-living and pathogenic protozoa represents the protist group. The evolution of sex is directly associated with the origin of eukaryotes being protists the earliest protagonists of sexual reproduction on earth. In eukaryotes, the recombination through genetic exchange is a ubiquitous mechanism that can be stimulated by DNA damage. Scientific evidences support the hypothesis that reactive oxygen species (ROS) induced DNA damage can promote sexual recombination in eukaryotes which might have been a decisive factor for the origin of sex. The fact that some recombination enzymes also participate in meiotic sex in modern eukaryotes reinforces the idea that sexual reproduction emerged as consequence of specific mechanisms to cope with mutations and alterations in genetic material. In this review we will discuss about origin of sex and different strategies of evolve sexual reproduction in some protists such that cause human diseases like malaria, toxoplasmosis, sleeping sickness, Chagas disease, and leishmaniasis.

RevDate: 2022-10-04
CmpDate: 2022-10-04

Turishcheva E, Vildanova M, Onishchenko G, et al (2022)

The Role of Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress in Differentiation of Cells of Mesenchymal Origin.

Biochemistry. Biokhimiia, 87(9):916-931.

Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is a multifunctional membrane-enclosed organelle. One of the major ER functions is cotranslational transport and processing of secretory, lysosomal, and transmembrane proteins. Impaired protein processing caused by disturbances in the ER homeostasis results in the ER stress. Restoration of normal ER functioning requires activation of an adaptive mechanism involving cell response to misfolded proteins, the so-called unfolded protein response (UPR). Besides controlling protein folding, UPR plays a key role in other physiological processes, in particular, differentiation of cells of connective, muscle, epithelial, and neural tissues. Cell differentiation is induced by the physiological levels of ER stress, while excessive ER stress suppresses differentiation and can result in cell death. So far, it remains unknown whether UPR activation induces cell differentiation or if UPR is initiated by the upregulated synthesis of secretory proteins during cell differentiation. Cell differentiation is an important stage in the development of multicellular organisms and is tightly controlled. Suppression or excessive activation of this process can lead to the development of various pathologies in an organism. In particular, impairments in the differentiation of connective tissue cells can result in the development of fibrosis, obesity, and osteoporosis. Recently, special attention has been paid to fibrosis as one of the major complications of COVID-19. Therefore, studying the role of UPR in the activation of cell differentiation is of both theoretical and practical interest, as it might result in the identification of molecular targets for selective regulation of cell differentiation stages and as well as the potential to modulate the mechanisms involved in the development of various pathological states.

RevDate: 2022-10-04
CmpDate: 2022-10-04

Smith TJ, PCJ Donoghue (2022)

Evolution of fungal phenotypic disparity.

Nature ecology & evolution, 6(10):1489-1500.

Organismal-grade multicellularity has been achieved only in animals, plants and fungi. All three kingdoms manifest phenotypically disparate body plans but their evolution has only been considered in detail for animals. Here we tested the general relevance of hypotheses on the evolutionary assembly of animal body plans by characterizing the evolution of fungal phenotypic variety (disparity). The distribution of living fungal form is defined by four distinct morphotypes: flagellated; zygomycetous; sac-bearing; and club-bearing. The discontinuity between morphotypes is a consequence of extinction, indicating that a complete record of fungal disparity would present a more homogeneous distribution of form. Fungal disparity expands episodically through time, punctuated by a sharp increase associated with the emergence of multicellular body plans. Simulations show these temporal trends to be non-random and at least partially shaped by hierarchical contingency. These trends are decoupled from changes in gene number, genome size and taxonomic diversity. Only differences in organismal complexity, characterized as the number of traits that constitute an organism, exhibit a meaningful relationship with fungal disparity. Both animals and fungi exhibit episodic increases in disparity through time, resulting in distributions of form made discontinuous by extinction. These congruences suggest a common mode of multicellular body plan evolution.

RevDate: 2022-09-29
CmpDate: 2022-09-29

Wu TY, Hoh KL, Boonyaves K, et al (2022)

Diversification of heat shock transcription factors expanded thermal stress responses during early plant evolution.

The Plant cell, 34(10):3557-3576.

The copy numbers of many plant transcription factor (TF) genes substantially increased during terrestrialization. This allowed TFs to acquire new specificities and thus create gene regulatory networks (GRNs) with new biological functions to help plants adapt to terrestrial environments. Through characterizing heat shock factor (HSF) genes MpHSFA1 and MpHSFB1 in the liverwort Marchantia polymorpha, we explored how heat-responsive GRNs widened their functions in M. polymorpha and Arabidopsis thaliana. An interspecies comparison of heat-induced transcriptomes and the evolutionary rates of HSFs demonstrated the emergence and subsequent rapid evolution of HSFB prior to terrestrialization. Transcriptome and metabolome analyses of M. polymorpha HSF-null mutants revealed that MpHSFA1 controls canonical heat responses such as thermotolerance and metabolic changes. MpHSFB1 also plays essential roles in heat responses, as well as regulating developmental processes including meristem branching and antheridiophore formation. Analysis of cis-regulatory elements revealed development- and stress-related TFs that function directly or indirectly downstream of HSFB. Male gametophytes of M. polymorpha showed higher levels of thermotolerance than female gametophytes, which could be explained by different expression levels of MpHSFA1U and MpHSFA1V on sex chromosome. We propose that the diversification of HSFs is linked to the expansion of HS responses, which enabled coordinated multicellular reactions in land plants.

RevDate: 2022-09-20
CmpDate: 2022-09-20

La Fortezza M, Rendueles O, Keller H, et al (2022)

Hidden paths to endless forms most wonderful: ecology latently shapes evolution of multicellular development in predatory bacteria.

Communications biology, 5(1):977.

Ecological causes of developmental evolution, for example from predation, remain much investigated, but the potential importance of latent phenotypes in eco-evo-devo has received little attention. Using the predatory bacterium Myxococcus xanthus, which undergoes aggregative fruiting body development upon starvation, we tested whether adaptation to distinct growth environments that do not induce development latently alters developmental phenotypes under starvation conditions that do induce development. In an evolution experiment named MyxoEE-3, growing M. xanthus populations swarmed across agar surfaces while adapting to conditions varying at factors such as surface stiffness or prey identity. Such ecological variation during growth was found to greatly impact the latent evolution of development, including fruiting body morphology, the degree of morphological trait correlation, reaction norms, degrees of developmental plasticity and stochastic diversification. For example, some prey environments promoted retention of developmental proficiency whereas others led to its systematic loss. Our results have implications for understanding evolutionary interactions among predation, development and motility in myxobacterial life cycles, and, more broadly, how ecology can profoundly shape the evolution of developmental systems latently rather than by direct selection on developmental features.

RevDate: 2022-09-19
CmpDate: 2022-09-15

Ress V, Traulsen A, Y Pichugin (2022)

Eco-evolutionary dynamics of clonal multicellular life cycles.

eLife, 11:.

The evolution of multicellular life cycles is a central process in the course of the emergence of multicellularity. The simplest multicellular life cycle is comprised of the growth of the propagule into a colony and its fragmentation to give rise to new propagules. The majority of theoretical models assume selection among life cycles to be driven by internal properties of multicellular groups, resulting in growth competition. At the same time, the influence of interactions between groups on the evolution of life cycles is rarely even considered. Here, we present a model of colonial life cycle evolution taking into account group interactions. Our work shows that the outcome of evolution could be coexistence between multiple life cycles or that the outcome may depend on the initial state of the population - scenarios impossible without group interactions. At the same time, we found that some results of these simpler models remain relevant: evolutionary stable strategies in our model are restricted to binary fragmentation - the same class of life cycles that contains all evolutionarily optimal life cycles in the model without interactions. Our results demonstrate that while models neglecting interactions can capture short-term dynamics, they fall short in predicting the population-scale picture of evolution.

RevDate: 2022-09-19
CmpDate: 2022-09-19

Belpaire TER, Pešek J, Lories B, et al (2022)

Permissive aggregative group formation favors coexistence between cooperators and defectors in yeast.

The ISME journal, 16(10):2305-2312.

In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the FLO1 gene encodes flocculins that lead to formation of multicellular flocs, that offer protection to the constituent cells. Flo1p was found to preferentially bind to fellow cooperators compared to defectors lacking FLO1 expression, enriching cooperators within the flocs. Given this dual function in cooperation and kin recognition, FLO1 has been termed a "green beard gene". Because of the heterophilic nature of the Flo1p bond however, we hypothesize that kin recognition is permissive and depends on the relative stability of the FLO1+/flo1- versus FLO1+/FLO1+ detachment force F. We combine single-cell measurements of adhesion, individual cell-based simulations of cluster formation, and in vitro flocculation to study the impact of relative bond stability on the evolutionary stability of cooperation. We identify a trade-off between both aspects of the green beard mechanism, with reduced relative bond stability leading to increased kin recognition at the expense of cooperative benefits. We show that the fitness of FLO1 cooperators decreases as their frequency in the population increases, arising from the observed permissive character (F+- = 0.5 F++) of the Flo1p bond. Considering the costs associated with FLO1 expression, this asymmetric selection often results in a stable coexistence between cooperators and defectors.

RevDate: 2022-09-13

Noh S, Capodanno BJ, Xu S, et al (2022)

Reduced and Nonreduced Genomes in Paraburkholderia Symbionts of Social Amoebas.

mSystems [Epub ahead of print].

The social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum is a predatory soil protist frequently used for studying host-pathogen interactions. A subset of D. discoideum strains isolated from soil persistently carry symbiotic Paraburkholderia, recently formally described as P. agricolaris, P. bonniea, and P. hayleyella. The three facultative symbiont species of D. discoideum present a unique opportunity to study a naturally occurring symbiosis in a laboratory model protist. There is a large difference in genome size between P. agricolaris (8.7 million base pairs [Mbp]) versus P. hayleyella and P. bonniea (4.1 Mbp). We took a comparative genomics approach and compared the three genomes of D. discoideum symbionts to 12 additional Paraburkholderia genomes to test for genome evolution patterns that frequently accompany host adaptation. Overall, P. agricolaris is difficult to distinguish from other Paraburkholderia based on its genome size and content, but the reduced genomes of P. bonniea and P. hayleyella display characteristics indicative of genome streamlining rather than deterioration during adaptation to their protist hosts. In addition, D. discoideum-symbiont genomes have increased secretion system and motility genes that may mediate interactions with their host. Specifically, adjacent BurBor-like type 3 and T6SS-5-like type 6 secretion system operons shared among all three D. discoideum-symbiont genomes may be important for host interaction. Horizontal transfer of these secretion system operons within the amoeba host environment may have contributed to the unique ability of these symbionts to establish and maintain a symbiotic relationship with D. discoideum. IMPORTANCE Protists are a diverse group of typically single cell eukaryotes. Bacteria and archaea that form long-term symbiotic relationships with protists may evolve in additional ways than those in relationships with multicellular eukaryotes such as plants, animals, or fungi. Social amoebas are a predatory soil protist sometimes found with symbiotic bacteria living inside their cells. They present a unique opportunity to explore a naturally occurring symbiosis in a protist frequently used for studying host-pathogen interactions. We show that one amoeba-symbiont species is similar to other related bacteria in genome size and content, while the two reduced-genome-symbiont species show characteristics of genome streamlining rather than deterioration during adaptation to their host. We also identify sets of genes present in all three amoeba-symbiont genomes that are potentially used for host-symbiont interactions. Because the amoeba symbionts are distantly related, the amoeba host environment may be where these genes were shared among symbionts.

RevDate: 2022-09-13
CmpDate: 2022-09-12

Anatskaya OV, AE Vinogradov (2022)

Polyploidy and Myc Proto-Oncogenes Promote Stress Adaptation via Epigenetic Plasticity and Gene Regulatory Network Rewiring.

International journal of molecular sciences, 23(17):.

Polyploid cells demonstrate biological plasticity and stress adaptation in evolution; development; and pathologies, including cardiovascular diseases, neurodegeneration, and cancer. The nature of ploidy-related advantages is still not completely understood. Here, we summarize the literature on molecular mechanisms underlying ploidy-related adaptive features. Polyploidy can regulate gene expression via chromatin opening, reawakening ancient evolutionary programs of embryonality. Chromatin opening switches on genes with bivalent chromatin domains that promote adaptation via rapid induction in response to signals of stress or morphogenesis. Therefore, stress-associated polyploidy can activate Myc proto-oncogenes, which further promote chromatin opening. Moreover, Myc proto-oncogenes can trigger polyploidization de novo and accelerate genome accumulation in already polyploid cells. As a result of these cooperative effects, polyploidy can increase the ability of cells to search for adaptive states of cellular programs through gene regulatory network rewiring. This ability is manifested in epigenetic plasticity associated with traits of stemness, unicellularity, flexible energy metabolism, and a complex system of DNA damage protection, combining primitive error-prone unicellular repair pathways, advanced error-free multicellular repair pathways, and DNA damage-buffering ability. These three features can be considered important components of the increased adaptability of polyploid cells. The evidence presented here contribute to the understanding of the nature of stress resistance associated with ploidy and may be useful in the development of new methods for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular and oncological diseases.

RevDate: 2022-09-13
CmpDate: 2022-09-12

Burzacka-Hinz A, Narajczyk M, Dudek M, et al (2022)

Micromorphology of Labellum in Selected Dendrobium Sw. (Orchidaceae, Dendrobieae).

International journal of molecular sciences, 23(17):.

Dendrobium is one of the most species-rich genera of the Paleotropical orchids. It embraces more than 1000 species, most of which are epiphytes. The strong variation in floral characters causes many identification difficulties within this genus. One of the key structures, often sufficient in identification on a species level, is the labellum, which in many species of Dendrobium possesses a thickened callus and various types of trichomes and papillae. The aim of this study is to identify and describe the structures present on the labellum surface of the analyzed species, determine their distribution and density, as well as to check whether the obtained data have taxonomic value. In this paper, we present the results of a micromorphological study on the labellum of 21 species of Dendrobium, representing 13 sections, using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Our studies revealed the presence of both uni- and multicellular structures on the surface of the labellum. We observed three types of trichomes (conical, cylindrical, ellipsoidal) and three types of papillae (conical, cylindrical, semicircular). Neither trichomes nor papillae were recorded for five species. In addition, we made diagrams showing the distribution and density of structures on the labellum. Based on the micromorphological results combined with the phylogenetic tree performed, we suggest that the presence/absence of labellum structures does not necessarily reflect the phylogenetic relationship and might be misleading, as in some cases, they arise due to convergence.

RevDate: 2022-09-13
CmpDate: 2022-09-13

Senthilkumar I, Howley E, E McEvoy (2022)

Thermodynamically-motivated chemo-mechanical models and multicellular simulation to provide new insight into active cell and tumour remodelling.

Experimental cell research, 419(2):113317.

Computational models can shape our understanding of cell and tissue remodelling, from cell spreading, to active force generation, adhesion, and growth. In this mini-review, we discuss recent progress in modelling of chemo-mechanical cell behaviour and the evolution of multicellular systems. In particular, we highlight recent advances in (i) free-energy based single cell models that can provide new fundamental insight into cell spreading, cancer cell invasion, stem cell differentiation, and remodelling in disease, and (ii) mechanical agent-based models to simulate large numbers of discrete interacting cells in proliferative tumours. We describe how new biological understanding has emerged from such theoretical models, and the trade-offs and constraints associated with current approaches. Ultimately, we aim to make a case for why theory should be integrated with an experimental workflow to optimise new in-vitro studies, to predict feedback between cells and their microenvironment, and to deepen understanding of active cell behaviour.

RevDate: 2022-09-08
CmpDate: 2022-09-08

Fukai E, Yoshikawa M, Shah N, et al (2022)

Widespread and transgenerational retrotransposon activation in inter- and intraspecies recombinant inbred populations of Lotus japonicus.

The Plant journal : for cell and molecular biology, 111(5):1397-1410.

Transposable elements (TEs) constitute a large proportion of genomes of multicellular eukaryotes, including flowering plants. TEs are normally maintained in a silenced state and their transpositions rarely occur. Hybridization between distant species has been regarded as a 'shock' that stimulates genome reorganization, including TE mobilization. However, whether crosses between genetically close parents that result in viable and fertile offspring can induce TE transpositions has remained unclear. Here, we investigated the activation of long terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposons in three Lotus japonicus recombinant inbred line (RIL) populations. We found that at least six LTR retrotransposon families were activated and transposed in 78% of the RILs investigated. LORE1a, one of the transposed LTR retrotransposons, showed transgenerational epigenetic activation, indicating the long-term effects of epigenetic instability induced by hybridization. Our study highlights TE activation as an unexpectedly common event in plant reproduction.

RevDate: 2022-08-26

Le NG, van Ulsen P, van Spanning R, et al (2022)

A Functional Carbohydrate Degrading Enzyme Potentially Acquired by Horizontal Gene Transfer in the Genome of the Soil Invertebrate Folsomia candida.

Genes, 13(8): pii:genes13081402.

Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is defined as the acquisition by an organism of hereditary material from a phylogenetically unrelated organism. This process is mostly observed among bacteria and archaea, and considered less likely between microbes and multicellular eukaryotes. However, recent studies provide compelling evidence of the evolutionary importance of HGT in eukaryotes, driving functional innovation. Here, we study an HGT event in Folsomia candida (Collembola, Hexapoda) of a carbohydrate-active enzyme homologous to glycosyl hydrase group 43 (GH43). The gene encodes an N-terminal signal peptide, targeting the product for excretion, which suggests that it contributes to the diversity of digestive capacities of the detritivore host. The predicted α-L-arabinofuranosidase shows high similarity to genes in two other Collembola, an insect and a tardigrade. The gene was cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli using a cell-free protein expression system. The expressed protein showed activity against p-nitrophenyl-α-L-arabinofuranoside. Our work provides evidence for functional activity of an HGT gene in a soil-living detritivore, most likely from a bacterial donor, with genuine eukaryotic properties, such as a signal peptide. Co-evolution of metazoan GH43 genes with the Panarthropoda phylogeny suggests the HGT event took place early in the evolution of this ecdysozoan lineage.

