Project description:Epigenetic inheritance plays an important role in mediating alternative phenotype in highly social species. In order to gain a greater understanding of epigenetic effects in societies, we investigated DNA methylation in the termite Zootermopsis nevadensis. Termites are the most ancient social insects, and developmentally distinct from highly-studied, hymenopteran social insects. We used replicated bisulfite-sequencing to investigate patterns of DNA methylation in both sexes and among castes of Z. nevadensis. We discovered that Z. nevadensis displayed some of the highest levels of DNA methylation found in insects. We also found strong differences in methylation between castes. Methylated genes tended to be uniformly and highly expressed demonstrating the antiquity of associations between intragenic methylation and gene expression. Differentially methylated genes were more likely to be alternatively spliced than not differentially methylated genes, and possessed considerable enrichment for development-associated functions. We further observed strong overrepresentation of multiple transcription factor binding sites and miRNA profiles associated with differential methylation, providing new insights into the possible function of DNA methylation. Overall, our results show that DNA methylation is widespread and associated with caste differences in termites. More generally, this study provides insights into the function of DNA methylation and the success of insect societies.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Sheepshead minnow (Cyprinodon variegatus) are small fish capable of withstanding exposure to very low levels of dissolved oxygen, as well as extreme temperatures and salinities. It is an important model in understanding the impacts and biological response to hypoxia and co-occurring compounding stressors such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, endocrine disrupting chemicals, metals and herbicides. Here, we initiated a project to sequence and analyze over 10,000 ESTs generated from the Sheepshead minnow (Cyprinodon variegatus) as a resource for investigating stressor responses. RESULTS: We sequenced 10,858 EST clones using a normalized cDNA library made from larval, embryonic and adult suppression subtractive hybridization-PCR (SSH) libraries. Post- sequencing processing led to 8,099 high quality sequences. Clustering analysis of these ESTs indentified 4,223 unique sequences containing 1,053 contigs and 3,170 singletons. BLASTX searches produced 1,394 significant (E-value < 10-5) hits and further Gene Ontology (GO) analysis annotated 388 of these genes. All the EST sequences were deposited by Expressed Sequence Tags database (dbEST) in GenBank (GenBank: GE329585 to GE337683). Gene discovery and annotations are presented and discussed. This set of ESTs represents a significant proportion of the Sheepshead minnow (Cyprinodon variegatus) transcriptome, and provides a material basis for the development of microarrays useful for further gene expression studies in association with stressors such as hypoxia, cadmium, chromium and pyrene.
Project description:The coastal South American species Cyprinodon dearborni contains two lineages distinct at both mitochondrial and nuclear loci. One appears to be a long-term South American endemic, whereas the other is a more recent colonizer related to the widespread Cyprinodon variegatus.
Project description:The Collared Crow (<i>Corvus pectoralis</i>), in the order Passeriformes, it widely distributed in large areas encompassing China and northern Vietnam. It is a vulnerable bird that is of international concern. In this study, we first sequenced and described the complete mitochondrial genome and phylogeny of <i>C. pectoralis</i>. The results showed that the whole genome of <i>C. pectoralis</i> was 16,857?bp long and contains 13 PCGs, 2 ribosomal RNA genes, 23 transfer RNA genes, and 1 loop region. The overall base composition of the mitochondrial DNA was 31.13% for A, 29.52% for C, 24.46% for T, and 14.89% for G, with a GC content of 44.41%. The phylogenetic tree showed that <i>C. pectoralis</i> was clustered with <i>C. brachyrhynchos</i> and then together with other two crows in family Passeriformes. This information will be useful in the current understanding of the phylogeny and evolution of Passeriformes.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Thermacarus nevadensis Marshall, 1928 is an uncommonly collected mite associated with hot spring environments in the western United States. Information on its distribution and ecology are incomplete. NEW INFORMATION:In this paper, we report Thermacarus nevadensis from northern British Columbia. These records represent the first of Thermacaridae from Canada, the most northern records of this species in North America, and the most northern records for the family globally. We also provide short notes and images of the habitats in which specimens have been collected in Canada.