skip to main content

Search for: All records

Creators/Authors contains: "Sweet, Andrew D."

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. Abstract

    Sequencing high molecular weight (HMW) DNA with long-read and linked-read technologies has promoted a major increase in more complete genome sequences for nonmodel organisms. Sequencing approaches that rely on HMW DNA have been limited to larger organisms or pools of multiple individuals, but recent advances have allowed for sequencing from individuals of small-bodied organisms. Here, we use HMW DNA sequencing with PacBio long reads and TELL-Seq linked reads to assemble and annotate the genome from a single individual feather louse (Brueelia nebulosa) from a European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris). We assembled a genome with a relatively high scaffold N50 (637 kb) and with BUSCO scores (96.1%) comparable to louse genomes assembled from pooled individuals. We annotated a number of genes (10,938) similar to the human louse (Pediculus humanus) genome. Additionally, calling phased variants revealed that the Brueelia genome is more heterozygous (∼1%) then expected for a highly obligate and dispersal-limited parasite. We also assembled and annotated the mitochondrial genome and primary endosymbiont (Sodalis) genome from the individual louse, which showed evidence for heteroplasmy in the mitogenome and a reduced genome size in the endosymbiont compared to its free-living relative. Our study is a valuable demonstration of the capability to obtain high-quality genomes from individual small, nonmodel organisms. Applying this approach to other organisms could greatly increase our understanding of the diversity and evolution of individual genomes.

    more » « less
  2. Abstract

    A fundamental aspect of symbiotic relationships is host specificity, ranging from extreme specialists associated with only a single host species to generalists associated with many different species. Although symbionts with limited dispersal capabilities are expected to be host specialists, some are able to associate with multiple hosts. Understanding the micro- and macro-evolutionary causes of variations in host specificity is often hindered by sampling biases and the limited power of traditional evolutionary markers. Here, we studied feather mites to address the barriers associated with estimates of host specificity for dispersal-limited symbionts. We sampled feather mites (Proctophyllodidae) from a nearly comprehensive set of North American breeding warblers (Parulidae) to study mite phylogenetic relationships and host–symbiont codiversification. We used pooled-sequencing (Pool-Seq) and short-read Illumina technology to interpret results derived from a traditional barcoding gene (cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1) versus 11 protein-coding mitochondrial genes using concatenated and multispecies coalescent approaches. Despite the statistically significant congruence between mite and host phylogenies, mite–host specificity varies widely, and host switching is common regardless of the genetic marker resolution (i.e., barcode vs. multilocus). However, the multilocus approach was more effective than the single barcode in detecting the presence of a heterogeneous Pool-Seq sample. These results suggest that presumed symbiont dispersal capabilities are not always strong indicators of host specificity or of historical host–symbiont coevolutionary events. A comprehensive sampling at fine phylogenetic scales may help to better elucidate the microevolutionary filters that impact macroevolutionary processes regulating symbioses, particularly for dispersal-limited symbionts. [Codiversification; cophylogenetics; feather mites; host switching; pooled sequencing; species delineation; symbiosis, warblers.]

    more » « less
  3. Abstract

    Host‐specialist parasites of endangered large vertebrates are in many cases more endangered than their hosts. In particular, low host population densities and reduced among‐host transmission rates are expected to lead to inbreeding within parasite infrapopulations living on single host individuals. Furthermore, spatial population structures of directly‐transmitted parasites should be concordant with those of their hosts. Using population genomic approaches, we investigated inbreeding and population structure in a host‐specialist seal louse (Echinophthirius horridus) infesting the Saimaa ringed seal (Phoca hispida saimensis), which is endemic to Lake Saimaa in Finland, and is one of the most endangered pinnipeds in the world. We conducted genome resequencing of pairs of lice collected from 18 individual Saimaa ringed seals throughout the Lake Saimaa complex. Our analyses showed high genetic similarity and inbreeding between lice inhabiting the same individual seal host, indicating low among‐host transmission rates. Across the lake, genetic differentiation among individual lice was correlated with their geographic distance, and assignment analyses revealed a marked break in the genetic variation of the lice in the middle of the lake, indicating substantial population structure. These findings indicate that movements of Saimaa ringed seals across the main breeding areas of the fragmented Lake Saimaa complex may in fact be more restricted than suggested by previous population‐genetic analyses of the seals themselves.

    more » « less
  4. Abstract

    The mitochondrial genomes (mitogenomes) of bilaterian animals are highly conserved structures that usually consist of a single circular chromosome. However, several species of parasitic lice (Insecta: Phthiraptera) possess fragmented mitogenomes, where the mitochondrial genes are present on separate, circular chromosomes. Nevertheless, the extent, causes, and consequences of this structural variation remain poorly understood. Here, we combined new and existing data to better understand the evolution of mitogenome fragmentation in major groups of parasitic lice. We found strong evidence that fragmented mitogenomes evolved many times within parasitic lice and that the level of fragmentation is highly variable, including examples of heteroplasmic arrangements. We also found a significant association between mitochondrial fragmentation and signatures of relaxed selection. Mitochondrial fragmentation was also associated with changes to a lower AT%, possibly due to differences in mutation biases. Together, our results provide a significant advance in understanding the process of mitogenome fragmentation and provide an important perspective on mitochondrial evolution in eukaryotes.