RevDate: 2022-08-26
CmpDate: 2022-08-26

Shi B, Huang X, Fu X, et al (2022)

[Advances in the plant multicellular network analysis].

Sheng wu gong cheng xue bao = Chinese journal of biotechnology, 38(8):2798-2810.

Multicellular network analysis is a method for topological properties analysis of cells. The functions of organs are determined by their inner cells. The arrangement of cells within organs endows higher-order functionality through a structure-function relationship, though the organizational properties of these multicellular configurations remain poorly understood. Multicellular network analysis with multicellular models established by 3D scanning of plants, will further discover the plant development mechanism, and provide clues for synthesizing plant multicellular systems. In this paper, we review the development of multicellular models, summarize the process of multicellular network analysis, and describe the development and application of multicellular network analysis in plants. In addition, this review also provides perspective on future development of plant multicellular network analysis.

RevDate: 2022-08-24
CmpDate: 2022-08-24

Nyongesa S, Weber PM, Bernet È, et al (2022)

Evolution of longitudinal division in multicellular bacteria of the Neisseriaceae family.

Nature communications, 13(1):4853.

Rod-shaped bacteria typically elongate and divide by transverse fission. However, several bacterial species can form rod-shaped cells that divide longitudinally. Here, we study the evolution of cell shape and division mode within the family Neisseriaceae, which includes Gram-negative coccoid and rod-shaped species. In particular, bacteria of the genera Alysiella, Simonsiella and Conchiformibius, which can be found in the oral cavity of mammals, are multicellular and divide longitudinally. We use comparative genomics and ultrastructural microscopy to infer that longitudinal division within Neisseriaceae evolved from a rod-shaped ancestor. In multicellular longitudinally-dividing species, neighbouring cells within multicellular filaments are attached by their lateral peptidoglycan. In these bacteria, peptidoglycan insertion does not appear concentric, i.e. from the cell periphery to its centre, but as a medial sheet guillotining each cell. Finally, we identify genes and alleles associated with multicellularity and longitudinal division, including the acquisition of amidase-encoding gene amiC2, and amino acid changes in proteins including MreB and FtsA. Introduction of amiC2 and allelic substitution of mreB in a rod-shaped species that divides by transverse fission results in shorter cells with longer septa. Our work sheds light on the evolution of multicellularity and longitudinal division in bacteria, and suggests that members of the Neisseriaceae family may be good models to study these processes due to their morphological plasticity and genetic tractability.

RevDate: 2022-08-23
CmpDate: 2022-08-23

Gabaldón T, Völcker E, G Torruella (2022)

On the Biology, Diversity and Evolution of Nucleariid Amoebae (Amorphea, Obazoa, Opisthokonta1.

Protist, 173(4):125895.

Nucleariids are a small group of free-living heterotrophic amoebae. Although these organisms present a variety of cell sizes and cell coverings, they are mostly spherical cells with radiating filopodia, sometimes with several nuclei. Nuclearia, the genus that gives the name to the group, contains species that are opportunistic consumers of detritus, bacteria, and algae. The beautiful Pompholyxophrys is covered with endogenous siliceous pearls. Lithocolla covers itself with sand particles, or otherwise diatom frustules. The tiny Parvularia exclusively feeds on bacteria, and Fonticula is adapted to solid substrates and presents aggregative multicellular stages. Nucleariids belong to the Opisthokonta, which comprise animals, fungi, and their protist relatives, and form the earliest branch in the holomycotan clade (fungi and closest relatives). Hence, they are key for understanding the origin and diversification of Opisthokonta, an eukaryotic supergroup that contains organisms with different feeding modes, life-styles, and cell organizations. In this review, the reader will find an introduction to nucleariids, from their discovery in the 19th century until the most recent studies. It summarizes available information on their morphology, life history, cell organisation, ecology, diversity, systematics and evolution.

RevDate: 2022-08-18
CmpDate: 2022-08-18

Melnikov NP, Bolshakov FV, Frolova VS, et al (2022)

Tissue homeostasis in sponges: Quantitative analysis of cell proliferation and apoptosis.

Journal of experimental zoology. Part B, Molecular and developmental evolution, 338(6):360-381.

Tissues of multicellular animals are maintained due to a tight balance between cell proliferation and programmed cell death. Sponges are early branching metazoans essential to understanding the key mechanisms of tissue homeostasis. This article is dedicated to the comparative analysis of proliferation and apoptosis in intact tissues of two sponges, Halisarca dujardinii (class Demospongiae) and Leucosolenia variabilis (class Calcarea). Labeled nucleotides EdU and anti-phosphorylated histone 3 antibodies reveal a considerable number of cycling cells in intact tissues of both species. Quantitative DNA staining reveals the classic cell cycle distribution curve. The main type of cycling cells are choanocytes - flagellated cells of the aquiferous system. The rate of proliferation remains constant throughout various areas of sponge bodies that contain choanocytes. The EdU tracking experiments conducted in H. dujardinii indicate that choanocytes may give rise to mesohyl cells through migration. The number of apoptotic cells in tissues of both species is insignificant, although being comparable to the renewing tissues of other animals. In vivo studies with tetramethylrhodamine ethyl ester and CellEvent Caspase-3/7 indicate that apoptosis might be independent of mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilization. Altogether, a combination of confocal laser scanning microscopy and flow cytometry provides a quantitative description of cell proliferation and apoptosis in sponges displaying either rapid growth or cell turnover.

RevDate: 2022-08-12
CmpDate: 2022-08-12

Kim H, Skinner DJ, Glass DS, et al (2022)

4-bit adhesion logic enables universal multicellular interface patterning.

Nature, 608(7922):324-329.

Multicellular systems, from bacterial biofilms to human organs, form interfaces (or boundaries) between different cell collectives to spatially organize versatile functions1,2. The evolution of sufficiently descriptive genetic toolkits probably triggered the explosion of complex multicellular life and patterning3,4. Synthetic biology aims to engineer multicellular systems for practical applications and to serve as a build-to-understand methodology for natural systems5-8. However, our ability to engineer multicellular interface patterns2,9 is still very limited, as synthetic cell-cell adhesion toolkits and suitable patterning algorithms are underdeveloped5,7,10-13. Here we introduce a synthetic cell-cell adhesin logic with swarming bacteria and establish the precise engineering, predictive modelling and algorithmic programming of multicellular interface patterns. We demonstrate interface generation through a swarming adhesion mechanism, quantitative control over interface geometry and adhesion-mediated analogues of developmental organizers and morphogen fields. Using tiling and four-colour-mapping concepts, we identify algorithms for creating universal target patterns. This synthetic 4-bit adhesion logic advances practical applications such as human-readable molecular diagnostics, spatial fluid control on biological surfaces and programmable self-growing materials5-8,14. Notably, a minimal set of just four adhesins represents 4 bits of information that suffice to program universal tessellation patterns, implying a low critical threshold for the evolution and engineering of complex multicellular systems3,5.

RevDate: 2022-08-05
CmpDate: 2022-08-05

Ní Leathlobhair M, RE Lenski (2022)

Population genetics of clonally transmissible cancers.

Nature ecology & evolution, 6(8):1077-1089.

Populations of cancer cells are subject to the same core evolutionary processes as asexually reproducing, unicellular organisms. Transmissible cancers are particularly striking examples of these processes. These unusual cancers are clonal lineages that can spread through populations via physical transfer of living cancer cells from one host individual to another, and they have achieved long-term success in the colonization of at least eight different host species. Population genetic theory provides a useful framework for understanding the shift from a multicellular sexual animal into a unicellular asexual clone and its long-term effects on the genomes of these cancers. In this Review, we consider recent findings from transmissible cancer research with the goals of developing an evolutionarily informed perspective on transmissible cancers, examining possible implications for their long-term fate and identifying areas for future research on these exceptional lineages.

RevDate: 2022-07-28
CmpDate: 2022-07-28

Le Gloanec C, Collet L, Silveira SR, et al (2022)

Cell type-specific dynamics underlie cellular growth variability in plants.

Development (Cambridge, England), 149(14):.

Coordination of growth, patterning and differentiation is required for shaping organs in multicellular organisms. In plants, cell growth is controlled by positional information, yet the behavior of individual cells is often highly heterogeneous. The origin of this variability is still unclear. Using time-lapse imaging, we determined the source and relevance of cellular growth variability in developing organs of Arabidopsis thaliana. We show that growth is more heterogeneous in the leaf blade than in the midrib and petiole, correlating with higher local differences in growth rates between neighboring cells in the blade. This local growth variability coincides with developing stomata. Stomatal lineages follow a specific, time-dependent growth program that is different from that of their surroundings. Quantification of cellular dynamics in the leaves of a mutant lacking stomata, as well as analysis of floral organs, supports the idea that growth variability is mainly driven by stomata differentiation. Thus, the cell-autonomous behavior of specialized cells is the main source of local growth variability in otherwise homogeneously growing tissue. Those growth differences are buffered by the immediate neighbors of stomata and trichomes to achieve robust organ shapes.

RevDate: 2022-07-28
CmpDate: 2022-07-28

Meléndez García R, Haccard O, Chesneau A, et al (2022)

A non-transcriptional function of Yap regulates the DNA replication program in Xenopus laevis.

eLife, 11: pii:75741.

In multicellular eukaryotic organisms, the initiation of DNA replication occurs asynchronously throughout S-phase according to a regulated replication timing program. Here, using Xenopus egg extracts, we showed that Yap (Yes-associated protein 1), a downstream effector of the Hippo signalling pathway, is required for the control of DNA replication dynamics. We found that Yap is recruited to chromatin at the start of DNA replication and identified Rif1, a major regulator of the DNA replication timing program, as a novel Yap binding protein. Furthermore, we show that either Yap or Rif1 depletion accelerates DNA replication dynamics by increasing the number of activated replication origins. In Xenopus embryos, using a Trim-Away approach during cleavage stages devoid of transcription, we found that either Yap or Rif1 depletion triggers an acceleration of cell divisions, suggesting a shorter S-phase by alterations of the replication program. Finally, our data show that Rif1 knockdown leads to defects in the partitioning of early versus late replication foci in retinal stem cells, as we previously showed for Yap. Altogether, our findings unveil a non-transcriptional role for Yap in regulating replication dynamics. We propose that Yap and Rif1 function as brakes to control the DNA replication program in early embryos and post-embryonic stem cells.

RevDate: 2022-07-27

Dijkwel Y, DJ Tremethick (2022)

The Role of the Histone Variant H2A.Z in Metazoan Development.

Journal of developmental biology, 10(3): pii:jdb10030028.

During the emergence and radiation of complex multicellular eukaryotes from unicellular ancestors, transcriptional systems evolved by becoming more complex to provide the basis for this morphological diversity. The way eukaryotic genomes are packaged into a highly complex structure, known as chromatin, underpins this evolution of transcriptional regulation. Chromatin structure is controlled by a variety of different epigenetic mechanisms, including the major mechanism for altering the biochemical makeup of the nucleosome by replacing core histones with their variant forms. The histone H2A variant H2A.Z is particularly important in early metazoan development because, without it, embryos cease to develop and die. However, H2A.Z is also required for many differentiation steps beyond the stage that H2A.Z-knockout embryos die. H2A.Z can facilitate the activation and repression of genes that are important for pluripotency and differentiation, and acts through a variety of different molecular mechanisms that depend upon its modification status, its interaction with histone and nonhistone partners, and where it is deposited within the genome. In this review, we discuss the current knowledge about the different mechanisms by which H2A.Z regulates chromatin function at various developmental stages and the chromatin remodeling complexes that determine when and where H2A.Z is deposited.

RevDate: 2022-07-26
CmpDate: 2022-07-25

Howe J, Rink JC, Wang B, et al (2022)

Multicellularity in animals: The potential for within-organism conflict.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 119(32):e2120457119.

Metazoans function as individual organisms but also as "colonies" of cells whose single-celled ancestors lived and reproduced independently. Insights from evolutionary biology about multicellular group formation help us understand the behavior of cells: why they cooperate, and why cooperation sometimes breaks down. Current explanations for multicellularity focus on two aspects of development which promote cooperation and limit conflict among cells: a single-cell bottleneck, which creates organisms composed of clones, and a separation of somatic and germ cell lineages, which reduces the selective advantage of cheating. However, many obligately multicellular organisms thrive with neither, creating the potential for within-organism conflict. Here, we argue that the prevalence of such organisms throughout the Metazoa requires us to refine our preconceptions of conflict-free multicellularity. Evolutionary theory must incorporate developmental mechanisms across a broad range of organisms-such as unusual reproductive strategies, totipotency, and cell competition-while developmental biology must incorporate evolutionary principles. To facilitate this cross-disciplinary approach, we provide a conceptual overview from evolutionary biology for developmental biologists, using analogous examples in the well-studied social insects.

RevDate: 2022-07-22
CmpDate: 2022-07-22

Belcher LJ, Madgwick PG, Kuwana S, et al (2022)

Developmental constraints enforce altruism and avert the tragedy of the commons in a social microbe.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 119(29):e2111233119.

Organisms often cooperate through the production of freely available public goods. This can greatly benefit the group but is vulnerable to the "tragedy of the commons" if individuals lack the motivation to make the necessary investment into public goods production. Relatedness to groupmates can motivate individual investment because group success ultimately benefits their genes' own self-interests. However, systems often lack mechanisms that can reliably ensure that relatedness is high enough to promote cooperation. Consequently, groups face a persistent threat from the tragedy unless they have a mechanism to enforce investment when relatedness fails to provide adequate motivation. To understand the real threat posed by the tragedy and whether groups can avert its impact, we determine how the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum responds as relatedness decreases to levels that should induce the tragedy. We find that, while investment in public goods declines as overall within-group relatedness declines, groups avert the expected catastrophic collapse of the commons by continuing to invest, even when relatedness should be too low to incentivize any contribution. We show that this is due to a developmental buffering system that generates enforcement because insufficient cooperation perturbs the balance of a negative feedback system controlling multicellular development. This developmental constraint enforces investment under the conditions expected to be most tragic, allowing groups to avert a collapse in cooperation. These results help explain how mechanisms that suppress selfishness and enforce cooperation can arise inadvertently as a by-product of constraints imposed by selection on different traits.

RevDate: 2022-07-21
CmpDate: 2022-07-20

Passer AR, Clancey SA, Shea T, et al (2022)

Obligate sexual reproduction of a homothallic fungus closely related to the Cryptococcus pathogenic species complex.

eLife, 11:.

eLife digest.

Fungi are enigmatic organisms that flourish in soil, on decaying plants, or during infection of animals or plants. Growing in myriad forms, from single-celled yeast to multicellular molds and mushrooms, fungi have also evolved a variety of strategies to reproduce. Normally, fungi reproduce in one of two ways: either they reproduce asexually, with one individual producing a new individual identical to itself, or they reproduce sexually, with two individuals of different 'mating types' contributing to produce a new individual. However, individuals of some species exhibit 'homothallism' or self-fertility: these individuals can produce reproductive cells that are universally compatible, and therefore can reproduce sexually with themselves or with any other cell in the population.

Homothallism has evolved multiple times throughout the fungal kingdom, suggesting it confers advantage when population numbers are low or mates are hard to find. Yet some homothallic fungi been overlooked compared to heterothallic species, whose mating types have been well characterised. Understanding the genetic basis of homothallism and how it evolved in different species can provide insights into pathogenic species that cause fungal disease.

With that in mind, Passer, Clancey et al. explored the genetic basis of homothallism in Cryptococcus depauperatus, a close relative of C. neoformans, a species that causes fungal infections in humans. A combination of genetic sequencing techniques and experiments were applied to analyse, compare, and manipulate C. depauperatus' genome to see how this species evolved self-fertility.

Passer, Clancey et al. showed that C. depauperatus evolved the ability to reproduce sexually by itself via a unique evolutionary pathway. The result is a form of homothallism never reported in fungi before. C. depauperatus lost some of the genes that control mating in other species of fungi, and acquired genes from the opposing mating types of a heterothallic ancestor to become self-fertile.

Passer, Clancey et al. also found that, unlike other Cryptococcus species that switch between asexual and sexual reproduction, C. depauperatus grows only as long, branching filaments called hyphae, a sexual form. The species reproduces sexually with itself throughout its life cycle and is unable to produce a yeast (asexual) form, in contrast to other closely related species.

This work offers new insights into how different modes of sexual reproduction have evolved in fungi. It also provides another interesting case of how genome plasticity and evolutionary pressures can produce similar outcomes, homothallism, via different evolutionary paths. Lastly, assembling the complete genome of C. depauperatus will foster comparative studies between pathogenic and non-pathogenic Cryptococcus species.

RevDate: 2022-07-14
CmpDate: 2022-07-14

Kaufmann M, Schaupp AL, Sun R, et al (2022)

Identification of early neurodegenerative pathways in progressive multiple sclerosis.

Nature neuroscience, 25(7):944-955.

