Project description:Reconstructing the phylogenetic relationships that unite all lineages (the tree of life) is a grand challenge. The paucity of homologous character data across disparately related lineages currently renders direct phylogenetic inference untenable. To reconstruct a comprehensive tree of life, we therefore synthesized published phylogenies, together with taxonomic classifications for taxa never incorporated into a phylogeny. We present a draft tree containing 2.3 million tips-the Open Tree of Life. Realization of this tree required the assembly of two additional community resources: (i) a comprehensive global reference taxonomy and (ii) a database of published phylogenetic trees mapped to this taxonomy. Our open source framework facilitates community comment and contribution, enabling the tree to be continuously updated when new phylogenetic and taxonomic data become digitally available. Although data coverage and phylogenetic conflict across the Open Tree of Life illuminate gaps in both the underlying data available for phylogenetic reconstruction and the publication of trees as digital objects, the tree provides a compelling starting point for community contribution. This comprehensive tree will fuel fundamental research on the nature of biological diversity, ultimately providing up-to-date phylogenies for downstream applications in comparative biology, ecology, conservation biology, climate change, agriculture, and genomics.
Project description:Comparative genomic analyses of primates offer considerable potential to define and understand the processes that mold, shape, and transform the human genome. However, primate taxonomy is both complex and controversial, with marginal unifying consensus of the evolutionary hierarchy of extant primate species. Here we provide new genomic sequence (~8 Mb) from 186 primates representing 61 (~90%) of the described genera, and we include outgroup species from Dermoptera, Scandentia, and Lagomorpha. The resultant phylogeny is exceptionally robust and illuminates events in primate evolution from ancient to recent, clarifying numerous taxonomic controversies and providing new data on human evolution. Ongoing speciation, reticulate evolution, ancient relic lineages, unequal rates of evolution, and disparate distributions of insertions/deletions among the reconstructed primate lineages are uncovered. Our resolution of the primate phylogeny provides an essential evolutionary framework with far-reaching applications including: human selection and adaptation, global emergence of zoonotic diseases, mammalian comparative genomics, primate taxonomy, and conservation of endangered species.
Project description:We introduce a dataset of biological, ecological, conservation and legal information for every species and subspecies of Australian bird, 2056 taxa or populations in total. Version 1 contains 230 fields grouped under the following headings: Taxonomy & nomenclature, Phylogeny, Australian population status, Conservation status, Legal status, Distribution, Morphology, Habitat, Food, Behaviour, Breeding, Mobility and Climate metrics. It is envisaged that the dataset will be updated periodically with new data for existing fields and the addition of new fields. The dataset has already had, and will continue to have applications in Australian and international ornithology, especially those that require standard information for a large number of taxa.
Project description:Species evolutionary relationships have traditionally been defined by sequence similarities of phylogenetic marker molecules, recently followed by whole-genome phylogenies based on gene order, average ortholog similarity or gene content. Here, we introduce genome conservation--a novel metric of evolutionary distances between species that simultaneously takes into account, both gene content and sequence similarity at the whole-genome level. Genome conservation represents a robust distance measure, as demonstrated by accurate phylogenetic reconstructions. The genome conservation matrix for all presently sequenced organisms exhibits a remarkable ability to define evolutionary relationships across all taxonomic ranges. An assessment of taxonomic ranks with genome conservation shows that certain ranks are inadequately described and raises the possibility for a more precise and quantitative taxonomy in the future. All phylogenetic reconstructions are available at the genome phylogeny server: <http://maine.ebi.ac.uk:8000/cgi-bin/gps/GPS.pl>.
Project description:Trypanosoma rangeli is an important hemoflagellate parasite of several mammalian species in Central and South America, sharing geographical areas, vectors and reservoirs with T. cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas disease. Thus, the occurrence of single and/or mixed infections, including in humans, must be expected and are of great importance for specific diagnosis and epidemiology. In comparison to several Trypanosomatidae species, the T. rangeli biology and genome are little known, reinforcing the needs of a gene discovery initiative. The T. rangeli transcriptome initiative aims to promote gene discovery through the generation of expressed sequence tags (ESTs) and Orestes (ORF ESTs) from both epimastigote and trypomastigote forms of the parasite, allowing further studies of the parasite biology, taxonomy and phylogeny.
Project description:Golden jackal (Canis aureus) expansion in the last decades has triggered research interest in Europe. However, jackal phylogeny and taxonomy are still controversial. Morphometric studies in Europe found differences between Dalmatian and the other European jackals. Recent genetic studies revealed that African and Eurasian golden jackals are distinct species. Moreover, large Canis aureus lupaster may be a cryptic subspecies of the African golden jackal. Although genetic studies suggest changes in Canis aureus taxonomy, morphological and morphometric studies are still needed. The present study proposes the first comprehensive analysis on a wide scale of golden jackal skull morphometry. Extensive morphometric data of jackal skulls from Europe (including a very large Bulgarian sample), Asia Minor, and North Africa were analysed, by applying recently developed statistical tools, to address the following questions: (i) is there geographic variation in skull size and shape among populations from Europe, Anatolia and the Caucasus?, (ii) is the jackal population from the Dalmatian coast different?, and (iii) is there a clear distinction between the Eurasian golden jackal (Canis aureus) and the African wolf (Canis lupaster sensu lato), and among populations of African wolves as well? Principal component analysis and linear discriminant analysis were applied on the standardized and log-transformed ratios of the original measurements to clearly separate specimens by shape and size. The results suggest that jackals from Europe, Anatolia and the Caucasus belong to one subspecies: Canis aureus moreotica (I. Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 1835), despite the differences in shape of Dalmatian specimens. The present study confirmed morphometrically that all jackals included so far in the taxon Canis aureus sensu lato may represent three taxa and supports the hypothesis that at least two different taxa (species?) of Canis occur in North Africa, indicating the need for further genetic, morphological, behavioural and ecological research to resolve the taxonomic uncertainty. The results are consistent with recent genetic and morphological studies and give further insights on golden jackal taxonomy. Understanding the species phylogeny and taxonomy is crucial for the conservation and management of the expanding golden jackal population in Europe.
