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Molecular Biology and Evolution
Journal Prestige (SJR): 5.475
Citation Impact (citeScore): 8
Number of Followers: 197  
  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
ISSN (Print) 0737-4038 - ISSN (Online) 1537-1719
Published by Oxford University Press Homepage  [406 journals]
  • Genetic Affinities among Southern Africa Hunter-Gatherers and the Impact
           of Admixing Farmer and Herder Populations
    • Authors: Vicente M; Jakobsson M, Ebbesen P, et al.
      Pages: 1849 - 1861
      Abstract: AbstractSouthern African indigenous groups, traditionally hunter-gatherers (San) and herders (Khoekhoe), are commonly referred to as “Khoe-San” populations and have a long history in southern Africa. Their ancestors were largely isolated up until ∼2,000 years ago before the arrival of pastoralists and farmers in southern Africa. Assessing relationships among regional Khoe-San groups has been challenging due to admixture with immigrant populations that obscure past population affinities and gene flow among these autochthonous communities. We re-evaluate a combined genome-wide data set of previously published southern Africa Khoe-San populations in conjunction with novel data from Khoe-San individuals collected in Xade (Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Botswana) prior to their resettlement outside the reserve. After excluding regions in the genome that trace their ancestry to recent migrant groups, the genetic diversity of 20 Khoe-San groups fitted an isolation-by-distance model. Even though isolation-by-distance explained most genetic affinities between the different autochthonous groups, additional signals of contact between Khoe-San groups could be detected. For instance, we found stronger genetic affinities, than what would be explained by isolation-by-distance gene flow, between the two geographically separated Khoe-San groups, who speak branches of the Kx’a-language family (ǂHoan and Ju). We also scanned the genome-wide data for signals of adaptive gene flow from farmers/herders into Khoe-San groups and identified a number of genomic regions potentially introduced by the arrival of the new groups. This study provides a comprehensive picture of affinities among Khoe-San groups, prior to the arrival of recent migrants, and found that these affinities are primarily determined by the geographic landscape.
      PubDate: Tue, 09 Jul 2019 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/molbev/msz089
      Issue No: Vol. 36, No. 9 (2019)
  • Molecular Evolution in Large Steps—Codon Substitutions under
           Positive Selection
    • Authors: Chen Q; He Z, Lan A, et al.
      Pages: 1862 - 1873
      Abstract: AbstractMolecular evolution is believed to proceed in small steps. The step size can be defined by a distance reflecting physico-chemical disparities between amino acid (AA) pairs that can be exchanged by single 1-bp mutations. We show that AA substitution rates are strongly and negatively correlated with this distance but only when positive selection is relatively weak. We use the McDonald and Kreitman test to separate the influences of positive and negative selection. While negative selection is indeed stronger on AA substitutions generating larger changes in chemical properties of AAs, positive selection operates by different rules. For 65 of the 75 possible pairs, positive selection is comparable in strength regardless of AA distance. However, the ten pairs under the strongest positive selection all exhibit large leaps in chemical properties. Five of the ten pairs are shared between Drosophila and Hominoids, thus hinting at a common but modest biochemical basis of adaptation across taxa. The hypothesis that adaptive changes often take large functional steps will need to be extensively tested. If validated, molecular models will need to better integrate positive and negative selection in the search for adaptive signal.
      PubDate: Sat, 11 May 2019 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/molbev/msz108
      Issue No: Vol. 36, No. 9 (2019)
  • Limits to Compensatory Mutations: Insights from Temperature-Sensitive
    • Authors: Tomala K; Zrebiec P, Hartl D, et al.
