Between a Pod and a Hard Test: The Deep Evolution of Amoebae.
ABSTRACT: Amoebozoa is the eukaryotic supergroup sister to Obazoa, the lineage that contains the animals and Fungi, as well as their protistan relatives, and the breviate and apusomonad flagellates. Amoebozoa is extraordinarily diverse, encompassing important model organisms and significant pathogens. Although amoebozoans are integral to global nutrient cycles and present in nearly all environments, they remain vastly understudied. We present a robust phylogeny of Amoebozoa based on broad representative set of taxa in a phylogenomic framework (325 genes). By sampling 61 taxa using culture-based and single-cell transcriptomics, our analyses show two major clades of Amoebozoa, Discosea, and Tevosa. This phylogeny refutes previous studies in major respects. Our results support the hypothesis that the last common ancestor of Amoebozoa was sexual and flagellated, it also may have had the ability to disperse propagules from a sporocarp-type fruiting body. Overall, the main macroevolutionary patterns in Amoebozoa appear to result from the parallel losses of homologous characters of a multiphase life cycle that included flagella, sex, and sporocarps rather than independent acquisition of convergent features.
Project description:Although it is well known that nitrogen (N) additions strongly affect ectomycorrhizal (EM) fungal community composition, less is known about how different N application rates and duration of N additions affect the functional role EM fungi play in the forest N cycle.We measured EM sporocarp abundance and species richness as well as determined the ? (15)N in EM sporocarps and tree foliage in two Pinus sylvestris forests characterized by short- and long-term N addition histories and multiple N addition treatments. After 20 and 39 years of N additions, two of the long-term N addition treatments were terminated, thereby providing a unique opportunity to examine the temporal recovery of EM sporocarps after cessation of high N loading.In general, increasing N availability significantly reduced EM sporocarp production, species richness, and the amount of N retained in EM sporocarps. However, these general responses were strongly dependent on the application rate and duration of N additions. The annual addition of 20 kg·N·ha(-1) for the past 6 years resulted in a slight increase in the production and retention of N in EM sporocarps, whereas the addition of 100 kg·N·ha(-1)·yr(-1) during the same period nearly eliminated EM sporocarps. In contrast, long-term additions of N at rates of ca. 35 or 70 kg·N·ha(-1)·yr(-1) for the past 40 years did not eliminate tree carbon allocation to EM sporocarps, although there was a decrease in the abundance and a shift in the dominant EM sporocarp taxa. Despite no immediate recovery, EM sporocarp abundance and species richness approached those of the control 20 years after terminating N additions in the most heavily fertilized treatment, suggesting a recovery of carbon allocation to EM sporocarps after cessation of high N loading.Our results provide evidence for a tight coupling between tree carbon allocation to and N retention in EM sporocarps and moreover highlight the potential use of ? (15)N in EM sporocarps as a relative index of EM fungal sink strength for N. However, nitrogen additions at high dosage rates or over long time periods appear to disrupt this feedback, which could have important ramifications on carbon and nitrogen dynamics in these forested ecosystems.
Project description:Sex is beneficial in eukaryotes as it can increase genetic diversity, reshuffle their genomes, and purge deleterious mutations. Yet, its evolution remains a mystery. The eukaryotic clade supergroup Amoebozoa encompasses diverse lineages of polymorphic amoeboid forms, including both free-living and parasitic lineages. The group is generally believed to be asexual, though recent studies show that some of its members are implicated in cryptic forms of sexual cycles. In this study, we conduct a comprehensive inventory and analysis of genes involved in meiosis and related processes, in order to investigate the evolutionary history of sex in the clade. We analyzed genomic and transcriptomic data of 39 amoebozoans representing all major subclades of Amoebozoa. Our results show that Amoebozoa possess most of the genes exclusive to meiosis but lack genes encoding synaptonemal complex (SC). The absence of SC genes is discussed in the context of earlier studies that reported ultrastructural evidence of SC in some amoebae. We also find interclade and intrageneric variation in sex gene distribution, indicating diversity in sexual pathways in the group. Particularly, members of Mycetozoa engage in a novel sexual pathway independent of the universally conserved meiosis initiator gene, SPO11. Our findings strongly suggest that not only do amoebozoans possess sex genes in their genomes, but also, based on the transcriptome evidence, the present sex genes are functional. We conclude that Amoebozoa is ancestrally sexual, contrary to the long held belief that most of its members are asexual. Thus, asexuality in Amoebozoa, if confirmed to be present, is a derived-trait that appeared later in their evolution.
