Diversity of epithelial morphogenesis during eggshell formation in drosophilids.
ABSTRACT: The eggshells of drosophilid species provide a powerful model for studying the origins of morphological diversity. The dorsal appendages, or respiratory filaments, of these eggshells display a remarkable interspecies variation in number and shape, and the epithelial patterning underlying the formation of these structures is an area of active research. To extend the analysis of dorsal appendage formation to include morphogenesis, we developed an improved 3D image reconstruction approach. This approach revealed considerable interspecies variation in the cell shape changes and neighbor exchanges underlying appendage formation. Specifically, although the appendage floor in Drosophila melanogaster is formed through spatially ordered neighbor exchanges, the same structure in Scaptodrosophila pattersoni is formed through extreme changes in cell shape, whereas Drosophila funebris appears to display a combination of both cellular mechanisms. Furthermore, localization patterns of Par3/Bazooka suggest a self-organized, cell polarity-based origin for the variability of appendage number in S. pattersoni. Our results suggest that species deploy different combinations of apically and basally driven mechanisms to convert a two-dimensional primordium into a three-dimensional structure, and provide new directions for exploring the molecular origins of interspecies morphological variation.
Project description:Deciphering the evolution of morphological structures is a remaining challenge in the field of developmental biology. The respiratory structures of insect eggshells, called the dorsal appendages, provide an outstanding system for exploring these processes since considerable information is known about their patterning and morphogenesis in Drosophila melanogaster and dorsal appendage number and morphology vary widely across Drosophilid species. We investigated the patterning differences that might facilitate morphogenetic differences between D. melanogaster, which produces two oar-like structures first by wrapping and then elongating the tubes via cell intercalation and cell crawling, and Scaptodrosophila lebanonensis, which produces a variable number of appendages simply by cell intercalation and crawling. Analyses of BMP pathway components thickveins and P-Mad demonstrate that anterior patterning is conserved between these species. In contrast, EGF signaling exhibits significant differences. Transcripts for the ligand encoded by gurken localize similarly in the two species, but this morphogen creates a single dorsolateral primordium in S. lebanonensis as defined by activated MAP kinase and the downstream marker broad. Expression patterns of pointed, argos, and Capicua, early steps in the EGF pathway, exhibit a heterochronic shift in S. lebanonensis relative to those seen in D. melanogaster. We demonstrate that the S. lebanonensis Gurken homolog is active in D. melanogaster but is insufficient to alter downstream patterning responses, indicating that Gurken-EGF receptor interactions do not distinguish the two species' patterning. Altogether, these results differentiate EGF signaling patterns between species and shed light on how changes to the regulation of patterning genes may contribute to different tube-forming mechanisms.
Project description:Background:The use of large-scale genomic analyses has resulted in an improvement of transposable element sampling and a significant increase in the number of reported HTT (horizontal transfer of transposable elements) events by expanding the sampling of transposable element sequences in general and of specific families of these elements in particular, which were previously poorly sampled. In this study, we investigated the occurrence of HTT events in a group of elements that, until recently, were uncommon among the HTT records in Drosophila - the Jockey elements, members of the LINE (long interspersed nuclear element) order of non-LTR (long terminal repeat) retrotransposons. The sequences of 111 Jockey families deposited in Repbase that met the criteria of the analysis were used to identify Jockey sequences in 48 genomes of Drosophilidae (genus Drosophila, subgenus Sophophora: melanogaster, obscura and willistoni groups; subgenus Drosophila: immigrans, melanica, repleta, robusta, virilis and grimshawi groups; subgenus Dorsilopha: busckii group; genus/subgenus Zaprionus and genus Scaptodrosophila). Results:Phylogenetic analyses revealed 72 Jockey families in 41 genomes. Combined analyses revealed 15 potential HTT events between species belonging to different genera and species groups of Drosophilidae, providing evidence for the flow of genetic material favoured by the spatio-temporal sharing of these species present in the Palaeartic or Afrotropical region. Conclusions:Our results provide phylogenetic, biogeographic and temporal evidence of horizontal transfers of the Jockey elements, increase the number of rare records of HTT in specific families of LINE elements, increase the number of known occurrences of these events, and enable a broad understanding of the evolutionary dynamics of these elements and the host species.