      Pages: 1874 - 1883
      Abstract: AbstractPrevious experiments with temperature-sensitive mutants of the yeast enzyme orotidine 5′-phosphate decarboxylase (encoded in gene URA3) yielded the unexpected result that reversion occurs only through exact reversal of the original mutation (Jakubowska A, Korona R. 2009. Lack of evolutionary conservation at positions important for thermal stability in the yeast ODCase protein. Mol Biol Evol. 26(7):1431–1434.). We recreated a set of these mutations in which the codon had two nucleotide substitutions, making exact reversion much less likely. We screened these double mutants for reversion and obtained a number of compensatory mutations occurring at alternative sites in the molecule. None of these compensatory mutations fully restored protein performance. The mechanism of partial compensation is consistent with a model in which protein stabilization is additive, as the same secondary mutations can compensate different primary alternations. The distance between primary and compensatory residues precludes direct interaction between the sites. Instead, most of the compensatory mutants were clustered in proximity to the catalytic center. All of the second-site compensatory substitutions occurred at relatively conserved sites, and the amino acid replacements were to residues found at these sites in a multispecies alignment of the protein. Based on the estimated distribution of changes in Gibbs free energy among a large number of amino acid replacements, we estimate that, for most proteins, the probability that a second-site mutation would have a sufficiently large stabilizing effect to offset a temperature-sensitive mutation in the order of 10−4 or less. Hence compensation is likely to take place only for slightly destabilizing mutations because highly stabilizing mutations are exceeding rare.
      PubDate: Mon, 06 May 2019 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/molbev/msz110
      Issue No: Vol. 36, No. 9 (2019)
  • Unprecedented Parallel Photosynthetic Losses in a Heterotrophic Orchid
    • Authors: Barrett C; Sinn B, Kennedy A, et al.
      Pages: 1884 - 1901
      Abstract: AbstractHeterotrophic plants are evolutionary experiments in genomic, morphological, and physiological change. Yet, genomic sampling gaps exist among independently derived heterotrophic lineages, leaving unanswered questions about the process of genome modification. Here, we have sequenced complete plastid genomes for all species of the leafless orchid genus Hexalectris, including multiple individuals for most, and leafy relatives Basiphyllaea and Bletia. Our objectives are to determine the number of independent losses of photosynthesis and to test hypotheses on the process of genome degradation as a result of relaxed selection. We demonstrate four to five independent losses of photosynthesis in Hexalectris based on degradation of the photosynthetic apparatus, with all but two species displaying evidence of losses, and variation in gene loss extending below the species level. Degradation in the atp complex is advanced in Hexalectris warnockii, whereas only minimal degradation (i.e., physical loss) has occurred among some “housekeeping” genes. We find genomic rearrangements, shifts in Inverted Repeat boundaries including complete loss in one accession of H. arizonica, and correlations among substitutional and genomic attributes. Our unprecedented finding of multiple, independent transitions to a fully mycoheterotrophic lifestyle in a single genus reveals that the number of such transitions among land plants is likely underestimated. This study underscores the importance of dense taxon sampling, which is highly informative for advancing models of genome evolution in heterotrophs. Mycoheterotrophs such as Hexalectris provide forward-genetic opportunities to study the consequences of radical genome evolution beyond what is possible with mutational studies in model organisms alone.
      PubDate: Mon, 06 May 2019 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/molbev/msz111
      Issue No: Vol. 36, No. 9 (2019)
  • The Legacy of Sexual Ancestors in Phenotypic Variability, Gene Expression,
           and Homoeolog Regulation of Asexual Hybrids and Polyploids
    • Authors: Bartoš O; Röslein J, Kotusz J, et al.