Progressive multiple sclerosis (MS) is characterized by unrelenting neurodegeneration, which causes cumulative disability and is refractory to current treatments. Drug development to prevent disease progression is an urgent clinical need yet is constrained by an incomplete understanding of its complex pathogenesis. Using spatial transcriptomics and proteomics on fresh-frozen human MS brain tissue, we identified multicellular mechanisms of progressive MS pathogenesis and traced their origin in relation to spatially distributed stages of neurodegeneration. By resolving ligand-receptor interactions in local microenvironments, we discovered defunct trophic and anti-inflammatory intercellular communications within areas of early neuronal decline. Proteins associated with neuronal damage in patient samples showed mechanistic concordance with published in vivo knockdown and central nervous system (CNS) disease models, supporting their causal role and value as potential therapeutic targets in progressive MS. Our findings provide a new framework for drug development strategies, rooted in an understanding of the complex cellular and signaling dynamics in human diseased tissue that facilitate this debilitating disease.

RevDate: 2022-07-12
CmpDate: 2022-07-12

Northey JJ, VM Weaver (2022)

Mechanosensitive Steroid Hormone Signaling and Cell Fate.

Endocrinology, 163(8):.

Mechanical forces collaborate across length scales to coordinate cell fate during development and the dynamic homeostasis of adult tissues. Similarly, steroid hormones interact with their nuclear and nonnuclear receptors to regulate diverse physiological processes necessary for the appropriate development and function of complex multicellular tissues. Aberrant steroid hormone action is associated with tumors originating in hormone-sensitive tissues and its disruption forms the basis of several therapeutic interventions. Prolonged perturbations to mechanical forces may further foster tumor initiation and the evolution of aggressive metastatic disease. Recent evidence suggests that steroid hormone and mechanical signaling intersect to direct cell fate during development and tumor progression. Potential mechanosensitive steroid hormone signaling pathways along with their molecular effectors will be discussed in this context.

RevDate: 2022-07-07
CmpDate: 2022-07-07

Beljan S, Dominko K, Talajić A, et al (2022)

Structure and function of cancer-related developmentally regulated GTP-binding protein 1 (DRG1) is conserved between sponges and humans.

Scientific reports, 12(1):11379.

Cancer is a disease caused by errors within the multicellular system and it represents a major health issue in multicellular organisms. Although cancer research has advanced substantially, new approaches focusing on fundamental aspects of cancer origin and mechanisms of spreading are necessary. Comparative genomic studies have shown that most genes linked to human cancer emerged during the early evolution of Metazoa. Thus, basal animals without true tissues and organs, such as sponges (Porifera), might be an innovative model system for understanding the molecular mechanisms of proteins involved in cancer biology. One of these proteins is developmentally regulated GTP-binding protein 1 (DRG1), a GTPase stabilized by interaction with DRG family regulatory protein 1 (DFRP1). This study reveals a high evolutionary conservation of DRG1 gene/protein in metazoans. Our biochemical analysis and structural predictions show that both recombinant sponge and human DRG1 are predominantly monomers that form complexes with DFRP1 and bind non-specifically to RNA and DNA. We demonstrate the conservation of sponge and human DRG1 biological features, including intracellular localization and DRG1:DFRP1 binding, function of DRG1 in α-tubulin dynamics, and its role in cancer biology demonstrated by increased proliferation, migration and colonization in human cancer cells. These results suggest that the ancestor of all Metazoa already possessed DRG1 that is structurally and functionally similar to the human DRG1, even before the development of real tissues or tumors, indicating an important function of DRG1 in fundamental cellular pathways.

RevDate: 2022-06-23
CmpDate: 2022-06-23

Cameron-Pack ME, König SG, Reyes-Guevara A, et al (2022)

A personal cost of cheating can stabilize reproductive altruism during the early evolution of clonal multicellularity.

Biology letters, 18(6):20220059.

Understanding how cooperation evolved and is maintained remains an important and often controversial topic because cheaters that reap the benefits of cooperation without paying the costs can threaten the evolutionary stability of cooperative traits. Cooperation-and especially reproductive altruism-is particularly relevant to the evolution of multicellularity, as somatic cells give up their reproductive potential in order to contribute to the fitness of the newly emerged multicellular individual. Here, we investigated cheating in a simple multicellular species-the green alga Volvox carteri, in the context of the mechanisms that can stabilize reproductive altruism during the early evolution of clonal multicellularity. We found that the benefits cheater mutants can gain in terms of their own reproduction are pre-empted by a cost in survival due to increased sensitivity to stress. This personal cost of cheating reflects the antagonistic pleiotropic effects that the gene coding for reproductive altruism-regA-has at the cell level. Specifically, the expression of regA in somatic cells results in the suppression of their reproduction potential but also confers them with increased resistance to stress. Since regA evolved from a life-history trade-off gene, we suggest that co-opting trade-off genes into cooperative traits can provide a built-in safety system against cheaters in other clonal multicellular lineages.

RevDate: 2022-06-22
CmpDate: 2022-06-22

Mori G, Delfino D, Pibiri P, et al (2022)

Origin and significance of the human DNase repertoire.

Scientific reports, 12(1):10364.

The human genome contains four DNase1 and two DNase2 genes. The origin and functional specialization of this repertoire are not fully understood. Here we use genomics and transcriptomics data to infer the evolutionary history of DNases and investigate their biological significance. Both DNase1 and DNase2 families have expanded in vertebrates since ~ 650 million years ago before the divergence of jawless and jawed vertebrates. DNase1, DNase1L1, and DNase1L3 co-existed in jawless fish, whereas DNase1L2 originated in amniotes by tandem duplication of DNase1. Among the non-human DNases, DNase1L4 and newly identified DNase1L5 derived from early duplications that were lost in terrestrial vertebrates. The ancestral gene of the DNase2 family, DNase2b, has been conserved in synteny with the Uox gene across 700 million years of animal evolution,while DNase2 originated in jawless fish. DNase1L1 acquired a GPI-anchor for plasma membrane attachment in bony fishes, and DNase1L3 acquired a C-terminal basic peptide for the degradation of microparticle DNA in jawed vertebrates. The appearance of DNase1L2, with a distinct low pH optimum and skin localization, is among the amniote adaptations to life on land. The expansion of the DNase repertoire in vertebrates meets the diversified demand for DNA debris removal in complex multicellular organisms.

RevDate: 2022-06-13
CmpDate: 2022-06-13

Minelli A, A Valero-Gracia (2022)

Spatially and Temporally Distributed Complexity-A Refreshed Framework for the Study of GRN Evolution.

Cells, 11(11): pii:cells11111790.

Irrespective of the heuristic value of interpretations of developmental processes in terms of gene regulatory networks (GRNs), larger-angle views often suffer from: (i) an inadequate understanding of the relationship between genotype and phenotype; (ii) a predominantly zoocentric vision; and (iii) overconfidence in a putatively hierarchical organization of animal body plans. Here, we constructively criticize these assumptions. First, developmental biology is pervaded by adultocentrism, but development is not necessarily egg to adult. Second, during development, many unicells undergo transcriptomic profile transitions that are comparable to those recorded in pluricellular organisms; thus, their study should not be neglected from the GRN perspective. Third, the putatively hierarchical nature of the animal body is mirrored in the GRN logic, but in relating genotype to phenotype, independent assessments of the dynamics of the regulatory machinery and the animal's architecture are required, better served by a combinatorial than by a hierarchical approach. The trade-offs between spatial and temporal aspects of regulation, as well as their evolutionary consequences, are also discussed. Multicellularity may derive from a unicell's sequential phenotypes turned into different but coexisting, spatially arranged cell types. In turn, polyphenism may have been a crucial mechanism involved in the origin of complex life cycles.

RevDate: 2022-06-10
CmpDate: 2022-06-10

Farkas Z, Kovács K, Sarkadi Z, et al (2022)

Gene loss and compensatory evolution promotes the emergence of morphological novelties in budding yeast.

Nature ecology & evolution, 6(6):763-773.

Deleterious mutations are generally considered to be irrelevant for morphological evolution. However, they could be compensated by conditionally beneficial mutations, thereby providing access to new adaptive paths. Here we use high-dimensional phenotyping of laboratory-evolved budding yeast lineages to demonstrate that new cellular morphologies emerge exceptionally rapidly as a by-product of gene loss and subsequent compensatory evolution. Unexpectedly, the capacities for invasive growth, multicellular aggregation and biofilm formation also spontaneously evolve in response to gene loss. These multicellular phenotypes can be achieved by diverse mutational routes and without reactivating the canonical regulatory pathways. These ecologically and clinically relevant traits originate as pleiotropic side effects of compensatory evolution and have no obvious utility in the laboratory environment. The extent of morphological diversity in the evolved lineages is comparable to that of natural yeast isolates with diverse genetic backgrounds and lifestyles. Finally, we show that both the initial gene loss and subsequent compensatory mutations contribute to new morphologies, with their synergistic effects underlying specific morphological changes. We conclude that compensatory evolution is a previously unrecognized source of morphological diversity and phenotypic novelties.

RevDate: 2022-06-09
CmpDate: 2022-06-09

Yuan F, Wang X, Zhao B, et al (2022)

The genome of the recretohalophyte Limonium bicolor provides insights into salt gland development and salinity adaptation during terrestrial evolution.

Molecular plant, 15(6):1024-1044.

Halophytes have evolved specialized strategies to cope with high salinity. The extreme halophyte sea lavender (Limonium bicolor) lacks trichomes but possesses salt glands on its epidermis that can excrete harmful ions, such as sodium, to avoid salt damage. Here, we report a high-quality, 2.92-Gb, chromosome-scale L. bicolor genome assembly based on a combination of Illumina short reads, single-molecule, real-time long reads, chromosome conformation capture (Hi-C) data, and Bionano genome maps, greatly enriching the genomic information on recretohalophytes with multicellular salt glands. Although the L. bicolor genome contains genes that show similarity to trichome fate genes from Arabidopsis thaliana, it lacks homologs of the decision fate genes GLABRA3, ENHANCER OF GLABRA3, GLABRA2, TRANSPARENT TESTA GLABRA2, and SIAMESE, providing a molecular explanation for the absence of trichomes in this species. We identified key genes (LbHLH and LbTTG1) controlling salt gland development among classical trichome homologous genes and confirmed their roles by showing that their mutations markedly disrupted salt gland initiation, salt secretion, and salt tolerance, thus offering genetic support for the long-standing hypothesis that salt glands and trichomes may share a common origin. In addition, a whole-genome duplication event occurred in the L. bicolor genome after its divergence from Tartary buckwheat and may have contributed to its adaptation to high salinity. The L. bicolor genome resource and genetic evidence reported in this study provide profound insights into plant salt tolerance mechanisms that may facilitate the engineering of salt-tolerant crops.

RevDate: 2022-06-09
CmpDate: 2022-06-09

Reyes-Rivera J, Wu Y, Guthrie BGH, et al (2022)

Nitric oxide signaling controls collective contractions in a colonial choanoflagellate.

Current biology : CB, 32(11):2539-2547.e5.

Although signaling by the gaseous molecule nitric oxide (NO) regulates key physiological processes in animals, including contractility,1-3 immunity,4,5 development,6-9 and locomotion,10,11 the early evolution of animal NO signaling remains unclear. To reconstruct the role of NO in the animal stem lineage, we set out to study NO signaling in choanoflagellates, the closest living relatives of animals.12 In animals, NO produced by the nitric oxide synthase (NOS) canonically signals through cGMP by activating soluble guanylate cyclases (sGCs).13,14 We surveyed the distribution of the NO signaling pathway components across the diversity of choanoflagellates and found three species that express NOS (of either bacterial or eukaryotic origin), sGCs, and downstream genes previously shown to be involved in the NO/cGMP pathway. One of the species coexpressing sGCs and a bacterial-type NOS, Choanoeca flexa, forms multicellular sheets that undergo collective contractions controlled by cGMP.15 We found that treatment with NO induces cGMP synthesis and contraction in C. flexa. Biochemical assays show that NO directly binds C. flexa sGC1 and stimulates its cyclase activity. The NO/cGMP pathway acts independently from other inducers of C. flexa contraction, including mechanical stimuli and heat, but sGC activity is required for contractions induced by light-to-dark transitions. The output of NO signaling in C. flexa-contractions resulting in a switch from feeding to swimming-resembles the effect of NO in sponges1-3 and cnidarians,11,16,17 where it interrupts feeding and activates contractility. These data provide insights into the biology of the first animals and the evolution of NO signaling.

RevDate: 2022-06-08
CmpDate: 2022-06-08

Phillips JE, Santos M, Konchwala M, et al (2022)

Genome editing in the unicellular holozoan Capsaspora owczarzaki suggests a premetazoan role for the Hippo pathway in multicellular morphogenesis.

eLife, 11: pii:77598.

Animal development is mediated by a surprisingly small set of canonical signaling pathways such as Wnt, Hedgehog, TGF-beta, Notch, and Hippo pathways. Although once thought to be present only in animals, recent genome sequencing has revealed components of these pathways in the closest unicellular relatives of animals. These findings raise questions about the ancestral functions of these developmental pathways and their potential role in the emergence of animal multicellularity. Here, we provide the first functional characterization of any of these developmental pathways in unicellular organisms by developing techniques for genetic manipulation in Capsaspora owczarzaki, a close unicellular relative of animals that displays aggregative multicellularity. We then use these tools to characterize the Capsaspora ortholog of the Hippo signaling nuclear effector YAP/TAZ/Yorkie (coYki), a key regulator of tissue size in animals. In contrast to what might be expected based on studies in animals, we show that coYki is dispensable for cell proliferation but regulates cytoskeletal dynamics and the three-dimensional (3D) shape of multicellular structures. We further demonstrate that the cytoskeletal abnormalities of individual coYki mutant cells underlie the abnormal 3D shape of coYki mutant aggregates. Taken together, these findings implicate an ancestral role for the Hippo pathway in cytoskeletal dynamics and multicellular morphogenesis predating the origin of animal multicellularity, which was co-opted during evolution to regulate cell proliferation.

RevDate: 2022-06-07

Díaz E, Febres A, Giammarresi M, et al (2022)

G Protein-Coupled Receptors as Potential Intercellular Communication Mediators in Trypanosomatidae.

Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology, 12:812848.

Detection and transduction of environmental signals, constitute a prerequisite for successful parasite invasion; i.e., Leishmania transmission, survival, pathogenesis and disease manifestation and dissemination, with diverse molecules functioning as inter-cellular signaling ligands. Receptors [i.e., G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs)] and their associated transduction mechanisms, well conserved through evolution, specialize in this function. However, canonical GPCR-related signal transduction systems have not been described in Leishmania, although orthologs, with reduced domains and function, have been identified in Trypanosomatidae. These inter-cellular communication means seem to be essential for multicellular and unicellular organism's survival. GPCRs are flexible in their molecular architecture and may interact with the so-called receptor activity-modifying proteins (RAMPs), which modulate their function, changing GPCRs pharmacology, acting as chaperones and regulating signaling and/or trafficking in a receptor-dependent manner. In the skin, vasoactive- and neuro- peptides released in response to the noxious stimuli represented by the insect bite may trigger parasite physiological responses, for example, chemotaxis. For instance, in Leishmania (V.) braziliensis, sensory [Substance P, SP, chemoattractant] and autonomic [Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide, VIP, and Neuropeptide Y, NPY, chemorepellent] neuropeptides at physiological levels stimulate in vitro effects on parasite taxis. VIP and NPY chemotactic effects are impaired by their corresponding receptor antagonists, suggesting that the stimulated responses might be mediated by putative GPCRs (with essential conserved receptor domains); the effect of SP is blocked by [(D-Pro 2, D-Trp7,9]-Substance P (10-6 M)] suggesting that it might be mediated by neurokinin-1 transmembrane receptors. Additionally, vasoactive molecules like Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide [CGRP] and Adrenomedullin [AM], exert a chemorepellent effect and increase the expression of a 24 kDa band recognized in western blot analysis by (human-)-RAMP-2 antibodies. In-silico search oriented towards GPCRs-like receptors and signaling cascades detected a RAMP-2-aligned sequence corresponding to Leishmania folylpolyglutamate synthase and a RAMP-3 aligned protein, a hypothetical Leishmania protein with yet unknown function, suggesting that in Leishmania, CGRP and AM activities may be modulated by RAMP- (-2) and (-3) homologs. The possible presence of proteins and molecules potentially involved in GPCRs cascades, i.e., RAMPs, signpost conservation of ancient signaling systems associated with responses, fundamental for cell survival, (i.e., taxis and migration) and may constitute an open field for description of pharmacophores against Leishmania parasites.

RevDate: 2022-06-03
CmpDate: 2022-06-03

Udayantha HMV, Samaraweera AV, Liyanage DS, et al (2022)

Molecular characterization, antiviral activity, and UV-B damage responses of Caspase-9 from Amphiprion clarkii.

Fish & shellfish immunology, 125:247-257.

Apoptosis plays a vital role in maintaining cellular homeostasis in multicellular organisms. Caspase-9 (casp-9) is one of the major initiator caspases that induces apoptosis by activating downstream intrinsic apoptosis pathway genes. Here, we isolated the cDNA sequence (1992 bp) of caspase-9 from Amphiprion clarkii (Accasp-9) that consists of a 1305 bp coding region and encodes a 434 aa protein. In silico analysis showed that Accasp-9 has a theoretical isoelectric point of 5.81 and a molecular weight of 48.45 kDa. Multiple sequence alignment revealed that the CARD domain is located at the N-terminus, whereas the large P-20 and small P-10 domains are located at the C-terminus. Moreover, a highly conserved pentapeptide active site (296QACGG301), as well as histidine and cysteine active sites, are also retained at the C-terminus. In phylogenetic analysis, Accasp-9 formed a clade with casp-9 from different species, distinct from other caspases. Accasp-9 was highly expressed in the gill and intestine compared with other tissues analyzed in healthy A. clarkii. Accasp-9 expression was significantly elevated in the blood after stimulation with Vibrio harveyi and polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid (poly I:C; 12-48 h), but not with lipopolysaccharide. The nucleoprotein expression of the viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus was significantly reduced in Accasp-9 overexpressed fathead minnow (FHM) cells compared with that in the control. In addition, other in vitro assays revealed that cell apoptosis was significantly elevated in poly I:C and UV-B-treated Accasp-9 transfected FHM cells. However, H248P or C298S mutated Accasp-9 significantly reduced apoptosis in UV-B irradiated cells. Collectively, our results show that Accasp-9 might play a defensive role against invading pathogens and UV-B radiation and H248 and C298 active residues are significantly involved in apoptosis in teleosts.