Project description:UNLABELLED:DNA barcode is a new tool for taxon recognition and classification of biological organisms based on sequence of a fragment of mitochondrial gene, cytochrome c oxidase I (COI). In view of the growing importance of the fish DNA barcoding for species identification, molecular taxonomy and fish diversity conservation, we developed a Fish Barcode Information System (FBIS) for Indian fishes, which will serve as a regional DNA barcode archival and analysis system. The database presently contains 2334 sequence records of COI gene for 472 aquatic species belonging to 39 orders and 136 families, collected from available published data sources. Additionally, it contains information on phenotype, distribution and IUCN Red List status of fishes. The web version of FBIS was designed using MySQL, Perl and PHP under Linux operating platform to (a) store and manage the acquisition (b) analyze and explore DNA barcode records (c) identify species and estimate genetic divergence. FBIS has also been integrated with appropriate tools for retrieving and viewing information about the database statistics and taxonomy. It is expected that FBIS would be useful as a potent information system in fish molecular taxonomy, phylogeny and genomics. AVAILABILITY:The database is available for free at http://mail.nbfgr.res.in/fbis/
Project description:Venturia carpophila causes peach scab, a disease that renders peach (Prunus persica) fruit unmarketable. We report a high-quality draft genome sequence (36.9 Mb) of V. carpophila from an isolate collected from a peach tree in central Georgia in the United States. The genome annotation is described and a phylogenetic analysis of the pathogen is presented. The genome sequence will be a useful resource for various studies on the pathogen, including the biology and ecology, taxonomy and phylogeny, host interaction and coevolution, isolation and characterization of genes of interest, and development of molecular markers for genotyping and mapping.
Project description:Understanding how phenotypic differences between males and females arise from the sex-biased expression of nearly identical genomes can reveal important insights into the biology and evolution of a species. Among Anopheles mosquito species, these phenotypic differences include vectorial capacity, as it is only females that blood feed and thus transmit human malaria. Here, we use RNA-seq data from multiple tissues of four vector species spanning the Anopheles phylogeny to explore the genomic and evolutionary properties of sex-biased genes. We find that, in these mosquitoes, in contrast to what has been found in many other organisms, female-biased genes are more rapidly evolving in sequence, expression, and genic turnover than male-biased genes. Our results suggest that this atypical pattern may be due to the combination of sex-specific life history challenges encountered by females, such as blood feeding. Furthermore, female propensity to mate only once in nature in male swarms likely diminishes sexual selection of post-reproductive traits related to sperm competition among males. We also develop a comparative framework to systematically explore tissue- and sex-specific splicing to document its conservation throughout the genus and identify a set of candidate genes for future functional analyses of sex-specific isoform usage. Finally, our data reveal that the deficit of male-biased genes on the X Chromosomes in Anopheles is a conserved feature in this genus and can be directly attributed to chromosome-wide transcriptional regulation that de-masculinizes the X in male reproductive tissues.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Hybridization events are relatively common in vascular plants. However, the frequency of these events is unevenly distributed across the plant phylogeny. Plant families in which individual species are pollinated by specific pollinator species are predicted to be less prone to hybridization than other families. However, exceptions may occur within these families, when pollinators shift host-plant species. Indeed, host shifts are expected to increase the rate of hybridization events. Pollinators of Ficus section Galoglychia are suspected to have changed host repeatedly, based on several cases of incongruence between plant phylogeny and taxonomy, and insect phylogeny and taxonomy. We tracked cyto-nuclear discordance across section Galoglychia as evidence for hybridization. To achieve a proper global view, we first clarified the monophyly of section Galoglychia as it had been questioned by recent phylogenetic studies. Moreover, we investigated if fig size could be a factor facilitating host shifts. RESULTS:Phylogenetic chloroplast and nuclear results demonstrated the monophyly of section Galoglychia. Within section Galoglychia, we detected several cases of statistically significant cyto-nuclear discordance. Discordances concern both terminal nodes of the phylogenetic trees and one deep node defining relationships between subsections. Because nuclear phylogeny is congruent with morphological taxonomy, discordances were caused by the chloroplast phylogeny. Introgressive hybridization was the most likely explanation for these discordances. We also detected that subsections pollinated by several wasp genera had smaller figs and were pollinated by smaller wasps than subsections pollinated by a single wasp genus. CONCLUSION:As hypothesized, we discovered evidences of past hybridization in Ficus section Galoglychia. Further, introgression was only detected in subsections presenting incongruence between plant and pollinator phylogenies and taxonomy. This supports the hypothesis that host shift is the cause for plant-pollinator incongruence. Moreover, small fig size could facilitate host shifts. Eventually, this study demonstrates that non-coding chloroplast markers are valuable to resolve deep nodes in Ficus phylogeny.