      Pages: 1902 - 1920
      Abstract: AbstractHybridization and polyploidization are important evolutionary processes whose impacts range from the alteration of gene expression and phenotypic variation to the triggering of asexual reproduction. We investigated fishes of the Cobitis taenia-elongatoides hybrid complex, which allowed us to disentangle the direct effects of both processes, due to the co-occurrence of parental species with their diploid and triploid hybrids. Employing morphological, ecological, and RNAseq approaches, we investigated the molecular determinants of hybrid and polyploid forms.In contrast with other studies, hybridization and polyploidy induced relatively very little transgressivity. Instead, Cobitis hybrids appeared intermediate with a clear effect of genomic dosing when triploids expressed higher similarity to the parent contributing two genome sets. This dosage effect was symmetric in the germline (oocyte gene expression), interestingly though, we observed an overall bias toward C. taenia in somatic tissues and traits. At the level of individual genes, expression-level dominance vastly prevailed over additivity or transgressivity. Also, trans-regulation of gene expression was less efficient in diploid hybrids than in triploids, where the expression modulation of homoeologs derived from the “haploid” parent was stronger than those derived from the “diploid” parent.Our findings suggest that the apparent intermediacy of hybrid phenotypes results from the combination of individual genes with dominant expression rather than from simple additivity. The efficiency of cross-talk between trans-regulatory elements further appears dosage dependent. Important effects of polyploidization may thus stem from changes in relative concentrations of trans-regulatory elements and their binding sites between hybridizing genomes. Links between gene regulation and asexuality are discussed.
      PubDate: Sat, 11 May 2019 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/molbev/msz114
      Issue No: Vol. 36, No. 9 (2019)
  • Multiple Independent Recruitment of Sodefrin Precursor-Like Factors in
           Anuran Sexually Dimorphic Glands
    • Authors: Bossuyt F; Schulte L, Maex M, et al.
      Pages: 1921 - 1930
      Abstract: AbstractChemical signaling in animals often plays a central role in eliciting a variety of responses during reproductive interactions between males and females. One of the best-known vertebrate courtship pheromone systems is sodefrin precursor-like factors (SPFs), a family of two-domain three-finger proteins with a female-receptivity enhancing function, currently only known from salamanders. The oldest divergence between active components in a single salamander species dates back to the Late Paleozoic, indicating that these proteins potentially gained a pheromone function earlier in amphibian evolution. Here, we combined whole transcriptome sequencing, proteomics, histology, and molecular phylogenetics in a comparative approach to investigate SPF occurrence in male breeding glands across the evolutionary tree of anurans (frogs and toads). Our study shows that multiple families of both terrestrially and aquatically reproducing frogs have substantially increased expression levels of SPFs in male breeding glands. This suggests that multiple anuran lineages make use of SPFs to complement acoustic and visual sexual signaling during courtship. Comparative analyses show that anurans independently recruited these proteins each time the gland location on the male’s body allowed efficient transmission of the secretion to the female’s nares.
      PubDate: Tue, 25 Jun 2019 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/molbev/msz115
      Issue No: Vol. 36, No. 9 (2019)
  • Human Migration and the Spread of the Nematode Parasite Wuchereria
    • Authors: Small S; Labbé F, Coulibaly Y, et al.
      Pages: 1931 - 1941
      Abstract: AbstractThe human disease lymphatic filariasis causes the debilitating effects of elephantiasis and hydrocele. Lymphatic filariasis currently affects the lives of 90 million people in 52 countries. There are three nematodes that cause lymphatic filariasis, Brugia malayi, Brugia timori, and Wuchereria bancrofti, but 90% of all cases of lymphatic filariasis are caused solely by W. bancrofti (Wb). Here we use population genomics to reconstruct the probable route and timing of migration of Wb strains that currently infect Africa, Haiti, and Papua New Guinea (PNG). We used selective whole genome amplification to sequence 42 whole genomes of single Wb worms from populations in Haiti, Mali, Kenya, and PNG. Our results are consistent with a hypothesis of an Island Southeast Asia or East Asian origin of Wb. Our demographic models support divergence times that correlate with the migration of human populations. We hypothesize that PNG was infected at two separate times, first by the Melanesians and later by the migrating Austronesians. The migrating Austronesians also likely introduced Wb to Madagascar where later migrations spread it to continental Africa. From Africa, Wb spread to the New World during the transatlantic slave trade. Genome scans identified 17 genes that were highly differentiated among Wb populations. Among these are genes associated with human immune suppression, insecticide sensitivity, and proposed drug targets. Identifying the distribution of genetic diversity in Wb populations and selection forces acting on the genome will build a foundation to test future hypotheses and help predict response to current eradication efforts.