    more » « less
  5. Adaptive radiation is an important mechanism of organismal diversification and can be triggered by new ecological opportunities. Although poorly studied in this regard, parasites are an ideal group in which to study adaptive radiations because of their close associations with host species. Both experimental and comparative studies suggest that the ectoparasitic wing lice of pigeons and doves have adaptively radiated, leading to differences in body size and overall coloration. Here, we show that long-distance dispersal by dove hosts was central to parasite diversification because it provided new ecological opportunities for parasites to speciate after host-switching. We further show that among extant parasite lineages host-switching decreased over time, with cospeciation becoming the more dominant mode of parasite speciation. Taken together, our results suggest that host dispersal, followed by host-switching, provided novel ecological opportunities that facilitated adaptive radiation by parasites. 
    more » « less
  6. Abstract

    The study of ancient DNA is revolutionizing our understanding of paleo-ecology and the evolutionary history of species. Insects are essential components in many ecosystems and constitute the most diverse group of animals. Yet they are largely neglected in ancient DNA studies. We report the results of the first targeted investigation of insect ancient DNA to positively identify subfossil insects to species, which includes the recovery of endogenous content from samples as old as ~ 34,355 ybp. Potential inhibitors currently limiting widespread research on insect ancient DNA are discussed, including the lack of closely related genomic reference sequences (decreased mapping efficiency) and the need for more extensive collaborations with insect taxonomists. The advantages of insect-based studies are also highlighted, especially in the context of understanding past climate change. In this regard, insect remains from ancient packrat middens are a rich and largely uninvestigated resource for exploring paleo-ecology and species dynamics over time.

    more » « less
  7. Abstract

    Organisms vary in their dispersal abilities, and these differences can have important biological consequences, such as impacting the likelihood of hybridization events. However, there is still much to learn about the factors influencing hybridization, and specifically how dispersal ability affects the opportunities for hybridization. Here, using the ecological replicate system of dove wing and body lice (Insecta: Phthiraptera), we show that species with higher dispersal abilities exhibited increased genomic signatures of introgression. Specifically, we found a higher proportion of introgressed genomic reads and more reticulated phylogenetic networks in wing lice, the louse group with higher dispersal abilities. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that differences in dispersal ability might drive the extent of introgression through hybridization.

    more » « less
  8. Wilkerson, Richard (Ed.)
    Abstract The Philopterus Complex includes several lineages of lice that occur on birds. The complex includes the genera Philopterus (Nitzsch, 1818; Psocodea: Philopteridae), Philopteroides (Mey, 2004; Psocodea: Philopteridae), and many other lineages that have sometimes been regarded as separate genera. Only a few studies have investigated the phylogeny of this complex, all of which are based on morphological data. Here we evaluate the utility of nuclear and mitochondrial loci for recovering the phylogeny within this group. We obtained phylogenetic trees from 39 samples of the Philopterus Complex (Psocodea: Philopteridae), using sequences of two nuclear (hyp and TMEDE6) and one mitochondrial (COI) marker. We evaluated trees derived from these genes individually as well as from concatenated sequences. All trees show 20 clearly demarcated taxa (i.e., putative species) divided into five well-supported clades. Percent sequence divergence between putative species (~5–30%) for the COI gene tended to be much higher than those for the nuclear genes (~1–15%), as expected. In cases where species are described, the lineages identified based on molecular divergence correspond to morphologically defined species. In some cases, species that are host generalists exhibit additional underlying genetic variation and such cases need to be explored by further future taxonomic revisions of the Philopterus Complex. 
    more » « less
  9. null (Ed.)
  10. Buckley, Thomas (Ed.)
    Abstract The insect order Psocodea is a diverse lineage comprising both parasitic (Phthiraptera) and nonparasitic members (Psocoptera). The extreme age and ecological diversity of the group may be associated with major genomic changes, such as base compositional biases expected to affect phylogenetic inference. Divergent morphology between parasitic and nonparasitic members has also obscured the origins of parasitism within the order. We conducted a phylogenomic analysis on the order Psocodea utilizing both transcriptome and genome sequencing to obtain a data set of 2370 orthologous genes. All phylogenomic analyses, including both concatenated and coalescent methods suggest a single origin of parasitism within the order Psocodea, resolving conflicting results from previous studies. This phylogeny allows us to propose a stable ordinal level classification scheme that retains significant taxonomic names present in historical scientific literature and reflects the evolution of the group as a whole. A dating analysis, with internal nodes calibrated by fossil evidence, suggests an origin of parasitism that predates the K-Pg boundary. Nucleotide compositional biases are detected in third and first codon positions and result in the anomalous placement of the Amphientometae as sister to Psocomorpha when all nucleotide sites are analyzed. Likelihood-mapping and quartet sampling methods demonstrate that base compositional biases can also have an effect on quartet-based methods.[Illumina; Phthiraptera; Psocoptera; quartet sampling; recoding methods.] 
    more » « less