Project description:Human sapovirus has been shown to be one of the most important etiologies in pediatric patients with acute diarrhea. However, very limited data are available about the causative roles and epidemiology of sapovirus in community settings. A nested matched case-control study within a birth cohort study of acute diarrhea in a peri-urban community in Peru from 2007 to 2010 was conducted to investigate the attributable fraction (AF) and genetic diversity of sapovirus. By quantitative reverse transcription-real-time PCR (qPCR) sapovirus was detected in 12.4% (37/299) of diarrheal and 5.7% (17/300) of nondiarrheal stools (P = 0.004). The sapovirus AF (7.1%) was higher in the second year (13.2%) than in the first year (1.4%) of life of children. Ten known genotypes and one novel cluster (n = 5) within four genogroups (GI, GII, GIV, and GV) were identified by phylogenetic analysis of a partial VP1 gene. Further sequence analysis of the full VP1 gene revealed a possible novel genotype, tentatively named GII.8. Notably, symptomatic reinfections with different genotypes within the same (n = 3) or different (n = 5) genogroups were observed in eight children. Sapovirus exhibited a high attributable burden for acute gastroenteritis, especially in the second year of life, of children in a Peruvian community. Further large-scale studies are needed to understand better the global burden, genetic diversity, and repeated infections of sapovirus.
Project description:Sapovirus is a genus of caliciviruses that are known to cause enteric disease in humans and animals. There is considerable genetic diversity among the sapoviruses, which are classified into different genogroups based on phylogenetic analysis of the full-length capsid protein sequence. While several mammalian species, including humans, pigs, minks, and dogs, have been identified as animal hosts for sapoviruses, there were no reports of sapoviruses in bats in spite of their biological diversity. In this report, we present the results of a targeted surveillance study in different bat species in Hong Kong. Five of the 321 specimens from the bat species, Hipposideros pomona, were found to be positive for sapoviruses by RT-PCR. Complete or nearly full-length genome sequences of approximately 7.7 kb in length were obtained for three strains, which showed similar organization of the genome compared to other sapoviruses. Interestingly, they possess many genomic features atypical of most sapoviruses, like high G+C content and minimal CpG suppression. Phylogenetic analysis of the viral proteins suggested that the bat sapovirus descended from an ancestral sapovirus lineage and is most closely related to the porcine sapoviruses. Codon usage analysis showed that the bat sapovirus genome has greater codon usage bias relative to other sapovirus genomes. In summary, we report the discovery and genomic characterization of the first bat calicivirus, which appears to have evolved under different conditions after early divergence from other sapovirus lineages.
Project description:Understanding diversity patterns and the potential mechanisms driving them is a fundamental goal in ecology. Examination of different dimensions of biodiversity can provide insights into the relative importance of different processes acting upon biotas to shape communities. Unfortunately, patterns of diversity are still poorly understood in hyper-diverse tropical countries. Here, we assess spatial variation of taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic diversity of bat assemblages in one of the least studied Neotropical countries, Bolivia, and determine whether changes in biodiversity are explained by the replacement of species or functional groups, or by differences in richness (i.e., gain or loss of species or functional groups). Further, we evaluate the contribution of phylogenetic and taxonomic changes in the resulting patterns of functional diversity of bats. Using well-sampled assemblages from published studies we examine noctilionoid bats at ten study sites across five ecoregions in Bolivia. Bat assemblages differed from each other in all dimensions of biodiversity considered; however, diversity patterns for each dimension were likely structured by different mechanisms. Within ecoregions, differences were largely explained by species richness, suggesting that the gain or loss of species or functional groups (as opposed to replacement) was driving dissimilarity patterns. Overall, our results suggest that whereas evolutionary processes (i.e., historical connection and dispersal routes across Bolivia) create a template of diversity patterns across the country, ecological mechanisms modify these templates, decoupling the observed patterns of functional, taxonomic and phylogenetic diversity in Bolivian bats. Our results suggests that elevation represents an important source of variability among diversity patterns for each dimension of diversity considered. Further, we found that neither phylogenetic nor taxonomic diversity can fully account for patterns of functional diversity, highlighting the need for examining different dimensions of biodiversity of bats in hyperdiverse ecosystems.
Project description:Sapovirus enteric disease affects people of all ages across the globe, in both sporadic cases and outbreak settings. Sapovirus is seldom assessed in Germany and its epidemiology in the country is essentially unknown. Thus, sapovirus occurrence and genetic diversity were studied by real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and partial sequencing of major viral structural protein (VP1) gene in two different sets of stool samples: 1) a selection of 342 diarrheal stools collected from inpatient children during 2008-2009, and 2) 5555 stool samples collected during 2010-2018 from inpatients of all age groups with gastrointestinal complaints. Results showed year-round circulation of sapoviruses, with peaks during cooler months. In total, 30 samples (8.8%) of the first and 112 samples of the second set of samples (2.0%) were sapovirus positive. Capsid gene sequencing was successful in 134/142 samples (94.4%) and showed circulation of all known human pathogenic genogroups. Genotype GI.1 predominated (31.8%), followed by GII.1 (16.7%), GII.3 (14.5%), GI.2 (13.8%) and GV.1 (12.3%). Additionally, minor circulation of GI.3, GI.6, GII.2, GII.4, GII.6 and GIV.1 was shown. Consequently, sapovirus diagnostics need broadly reactive RT-PCR protocols and should particularly be considered in infants and young children. Further studies from other sampling sites are essential to extend our knowledge on sapovirus epidemiology in Germany.