      PubDate: Sat, 11 May 2019 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/molbev/msz116
      Issue No: Vol. 36, No. 9 (2019)
  • Intraspecific Variation in Microsatellite Mutation Profiles in Daphnia
    • Authors: Ho E; Macrae F, Latta L, IV, et al.
      Pages: 1942 - 1954
      Abstract: AbstractMicrosatellite loci (tandem repeats of short nucleotide motifs) are highly abundant in eukaryotic genomes and often used as genetic markers because they can exhibit variation both within and between populations. Although widely recognized for their mutability and utility, the mutation rates of microsatellites have only been empirically estimated in a few species, and have rarely been compared across genotypes and populations within a species. Here, we investigate the dynamics of microsatellite mutation over long- and short-time periods by quantifying the starting abundance and mutation rates for microsatellites for six different genotypes of Daphnia magna, an aquatic microcrustacean, collected from three populations (Finland, Germany, and Israel). Using whole-genome sequences of these six starting genotypes, descendent mutation accumulation (MA) lines, and large population controls (non-MA lines), we find each genotype exhibits a distinctive initial microsatellite profile which clusters according to the population-of-origin. During the period of MA, we observe motif-specific, highly variable, and rapid microsatellite mutation rates across genotypes of D. magna, the average of which is order of magnitude greater than the recently reported rate observed in a single genotype of the congener, Daphnia pulex. In our experiment, genotypes with more microsatellites starting out exhibit greater losses and those with fewer microsatellites starting out exhibit greater gains—a context-dependent mutation bias that has not been reported previously. We discuss how genotype-specific mutation rates and spectra, in conjunction with evolutionary forces, can shape both the differential accumulation of repeat content in the genome and the evolution of mutation rates.
      PubDate: Sat, 11 May 2019 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/molbev/msz118
      Issue No: Vol. 36, No. 9 (2019)
  • Protein Melting Temperature Cannot Fully Assess Whether Protein Folding
           Free Energy Underlies the Universal Abundance–Evolutionary Rate
           Correlation Seen in Proteins
    • Authors: Razban R; Zhang J.
      Pages: 1955 - 1963
      Abstract: AbstractThe protein misfolding avoidance hypothesis explains the universal negative correlation between protein abundance and sequence evolutionary rate across the proteome by identifying protein folding free energy (ΔG) as the confounding variable. Abundant proteins resist toxic misfolding events by being more stable, and more stable proteins evolve slower because their mutations are more destabilizing. Direct supporting evidence consists only of computer simulations. A study taking advantage of a recent experimental breakthrough in measuring protein stability proteome-wide through melting temperature (Tm) (Leuenberger et al. 2017), found weak misfolding avoidance hypothesis support for the Escherichia coli proteome, and no support for the Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Homo sapiens, and Thermus thermophilus proteomes (Plata and Vitkup 2018). I find that the nontrivial relationship between Tm and ΔG and inaccuracy in Tm measurements by Leuenberger et al. 2017 can be responsible for not observing strong positive abundance–Tm and strong negative Tm–evolutionary rate correlations.
      PubDate: Wed, 15 May 2019 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/molbev/msz119
      Issue No: Vol. 36, No. 9 (2019)
  • Many Options, Few Solutions: Over 60 My Snakes Converged on a Few Optimal
           Venom Formulations
    • Authors: Barua A; Mikheyev A, Russo C.
