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Decay of homologous chromosome pairs and discovery of males in the thelytokous fungus-growing ant Mycocepurus smithiiAbstract The prevalent mode of reproduction among ants is arrhenotokous parthenogenesis where unfertilized eggs give rise to haploid males and fertilized eggs develop into diploid females. Some ant species are capable of thelytokous parthenogenesis, a type of asexual reproduction where females develop from unfertilized diploid eggs. Thelytoky is well-documented in more than 20 ant species. Cytogenetic data are available for six species demonstrating that some thelytokous ant species are capable of producing males occasionally as well as maintaining their chromosome numbers and proper chromosome pairings. Mycocepurus smithii is a thelytokous fungus-growing ant species that inhabits large parts of Central and South America. Cytogenetic data are unavailable for M. smithii and male individuals were never documented for this species, although the presence of males is expected because genetic recombination was observed in a few sexually reproducing populations in Brazil and haploid sperm was documented from the spermathecae of M. smithii queens. This study aims at comparatively studying asexual and sexual populations of M. smithii using classical and molecular cytogenetic methods to test whether karyotype configuration is modified according to the mode of reproduction in M. smithii . Moreover, we report the discovery of M. smithii males from a sexually reproducing populationmore »
Redefining the H-NS protein family: a diversity of specialized core and accessory forms exhibit hierarchical transcriptional network integrationAbstract H-NS is a nucleoid structuring protein and global repressor of virulence and horizontally-acquired genes in bacteria. H-NS can interact with itself or with homologous proteins, but protein family diversity and regulatory network overlap remain poorly defined. Here, we present a comprehensive phylogenetic analysis that revealed deep-branching clades, dispelling the presumption that H-NS is the progenitor of varied molecular backups. Each clade is composed exclusively of either chromosome-encoded or plasmid-encoded proteins. On chromosomes, stpA and newly discovered hlpP are core genes in specific genera, whereas hfp and newly discovered hlpC are sporadically distributed. Six clades of H-NS plasmid proteins (Hpp) exhibit ancient and dedicated associations with plasmids, including three clades with fidelity for plasmid incompatibility groups H, F or X. A proliferation of H-NS homologs in Erwiniaceae includes the first observation of potentially co-dependent H-NS forms. Conversely, the observed diversification of oligomerization domains may facilitate stable co-existence of divergent homologs in a genome. Transcriptomic and proteomic analysis in Salmonella revealed regulatory crosstalk and hierarchical control of H-NS homologs. We also discovered that H-NS is both a repressor and activator of Salmonella Pathogenicity Island 1 gene expression, and both regulatory modes are restored by Sfh (HppH) in the absence of H-NS.
Powdery mildew caused by Blumeria graminis f. sp. tritici (Bgt) is one of many severe diseases that threaten bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) yield and quality worldwide. The discovery and deployment of powdery mildew resistance genes (Pm) can prevent this disease epidemic in wheat. In a previous study, we transferred the powdery mildew resistance gene Pm57 from Aegilops searsii into common wheat and cytogenetically mapped the gene in a chromosome region with the fraction length (FL) 0.75–0.87, which represents 12% segment of the long arm of chromosome 2Ss#1. In this study, we performed RNA-seq using RNA extracted from leaf samples of three infected and mock-infected wheat-Ae. searsii 2Ss#1 introgression lines at 0, 12, 24, and 48 h after inoculation with Bgt isolates. Then we designed 79 molecular markers based on transcriptome sequences and physically mapped them to Ae. searsii chromosome 2Ss#1- in seven intervals. We used these markers to identify 46 wheat-Ae. searsii 2Ss#1 recombinants induced by ph1b, a deletion mutant of pairing homologous (Ph) genes. After analyzing the 46 ph1b-induced 2Ss#1L recombinants in the region where Pm57 is located with different Bgt-responses, we physically mapped Pm57 gene on the long arm of 2Ss#1 in a 5.13 Mb genomic region,more »
Most, if not all, green plant (Virdiplantae) species including angiosperms and ferns are polyploids themselves or have ancient polyploid or whole genome duplication signatures in their genomes. Polyploids are not only restricted to our major crop species such as wheat, maize, potato and the brassicas, but also occur frequently in wild species and natural habitats. Polyploidy has thus been viewed as a major driver in evolution, and its influence on genome and chromosome evolution has been at the centre of many investigations. Mechanistic models of the newly structured genomes are being developed that incorporate aspects of sequence evolution or turnover (low-copy genes and regulatory sequences, as well as repetitive DNAs), modification of gene functions, the re-establishment of control of genes with multiple copies, and often meiotic chromosome pairing, recombination and restoration of fertility.
World-wide interest in how green plants have evolved under different conditions – whether in small, isolated populations, or globally – suggests that gaining further insight into the contribution of polyploidy to plant speciation and adaptation to environmental changes is greatly needed. Forward-looking research and modelling, based on cytogenetics, expression studies, and genomics or genome sequencing analyses, discussed in this Special Issue of the Annals of Botany,more »
Chromosome number, genome size, repetitive DNA sequences, genes and regulatory sequences and their expression evolve following polyploidy – generating diversity and possible novel traits and enabling species diversification. There is the potential for ever more polyploids in natural, managed and disturbed environments under changing climates and new stresses.
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