Project description:The existence of mitochondria-related organelles (MROs) is proposed for eukaryotic organisms. The Amoebozoa includes some organisms that are known to have mitosomes but also organisms that have aerobic mitochondria. However, the mitochondrial protein apparatus of this supergroup remains largely unsampled, except for the mitochondrial outer membrane import complexes studied recently. Therefore, in this study we investigated the mitochondrial inner membrane and intermembrane space complexes, using the available genome and transcriptome sequences.When compared with the canonical cognate complexes described for the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, amoebozoans with aerobic mitochondria, display lower differences in the number of subunits predicted for these complexes than the mitochondrial outer membrane complexes, although the predicted subunits appear to display different levels of diversity in regard to phylogenetic position and isoform numbers. For the putative mitosome-bearing amoebozoans, the number of predicted subunits suggests the complex elimination distinctly more pronounced than in the case of the outer membrane ones.The results concern the problem of mitochondrial and mitosome protein import machinery structural variability and the reduction of their complexity within the currently defined supergroup of Amoebozoa. This results are crucial for better understanding of the Amoebozoa taxa of both biomedical and evolutionary importance.
Project description:Integration of ultrastructural and molecular sequence data has revealed six supergroups of eukaryote organisms (excavates, Rhizaria, chromalveolates, Plantae, Amoebozoa and opisthokonts), and the root of the eukaryote evolutionary tree is suggested to lie between unikonts (Amoebozoa, opisthokonts) and bikonts (the other supergroups). However, some smaller lineages remain of uncertain affinity. One of these unassigned taxa is the anaerobic, free-living, amoeboid flagellate Breviata anathema, which is of key significance as it is unclear whether it is a unikont (i.e. possibly the deepest branching amoebozoan) or a bikont. To establish its evolutionary position, we sequenced thousands of Breviata genes and calculated trees using 78 protein sequences. Our trees and specific substitutions in the 18S RNA sequence indicate that Breviata is related to other Amoebozoa, thereby significantly increasing the cellular diversity of this phylum and establishing Breviata as a deep-branching unikont. We discuss the implications of these results for the ancestral state of Amoebozoa and eukaryotes generally, demonstrating that phylogenomics of phylogenetically 'nomadic' species can elucidate key questions in eukaryote evolution. Furthermore, mitochondrial genes among the Breviata ESTs demonstrate that Breviata probably contains a modified anaerobic mitochondrion. With these findings, remnants of mitochondria have been detected in all putatively deep-branching amitochondriate organisms.
Project description:The habitat partitioning hypothesis provides a conceptual framework for explaining the maintenance of plant and animal diversity. Its central tenet assumes environmental conditions are spatially structured, and that this structure is reflected in species distributions through associations with different habitats. Studies confirming habitat partitioning effects have focused primarily on spatial distributions of plants and animals, with habitat partitioning hypothesis under explored for macrofungi. Here, we examined the sporocarps of macrofungi in a 5-ha forest dynamics plot in China. We used four different methods to define microhabitats for habitat partitioning analyses based on topography, understory light availability, plant community, or a combination of these factors, and analyzed the effect of microhabitat partitioning on epigeous macrofungal community. Our results showed that the characteristics of the macrofungal assemblages varied among the habitats. A total of 85 species examined were associated with one or more of the habitat types (85/125, 68%). The factors related to the sporocarp composition differed among the various microhabitats. Our findings suggest that different microhabitats favor occurrence of different macrofungal species, and sporocarps -environment relation varied among the different microhabitats at this temperate mountain forest locality. These findings shed new light to the biodiversity conservation in macrofungi in temperate deciduous broad-leaved forest and point to the potential importance of microhabitat partitioning for sporocarp formation.
Project description:Evolution of lineage diversification through time is an active area of research where much progress has been made in the last decade. Contrary to the situation in animals and plants little is known about how diversification rates have evolved in most major groups of protist. This is mainly due to uncertainty about phylogenetic relationships, scarcity of the protist fossil record and the unknown diversity within these lineages. We have analyzed the evolutionary history of the supergroup Amoebozoa over the last 1000 million years using molecular dating and species number estimates. After an origin in the marine environment we have dated the colonization of terrestrial habitats by three distinct lineages of Amoebozoa: Dictyostelia, Myxogastria and Arcellinida. The common ancestor of the two sister taxa, Dictyostelia and Myxogastria, appears to have existed before the colonization of land by plants. In contrast Arcellinida seems to have diversify in synchrony with land plant radiation, and more specifically with that of mosses. Detection of acceleration of diversification rates in Myxogastria and Arcellinida points to a co-evolution within the terrestrial habitats, where land plants and the amoebozoans may have interacted during the evolution of these new ecosystems.