      Pages: 1964 - 1974
      Abstract: AbstractGene expression changes contribute to complex trait variations in both individuals and populations. However, the evolution of gene expression underlying complex traits over macroevolutionary timescales remains poorly understood. Snake venoms are proteinaceous cocktails where the expression of each toxin can be quantified and mapped to a distinct genomic locus and traced for millions of years. Using a phylogenetic generalized linear mixed model, we analyzed expression data of toxin genes from 52 snake species spanning the 3 venomous snake families and estimated phylogenetic covariance, which acts as a measure of evolutionary constraint. We find that evolution of toxin combinations is not constrained. However, although all combinations are in principle possible, the actual dimensionality of phylomorphic space is low, with envenomation strategies focused around only four major toxin families: metalloproteases, three-finger toxins, serine proteases, and phospholipases A2. Although most extant snakes prioritize either a single or a combination of major toxin families, they are repeatedly recruited and lost. We find that over macroevolutionary timescales, the venom phenotypes were not shaped by phylogenetic constraints, which include important microevolutionary constraints such as epistasis and pleiotropy, but more likely by ecological filtering that permits a small number of optimal solutions. As a result, phenotypic optima were repeatedly attained by distantly related species. These results indicate that venoms evolve by selection on biochemistry of prey envenomation, which permit diversity through parallelism, and impose strong limits, since only a few of the theoretically possible strategies seem to work well and are observed in extant snakes.
      PubDate: Mon, 20 May 2019 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/molbev/msz125
      Issue No: Vol. 36, No. 9 (2019)
  • Ancestral Admixture Is the Main Determinant of Global Biodiversity in
           Fission Yeast
    • Authors: Tusso S; Nieuwenhuis B, Sedlazeck F, et al.
      Pages: 1975 - 1989
      Abstract: AbstractMutation and recombination are key evolutionary processes governing phenotypic variation and reproductive isolation. We here demonstrate that biodiversity within all globally known strains of Schizosaccharomyces pombe arose through admixture between two divergent ancestral lineages. Initial hybridization was inferred to have occurred ∼20–60 sexual outcrossing generations ago consistent with recent, human-induced migration at the onset of intensified transcontinental trade. Species-wide heritable phenotypic variation was explained near-exclusively by strain-specific arrangements of alternating ancestry components with evidence for transgressive segregation. Reproductive compatibility between strains was likewise predicted by the degree of shared ancestry. To assess the genetic determinants of ancestry block distribution across the genome, we characterized the type, frequency, and position of structural genomic variation using nanopore and single-molecule real-time sequencing. Despite being associated with double-strand break initiation points, over 800 segregating structural variants exerted overall little influence on the introgression landscape or on reproductive compatibility between strains. In contrast, we found strong ancestry disequilibrium consistent with negative epistatic selection shaping genomic ancestry combinations during the course of hybridization. This study provides a detailed, experimentally tractable example that genomes of natural populations are mosaics reflecting different evolutionary histories. Exploiting genome-wide heterogeneity in the history of ancestral recombination and lineage-specific mutations sheds new light on the population history of S. pombe and highlights the importance of hybridization as a creative force in generating biodiversity.
      PubDate: Mon, 20 May 2019 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/molbev/msz126
      Issue No: Vol. 36, No. 9 (2019)
  • Operon Concatenation Is an Ancient Feature That Restricts the Potential to
           Rearrange Bacterial Chromosomes
    • Authors: Brandis G; Cao S, Hughes D, et al.
      Pages: 1990 - 2000
      Abstract: AbstractThe last common ancestor of the Gammaproteobacteria carried an important 40-kb chromosome section encoding 51 proteins of the transcriptional and translational machinery. These genes were organized into eight contiguous operons (rrnB-tufB-secE-rpoBC-str-S10-spc-alpha). Over 2 Gy of evolution, in different lineages, some of the operons became separated by multigene insertions. Surprisingly, in many Enterobacteriaceae, much of the ancient organization is conserved, indicating a strong selective force on the operons to remain colinear. Here, we show for one operon pair, tufB-secE in Salmonella, that an interruption of contiguity significantly reduces growth rate. Our data show that the tufB-secE operons are concatenated by an interoperon terminator–promoter overlap that plays a significant role regulating gene expression. Interrupting operon contiguity interferes with this regulation, reducing cellular fitness. Six operons of the ancestral chromosome section remain contiguous in Salmonella (tufB-secE-rpoBC and S10-spc-alpha) and, strikingly, each of these operon pairs is also connected by an interoperon terminator–promoter overlap. Accordingly, we propose that operon concatenation is an ancient feature that restricts the potential to rearrange bacterial chromosomes and can select for the maintenance of a colinear operon organization over billions of years.