RevDate: 2022-06-03
CmpDate: 2022-06-03

Wang B, Zhu F, Shi Z, et al (2022)

Molecular characteristics, polymorphism and expression analysis of mhc Ⅱ in yellow catfish(pelteobagrus fulvidraco)responding to Flavobacterium columnare infection.

Fish & shellfish immunology, 125:90-100.

The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) is an important component of the immune system of vertebrates, which plays a vital role in presenting extrinsic antigens. In this study, we cloned and characterized the mhc ⅡA and mhc ⅡB genes of yellow catfish Pelteobagrus fulvidraco. The open reading frames (ORFs) of mhc ⅡA and mhc ⅡB genes were 708 bp and 747bp in length, encoding 235 and 248 amino acids, respectively. The structure of mhc ⅡA and mhc ⅡB includes a signal peptide, an α1/β1 domain, an α2/β2 domain, a transmembrane region and a cytoplasmic region. Homologous identity analysis revealed that both mhc ⅡA and mhc ⅡB shared high protein sequence similarity with that of Chinese longsnout catfish Leiocassis longirostris. mhc ⅡA and mhc ⅡB showed similar expression patterns in different tissues, with the higher expression level in spleen, head kidney and gill and lower expression in liver, stomach, gall bladder and heart. The mRNA expression level of mhc ⅡA and mhc ⅡB in different embryonic development stages also showed the similar trends. The higher expression was detected from fertilized egg to 32 cell stage, low expression from multicellular period to 3 days post hatching (dph), and then the expression increased to a higher level from 4 dph to 14 dph. The mRNA expression levels of mhc ⅡA and mhc ⅡB were significantly up-regulated not only in the body kidney and spleen, but also in the midgut, hindgut, liver and gill after challenge of Flavobacterium columnare. The results suggest that Mhc Ⅱ plays an important role in the anti-infection process of yellow catfish P. fulvidraco.

RevDate: 2022-05-31
CmpDate: 2022-05-31

Paul B, Sterner ZR, Buchholz DR, et al (2022)

Thyroid and Corticosteroid Signaling in Amphibian Metamorphosis.

Cells, 11(10): pii:cells11101595.

In multicellular organisms, development is based in part on the integration of communication systems. Two neuroendocrine axes, the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal/interrenal axes, are central players in orchestrating body morphogenesis. In all vertebrates, the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis controls thyroid hormone production and release, whereas the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal/interrenal axis regulates the production and release of corticosteroids. One of the most salient effects of thyroid hormones and corticosteroids in post-embryonic developmental processes is their critical role in metamorphosis in anuran amphibians. Metamorphosis involves modifications to the morphological and biochemical characteristics of all larval tissues to enable the transition from one life stage to the next life stage that coincides with an ecological niche switch. This transition in amphibians is an example of a widespread phenomenon among vertebrates, where thyroid hormones and corticosteroids coordinate a post-embryonic developmental transition. The review addresses the functions and interactions of thyroid hormone and corticosteroid signaling in amphibian development (metamorphosis) as well as the developmental roles of these two pathways in vertebrate evolution.

RevDate: 2022-05-31
CmpDate: 2022-05-03

Staps M, CE Tarnita (2022)

When being flexible matters: Ecological underpinnings for the evolution of collective flexibility and task allocation.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 119(18):e2116066119.

Task allocation is a central feature of collective organization. Living collective systems, such as multicellular organisms or social insect colonies, have evolved diverse ways to allocate individuals to different tasks, ranging from rigid, inflexible task allocation that is not adjusted to changing circumstances to more fluid, flexible task allocation that is rapidly adjusted to the external environment. While the mechanisms underlying task allocation have been intensely studied, it remains poorly understood whether differences in the flexibility of task allocation can be viewed as adaptive responses to different ecological contexts—for example, different degrees of temporal variability. Motivated by this question, we develop an analytically tractable mathematical framework to explore the evolution of task allocation in dynamic environments. We find that collective flexibility is not necessarily always adaptive, and fails to evolve in environments that change too slowly (relative to how long tasks can be left unattended) or too quickly (relative to how rapidly task allocation can be adjusted). We further employ the framework to investigate how environmental variability impacts the internal organization of task allocation, which allows us to propose adaptive explanations for some puzzling empirical observations, such as seemingly unnecessary task switching under constant environmental conditions, apparent task specialization without efficiency benefits, and high levels of individual inactivity. Altogether, this work provides a general framework for probing the evolved diversity of task allocation strategies in nature and reinforces the idea that considering a system’s ecology is crucial to explaining its collective organization.

RevDate: 2022-05-30
CmpDate: 2022-05-30

Puzakov MV, LV Puzakova (2022)

[Prevalence, Diversity, and Evolution of L18 (DD37E) Transposons in the Genomes of Cnidarians].

Molekuliarnaia biologiia, 56(3):476-490.

Transposable elements have a significant impact on the structure and functioning of multicellular genomes, and also serve as a source of new genes. Studying the diversity and evolution of transposable elements in different taxa is necessary for the fundamental understanding of their role in genomes. The Tc1/mariner elements are one of the most widespread and diverse groups of DNA transposons. In this work, the structure, distribution, diversity, and evolution of the L18 (DD37E) elements in the genomes of cnidarians (Cnidaria) were studied for the first time. As a result, it was found that the L18 group is an independent family (and not a subfamily of the TLE family, as previously thought) in the Tc1/mariner superfamily. Of the 51 detected elements, only four had potentially functional copies. It is assumed that the L18 transposons are of ancient origin, and, in addition, the elements found in the genomes of organisms of the Anthozoa and Hydrozoa classes do not come from a common ancestral transposon within the Cnidaria phylum. In organisms of the Hydrozoa class, L18 transposons appeared as a result of horizontal transfer at a later time period. An intraspecies comparison of the diversity of the L18 elements demonstrates high homogeneity with respect to "old" transposons, which have already lost their activity. At the same time, distant populations, as in the case of Hydra viridissima, have differences in the representation of DNA transposons and the number of copies. These data supplement the knowledge on the diversity and evolution of Tc1/mariner transposons and contribute to the study of the influence of mobile genetic elements on the evolution of multicellular organisms.

RevDate: 2022-05-19
CmpDate: 2022-05-19

Ritch SJ, CM Telleria (2022)

The Transcoelomic Ecosystem and Epithelial Ovarian Cancer Dissemination.

Frontiers in endocrinology, 13:886533.

Epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is considered the deadliest gynecological disease and is normally diagnosed at late stages, at which point metastasis has already occurred. Throughout disease progression, EOC will encounter various ecosystems and the communication between cancer cells and these microenvironments will promote the survival and dissemination of EOC. The primary tumor is thought to develop within the ovaries or the fallopian tubes, both of which provide a microenvironment with high risk of causing DNA damage and enhanced proliferation. EOC disseminates by direct extension from the primary tumors, as single cells or multicellular aggregates. Under the influence of cellular and non-cellular factors, EOC spheroids use the natural flow of peritoneal fluid to reach distant organs within the peritoneal cavity. These cells can then implant and seed distant organs or tissues, which develop rapidly into secondary tumor nodules. The peritoneal tissue and the omentum are two common sites of EOC metastasis, providing a microenvironment that supports EOC invasion and survival. Current treatment for EOC involves debulking surgery followed by platinum-taxane combination chemotherapy; however, most patients will relapse with a chemoresistant disease with tumors developed within the peritoneum. Therefore, understanding the role of the unique microenvironments that promote EOC transcoelomic dissemination is important in improving patient outcomes from this disease. In this review article, we address the process of ovarian cancer cellular fate at the site of its origin in the secretory cells of the fallopian tube or in the ovarian surface epithelial cells, their detachment process, how the cells survive in the peritoneal fluid avoiding cell death triggers, and how cancer- associated cells help them in the process. Finally, we report the mechanisms used by the ovarian cancer cells to adhere and migrate through the mesothelial monolayer lining the peritoneum. We also discuss the involvement of the transcoelomic ecosystem on the development of chemoresistance of EOC.

RevDate: 2022-05-17
CmpDate: 2022-05-17

Zhang J, Shen N, Li C, et al (2022)

Population genomics provides insights into the genetic basis of adaptive evolution in the mushroom-forming fungus Lentinula edodes.

Journal of advanced research, 38:91-106 pii:S2090-1232(21)00189-2.

Introduction: Mushroom-forming fungi comprise diverse species that develop complex multicellular structures. In cultivated species, both ecological adaptation and artificial selection have driven genome evolution. However, little is known about the connections among genotype, phenotype and adaptation in mushroom-forming fungi.

Objectives: This study aimed to (1) uncover the population structure and demographic history of Lentinula edodes, (2) dissect the genetic basis of adaptive evolution in L. edodes, and (3) determine if genes related to fruiting body development are involved in adaptive evolution.

Methods: We analyzed genomes and fruiting body-related traits (FBRTs) in 133 L. edodes strains and conducted RNA-seq analysis of fruiting body development in the YS69 strain. Combined methods of genomic scan for divergence, genome-wide association studies (GWAS), and RNA-seq were used to dissect the genetic basis of adaptive evolution.

Results: We detected three distinct subgroups of L. edodes via single nucleotide polymorphisms, which showed robust phenotypic and temperature response differentiation and correlation with geographical distribution. Demographic history inference suggests that the subgroups diverged 36,871 generations ago. Moreover, L. edodes cultivars in China may have originated from the vicinity of Northeast China. A total of 942 genes were found to be related to genetic divergence by genomic scan, and 719 genes were identified to be candidates underlying FBRTs by GWAS. Integrating results of genomic scan and GWAS, 80 genes were detected to be related to phenotypic differentiation. A total of 364 genes related to fruiting body development were involved in genetic divergence and phenotypic differentiation.

Conclusion: Adaptation to the local environment, especially temperature, triggered genetic divergence and phenotypic differentiation of L. edodes. A general model for genetic divergence and phenotypic differentiation during adaptive evolution in L. edodes, which involves in signal perception and transduction, transcriptional regulation, and fruiting body morphogenesis, was also integrated here.

RevDate: 2022-05-17
CmpDate: 2022-05-17

Heinz MC, Peters NA, Oost KC, et al (2022)

Liver Colonization by Colorectal Cancer Metastases Requires YAP-Controlled Plasticity at the Micrometastatic Stage.

Cancer research, 82(10):1953-1968.

Micrometastases of colorectal cancer can remain dormant for years prior to the formation of actively growing, clinically detectable lesions (i.e., colonization). A better understanding of this step in the metastatic cascade could help improve metastasis prevention and treatment. Here we analyzed liver specimens of patients with colorectal cancer and monitored real-time metastasis formation in mouse livers using intravital microscopy to reveal that micrometastatic lesions are devoid of cancer stem cells (CSC). However, lesions that grow into overt metastases demonstrated appearance of de novo CSCs through cellular plasticity at a multicellular stage. Clonal outgrowth of patient-derived colorectal cancer organoids phenocopied the cellular and transcriptomic changes observed during in vivo metastasis formation. First, formation of mature CSCs occurred at a multicellular stage and promoted growth. Conversely, failure of immature CSCs to generate more differentiated cells arrested growth, implying that cellular heterogeneity is required for continuous growth. Second, early-stage YAP activity was required for the survival of organoid-forming cells. However, subsequent attenuation of early-stage YAP activity was essential to allow for the formation of cell type heterogeneity, while persistent YAP signaling locked micro-organoids in a cellularly homogenous and growth-stalled state. Analysis of metastasis formation in mouse livers using single-cell RNA sequencing confirmed the transient presence of early-stage YAP activity, followed by emergence of CSC and non-CSC phenotypes, irrespective of the initial phenotype of the metastatic cell of origin. Thus, establishment of cellular heterogeneity after an initial YAP-controlled outgrowth phase marks the transition to continuously growing macrometastases.

SIGNIFICANCE: Characterization of the cell type dynamics, composition, and transcriptome of early colorectal cancer liver metastases reveals that failure to establish cellular heterogeneity through YAP-controlled epithelial self-organization prohibits the outgrowth of micrometastases. See related commentary by LeBleu, p. 1870.

RevDate: 2022-05-17
CmpDate: 2022-05-17

Stange K, Keric A, Friese A, et al (2022)

Preparation of Spheroids from Primary Pig Cells in a Mid-Scale Bioreactor Retaining Their Myogenic Potential.

Cells, 11(9):.

Three-dimensional cell culture techniques mimic the in vivo cell environment more adequately than flat surfaces. Spheroids are multicellular aggregates and we aimed to produce scaffold-free spheroids of myogenic origin, called myospheres, using a mid-scale incubator and bioreactor hybrid. For the first time, we obtained spheroids from primary porcine muscle cells (PMCs) with this technology and compared their morphology and growth parameters, marker expression, and myogenic potential to C2C12-derived spheroids. Both cell types were able to form round-shaped spheroids in the bioreactor already after 24 h. The mean diameter of the C2C12 spheroids (44.6 µm) was larger than that of the PMCs (32.7 µm), and the maximum diameter exceeded 1 mm. C2C12 cells formed less aggregates than PMCs with a higher packing density (cell nuclei/mm2). After dissociation from the spheroids, C2C12 cells and PMCs started to proliferate again and were able to differentiate into the myogenic lineage, as shown by myotube formation and the expression of F-Actin, Desmin, MyoG, and Myosin. For C2C12, multinucleated syncytia and Myosin expression were observed in spheroids, pointing to accelerated myogenic differentiation. In conclusion, the mid-scale incubator and bioreactor system is suitable for spheroid formation and cultivation from primary muscle cells while preserving their myogenic potential.

RevDate: 2022-05-17
CmpDate: 2022-05-17

Eskandari E, CJ Eaves (2022)

Paradoxical roles of caspase-3 in regulating cell survival, proliferation, and tumorigenesis.

The Journal of cell biology, 221(6):.

Caspase-3 is a widely expressed member of a conserved family of proteins, generally recognized for their activated proteolytic roles in the execution of apoptosis in cells responding to specific extrinsic or intrinsic inducers of this mode of cell death. However, accumulating evidence indicates that caspase-3 also plays key roles in regulating the growth and homeostatic maintenance of both normal and malignant cells and tissues in multicellular organisms. Given that yeast possess an ancestral caspase-like gene suggests that the caspase-3 protein may have acquired different functions later during evolution to better meet the needs of more complex multicellular organisms, but without necessarily losing all of the functions of its ancestral yeast precursor. This review provides an update on what has been learned about these interesting dichotomous roles of caspase-3, their evolution, and their potential relevance to malignant as well as normal cell biology.

RevDate: 2022-05-16
CmpDate: 2022-05-16

La Richelière F, Muñoz G, Guénard B, et al (2022)

Warm and arid regions of the world are hotspots of superorganism complexity.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 289(1968):20211899.

Biologists have long been fascinated by the processes that give rise to phenotypic complexity of organisms, yet whether there exist geographical hotspots of phenotypic complexity remains poorly explored. Phenotypic complexity can be readily observed in ant colonies, which are superorganisms with morphologically differentiated queen and worker castes analogous to the germline and soma of multicellular organisms. Several ant species have evolved 'worker polymorphism', where workers in a single colony show quantifiable differences in size and head-to-body scaling. Here, we use 256 754 occurrence points from 8990 ant species to investigate the geography of worker polymorphism. We show that arid regions of the world are the hotspots of superorganism complexity. Tropical savannahs and deserts, which are typically species-poor relative to tropical or even temperate forests, harbour the highest densities of polymorphic ants. We discuss the possible adaptive advantages that worker polymorphism provides in arid environments. Our work may provide a window into the environmental conditions that promote the emergence of highly complex phenotypes.

RevDate: 2022-05-12
CmpDate: 2022-05-12

Toret C, Picco A, Boiero-Sanders M, et al (2022)

The cellular slime mold Fonticula alba forms a dynamic, multicellular collective while feeding on bacteria.

Current biology : CB, 32(9):1961-1973.e4.

Multicellularity evolved in fungi and animals, or the opisthokonts, from their common amoeboflagellate ancestor but resulted in strikingly distinct cellular organizations. The origins of this multicellularity divergence are not known. The stark mechanistic differences that underlie the two groups and the lack of information about ancestral cellular organizations limits progress in this field. We discovered a new type of invasive multicellular behavior in Fonticula alba, a unique species in the opisthokont tree, which has a simple, bacteria-feeding sorocarpic amoeba lifestyle. This invasive multicellularity follows germination dependent on the bacterial culture state, after which amoebae coalesce to form dynamic collectives that invade virgin bacterial resources. This bacteria-dependent social behavior emerges from amoeba density and allows for rapid and directed invasion. The motile collectives have animal-like properties but also hyphal-like search and invasive behavior. These surprising findings enrich the diverse multicellularities present within the opisthokont lineage and offer a new perspective on fungal origins.