Project description:This paper proposes a new methodology to quantify patterns of egg shape variation using geometric morphometrics of three-dimensional landmarks captured on digitally reconstructed eggshells and demonstrates its performance in capturing shape variation at multiple biological levels. This methodology offers unique benefits to complement established linear measurement or two-dimensional (2D) contour profiling techniques by (i) providing a more precise representation of eggshell curvature by accounting for variation across the entire surface of the egg; (ii) avoids the occurrence of correlations from combining multiple egg shape features; (iii) avoids error stemming from projecting a highly-curved three-dimensional (3D) object into 2D space; and (iv) enables integration into 3D workflows such as finite elements analysis. To demonstrate, we quantify patterns of egg shape variation and estimate morphological disparity at multiple biological levels, within and between clutches and among species of four passerine species of different lineages, using volumetric dataset obtained from micro computed tomography. The results indicate that species broadly have differently shaped eggs, but with extensive within-species variation so that all four-focal species occupy a range of shapes. Within-species variation is attributed to between-clutch differences in egg shape; within-clutch variation is surprisingly substantial. Recent comparative analyses that aim to explain shape variation among avian taxa have largely ignored potential biases due to within-species variation, or use methods limited to a narrow range of egg shapes. Through our approach, we suggest that there is appreciable variation in egg shape across clutches and that this variation needs to be accounted for in future research. The approach developed in this study to assess variation in shape is freely accessible and can be applied to any spherical-to-conical shaped object, including eggs of non-avian dinosaurs and reptiles through to other extant taxa such as poultry.
Project description:The Gekkota is an important clade in the evolution of calcified eggshells in that some of its families lay rigid eggshells like archosaurs. However, the fundamental differences and similarities between the mechanism of rigid eggshell formation of the Gekkota and Archosauria have not been investigated thoroughly due to the lack of knowledge of gekkotan eggshells. Here, we report for the first time a comprehensive analysis of morphological, chemical compositional, and crystallographic features of rigid and soft gekkotan eggshells. Exhaustive morphological description provided common characters for gekkotan eggshells, as well as unique features of each species. We found that elemental distribution of rigid gekkotan eggshells is different from that of avian eggshells, especially in the case of Mg and P. In addition, the crystallographic features (size, shape, and alignment of calcite grains) of gekkotan eggshells are completely different from those of archosaur eggshells. The result of this study suggests that soft gekkotan eggshells are morphologically more similar to tuatara eggshells rather than soft eggshells of derived squamates. The chemical compositional analysis suggests that the eggshell may act as a mineral reservoir for P and F as well as Ca. More importantly, all chemical compositions and crystallographic features imply that the gekkotan eggshell formation may begin at the outer surface and growing down to the inner surface, which is opposite to the direction of the archosaur eggshell formation. This character would be crucial for identifying fossil gekkotan eggs, which are poorly known in paleontology. All these lines of evidence support that soft gekkotan and tuatara eggshells share the primitive characters of all lepidosaurid eggshells. Finally, gekkotan and archosaur rigid eggshells represent a typical example of convergent evolution in the lineage of the Sauropsida.
Project description:We addressed the possibility of the horizontal transfer of long interspersed element (LINE)-like mobile elements by studying the distribution of the Drosophila melanogaster LINE-like element jockey in different Drosophila species. Outside the D. melanogaster group jockey was detected only in the distantly related species Drosophila funebris. Cloning and sequencing of this element from D. funebris revealed the existence of the two open reading frames highly similar to those of jockey from D. melanogaster. Elements from both species are transcriptionally active and contain in their promoter regions a conserved sequence important for its activity. The high degree of similarity between the D. melanogaster and the D. funebris jockey and the absence of jockey from other sibling species of the D. funebris group provide evidence for the horizontal transmission of jockey into D. funebris.
Project description:Elasmoid scales are the most common epithelial appendage among vertebrates, however an understanding of the genetic mechanisms that underlie variation in scale shape is lacking. Using an F2 mapping cross between morphologically distinct cichlid species, we identified >40 QTL for scale shape at different body positions. We show that while certain regions of the genome regulate variation in multiple scales, most are specific to scales at distinct positions. This suggests a degree of regional modularity in scale development. We also identified a single QTL for variation in scale shape disparity across the body. Finally, we screened a QTL hotspot for candidate loci, and identified the Fgf receptor fgfr1b as a prime target. Quantitative rtPCR and small molecule manipulation support a role for Fgf signaling in shaping cichlid scales. While Fgfs have previously been implicated in scale loss, these data reveal new roles for the pathway in scale shape variation.