      PubDate: Mon, 27 May 2019 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/molbev/msz129
      Issue No: Vol. 36, No. 9 (2019)
  • The Birth and Death of Toxins with Distinct Functions: A Case Study in the
           Sea Anemone Nematostella
    • Authors: Sachkova M; Singer S, Macrander J, et al.
      Pages: 2001 - 2012
      Abstract: AbstractThe cnidarian Nematostella vectensis has become an established lab model, providing unique opportunities for venom evolution research. The Nematostella venom system is multimodal: involving both nematocytes and ectodermal gland cells, which produce a toxin mixture whose composition changes throughout the life cycle. Additionally, their modes of interaction with predators and prey vary between eggs, larvae, and adults, which is likely shaped by the dynamics of the venom system.Nv1 is a major component of adult venom, with activity against arthropods (through specific inhibition of sodium channel inactivation) and fish. Nv1 is encoded by a cluster of at least 12 nearly identical genes that were proposed to be undergoing concerted evolution. Surprisingly, we found that Nematostella venom includes several Nv1 paralogs escaping a pattern of general concerted evolution, despite belonging to the Nv1-like family. Here, we show two of these new toxins, Nv4 and Nv5, are lethal for zebrafish larvae but harmless to arthropods, unlike Nv1. Furthermore, unlike Nv1, the newly identified toxins are expressed in early life stages. Using transgenesis and immunostaining, we demonstrate that Nv4 and Nv5 are localized to ectodermal gland cells in larvae.The evolution of Nv4 and Nv5 can be described either as neofunctionalization or as subfunctionalization. Additionally, the Nv1-like family includes several pseudogenes being an example of nonfunctionalization and venom evolution through birth-and-death mechanism. Our findings reveal the evolutionary history for a toxin radiation and point toward the ecological function of the novel toxins constituting a complex cnidarian venom.
      PubDate: Mon, 27 May 2019 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/molbev/msz132
      Issue No: Vol. 36, No. 9 (2019)
  • The Impact of Protein Architecture on Adaptive Evolution
    • Authors: Moutinho A; Trancoso F, Dutheil J, et al.
      Pages: 2013 - 2028
      Abstract: AbstractAdaptive mutations play an important role in molecular evolution. However, the frequency and nature of these mutations at the intramolecular level are poorly understood. To address this, we analyzed the impact of protein architecture on the rate of adaptive substitutions, aiming to understand how protein biophysics influences fitness and adaptation. Using Drosophila melanogaster and Arabidopsis thaliana population genomics data, we fitted models of distribution of fitness effects and estimated the rate of adaptive amino-acid substitutions both at the protein and amino-acid residue level. We performed a comprehensive analysis covering genome, gene, and protein structure, by exploring a multitude of factors with a plausible impact on the rate of adaptive evolution, such as intron number, protein length, secondary structure, relative solvent accessibility, intrinsic protein disorder, chaperone affinity, gene expression, protein function, and protein–protein interactions. We found that the relative solvent accessibility is a major determinant of adaptive evolution, with most adaptive mutations occurring at the surface of proteins. Moreover, we observe that the rate of adaptive substitutions differs between protein functional classes, with genes encoding for protein biosynthesis and degradation signaling exhibiting the fastest rates of protein adaptation. Overall, our results suggest that adaptive evolution in proteins is mainly driven by intermolecular interactions, with host–pathogen coevolution likely playing a major role.
      PubDate: Thu, 30 May 2019 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/molbev/msz134
      Issue No: Vol. 36, No. 9 (2019)
  • Variation in Recombination Rate Is Shaped by Domestication and
           Environmental Conditions in Barley
    • Authors: Dreissig S; Mascher M, Heckmann S, et al.