RevDate: 2022-05-11
CmpDate: 2022-05-11

Mulcahey PJ, Chen Y, Driscoll N, et al (2022)

Multimodal, Multiscale Insights into Hippocampal Seizures Enabled by Transparent, Graphene-Based Microelectrode Arrays.

eNeuro, 9(3): pii:ENEURO.0386-21.2022.

Hippocampal seizures are a defining feature of mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE). Area CA1 of the hippocampus is commonly implicated in the generation of seizures, which may occur because of the activity of endogenous cell populations or of inputs from other regions within the hippocampal formation. Simultaneously observing activity at the cellular and network scales in vivo remains challenging. Here, we present a novel technology for simultaneous electrophysiology and multicellular calcium imaging of CA1 pyramidal cells (PCs) in mice enabled by a transparent graphene-based microelectrode array (Gr MEA). We examine PC firing at seizure onset, oscillatory coupling, and the dynamics of the seizure traveling wave as seizures evolve. Finally, we couple features derived from both modalities to predict the speed of the traveling wave using bootstrap aggregated regression trees. Analysis of the most important features in the regression trees suggests a transition among states in the evolution of hippocampal seizures.

RevDate: 2022-05-09

de la Fuente M, M Novo (2022)

Understanding Diversity, Evolution, and Structure of Small Heat Shock Proteins in Annelida Through in Silico Analyses.

Frontiers in physiology, 13:817272 pii:817272.

Small heat shock proteins (sHsps) are oligomeric stress proteins characterized by an α-crystallin domain (ACD). These proteins are localized in different subcellular compartments and play critical roles in the stress physiology of tissues, organs, and whole multicellular eukaryotes. They are ubiquitous proteins found in all living organisms, from bacteria to mammals, but they have never been studied in annelids. Here, a data set of 23 species spanning the annelid tree of life, including mostly transcriptomes but also two genomes, was interrogated and 228 novel putative sHsps were identified and manually curated. The analysis revealed very high protein diversity and showed that a significant number of sHsps have a particular dimeric architecture consisting of two tandemly repeated ACDs. The phylogenetic analysis distinguished three main clusters, two of them containing both monomeric sHsps, and ACDs located downstream in the dimeric sHsps, and the other one comprising the upstream ACDs from those dimeric forms. Our results support an evolutionary history of these proteins based on duplication events prior to the Spiralia split. Monomeric sHsps 76) were further divided into five subclusters. Physicochemical properties, subcellular location predictions, and sequence conservation analyses provided insights into the differentiating elements of these putative functional groups. Strikingly, three of those subclusters included sHsps with features typical of metazoans, while the other two presented characteristics resembling non-metazoan proteins. This study provides a solid background for further research on the diversity, evolution, and function in the family of the sHsps. The characterized annelid sHsps are disclosed as essential for improving our understanding of this important family of proteins and their pleotropic functions. The features and the great diversity of annelid sHsps position them as potential powerful molecular biomarkers of environmental stress for acting as prognostic tool in a diverse range of environments.

RevDate: 2022-05-09
CmpDate: 2022-05-09

Caipa Garcia AL, Arlt VM, DH Phillips (2022)

Organoids for toxicology and genetic toxicology: applications with drugs and prospects for environmental carcinogenesis.

Mutagenesis, 37(2):143-154.

Advances in three-dimensional (3D) cell culture technology have led to the development of more biologically and physiologically relevant models to study organ development, disease, toxicology and drug screening. Organoids have been derived from many mammalian tissues, both normal and tumour, from adult stem cells and from pluripotent stem cells. Tissue organoids can retain many of the cell types and much of the structure and function of the organ of origin. Organoids derived from pluripotent stem cells display increased complexity compared with organoids derived from adult stem cells. It has been shown that organoids express many functional xenobiotic-metabolising enzymes including cytochrome P450s (CYPs). This has benefitted the drug development field in facilitating pre-clinical testing of more personalised treatments and in developing large toxicity and efficacy screens for a range of compounds. In the field of environmental and genetic toxicology, treatment of organoids with various compounds has generated responses that are close to those obtained in primary tissues and in vivo models, demonstrating the biological relevance of these in vitro multicellular 3D systems. Toxicological investigations of compounds in different tissue organoids have produced promising results indicating that organoids will refine future studies on the effects of environmental exposures and carcinogenic risk to humans. With further development and standardised procedures, advancing our understanding on the metabolic capabilities of organoids will help to validate their use to investigate the modes of action of environmental carcinogens.

RevDate: 2022-04-26

Chaigne A, T Brunet (2022)

Incomplete abscission and cytoplasmic bridges in the evolution of eukaryotic multicellularity.

Current biology : CB, 32(8):R385-R397.

The textbook view of cell division terminates with the final separation of the two daughter cells in the process called abscission. However, in contrast to this classical view, a variety of cell types in multicellular organisms are connected through cytoplasmic bridges, which most often form by incomplete abscission or - more rarely - by local fusion of plasma membranes. In this review, we survey the distribution, function, and formation of cytoplasmic bridges across the eukaryotic tree of life. We find that cytoplasmic bridges are widespread, and were likely ancestrally present, in almost all lineages of eukaryotes with clonal multicellularity - including the five 'complex multicellular' lineages: animals, fungi, land plants, red algae, and brown algae. In animals, cytoplasmic bridges resulting from incomplete abscission are ubiquitous in the germline and common in pluripotent cell types. Although cytoplasmic bridges have been less studied than other structural mediators of multicellularity (such as adhesion proteins and extracellular matrix), we propose that they have played a pivotal role in the repeated evolution of eukaryotic clonal multicellularity - possibly by first performing a structural role and later by allowing exchange of nutrients and/or intercellular communication, which notably buffered cell-cell competition by averaging gene expression. Bridges were eventually lost from many animal tissues in concert with the evolution of spatial cell differentiation, cell motility within the organism, and other mechanisms for intercellular distribution of signals and metabolites. Finally, we discuss the molecular basis for the evolution of incomplete abscission and examine the alternative hypotheses of single or multiple origins.

RevDate: 2022-04-26
CmpDate: 2022-04-26

Bogaert KA, Blomme J, Beeckman T, et al (2022)

Auxin's origin: do PILS hold the key?.

Trends in plant science, 27(3):227-236.

Auxin is a key regulator of many developmental processes in land plants and plays a strikingly similar role in the phylogenetically distant brown seaweeds. Emerging evidence shows that the PIN and PIN-like (PILS) auxin transporter families have preceded the evolution of the canonical auxin response pathway. A wide conservation of PILS-mediated auxin transport, together with reports of auxin function in unicellular algae, would suggest that auxin function preceded the advent of multicellularity. We find that PIN and PILS transporters form two eukaryotic subfamilies within a larger bacterial family. We argue that future functional characterisation of algal PIN and PILS transporters can shed light on a common origin of an auxin function followed by independent co-option in a multicellular context.

RevDate: 2022-04-19
CmpDate: 2022-04-19

Alfieri JM, Wang G, Jonika MM, et al (2022)

A Primer for Single-Cell Sequencing in Non-Model Organisms.

Genes, 13(2):.

Single-cell sequencing technologies have led to a revolution in our knowledge of the diversity of cell types, connections between biological levels of organization, and relationships between genotype and phenotype. These advances have mainly come from using model organisms; however, using single-cell sequencing in non-model organisms could enable investigations of questions inaccessible with typical model organisms. This primer describes a general workflow for single-cell sequencing studies and considerations for using non-model organisms (limited to multicellular animals). Importantly, single-cell sequencing, when further applied in non-model organisms, will allow for a deeper understanding of the mechanisms between genotype and phenotype and the basis for biological variation.

RevDate: 2022-04-18
CmpDate: 2022-04-18

Nozaki H, Mori F, Tanaka Y, et al (2022)

Cryopreservation of vegetative cells and zygotes of the multicellular volvocine green alga Gonium pectorale.

BMC microbiology, 22(1):103.

BACKGROUND: Colonial and multicellular volvocine green algae have been extensively studied recently in various fields of the biological sciences. However, only one species (Pandorina morum) has been cryopreserved in public culture collections.

RESULTS: Here, we investigated conditions for cryopreservation of the multicellular volvocine alga Gonium pectorale using vegetative colonies or cells and zygotes. Rates of vegetative cell survival in a G. pectorale strain after two-step cooling and freezing in liquid nitrogen were compared between different concentrations (3% and 6%) of the cryoprotectant N,N-dimethylformamide (DMF) and two types of tubes (0.2-mL polymerase chain reaction tubes and 2-mL cryotubes) used for cryopreservation. Among the four conditions investigated, the highest rate of survival [2.7 ± 3.6% (0.54-10%) by the most probable number (MPN) method] was obtained when 2.0-mL cryotubes containing 1.0 mL of culture samples with 6% DMF were subjected to cryogenic treatment. Using these optimized cryopreservation conditions, survival rates after freezing in liquid nitrogen were examined for twelve other strains of G. pectorale and twelve strains of five other Gonium species. We obtained ≥ 0.1% MPN survival in nine of the twelve G. pectorale strains tested. However, < 0.1% MPN survival was detected in eleven of twelve strains of five other Gonium species. In total, ten cryopreserved strains of G. pectorale were newly established in the Microbial Culture Collection at the National Institute for Environmental Studies. Although the cryopreservation of zygotes of volvocine algae has not been previously reported, high rates (approximately 60%) of G. pectorale zygote germination were observed after thawing zygotes that had been cryopreserved with 5% or 10% methanol as the cryoprotectant during two-step cooling and freezing in liquid nitrogen.

CONCLUSIONS: The present study demonstrated that cryopreservation of G. pectorale is possible with 6% DMF as a cryoprotectant and 1.0-mL culture samples in 2.0-mL cryotubes subjected to two-step cooling in a programmable freezer.

RevDate: 2022-04-16
CmpDate: 2022-04-15

Kambayashi C, Kakehashi R, Sato Y, et al (2022)

Geography-Dependent Horizontal Gene Transfer from Vertebrate Predators to Their Prey.

Molecular biology and evolution, 39(4):.

Horizontal transfer (HT) of genes between multicellular animals, once thought to be extremely rare, is being more commonly detected, but its global geographic trend and transfer mechanism have not been investigated. We discovered a unique HT pattern of Bovine-B (BovB) LINE retrotransposons in vertebrates, with a bizarre transfer direction from predators (snakes) to their prey (frogs). At least 54 instances of BovB HT were detected, which we estimate to have occurred across time between 85 and 1.3 Ma. Using comprehensive transcontinental sampling, our study demonstrates that BovB HT is highly prevalent in one geographical region, Madagascar, suggesting important regional differences in the occurrence of HTs. We discovered parasite vectors that may plausibly transmit BovB and found that the proportion of BovB-positive parasites is also high in Madagascar where BovB thus might be physically transported by parasites to diverse vertebrates, potentially including humans. Remarkably, in two frog lineages, BovB HT occurred after migration from a non-HT area (Africa) to the HT hotspot (Madagascar). These results provide a novel perspective on how the prevalence of parasites influences the occurrence of HT in a region, similar to pathogens and their vectors in some endemic diseases.

RevDate: 2022-04-18
CmpDate: 2022-04-18

Simon-Soro A, Ren Z, Krom BP, et al (2022)

Polymicrobial Aggregates in Human Saliva Build the Oral Biofilm.

mBio, 13(1):e0013122.

Biofilm community development has been established as a sequential process starting from the attachment of single cells on a surface. However, microorganisms are often found as aggregates in the environment and in biological fluids. Here, we conduct a comprehensive analysis of the native structure and composition of aggregated microbial assemblages in human saliva and investigate their spatiotemporal attachment and biofilm community development. Using multiscale imaging, cell sorting, and computational approaches combined with sequencing analysis, a diverse mixture of aggregates varying in size, structure, and microbial composition, including bacteria associated with host epithelial cells, can be found in saliva in addition to a few single-cell forms. Phylogenetic analysis reveals a mixture of complex consortia of aerobes and anaerobes in which bacteria traditionally considered early and late colonizers are found mixed together. When individually tracked during colonization and biofilm initiation, aggregates rapidly proliferate and expand tridimensionally, modulating population growth, spatial organization, and community scaffolding. In contrast, most single cells remain static or are incorporated by actively growing aggregates. These results suggest an alternative biofilm development process whereby aggregates containing different species or associated with human cells collectively adhere to the surface as "growth nuclei" to build the biofilm and shape polymicrobial communities at various spatial and taxonomic scales. IMPORTANCE Microbes in biological fluids can be found as aggregates. How these multicellular structures bind to surfaces and initiate the biofilm life cycle remains understudied. Here, we investigate the structural organization of microbial aggregates in human saliva and their role in biofilm formation. We found diverse mixtures of aggregates with different sizes, structures, and compositions in addition to free-living cells. When individually tracked during binding and growth on tooth-like surfaces, most aggregates developed into structured biofilm communities, whereas most single cells remained static or were engulfed by the growing aggregates. Our results reveal that preformed microbial consortia adhere as "buds of growth," governing biofilm initiation without specific taxonomic order or cell-by-cell succession, which provide new insights into spatial and population heterogeneity development in complex ecosystems.

RevDate: 2022-04-15
CmpDate: 2022-04-15

Suissa JS (2022)

Fern fronds that move like pine cones: humidity-driven motion of fertile leaflets governs the timing of spore dispersal in a widespread fern species.

Annals of botany, 129(5):519-528.

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: The sensitive fern, Onoclea sensibilis, is a widespread species in eastern North America and has an atypical timing of spore dispersal among temperate ferns. During early summer, this dimorphic species produces heavily modified spore-bearing fronds with leaflets tightly enveloping their sporangia and spores. These fronds senesce and persist above ground as dead mature structures until the following early spring when the leaflets finally open and spores are dispersed. While this timing of spore dispersal has been observed for over 120 years, the structural mechanisms underpinning this phenology have remained elusive.

METHODS: Based on field observations, growth chamber manipulations and scanning electron microscopy, the mechanisms underlying this distinctive timing of spore dispersal in the sensitive fern were investigated.

KEY RESULTS: I show that fertile leaflets of the sensitive fern move in direct response to changes in humidity, exhibiting structural and functional parallels with multicellular hygromorphic structures in seed plants, such as pine cones. These parallels include differences in cellulose microfibril orientation in cells on the abaxial and adaxial sides of the leaflet. The dynamics of this hygroscopic movement concomitant with regular abscission zones along the pinnules and coordinated senescence lead to the specific timing of early spring spore dispersal in the sensitive fern.

CONCLUSIONS: While hygroscopic movement is common in seed-free plants, it mostly occurs in small structures that are either one or a few cells in size, such as the leptosporangium. Given its multicellular structure and integration across many cells and tissues, the movement and construction of the sensitive fern pinnules are more similar to structures in seed plants. The evolution of this complex trait in the sensitive fern efficiently regulates the timing of spore release, leading to early spring dispersal. This phenology likely gives gametophytes and subsequent sporophytes an advantage with early germination and growth.

RevDate: 2022-04-14

Rohkin Shalom S, Weiss B, Lalzar M, et al (2022)

Abundance and Localization of Symbiotic Bacterial Communities in the Fly Parasitoid Spalangia cameroni.

Applied and environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Multicellular eukaryotes often host multiple microbial symbionts that may cooperate or compete for host resources, such as space and nutrients. Here, we studied the abundances and localization of four bacterial symbionts, Rickettsia, Wolbachia, Sodalis, and Arsenophonus, in the parasitic wasp Spalangia cameroni. Using quantitative PCR (qPCR), we measured the symbionts' titers in wasps that harbor different combinations of these symbionts. We found that the titer of each symbiont decreased as the number of symbiont species in the community increased. Symbionts' titers were higher in females than in males. Rickettsia was the most abundant symbiont in all the communities, followed by Sodalis and Wolbachia. The titers of these three symbionts were positively correlated in some of the colonies. Fluorescence in situ hybridization was in line with the qPCR results: Rickettsia, Wolbachia, and Sodalis were observed in high densities in multiple organs, including brain, muscles, gut, Malpighian tubules, fat body, ovaries, and testes, while Arsenophonus was localized to fewer organs and in lower densities. Sodalis and Arsenophonus were observed in ovarian follicle cells but not within oocytes or laid eggs. This study highlights the connection between symbionts' abundance and localization. We discuss the possible connections between our findings to symbiont transmission success. IMPORTANCE Many insects carry intracellular bacterial symbionts (bacteria that reside within the cells of the insect). When multiple symbiont species cohabit in a host, they may compete or cooperate for space, nutrients, and transmission, and the nature of such interactions would be reflected in the abundance of each symbiont species. Given the widespread occurrence of coinfections with maternally transmitted symbionts in insects, it is important to learn more about how they interact, where they are localized, and how these two aspects affect their co-occurrence within individual insects. Here, we studied the abundance and the localization of four symbionts, Rickettsia, Wolbachia, Sodalis, and Arsenophonus, that cohabit the parasitic wasp Spalangia cameroni. We found that symbionts' titers differed between symbiotic communities. These results were corroborated by microscopy, which shows differential localization patterns. We discuss the findings in the contexts of community ecology, possible symbiont-symbiont interactions, and host control mechanisms that may shape the symbiotic community structure.

RevDate: 2022-04-13
CmpDate: 2022-04-13

Kasperski A (2022)

Life Entrapped in a Network of Atavistic Attractors: How to Find a Rescue.

International journal of molecular sciences, 23(7): pii:ijms23074017.