Project description:Mushrooms are important non-wood-forest-products in many Mediterranean ecosystems, being highly vulnerable to climate change. However, the ecological scales of variation of mushroom productivity and diversity, and climate dependence has been usually overlooked due to a lack of available data. We determined the spatio-temporal variability of epigeous sporocarps and the climatic factors driving their fruiting to plan future sustainable management of wild mushrooms production. We collected fruiting bodies in Pinus sylvestris stands along an elevation gradient for 8 consecutive years. Overall, sporocarp biomass was mainly dependent on inter-annual variations, whereas richness was more spatial-scale dependent. Elevation was not significant, but there were clear elevational differences in biomass and richness patterns between ectomycorrhizal and saprotrophic guilds. The main driver of variation was late-summer-early-autumn precipitation. Thus, different scale processes (inter-annual vs. spatial-scale) drive sporocarp biomass and diversity patterns; temporal effects for biomass and ectomycorrhizal fungi vs. spatial scale for diversity and saprotrophic fungi. The significant role of precipitation across fungal guilds and spatio-temporal scales indicates that it is a limiting resource controlling sporocarp production and diversity in Mediterranean regions. The high spatial and temporal variability of mushrooms emphasize the need for long-term datasets of multiple spatial points to effectively characterize fungal fruiting patterns.
Project description:Fungal acquisition of resources is difficult to assess in the field. To determine whether fungi received carbon from recent plant photosynthate, litter or soil-derived organic (C:N bonded) nitrogen, we examined differences in ?13C among bulk tissue, structural carbon, and protein extracts of sporocarps of three fungal types: saprotrophic fungi, fungi with hydrophobic ectomycorrhizae, or fungi with hydrophilic ectomycorrhizae. Sporocarps were collected from experimental plots of the Duke Free-air CO2 enrichment experiment during and after CO2 enrichment. The differential 13C labeling of ecosystem pools in CO2 enrichment experiments was tracked into fungi and provided novel insights into organic nitrogen use. Specifically, sporocarp ?13C as well as ?15N of protein and structural material indicated that fungi with hydrophobic ectomycorrhizae used soil-derived organic nitrogen sources for protein carbon, fungi with hydrophilic ectomycorrhizae used recent plant photosynthates for protein carbon and both fungal groups used photosynthates for structural carbon. Saprotrophic fungi depended on litter produced during fumigation for both protein and structural material.
Project description:Macrofungus is defined as the fungus that grows an observable sporocarp. The sporocarps of many species are commonly called mushrooms and consumed by people all around the world as food and/or medicine. Most macrofungi belong to the divisions Basidiomycetes and Ascomycetes, which are estimated to contain more than 80,000 species in total. We report the draft genome assemblies of macrofungi (83 Basidiomycetes species and 7 Ascomycetes species) based on Illumina sequencing. The genome sizes of these species ranged from 27.4?Mb (Hygrophorus russula) to 202.2 MB (Chroogomphus rutilus). The numbers of protein-coding genes were predicted in the range of 9,511 (Hygrophorus russula) to 52,289 (Craterellus lutescens). This study provides the largest genomic dataset for macrofungi species. This resource will facilitate the artificial cultivation of edible mushrooms and the discovery of novel drug candidates.
Project description:Tricholoma matsutake is an ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungus capable of in vitro saprotrophic growth, but the sources of C and N used to generate sporocarps in vivo are not well understood. We examined natural abundance isotope data to investigate this phenomenon. For this purpose, C, N and their stable isotopes (13C, 15N) content of fungal sporocarps and their potential nutrient sources (i.e., foliage, litter, fine roots, wood, and soil) were investigated from two well-studied sites in Finland and Japan. Our results show that ?13C values of T. matsutake and other fungal groups are consistent with those of most studies, but a very high ?15N value (16.8‰?±?2.3) is observed in T. matsutake. Such isotopic pattern of fungal ?15N suggests that matsutake has a greater proteolytic potential to digest chemically complex 15N-enriched organic matter and hydrophobic hyphae. This assumption is further supported by a significant and positive correlation between ?13Ccap-stipe and ?15Ncap-stipe exclusively in T. matsutake, which suggests common C and N sources (protein) possible for isotopically enriched cap. The 13C increase of caps relative to stipe presumably reflects greater contents of 13C-enriched protein than 13C-depleted chitin. We conclude that T. matsutake is a typical ECM fungus which obtains for its sporocarp development for both C and N from a common protein source (vs. photosynthetic carbon) present in soil organic matter.