      Pages: 2029 - 2039
      Abstract: AbstractMeiotic recombination generates genetic diversity upon which selection can act. Recombination rates are highly variable between species, populations, individuals, sexes, chromosomes, and chromosomal regions. The underlying mechanisms are controlled at the genetic and epigenetic level and show plasticity toward the environment. Environmental plasticity may be divided into short- and long-term responses. We estimated recombination rates in natural populations of wild barley and domesticated landraces using a population genetics approach. We analyzed recombination landscapes in wild barley and domesticated landraces at high resolution. In wild barley, high recombination rates are found in more interstitial chromosome regions in contrast to distal chromosome regions in domesticated barley. Among subpopulations of wild barley, natural variation in effective recombination rate is correlated with temperature, isothermality, and solar radiation in a nonlinear manner. A positive linear correlation was found between effective recombination rate and annual precipitation. We discuss our findings with respect to how the environment might shape effective recombination rates in natural populations. Higher recombination rates in wild barley populations subjected to specific environmental conditions could be a means to maintain fitness in a strictly inbreeding species.
      PubDate: Tue, 18 Jun 2019 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/molbev/msz141
      Issue No: Vol. 36, No. 9 (2019)
  • Robust Estimation of Recent Effective Population Size from Number of
           Independent Origins in Soft Sweeps
    • Authors: Khatri B; Burt A, Kim Y.
      Pages: 2040 - 2052
      Abstract: AbstractEstimating recent effective population size is of great importance in characterizing and predicting the evolution of natural populations. Methods based on nucleotide diversity may underestimate current day effective population sizes due to historical bottlenecks, whereas methods that reconstruct demographic history typically only detect long-term variations. However, soft selective sweeps, which leave a fingerprint of mutational history by recurrent mutations on independent haplotype backgrounds, holds promise of an estimate more representative of recent population history. Here, we present a simple and robust method of estimation based only on knowledge of the number of independent recurrent origins and the current frequency of the beneficial allele in a population sample, independent of the strength of selection and age of the mutation. Using a forward-time theoretical framework, we show the mean number of origins is a function of θ=2Nμ and current allele frequency, through a simple equation, and the distribution is approximately Poisson. This estimate is robust to whether mutants preexisted before selection arose and is equally accurate for diploid populations with incomplete dominance. For fast (e.g., seasonal) demographic changes compared with time scale for fixation of the mutant allele, and for moderate peak-to-trough ratios, we show our constant population size estimate can be used to bound the maximum and minimum population size. Applied to the Vgsc gene of Anopheles gambiae, we estimate an effective population size of roughly 6×107, and including seasonal demographic oscillations, a minimum effective population size >3×107, and a maximum <6×109, suggesting a mean ∼109.
      PubDate: Tue, 09 Apr 2019 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/molbev/msz081
      Issue No: Vol. 36, No. 9 (2019)
  • Shared Signature Dynamics Tempered by Local Fluctuations Enables Fold
           Adaptability and Specificity
    • Authors: Zhang S; Li H, Krieger J, et al.