Project description:Although homoploid hybrid speciation in plants is probably more common than previously realized, there are few well-documented cases of homoploid hybrid origin in conifers. We examined genetic divergence between two currently widespread pines in Northeast China, Pinus sylvestris var. mongolica and Pinus densiflora, and also whether two narrowly distributed pines in the same region, Pinus funebris and Pinus takahasii, might have originated from the two widespread species by homoploid hybrid speciation. Our results, based on population genetic analysis of chloroplast (cp), mitochondrial (mt) DNA, and nuclear gene sequence variation, showed that the two widespread species were divergent for both cp- and mtDNA variation, and also for haplotype variation at two of eight nuclear gene loci surveyed. Our analysis further indicated that P. sylvestris var. mongolica and P. densiflora remained allopatric during the most severe Quaternary glacial period that occurred in Northeast China, but subsequently exhibited rapid range expansions. P. funebris and P. takahasii, were found to contain a mixture of chlorotypes and nuclear haplotypes that distinguish P. sylvestris var. mongolica and P. densiflora, in support of the hypothesis that they possibly originated via homoploid hybrid speciation following secondary contact and hybridization between P. sylvestris var. mongolica and P. densiflora.
Project description:Chloroplast genome sequences have been used to understand evolutionary events and to infer efficiently phylogenetic relationships. <i>Callitropsis funebris</i> (Cupressaceae) is an endemic species in China. Its phylogenetic position is controversial due to morphological characters similar to those of <i>Cupressus</i>, <i>Callitropsis,</i> and <i>Chamaecyparis</i>. This study used next-generation sequencing technology to sequence the complete chloroplast genome of <i>Ca. funebris</i> and then constructed the phylogenetic relationship between <i>Ca. funebris</i> and its related species based on a variety of data sets and methods. Simple sequence repeats (SSRs) and adaptive evolution analysis were also conducted. Our results showed that the monophyletic branch consisting of <i>Ca. funebris</i> and <i>Cupressus tonkinensis</i> is a sister to <i>Cupressus,</i> while <i>Callitropsis</i> is not monophyletic; <i>Ca. nootkatensis</i> and <i>Ca. vietnamensis</i> are nested in turn at the base of the monophyletic group <i>Hesperocyparis</i>. The statistical results of SSRs supported the closest relationship between <i>Ca. funebris</i> and <i>Cupressus</i>. By performing adaptive evolution analysis under the phylogenetic background of Cupressales, the Branch model detected three genes and the Site model detected 10 genes under positive selection; and the Branch-Site model uncovered that <i>rpo</i>A has experienced positive selection in the <i>Ca. funebries</i> branch. Molecular analysis from the chloroplast genome highly supported that <i>Ca. funebris</i> is at the base of <i>Cupressus</i>. Of note, SSR features were found to be able to shed some light on phylogenetic relationships. In short, this chloroplast genomic study has provided new insights into the phylogeny of <i>Ca. funebris</i> and revealed multiple chloroplast genes possibly undergoing adaptive evolution.
Project description:Although widely studied, the natural diversity of the hard tick is not well known. In this study, we collected 194 sequences from 67 species, covering 7 genera of hard tick. The 5' region of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 region (586 bp) has been used to investigate intra- and inter-species variation and the phylogenetic tree of neighbor joining method has been used for assessment. As a result, by comparing the K2P-distance of intra- and interspecies, 30 samples (15.2%) shown that interspecies distance was larger than the minimum interspecfic distance. From the phylogenetic analysis, 86.8% (49) of the species were identified correctly at the genus level. On deeper analysis on these species suggested the possibility of presence cryptic species. Therefore, further work is required to delineate species boundaries and to develop a more complete understanding of hard tick diversity over larger scale.
Project description:Despite numerous studies, intra-species variation in bird eggs is still not well explained. In the presented studies, we investigated the possible sources of this variation: female factor, laying order, and season, using the following traits of Capercaillie eggs as an example: egg size and shape, eggshell lightness, and thickness. Samples were collected for three years from three Capercaillie breeding centres located in different parts of Poland, where birds are kept in conditions close to their natural habitat and have a similar diet. The obtained results showed no significant impact of laying order on egg size, shape, pigmentation, nor eggshell thickness. This indicates that the provided nutrition ensures an adequate supply of minerals for the entire laying period. Most results did not show statistically significant differences between eggs from different breeding centres, but in one breeding centre, eggshells had lighter pigmentation. We assume the observed differences may result from females' individual features or local environmental conditions. Egg traits were highly consistent for individual females, proving that visual identification can be useful in identifying the eggs of different females.