In view of unified cell bioenergetics, cell bioenergetic problems related to cell overenergization can cause excessive disturbances in current cell fate and, as a result, lead to a change of cell-fate. At the onset of the problem, cell overenergization of multicellular organisms (especially overenergization of mitochondria) is solved inter alia by activation and then stimulation of the reversible Crabtree effect by cells. Unfortunately, this apparently good solution can also lead to a much bigger problem when, despite the activation of the Crabtree effect, cell overenergization persists for a long time. In such a case, cancer transformation, along with the Warburg effect, may occur to further reduce or stop the charging of mitochondria by high-energy molecules. Understanding the phenomena of cancer transformation and cancer development has become a real challenge for humanity. To date, many models have been developed to understand cancer-related mechanisms. Nowadays, combining all these models into one coherent universal model of cancer transformation and development can be considered a new challenge. In this light, the aim of this article is to present such a potentially universal model supported by a proposed new model of cellular functionality evolution. The methods of fighting cancer resulting from unified cell bioenergetics and the two presented models are also considered.

RevDate: 2022-04-13
CmpDate: 2022-04-13

Zschüntzsch J, Meyer S, Shahriyari M, et al (2022)

The Evolution of Complex Muscle Cell In Vitro Models to Study Pathomechanisms and Drug Development of Neuromuscular Disease.

Cells, 11(7): pii:cells11071233.

Many neuromuscular disease entities possess a significant disease burden and therapeutic options remain limited. Innovative human preclinical models may help to uncover relevant disease mechanisms and enhance the translation of therapeutic findings to strengthen neuromuscular disease precision medicine. By concentrating on idiopathic inflammatory muscle disorders, we summarize the recent evolution of the novel in vitro models to study disease mechanisms and therapeutic strategies. A particular focus is laid on the integration and simulation of multicellular interactions of muscle tissue in disease phenotypes in vitro. Finally, the requirements of a neuromuscular disease drug development workflow are discussed with a particular emphasis on cell sources, co-culture systems (including organoids), functionality, and throughput.

RevDate: 2022-04-13
CmpDate: 2022-04-13

Shapiro JA (2022)

What we have learned about evolutionary genome change in the past 7 decades.

Bio Systems, 215-216:104669.

Cytogenetics and genomics have completely transformed our understanding of evolutionary genome change since the early 1950s. The point of this paper is to outline some of the empirical findings responsible for that transformation. The discovery of transposable elements (TEs) in maize by McClintock, and their subsequent rediscovery in all forms of life, tell us that organisms have the inherent capacity to evolve dispersed genomic networks encoding complex cellular and multicellular adaptations. Genomic analysis confirms the role of TEs in wiring novel networks at major evolutionary transitions. TEs and other forms of repetitive DNA are also important contributors to genome regions that serve as transcriptional templates for regulatory and other biologically functional noncoding ncRNAs. The many functions documented for ncRNAs shows the concept of abundant "selfish" or "junk" DNA in complex genomes is mistaken. Natural and artificial speciation by interspecific hybridization demonstrates that TEs and other biochemical systems of genome restructuring are subject to rapid activation and can generate changes throughout the genomes of the novel species that emerge. In addition to TEs and hybrid species, cancer cells have taught us important lessons about chromothripsis, chromoplexy and other forms of non-random multisite genome restructuring. In many of these restructured genomes, alternative end-joining processes display the capacities of eukaryotes to generate novel combinations of templated and untemplated DNA sequences at the sites of break repair. Sequence innovation by alternative end-joining is widespread among eukaryotes from single cells to advanced plants and animals. In sum, the cellular and genomic capacities of eukaryotic cells have proven to be capable of executing rapid macroevolutionary change under a variety of conditions.

RevDate: 2022-04-11
CmpDate: 2022-04-11

Davis JR, Ainslie AP, Williamson JJ, et al (2022)

ECM degradation in the Drosophila abdominal epidermis initiates tissue growth that ceases with rapid cell-cycle exit.

Current biology : CB, 32(6):1285-1300.e4.

During development, multicellular organisms undergo stereotypical patterns of tissue growth in space and time. How developmental growth is orchestrated remains unclear, largely due to the difficulty of observing and quantitating this process in a living organism. Drosophila histoblast nests are small clusters of progenitor epithelial cells that undergo extensive growth to give rise to the adult abdominal epidermis and are amenable to live imaging. Our quantitative analysis of histoblast proliferation and tissue mechanics reveals that tissue growth is driven by cell divisions initiated through basal extracellular matrix degradation by matrix metalloproteases secreted by the neighboring larval epidermal cells. Laser ablations and computational simulations show that tissue mechanical tension does not decrease as the histoblasts fill the abdominal epidermal surface. During tissue growth, the histoblasts display oscillatory cell division rates until growth termination occurs through the rapid emergence of G0/G1 arrested cells, rather than a gradual increase in cell-cycle time as observed in other systems such as the Drosophila wing and mouse postnatal epidermis. Different developing tissues can therefore achieve their final size using distinct growth termination strategies. Thus, adult abdominal epidermal development is characterized by changes in the tissue microenvironment and a rapid exit from the cell cycle.

RevDate: 2022-04-09

Koide RT (2022)

On Holobionts, Holospecies, and Holoniches: the Role of Microbial Symbioses in Ecology and Evolution.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

My goal in writing this is to increase awareness of the roles played by microbial symbionts in eukaryote ecology and evolution. Most eukaryotes host one or more species of symbiotic microorganisms, including prokaryotes and fungi. Many of these have profound impacts on the biology of their hosts. For example, microbial symbionts may expand the niches of their hosts, cause rapid adaptation of the host to the environment and re-adaptation to novel conditions via symbiont swapping, facilitate speciation, and fundamentally alter our concept of the species. In some cases, microbial symbionts and multicellular eukaryote hosts have a mutual dependency, which has obvious conservation implications. Hopefully, this contribution will stimulate a reevaluation of important ecological and evolutionary concepts including niche, adaptation, the species, speciation, and conservation of multicellular eukaryotes.

RevDate: 2022-04-08
CmpDate: 2022-04-08

Ribba AS, Fraboulet S, Sadoul K, et al (2022)

The Role of LIM Kinases during Development: A Lens to Get a Glimpse of Their Implication in Pathologies.

Cells, 11(3):.

The organization of cell populations within animal tissues is essential for the morphogenesis of organs during development. Cells recognize three-dimensional positions with respect to the whole organism and regulate their cell shape, motility, migration, polarization, growth, differentiation, gene expression and cell death according to extracellular signals. Remodeling of the actin filaments is essential to achieve these cell morphological changes. Cofilin is an important binding protein for these filaments; it increases their elasticity in terms of flexion and torsion and also severs them. The activity of cofilin is spatiotemporally inhibited via phosphorylation by the LIM domain kinases 1 and 2 (LIMK1 and LIMK2). Phylogenetic analysis indicates that the phospho-regulation of cofilin has evolved as a mechanism controlling the reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton during complex multicellular processes, such as those that occur during embryogenesis. In this context, the main objective of this review is to provide an update of the respective role of each of the LIM kinases during embryonic development.

RevDate: 2022-04-07
CmpDate: 2022-04-07

Chen C, Wang P, Chen H, et al (2022)

Smart Magnetotactic Bacteria Enable the Inhibition of Neuroblastoma under an Alternating Magnetic Field.

ACS applied materials & interfaces, 14(12):14049-14058.

Magnetotactic bacteria are ubiquitous microorganisms in nature that synthesize intracellular magnetic nanoparticles called magnetosomes in a gene-controlled way and arrange them in chains. From in vitro to in vivo, we demonstrate that the intact body of Magnetospirillum magneticum AMB-1 has potential as a natural magnetic hyperthermia material for cancer therapy. Compared to chains of magnetosomes and individual magnetosomes, the entire AMB-1 cell exhibits superior heating capability under an alternating magnetic field. When incubating with tumor cells, the intact AMB-1 cells disperse better than the other two types of magnetosomes, decreasing cellular viability under the control of an alternating magnetic field. Furthermore, in vivo experiments in nude mice with neuroblastoma found that intact AMB-1 cells had the best antitumor activity with magnetic hyperthermia therapy compared to other treatment groups. These findings suggest that the intact body of magnetotactic bacteria has enormous promise as a natural material for tumor magnetic hyperthermia. In biomedical applications, intact and living magnetotactic bacteria play an increasingly essential function as a targeting robot due to their magnetotaxis.

RevDate: 2022-04-07
CmpDate: 2022-04-07

Pereira PHS, Garcia CRS, M Bouvier (2021)

Identifying Plasmodium falciparum receptor activation using bioluminescence resonance energy transfer (BRET)-based biosensors in HEK293 cells.

Methods in cell biology, 166:223-233.

Throughout evolution the need for unicellular organisms to associate and form a single cluster of cells had several evolutionary advantages. G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) are responsible for a large part of the senses that allow this clustering to succeed, playing a fundamental role in the perception of cell's external environment, enabling the interaction and coordinated development between each cell of a multicellular organism. GPCRs are not exclusive to complex multicellular organisms. In single-celled organisms, GPCRs are also present and have a similar function of detecting changes in the external environment and transforming them into a biological response. There are no reports of GPCRs in parasitic protozoa, such as the Plasmodium genus, and the identification of a protein of this family in P. falciparum would have a significant impact both on the understanding of the basic biology of the parasite and on the history of the evolution of GPCRs. The protocol described here was successfully applied to study a GPCR candidate in P. falciparum for the first time, and we hope that it helps other groups to use the same approach to study this deadly parasite.

RevDate: 2022-04-07
CmpDate: 2022-04-07

Verdonck R, Legrand D, Jacob S, et al (2022)

Phenotypic plasticity through disposable genetic adaptation in ciliates.

Trends in microbiology, 30(2):120-130.

Ciliates have an extraordinary genetic system in which each cell harbors two distinct kinds of nucleus, a transcriptionally active somatic nucleus and a quiescent germline nucleus. The latter undergoes classical, heritable genetic adaptation, while adaptation of the somatic nucleus is only short-term and thus disposable. The ecological and evolutionary relevance of this nuclear dimorphism have never been well formalized, which is surprising given the long history of using ciliates such as Tetrahymena and Paramecium as model organisms. We present a novel, alternative explanation for ciliate nuclear dimorphism which, we argue, should be considered an instrument of phenotypic plasticity by somatic selection on the level of the ciliate clone, as if it were a diffuse multicellular organism. This viewpoint helps to put some enigmatic aspects of ciliate biology into perspective and presents the diversity of ciliates as a large natural experiment that we can exploit to study phenotypic plasticity and organismality.

RevDate: 2022-04-04
CmpDate: 2022-04-04

Ramon-Mateu J, Edgar A, Mitchell D, et al (2022)

Studying Ctenophora WBR Using Mnemiopsis leidyi.

Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 2450:95-119.

Ctenophores, also known as comb jellies, are a clade of fragile holopelagic, carnivorous marine invertebrates, that represent one of the most ancient extant groups of multicellular animals. Ctenophores show a remarkable ability to regenerate in the adult form, being capable of replacing all body parts (i.e., whole-body regeneration) after loss/amputation. With many favorable experimental features (optical clarity, stereotyped cell lineage, multiple cell types), a full genome sequence available and their early branching phylogenetic position, ctenophores are well placed to provide information about the evolution of regenerative ability throughout the Metazoa. Here, we provide a collection of detailed protocols for use of the lobate ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi to study whole-body regeneration, including specimen collection, husbandry, surgical manipulation, and imaging techniques.

RevDate: 2022-04-04
CmpDate: 2022-04-04

von der Heyde EL, A Hallmann (2022)

Molecular and cellular dynamics of early embryonic cell divisions in Volvox carteri.

The Plant cell, 34(4):1326-1353.

Cell division is fundamental to all organisms and the green alga used here exhibits both key animal and plant functions. Specifically, we analyzed the molecular and cellular dynamics of early embryonic divisions of the multicellular green alga Volvox carteri (Chlamydomonadales). Relevant proteins related to mitosis and cytokinesis were identified in silico, the corresponding genes were cloned, fused to yfp, and stably expressed in Volvox, and the tagged proteins were studied by live-cell imaging. We reveal rearrangements of the microtubule cytoskeleton during centrosome separation, spindle formation, establishment of the phycoplast, and generation of previously unknown structures. The centrosomes participate in initiation of spindle formation and determination of spindle orientation. Although the nuclear envelope does not break down during early mitosis, intermixing of cytoplasm and nucleoplasm results in loss of nuclear identity. Finally, we present a model for mitosis in Volvox. Our study reveals enormous dynamics, clarifies spatio-temporal relationships of subcellular structures, and provides insight into the evolution of cell division.

RevDate: 2022-04-01
CmpDate: 2022-04-01

Dudin O, Wielgoss S, New AM, et al (2022)

Regulation of sedimentation rate shapes the evolution of multicellularity in a close unicellular relative of animals.

PLoS biology, 20(3):e3001551.

Significant increases in sedimentation rate accompany the evolution of multicellularity. These increases should lead to rapid changes in ecological distribution, thereby affecting the costs and benefits of multicellularity and its likelihood to evolve. However, how genetic and cellular traits control this process, their likelihood of emergence over evolutionary timescales, and the variation in these traits as multicellularity evolves are still poorly understood. Here, using isolates of the ichthyosporean genus Sphaeroforma-close unicellular relatives of animals with brief transient multicellular life stages-we demonstrate that sedimentation rate is a highly variable and evolvable trait affected by at least 2 distinct physical mechanisms. First, we find extensive (>300×) variation in sedimentation rates for different Sphaeroforma species, mainly driven by size and density during the unicellular-to-multicellular life cycle transition. Second, using experimental evolution with sedimentation rate as a focal trait, we readily obtained, for the first time, fast settling and multicellular Sphaeroforma arctica isolates. Quantitative microscopy showed that increased sedimentation rates most often arose by incomplete cellular separation after cell division, leading to clonal "clumping" multicellular variants with increased size and density. Strikingly, density increases also arose by an acceleration of the nuclear doubling time relative to cell size. Similar size- and density-affecting phenotypes were observed in 4 additional species from the Sphaeroforma genus, suggesting that variation in these traits might be widespread in the marine habitat. By resequencing evolved isolates to high genomic coverage, we identified mutations in regulators of cytokinesis, plasma membrane remodeling, and chromatin condensation that may contribute to both clump formation and the increase in the nuclear number-to-volume ratio. Taken together, this study illustrates how extensive cellular control of density and size drive sedimentation rate variation, likely shaping the onset and further evolution of multicellularity.

RevDate: 2022-03-31
CmpDate: 2022-03-31

Nemec-Venza Z, Madden C, Stewart A, et al (2022)

CLAVATA modulates auxin homeostasis and transport to regulate stem cell identity and plant shape in a moss.

The New phytologist, 234(1):149-163.

The CLAVATA pathway is a key regulator of stem cell function in the multicellular shoot tips of Arabidopsis, where it acts via the WUSCHEL transcription factor to modulate hormone homeostasis. Broad-scale evolutionary comparisons have shown that CLAVATA is a conserved regulator of land plant stem cell function, but CLAVATA acts independently of WUSCHEL-like (WOX) proteins in bryophytes. The relationship between CLAVATA, hormone homeostasis and the evolution of land plant stem cell functions is unknown. Here we show that in the moss, Physcomitrella (Physcomitrium patens), CLAVATA affects stem cell activity by modulating hormone homeostasis. CLAVATA pathway genes are expressed in the tip cells of filamentous tissues, regulating cell identity, filament branching, plant spread and auxin synthesis. The receptor-like kinase PpRPK2 plays the major role, and Pprpk2 mutants have abnormal responses to cytokinin, auxin and auxin transport inhibition, and show reduced expression of PIN auxin transporters. We propose a model whereby PpRPK2 modulates auxin gradients in filaments to determine stem cell identity and overall plant form. Our data indicate that CLAVATA-mediated auxin homeostasis is a fundamental property of plant stem cell function, probably exhibited by the last shared common ancestor of land plants.

RevDate: 2022-03-31
CmpDate: 2022-03-31

Kulkarni P, Behal A, Mohanty A, et al (2022)

Co-opting disorder into order: Intrinsically disordered proteins and the early evolution of complex multicellularity.

International journal of biological macromolecules, 201:29-36.

Intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) are proteins that lack rigid structures yet play important roles in myriad biological phenomena. A distinguishing feature of IDPs is that they often mediate specific biological outcomes via multivalent weak cooperative interactions with multiple partners. Here, we show that several proteins specifically associated with processes that were key in the evolution of complex multicellularity in the lineage leading to the multicellular green alga Volvox carteri are IDPs. We suggest that, by rewiring cellular protein interaction networks, IDPs facilitated the co-option of ancestral pathways for specialized multicellular functions, underscoring the importance of IDPs in the early evolution of complex multicellularity.

RevDate: 2022-03-31
CmpDate: 2022-03-31

Tverskoi D, S Gavrilets (2022)

The evolution of germ-soma specialization under different genetic and environmental effects.

Journal of theoretical biology, 534:110964.

Division of labor exists at different levels of biological organization - from cell colonies to human societies. One of the simplest examples of the division of labor in multicellular organisms is germ-soma specialization, which plays a key role in the evolution of organismal complexity. Here we formulate and study a general mathematical model exploring the emergence of germ-soma specialization in colonies of cells. We consider a finite population of colonies competing for resources. Colonies are of the same size and are composed by asexually reproducing haploid cells. Each cell can contribute to activity and fecundity of the colony, these contributions are traded-off. We assume that all cells within a colony are genetically identical but gene effects on fecundity and activity are influenced by variation in the microenvironment experienced by individual cells. Through analytical theory and evolutionary agent-based modeling we show that the shape of the trade-off relation between somatic and reproductive functions, the type and extent of variation in within-colony microenvironment, and, in some cases, the number of genes involved, are important predictors of the extent of germ-soma specialization. Specifically, increasing convexity of the trade-off relation, the number of different environmental gradients acting within a colony, and the number of genes (in the case of random microenvironmental effects) promote the emergence of germ-soma specialization. Overall our results contribute towards a better understanding of the role of genetic, environmental, and microenvironmental factors in the evolution of germ-soma specialization.