      Pages: 2053 - 2068
      Abstract: AbstractRecent studies have drawn attention to the evolution of protein dynamics, in addition to sequence and structure, based on the premise structure-encodes-dynamics-encodes-function. Of interest is to understand how functional differentiation is accomplished while maintaining the fold, or how intrinsic dynamics plays out in the evolution of structural variations and functional specificity. We performed a systematic computational analysis of 26,899 proteins belonging to 116 CATH superfamilies. Characterizing cooperative mechanisms and convergent/divergent features that underlie the shared/differentiated dynamics of family members required a methodology that lends itself to efficient analyses of large ensembles of proteins. We therefore introduced, SignDy, an integrated pipeline for evaluating the signature dynamics of families based on elastic network models. Our analysis confirmed that family members share conserved, highly cooperative (global) modes of motion. Importantly, our analysis discloses a subset of motions that sharply distinguishes subfamilies, which lie in a low-to-intermediate frequency regime of the mode spectrum. This regime has maximal impact on functional differentiation of families into subfamilies, while being evolutionarily conserved among subfamily members. Notably, the high-frequency end of the spectrum also reveals evolutionary conserved features across and within subfamilies; but in sharp contrast to global motions, high-frequency modes are minimally collective. Modulation of robust/conserved global dynamics by low-to-intermediate frequency fluctuations thus emerges as a versatile mechanism ensuring the adaptability of selected folds and the specificity of their subfamilies. SignDy further allows for dynamics-based categorization as a new layer of information relevant to distinctive mechanisms of action of subfamilies, beyond sequence or structural classifications.
      PubDate: Sat, 27 Apr 2019 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/molbev/msz102
      Issue No: Vol. 36, No. 9 (2019)
  • A Fast Likelihood Method to Reconstruct and Visualize Ancestral Scenarios
    • Authors: Ishikawa S; Zhukova A, Iwasaki W, et al.
      Pages: 2069 - 2085
      Abstract: AbstractThe reconstruction of ancestral scenarios is widely used to study the evolution of characters along phylogenetic trees. One commonly uses the marginal posterior probabilities of the character states, or the joint reconstruction of the most likely scenario. However, marginal reconstructions provide users with state probabilities, which are difficult to interpret and visualize, whereas joint reconstructions select a unique state for every tree node and thus do not reflect the uncertainty of inferences.We propose a simple and fast approach, which is in between these two extremes. We use decision-theory concepts (namely, the Brier score) to associate each node in the tree to a set of likely states. A unique state is predicted in tree regions with low uncertainty, whereas several states are predicted in uncertain regions, typically around the tree root. To visualize the results, we cluster the neighboring nodes associated with the same states and use graph visualization tools. The method is implemented in the PastML program and web server.The results on simulated data demonstrate the accuracy and robustness of the approach. PastML was applied to the phylogeography of Dengue serotype 2 (DENV2), and the evolution of drug resistances in a large HIV data set. These analyses took a few minutes and provided convincing results. PastML retrieved the main transmission routes of human DENV2 and showed the uncertainty of the human-sylvatic DENV2 geographic origin. With HIV, the results show that resistance mutations mostly emerge independently under treatment pressure, but resistance clusters are found, corresponding to transmissions among untreated patients.
      PubDate: Fri, 24 May 2019 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/molbev/msz131
      Issue No: Vol. 36, No. 9 (2019)
  • Modeling Structural Constraints on Protein Evolution via Side-Chain
           Conformational States
    • Authors: Perron U; Kozlov A, Stamatakis A, et al.
      Pages: 2086 - 2103
      Abstract: AbstractFew models of sequence evolution incorporate parameters describing protein structure, despite its high conservation, essential functional role and increasing availability. We present a structurally aware empirical substitution model for amino acid sequence evolution in which proteins are expressed using an expanded alphabet that relays both amino acid identity and structural information. Each character specifies an amino acid as well as information about the rotamer configuration of its side-chain: the discrete geometric pattern of permitted side-chain atomic positions, as defined by the dihedral angles between covalently linked atoms. By assigning rotamer states in 251,194 protein structures and identifying 4,508,390 substitutions between closely related sequences, we generate a 55-state “Dayhoff-like” model that shows that the evolutionary properties of amino acids depend strongly upon side-chain geometry. The model performs as well as or better than traditional 20-state models for divergence time estimation, tree inference, and ancestral state reconstruction. We conclude that not only is rotamer configuration a valuable source of information for phylogenetic studies, but that modeling the concomitant evolution of sequence and structure may have important implications for understanding protein folding and function.
      PubDate: Wed, 22 May 2019 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/molbev/msz122
      Issue No: Vol. 36, No. 9 (2019)
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