RevDate: 2022-03-31
CmpDate: 2022-03-31

Irisarri I, Darienko T, Pröschold T, et al (2021)

Unexpected cryptic species among streptophyte algae most distant to land plants.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 288(1963):20212168.

Streptophytes are one of the major groups of the green lineage (Chloroplastida or Viridiplantae). During one billion years of evolution, streptophytes have radiated into an astounding diversity of uni- and multicellular green algae as well as land plants. Most divergent from land plants is a clade formed by Mesostigmatophyceae, Spirotaenia spp. and Chlorokybophyceae. All three lineages are species-poor and the Chlorokybophyceae consist of a single described species, Chlorokybus atmophyticus. In this study, we used phylogenomic analyses to shed light into the diversity within Chlorokybus using a sampling of isolates across its known distribution. We uncovered a consistent deep genetic structure within the Chlorokybus isolates, which prompted us to formally extend the Chlorokybophyceae by describing four new species. Gene expression differences among Chlorokybus species suggest certain constitutive variability that might influence their response to environmental factors. Failure to account for this diversity can hamper comparative genomic studies aiming to understand the evolution of stress response across streptophytes. Our data highlight that future studies on the evolution of plant form and function can tap into an unknown diversity at key deep branches of the streptophytes.

RevDate: 2022-03-31
CmpDate: 2022-03-31

Li X, Hou Z, Xu C, et al (2021)

Large Phylogenomic Data sets Reveal Deep Relationships and Trait Evolution in Chlorophyte Green Algae.

Genome biology and evolution, 13(7):.

The chlorophyte green algae (Chlorophyta) are species-rich ancient groups ubiquitous in various habitats with high cytological diversity, ranging from microscopic to macroscopic organisms. However, the deep phylogeny within core Chlorophyta remains unresolved, in part due to the relatively sparse taxon and gene sampling in previous studies. Here we contribute new transcriptomic data and reconstruct phylogenetic relationships of core Chlorophyta based on four large data sets up to 2,698 genes of 70 species, representing 80% of extant orders. The impacts of outgroup choice, missing data, bootstrap-support cutoffs, and model misspecification in phylogenetic inference of core Chlorophyta are examined. The species tree topologies of core Chlorophyta from different analyses are highly congruent, with strong supports at many relationships (e.g., the Bryopsidales and the Scotinosphaerales-Dasycladales clade). The monophyly of Chlorophyceae and of Trebouxiophyceae as well as the uncertain placement of Chlorodendrophyceae and Pedinophyceae corroborate results from previous studies. The reconstruction of ancestral scenarios illustrates the evolution of the freshwater-sea and microscopic-macroscopic transition in the Ulvophyceae, and the transformation of unicellular→colonial→multicellular in the chlorophyte green algae. In addition, we provided new evidence that serine is encoded by both canonical codons and noncanonical TAG code in Scotinosphaerales, and stop-to-sense codon reassignment in the Ulvophyceae has originated independently at least three times. Our robust phylogenetic framework of core Chlorophyta unveils the evolutionary history of phycoplast, cyto-morphology, and noncanonical genetic codes in chlorophyte green algae.

RevDate: 2022-03-19

Jiménez-Marín B, BJSC Olson (2022)

The Curious Case of Multicellularity in the Volvocine Algae.

Frontiers in genetics, 13:787665.

The evolution of multicellularity is a major evolutionary transition that underlies the radiation of many species in all domains of life, especially in eukaryotes. The volvocine green algae are an unconventional model system that holds great promise in the field given its genetic tractability, late transition to multicellularity, and phenotypic diversity. Multiple efforts at linking multicellularity-related developmental landmarks to key molecular changes, especially at the genome level, have provided key insights into the molecular innovations or lack thereof that underlie multicellularity. Twelve developmental changes have been proposed to explain the evolution of complex differentiated multicellularity in the volvocine algae. Co-option of key genes, such as cell cycle and developmental regulators has been observed, but with few exceptions, known co-option events do not seem to coincide with most developmental features observed in multicellular volvocines. The apparent lack of "master multicellularity genes" combined with no apparent correlation between gene gains for developmental processes suggest the possibility that many multicellular traits might be the product gene-regulatory and functional innovations; in other words, multicellularity can arise from shared genomic repertoires that undergo regulatory and functional overhauls.

RevDate: 2022-03-08

Palazzo AF, NS Kejiou (2022)

Non-Darwinian Molecular Biology.

Frontiers in genetics, 13:831068.

With the discovery of the double helical structure of DNA, a shift occurred in how biologists investigated questions surrounding cellular processes, such as protein synthesis. Instead of viewing biological activity through the lens of chemical reactions, this new field used biological information to gain a new profound view of how biological systems work. Molecular biologists asked new types of questions that would have been inconceivable to the older generation of researchers, such as how cellular machineries convert inherited biological information into functional molecules like proteins. This new focus on biological information also gave molecular biologists a way to link their findings to concepts developed by genetics and the modern synthesis. However, by the late 1960s this all changed. Elevated rates of mutation, unsustainable genetic loads, and high levels of variation in populations, challenged Darwinian evolution, a central tenant of the modern synthesis, where adaptation was the main driver of evolutionary change. Building on these findings, Motoo Kimura advanced the neutral theory of molecular evolution, which advocates that selection in multicellular eukaryotes is weak and that most genomic changes are neutral and due to random drift. This was further elaborated by Jack King and Thomas Jukes, in their paper "Non-Darwinian Evolution", where they pointed out that the observed changes seen in proteins and the types of polymorphisms observed in populations only become understandable when we take into account biochemistry and Kimura's new theory. Fifty years later, most molecular biologists remain unaware of these fundamental advances. Their adaptionist viewpoint fails to explain data collected from new powerful technologies which can detect exceedingly rare biochemical events. For example, high throughput sequencing routinely detects RNA transcripts being produced from almost the entire genome yet are present less than one copy per thousand cells and appear to lack any function. Molecular biologists must now reincorporate ideas from classical biochemistry and absorb modern concepts from molecular evolution, to craft a new lens through which they can evaluate the functionality of transcriptional units, and make sense of our messy, intricate, and complicated genome.

RevDate: 2022-03-09
CmpDate: 2022-03-04

Kwantes M, T Wichard (2022)

The APAF1_C/WD40 repeat domain-encoding gene from the sea lettuce Ulva mutabilis sheds light on the evolution of NB-ARC domain-containing proteins in green plants.

Planta, 255(4):76.

MAIN CONCLUSION: We advance Ulva's genetic tractability and highlight its value as a model organism by characterizing its APAF1_C/WD40 domain-encoding gene, which belongs to a family that bears homology to R genes. The multicellular chlorophyte alga Ulva mutabilis (Ulvophyceae, Ulvales) is native to coastal ecosystems worldwide and attracts both high socio-economic and scientific interest. To further understand the genetic mechanisms that guide its biology, we present a protocol, based on adapter ligation-mediated PCR, for retrieving flanking sequences in U. mutabilis vector-insertion mutants. In the created insertional library, we identified a null mutant with an insertion in an apoptotic protease activating factor 1 helical domain (APAF1_C)/WD40 repeat domain-encoding gene. Protein domain architecture analysis combined with phylogenetic analysis revealed that this gene is a member of a subfamily that arose early in the evolution of green plants (Viridiplantae) through the acquisition of a gene that also encoded N-terminal nucleotide-binding adaptor shared by APAF-1, certain R-gene products and CED-4 (NB-ARC) and winged helix-like (WH-like) DNA-binding domains. Although phenotypic analysis revealed no mutant phenotype, gene expression levels in control plants correlated to the presence of bacterial symbionts, which U. mutabilis requires for proper morphogenesis. In addition, our analysis led to the discovery of a putative Ulva nucleotide-binding site and leucine-rich repeat (NBS-LRR) Resistance protein (R-protein), and we discuss how the emergence of these R proteins in green plants may be linked to the evolution of the APAF1_C/WD40 protein subfamily.

RevDate: 2022-02-26

Spang A, Mahendrarajah TA, Offre P, et al (2022)

Evolving perspective on the origin and diversification of cellular life and the virosphere.

Genome biology and evolution pii:6537539 [Epub ahead of print].

The tree of life (TOL) is a powerful framework to depict the evolutionary history of cellular organisms through time, from our microbial origins to the diversification of multicellular eukaryotes that shape the visible biosphere today. During the past decades, our perception of the TOL has fundamentally changed in part due to profound methodological advances which allowed a more objective approach to studying organismal and viral diversity and led to the discovery of major new branches in the TOL as well as viral lineages. Phylogenetic and comparative genomics analyses of this data have, among others, revolutionized our understanding of the deep roots and diversity of microbial life, the origin of the eukaryotic cell, eukaryotic diversity as well as the origin and diversification of viruses. In this review, we provide an overview of some of the recent discoveries on the evolutionary history of cellular organisms and their viruses and discuss a variety of complementary techniques that we consider crucial for making further progress in our understanding of the TOL and its interconnection with the virosphere.

RevDate: 2022-03-21
CmpDate: 2022-03-21

Lin HK, Cheng JH, Wu CC, et al (2022)

Functional buffering via cell-specific gene expression promotes tissue homeostasis and cancer robustness.

Scientific reports, 12(1):2974.

Functional buffering that ensures biological robustness is critical for maintaining tissue homeostasis, organismal survival, and evolution of novelty. However, the mechanism underlying functional buffering, particularly in multicellular organisms, remains largely elusive. Here, we proposed that functional buffering can be mediated via expression of buffering genes in specific cells and tissues, by which we named Cell-specific Expression-BUffering (CEBU). We developed an inference index (C-score) for CEBU by computing C-scores across 684 human cell lines using genome-wide CRISPR screens and transcriptomic RNA-seq. We report that C-score-identified putative buffering gene pairs are enriched for members of the same duplicated gene family, pathway, and protein complex. Furthermore, CEBU is especially prevalent in tissues of low regenerative capacity (e.g., bone and neuronal tissues) and is weakest in highly regenerative blood cells, linking functional buffering to tissue regeneration. Clinically, the buffering capacity enabled by CEBU can help predict patient survival for multiple cancers. Our results suggest CEBU as a potential buffering mechanism contributing to tissue homeostasis and cancer robustness in humans.

RevDate: 2022-03-16
CmpDate: 2022-03-16

Day TC, Höhn SS, Zamani-Dahaj SA, et al (2022)

Cellular organization in lab-evolved and extant multicellular species obeys a maximum entropy law.

eLife, 11:.

The prevalence of multicellular organisms is due in part to their ability to form complex structures. How cells pack in these structures is a fundamental biophysical issue, underlying their functional properties. However, much remains unknown about how cell packing geometries arise, and how they are affected by random noise during growth - especially absent developmental programs. Here, we quantify the statistics of cellular neighborhoods of two different multicellular eukaryotes: lab-evolved 'snowflake' yeast and the green alga Volvox carteri. We find that despite large differences in cellular organization, the free space associated with individual cells in both organisms closely fits a modified gamma distribution, consistent with maximum entropy predictions originally developed for granular materials. This 'entropic' cellular packing ensures a degree of predictability despite noise, facilitating parent-offspring fidelity even in the absence of developmental regulation. Together with simulations of diverse growth morphologies, these results suggest that gamma-distributed cell neighborhood sizes are a general feature of multicellularity, arising from conserved statistics of cellular packing.

RevDate: 2022-02-15

Žárský J, Žárský V, Hanáček M, et al (2021)

Cryogenian Glacial Habitats as a Plant Terrestrialisation Cradle - The Origin of the Anydrophytes and Zygnematophyceae Split.

Frontiers in plant science, 12:735020.

For tens of millions of years (Ma), the terrestrial habitats of Snowball Earth during the Cryogenian period (between 720 and 635 Ma before present-Neoproterozoic Era) were possibly dominated by global snow and ice cover up to the equatorial sublimative desert. The most recent time-calibrated phylogenies calibrated not only on plants but on a comprehensive set of eukaryotes indicate that within the Streptophyta, multicellular charophytes (Phragmoplastophyta) evolved in the Mesoproterozoic to the early Neoproterozoic. At the same time, Cryogenian is the time of the likely origin of the common ancestor of Zygnematophyceae and Embryophyta and later, also of the Zygnematophyceae-Embryophyta split. This common ancestor is proposed to be called Anydrophyta; here, we use anydrophytes. Based on the combination of published phylogenomic studies and estimated diversification time comparisons, we deem it highly likely that anydrophytes evolved in response to Cryogenian cooling. Also, later in the Cryogenian, secondary simplification of multicellular anydrophytes and loss of flagella resulted in Zygnematophyceae diversification as an adaptation to the extended cold glacial environment. We propose that the Marinoan geochemically documented expansion of first terrestrial flora has been represented not only by Chlorophyta but also by Streptophyta, including the anydrophytes, and later by Zygnematophyceae, thriving on glacial surfaces until today. It is possible that multicellular early Embryophyta survived in less abundant (possibly relatively warmer) refugia, relying more on mineral substrates, allowing the retention of flagella-based sexuality. The loss of flagella and sexual reproduction by conjugation evolved in Zygnematophyceae and zygomycetous fungi during the Cryogenian in a remarkably convergent way. Thus, we support the concept that the important basal cellular adaptations to terrestrial environments were exapted in streptophyte algae for terrestrialization and propose that this was stimulated by the adaptation to glacial habitats dominating the Cryogenian Snowball Earth. Including the glacial lifestyle when considering the rise of land plants increases the parsimony of connecting different ecological, phylogenetic, and physiological puzzles of the journey from aquatic algae to terrestrial floras.

RevDate: 2022-02-24
CmpDate: 2022-02-24

Yaguchi S, Taniguchi Y, Suzuki H, et al (2022)

Planktonic sea urchin larvae change their swimming direction in response to strong photoirradiation.

PLoS genetics, 18(2):e1010033.

To survive, organisms need to precisely respond to various environmental factors, such as light and gravity. Among these, light is so important for most life on Earth that light-response systems have become extraordinarily developed during evolution, especially in multicellular animals. A combination of photoreceptors, nervous system components, and effectors allows these animals to respond to light stimuli. In most macroscopic animals, muscles function as effectors responding to light, and in some microscopic aquatic animals, cilia play a role. It is likely that the cilia-based response was the first to develop and that it has been substituted by the muscle-based response along with increases in body size. However, although the function of muscle appears prominent, it is poorly understood whether ciliary responses to light are present and/or functional, especially in deuterostomes, because it is possible that these responses are too subtle to be observed, unlike muscle responses. Here, we show that planktonic sea urchin larvae reverse their swimming direction due to the inhibitory effect of light on the cholinergic neuron signaling>forward swimming pathway. We found that strong photoirradiation of larvae that stay on the surface of seawater immediately drives the larvae away from the surface due to backward swimming. When Opsin2, which is expressed in mesenchymal cells in larval arms, is knocked down, the larvae do not show backward swimming under photoirradiation. Although Opsin2-expressing cells are not neuronal cells, immunohistochemical analysis revealed that they directly attach to cholinergic neurons, which are thought to regulate forward swimming. These data indicate that light, through Opsin2, inhibits the activity of cholinergic signaling, which normally promotes larval forward swimming, and that the light-dependent ciliary response is present in deuterostomes. These findings shed light on how light-responsive tissues/organelles have been conserved and diversified during evolution.

RevDate: 2022-03-28
CmpDate: 2022-03-28

Klein S, Distel LVR, W Neuhuber (2021)

X-ray Dose-Enhancing Impact of Functionalized Au-Fe3O4 Nanoheterodimers on MCF-7 and A549 Multicellular Tumor Spheroids.

ACS applied bio materials, 4(4):3113-3123.

The efficiency of nanoparticle-enhanced radiotherapy was studied by loading MCF-7 and A549 multicellular tumor spheroids (MCTSs) with caffeic acid- and nitrosonium-functionalized Au-Fe3O4 nanoheterodimers (Au-Fe3O4 NHDs). Transmission electron microscope images of MCTS cross-sectional sections visualized the invasion and distribution of the nitrosonium- and caffeic acid-functionalized Au-Fe3O4 NHDs (NO- and CA-NHDs) in the A549 and MCF-7 MCTSs, whereas the iron content of the MCTSs were quantified using the ferrozine assay. The synergistic impact of intracellular NO- and CA-NHDs and X-ray irradiation on the growth dynamics of the A549 and MCF-7 MCTSs was surveyed by monitoring their temporal evolution under a light microscope over a period of 14 days. The emergence of hypoxia during the spheroid growth was followed by detecting the lactate efflux of MCTSs without and with NO- and CA-NHDs. The performance of the NO- and CA-NHDs as X-ray dose-enhancing agents in the A549 and MCF-7 MCTSs was clarified by performing clonogenic cell survival assays and determining the respective dose-modifying factors for X-ray doses of 0, 2, 4, and 6 Gy. The NO- and CA-NHDs were shown to perform as potent X-ray dose-enhancing agents in A549 and MCF-7 MCTSs. Moreover, the CA-NHDs boosted their radio-sensitizing efficacy by inhibiting the lactate efflux as impairing metabolic reprogramming. A synergistic effect on the MCTS destruction was observed for the combination of both NHDs since the surfactants differ in their antitumor effect.

RevDate: 2022-01-25
CmpDate: 2022-01-25

Sforna MC, Loron CC, Demoulin CF, et al (2022)

Intracellular bound chlorophyll residues identify 1 Gyr-old fossils as eukaryotic algae.

Nature communications, 13(1):146.

The acquisition of photosynthesis is a fundamental step in the evolution of eukaryotes. However, few phototrophic organisms are unambiguously recognized in the Precambrian record. The in situ detection of metabolic byproducts in individual microfossils is the key for the direct identification of their metabolisms. Here, we report a new integrative methodology using synchrotron-based X-ray fluorescence and absorption. We evidence bound nickel-geoporphyrins moieties in low-grade metamorphic rocks, preserved in situ within cells of a ~1 Gyr-old multicellular eukaryote, Arctacellularia tetragonala. We identify these moieties as chlorophyll derivatives, indicating that A. tetragonala was a phototrophic eukaryote, one of the first unambiguous algae. This new approach, applicable to overmature rocks, creates a strong new proxy to understand the evolution of phototrophy and diversification of early ecosystems.

RevDate: 2022-01-24
CmpDate: 2022-01-24

Shilovsky GA, Putyatina TS, AV Markov (2021)

Altruism and Phenoptosis as Programs Supported by Evolution.

Biochemistry. Biokhimiia, 86(12):1540-1552.

Phenoptosis is a programmed death that has emerged in the process of evolution, sometimes taking the form of an altruistic program. In particular, it is believed to be a weapon against the spread of pandemics in the past and an obstacle in fighting pandemics in the present (COVID). However, on the evolutionary scale, deterministic death is not associated with random relationships (for example, bacteria with a particular mutation), but is a product of higher nervous activity or a consequence of established hierarchy that reaches its maximal expression in eusocial communities of Hymenoptera and highly social communities of mammals. Unlike a simple association of individuals, eusociality is characterized by the appearance of non-reproductive individuals as the highest form of altruism. In contrast to primitive programs for unicellular organisms, higher multicellular organisms are characterized by the development of behavior-based phenoptotic programs, especially in the case of reproduction-associated limitation of lifespan. Therefore, we can say that the development of altruism in the course of evolution of sociality leads in its extreme manifestation to phenoptosis. Development of mathematical models for the emergence of altruism and programmed death contributes to our understanding of mechanisms underlying these paradoxical counterproductive (harmful) programs. In theory, this model can be applied not only to insects, but also to other social animals and even to the human society. Adaptive death is an extreme form of altruism. We consider altruism and programmed death as programmed processes in the mechanistic and adaptive sense, respectively. Mechanistically, this is a program existing as a predetermined chain of certain responses, regardless of its adaptive value. As to its adaptive value (regardless of the degree of "phenoptoticity"), this is a characteristic of organisms that demonstrate high levels of kinship, social organization, and physical association typical for higher-order individuals, e.g., unicellular organisms forming colonies with some characteristics of multicellular animals or colonies of multicellular animals displaying features of supraorganisms.

RevDate: 2022-01-10
CmpDate: 2022-01-10

Maltseva AL, Varfolomeeva MA, Gafarova ER, et al (2021)

Divergence together with microbes: A comparative study of the associated microbiomes in the closely related Littorina species.

PloS one, 16(12):e0260792.

Any multicellular organism during its life is involved in relatively stable interactions with microorganisms. The organism and its microbiome make up a holobiont, possessing a unique set of characteristics and evolving as a whole system. This study aimed to evaluate the degree of the conservativeness of microbiomes associated with intertidal gastropods. We studied the composition and the geographic and phylogenetic variability of the gut and body surface microbiomes of five closely related sympatric Littorina (Neritrema) spp. and a more distant species, L. littorea, from the sister subgenus Littorina (Littorina). Although snail-associated microbiomes included many lineages (207-603), they were dominated by a small number of OTUs of the genera Psychromonas, Vibrio, and Psychrilyobacter. The geographic variability was greater than the interspecific differences at the same collection site. While the microbiomes of the six Littorina spp. did not differ at the high taxonomic level, the OTU composition differed between groups of cryptic species and subgenera. A few species-specific OTUs were detected within the collection sites; notably, such OTUs never dominated microbiomes. We conclude that the composition of the high-rank taxa of the associated microbiome ("scaffolding enterotype") is more evolutionarily conserved than the composition of the low-rank individual OTUs, which may be site- and / or species-specific.

RevDate: 2022-01-03
CmpDate: 2022-01-03

Brückner A, Badroos JM, Learsch RW, et al (2021)

Evolutionary assembly of cooperating cell types in an animal chemical defense system.

Cell, 184(25):6138-6156.e28.

How the functions of multicellular organs emerge from the underlying evolution of cell types is poorly understood. We deconstructed evolution of an organ novelty: a rove beetle gland that secretes a defensive cocktail. We show how gland function arose via assembly of two cell types that manufacture distinct compounds. One cell type, comprising a chemical reservoir within the abdomen, produces alkane and ester compounds. We demonstrate that this cell type is a hybrid of cuticle cells and ancient pheromone and adipocyte-like cells, executing its function via a mosaic of enzymes from each parental cell type. The second cell type synthesizes benzoquinones using a chimera of conserved cellular energy and cuticle formation pathways. We show that evolution of each cell type was shaped by coevolution between the two cell types, yielding a potent secretion that confers adaptive value. Our findings illustrate how cooperation between cell types arises, generating new, organ-level behaviors.

RevDate: 2021-12-14
CmpDate: 2021-12-08

Prostak SM, LK Fritz-Laylin (2021)

Laboratory Maintenance of the Chytrid Fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

Current protocols, 1(12):e309.

The chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is a causative agent of chytridiomycosis, a skin disease associated with amphibian population declines around the world. Despite the major impact Bd is having on global ecosystems, much of Bd's basic biology remains unstudied. In addition to revealing mechanisms driving the spread of chytridiomycosis, studying Bd can shed light on the evolution of key fungal traits because chytrid fungi, including Bd, diverged before the radiation of the Dikaryotic fungi (multicellular fungi and yeast). Studying Bd in the laboratory is, therefore, of growing interest to a wide range of scientists, ranging from herpetologists and disease ecologists to molecular, cell, and evolutionary biologists. This protocol describes how to maintain developmentally synchronized liquid cultures of Bd for use in the laboratory, how to grow Bd on solid media, as well as cryopreservation and revival of frozen stocks. © 2021 The Authors. Current Protocols published by Wiley Periodicals LLC. Basic Protocol 1: Reviving cryopreserved Bd cultures Basic Protocol 2: Establishing synchronized liquid cultures of Bd Basic Protocol 3: Regular maintenance of synchronous Bd in liquid culture Alternate Protocol 1: Regular maintenance of asynchronous Bd in liquid culture Basic Protocol 4: Regular maintenance of synchronous Bd on solid medium Alternate Protocol 2: Starting a culture on solid medium from a liquid culture Basic Protocol 5: Cryopreservation of Bd.

RevDate: 2022-01-07
CmpDate: 2022-01-07

Liu K, Deng S, Ye C, et al (2021)

Mapping single-cell-resolution cell phylogeny reveals cell population dynamics during organ development.

Nature methods, 18(12):1506-1514.

Mapping the cell phylogeny of a complex multicellular organism relies on somatic mutations accumulated from zygote to adult. Available cell barcoding methods can record about three mutations per barcode, enabling only low-resolution mapping of the cell phylogeny of complex organisms. Here we developed SMALT, a substitution mutation-aided lineage-tracing system that outperforms the available cell barcoding methods in mapping cell phylogeny. We applied SMALT to Drosophila melanogaster and obtained on average more than 20 mutations on a three-kilobase-pair barcoding sequence in early-adult cells. Using the barcoding mutations, we obtained high-quality cell phylogenetic trees, each comprising several thousand internal nodes with 84-93% median bootstrap support. The obtained cell phylogenies enabled a population genetic analysis that estimates the longitudinal dynamics of the number of actively dividing parental cells (Np) in each organ through development. The Np dynamics revealed the trajectory of cell births and provided insight into the balance of symmetric and asymmetric cell division.

RevDate: 2021-12-28
CmpDate: 2021-12-28

Pennemann FL, Mussabekova A, Urban C, et al (2021)

Cross-species analysis of viral nucleic acid interacting proteins identifies TAOKs as innate immune regulators.

Nature communications, 12(1):7009.

The cell intrinsic antiviral response of multicellular organisms developed over millions of years and critically relies on the ability to sense and eliminate viral nucleic acids. Here we use an affinity proteomics approach in evolutionary distant species (human, mouse and fly) to identify proteins that are conserved in their ability to associate with diverse viral nucleic acids. This approach shows a core of orthologous proteins targeting viral genetic material and species-specific interactions. Functional characterization of the influence of 181 candidates on replication of 6 distinct viruses in human cells and flies identifies 128 nucleic acid binding proteins with an impact on virus growth. We identify the family of TAO kinases (TAOK1, -2 and -3) as dsRNA-interacting antiviral proteins and show their requirement for type-I interferon induction. Depletion of TAO kinases in mammals or flies leads to an impaired response to virus infection characterized by a reduced induction of interferon stimulated genes in mammals and impaired expression of srg1 and diedel in flies. Overall, our study shows a larger set of proteins able to mediate the interaction between viral genetic material and host factors than anticipated so far, attesting to the ancestral roots of innate immunity and to the lineage-specific pressures exerted by viruses.

RevDate: 2022-03-24
CmpDate: 2022-03-24

Varahan S, S Laxman (2021)

Bend or break: how biochemically versatile molecules enable metabolic division of labor in clonal microbial communities.

Genetics, 219(2):.

In fluctuating nutrient environments, isogenic microbial cells transition into "multicellular" communities composed of phenotypically heterogeneous cells, showing functional specialization. In fungi (such as budding yeast), phenotypic heterogeneity is often described in the context of cells switching between different morphotypes (e.g., yeast to hyphae/pseudohyphae or white/opaque transitions in Candida albicans). However, more fundamental forms of metabolic heterogeneity are seen in clonal Saccharomyces cerevisiae communities growing in nutrient-limited conditions. Cells within such communities exhibit contrasting, specialized metabolic states, and are arranged in distinct, spatially organized groups. In this study, we explain how such an organization can stem from self-organizing biochemical reactions that depend on special metabolites. These metabolites exhibit plasticity in function, wherein the same metabolites are metabolized and utilized for distinct purposes by different cells. This in turn allows cell groups to function as specialized, interdependent cross-feeding systems which support distinct metabolic processes. Exemplifying a system where cells exhibit either gluconeogenic or glycolytic states, we highlight how available metabolites can drive favored biochemical pathways to produce new, limiting resources. These new resources can themselves be consumed or utilized distinctly by cells in different metabolic states. This thereby enables cell groups to sustain contrasting, even apparently impossible metabolic states with stable transcriptional and metabolic signatures for a given environment, and divide labor in order to increase community fitness or survival. We speculate on possible evolutionary implications of such metabolic specialization and division of labor in isogenic microbial communities.

RevDate: 2022-01-03
CmpDate: 2022-01-03

Benaissa H, Ounoughi K, Aujard I, et al (2021)

Engineering of a fluorescent chemogenetic reporter with tunable color for advanced live-cell imaging.

Nature communications, 12(1):6989.

Biocompatible fluorescent reporters with spectral properties spanning the entire visible spectrum are indispensable tools for imaging the biochemistry of living cells and organisms in real time. Here, we report the engineering of a fluorescent chemogenetic reporter with tunable optical and spectral properties. A collection of fluorogenic chromophores with various electronic properties enables to generate bimolecular fluorescent assemblies that cover the visible spectrum from blue to red using a single protein tag engineered and optimized by directed evolution and rational design. The ability to tune the fluorescence color and properties through simple molecular modulation provides a broad experimental versatility for imaging proteins in live cells, including neurons, and in multicellular organisms, and opens avenues for optimizing Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) biosensors in live cells. The ability to tune the spectral properties and fluorescence performance enables furthermore to match the specifications and requirements of advanced super-resolution imaging techniques.

RevDate: 2021-11-30
CmpDate: 2021-11-30

Yu D, Cao H, X Wang (2021)

[Advances and applications of organoids: a review].

Sheng wu gong cheng xue bao = Chinese journal of biotechnology, 37(11):3961-3974.

Novel model systems have provided powerful tools for the research of human biology. Despite of being widely used, the conventional research models could not precisely describe the human physiological phenomenon. Organoids are three-dimensional multicellular aggregates derived from stem cells or organ progenitors that could differentiate and self-organize to recapitulate some specific functionalities and architectures of their in vivo counterpart organs. Organoids can be used to simulate organogenesis because of their human origin. In addition, the genomic stability of organoids could be well maintained during long-term amplification in vitro. Moreover, organoids can be cryopreserved as a live biobank for high-throughput screening. Combinatorial use of organoids with other emerging technologies (e.g. gene editing, organ-on-a-chip and single-cell RNA sequencing) could overcome the bottlenecks of conventional models and provide valuable information for disease modelling, pharmaceutical research, precision medicine and regenerative medicine at the organ level. This review summarizes the classifications, characteristics, current applications, combined use with other technologies and future prospects of organoids.

RevDate: 2021-12-16
CmpDate: 2021-12-16

Kertmen A, Petrenko I, Schimpf C, et al (2021)

Calcite Nanotuned Chitinous Skeletons of Giant Ianthella basta Marine Demosponge.

International journal of molecular sciences, 22(22):.

Marine sponges were among the first multicellular organisms on our planet and have survived to this day thanks to their unique mechanisms of chemical defense and the specific design of their skeletons, which have been optimized over millions of years of evolution to effectively inhabit the aquatic environment. In this work, we carried out studies to elucidate the nature and nanostructural organization of three-dimensional skeletal microfibers of the giant marine demosponge Ianthella basta, the body of which is a micro-reticular, durable structure that determines the ideal filtration function of this organism. For the first time, using the battery of analytical tools including three-dimensional micro-X-ray Fluorescence (3D-µXRF), X-ray diffraction (XRD), infra-red (FTIR), Raman and Near Edge X-ray Fine Structure (NEXAFS) spectroscopy, we have shown that biomineral calcite is responsible for nano-tuning the skeletal fibers of this sponge species. This is the first report on the presence of a calcitic mineral phase in representatives of verongiid sponges which belong to the class Demospongiae. Our experimental data suggest a possible role for structural amino polysaccharide chitin as a template for calcification. Our study suggests further experiments to elucidate both the origin of calcium carbonate inside the skeleton of this sponge and the mechanisms of biomineralization in the surface layers of chitin microfibers saturated with bromotyrosines, which have effective antimicrobial properties and are responsible for the chemical defense of this organism. The discovery of the calcified phase in the chitinous template of I. basta skeleton is expected to broaden the knowledge in biomineralization science where the calcium carbonate is regarded as a valuable material for applications in biomedicine, environmental science, and even in civil engineering.


ESP Quick Facts

ESP Origins

In the early 1990's, Robert Robbins was a faculty member at Johns Hopkins, where he directed the informatics core of GDB — the human gene-mapping database of the international human genome project. To share papers with colleagues around the world, he set up a small paper-sharing section on his personal web page. This small project evolved into The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project.

ESP Support

In 1995, Robbins became the VP/IT of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA. Soon after arriving in Seattle, Robbins secured funding, through the ELSI component of the US Human Genome Project, to create the original ESP.ORG web site, with the formal goal of providing free, world-wide access to the literature of classical genetics.

ESP Rationale

Although the methods of molecular biology can seem almost magical to the uninitiated, the original techniques of classical genetics are readily appreciated by one and all: cross individuals that differ in some inherited trait, collect all of the progeny, score their attributes, and propose mechanisms to explain the patterns of inheritance observed.

ESP Goal

In reading the early works of classical genetics, one is drawn, almost inexorably, into ever more complex models, until molecular explanations begin to seem both necessary and natural. At that point, the tools for understanding genome research are at hand. Assisting readers reach this point was the original goal of The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project.

ESP Usage

Usage of the site grew rapidly and has remained high. Faculty began to use the site for their assigned readings. Other on-line publishers, ranging from The New York Times to Nature referenced ESP materials in their own publications. Nobel laureates (e.g., Joshua Lederberg) regularly used the site and even wrote to suggest changes and improvements.

ESP Content

When the site began, no journals were making their early content available in digital format. As a result, ESP was obliged to digitize classic literature before it could be made available. For many important papers — such as Mendel's original paper or the first genetic map — ESP had to produce entirely new typeset versions of the works, if they were to be available in a high-quality format.

ESP Help

Early support from the DOE component of the Human Genome Project was critically important for getting the ESP project on a firm foundation. Since that funding ended (nearly 20 years ago), the project has been operated as a purely volunteer effort. Anyone wishing to assist in these efforts should send an email to Robbins.

ESP Plans

With the development of methods for adding typeset side notes to PDF files, the ESP project now plans to add annotated versions of some classical papers to its holdings. We also plan to add new reference and pedagogical material. We have already started providing regularly updated, comprehensive bibliographies to the ESP.ORG site.

Electronic Scholarly Publishing
961 Red Tail Lane
Bellingham, WA 98226

E-mail: RJR8222 @

Papers in Classical Genetics

The ESP began as an effort to share a handful of key papers from the early days of classical genetics. Now the collection has grown to include hundreds of papers, in full-text format.

Digital Books

Along with papers on classical genetics, ESP offers a collection of full-text digital books, including many works by Darwin (and even a collection of poetry — Chicago Poems by Carl Sandburg).


ESP now offers a much improved and expanded collection of timelines, designed to give the user choice over subject matter and dates.


Biographical information about many key scientists.

Selected Bibliographies

Bibliographies on several topics of potential interest to the ESP community are now being automatically maintained and generated on the ESP site.

ESP Picks from Around the Web (updated 07 JUL 2018 )