Project description:Different non-mutually exclusive mechanisms interactively shape large-scale diversity patterns. However, our understanding of multi-faceted diversity and their determinants in aquatic ecosystems is far from complete compared to terrestrial ones. Here, we use variation partitioning based on redundancy analysis to analyze the relative contribution of environmental and spatial variables to the patterns of phylogenetic, taxonomic, and functional diversity in macrophyte assemblages across 214 Chinese watersheds. We found extremely high spatial congruence among most aspects of biodiversity, with some important exceptions. We then used variation partitioning to estimate the proportions of variation in macrophyte biodiversity explained by environmental and spatial variables. All diversity facets were optimally explained by spatially structured environmental variables, not the pure environment effect, implying that macrophyte are taxonomically, phylogenetically, and functionally clustered in space, which might be the result of the interaction of environmental and/or evolutionary drives. We demonstrate that macrophytes might face extensive dispersal limitations across watersheds such as topography and habitat fragmentation and availability.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Understanding how phenotypic variation scales from individuals, through populations, up to species, and how it relates to genetic and environmental factors, is essential for deciphering the evolutionary mechanisms that drive biodiversity. We used two species of Podarcis wall lizards to test whether phenotypic diversity within and divergence across populations follow concordant patterns, and to examine how phenotypic variation responds to genetic and environmental variability across different hierarchical levels of biological organization, in an explicit geographic framework. RESULTS:We found a general concordance of phenotypic variation across hierarchical levels (i.e. individuals and populations). However, we also found that within-population diversity does not exhibit a coherent geographic structure for most traits, while among-population divergence does, suggesting that different mechanisms may underlie the generation of diversity at these two levels. Furthermore, the association of phenotypic variation with genetic and environmental factors varied extensively between hierarchical levels and across traits, hampering the identification of simple rules to explain what yields diversity. CONCLUSIONS:Our results in some cases comply with general ecological and evolutionary predictions, but in others they are difficult to explain in the geographic framework used, suggesting that habitat characteristics and other regulatory mechanisms may have a more substantial contribution in shaping phenotypic diversity.
Project description:Maternal genetic effects (MGEs), where genes expressed by mothers affect the phenotype of their offspring, are important sources of phenotypic diversity in a myriad of organisms. We use a single-locus model to examine how MGEs contribute patterns of heritable and nonheritable variation and influence evolutionary dynamics in randomly mating and inbreeding populations. We elucidate the influence of MGEs by examining the offspring genotype-phenotype relationship, which determines how MGEs affect evolutionary dynamics in response to selection on offspring phenotypes. This approach reveals important results that are not apparent from classic quantitative genetic treatments of MGEs. We show that additive and dominance MGEs make different contributions to evolutionary dynamics and patterns of variation, which are differentially affected by inbreeding. Dominance MGEs make the offspring genotype-phenotype relationship frequency dependent, resulting in the appearance of negative frequency-dependent selection, while additive MGEs contribute a component of parent-of-origin dependent variation. Inbreeding amplifies the contribution of MGEs to the additive genetic variance and, therefore enhances their evolutionary response. Considering evolutionary dynamics of allele frequency change on an adaptive landscape, we show that this landscape differs from the mean fitness surface, and therefore, under some condition, fitness peaks can exist but not be "available" to the evolving population.
Project description:We analyze the relative contribution of environmental and spatial variables to the alpha and beta components of taxonomic (TD), phylogenetic (PD), and functional (FD) diversity in ant communities found along different climate and anthropogenic disturbance gradients across western and central Europe, in order to assess the mechanisms structuring ant biodiversity. To this aim we calculated alpha and beta TD, PD, and FD for 349 ant communities, which included a total of 155 ant species; we examined 10 functional traits and phylogenetic relatedness. Variation partitioning was used to examine how much variation in ant diversity was explained by environmental and spatial variables. Autocorrelation in diversity measures and each trait's phylogenetic signal were also analyzed. We found strong autocorrelation in diversity measures. Both environmental and spatial variables significantly contributed to variation in TD, PD, and FD at both alpha and beta scales; spatial structure had the larger influence. The different facets of diversity showed similar patterns along environmental gradients. Environment explained a much larger percentage of variation in FD than in TD or PD. All traits demonstrated strong phylogenetic signals. Our results indicate that environmental filtering and dispersal limitations structure all types of diversity in ant communities. Strong dispersal limitations appear to have led to clustering of TD, PD, and FD in western and central Europe, probably because different historical and evolutionary processes generated different pools of species. Remarkably, these three facets of diversity showed parallel patterns along environmental gradients. Trait-mediated species sorting and niche conservatism appear to structure ant diversity, as evidenced by the fact that more variation was explained for FD and that all traits had strong phylogenetic signals. Since environmental variables explained much more variation in FD than in PD, functional diversity should be a better indicator of community assembly processes than phylogenetic diversity.
Project description:Human sapovirus is a causative agent of acute gastroenteritis in all age groups. The use of full-length viral genomes has proven beneficial to investigate evolutionary dynamics and transmission chains. In this study, we developed a full-length genome sequencing platform for human sapovirus and sequenced the oldest available strains (collected in the 1970s) to analyse diversification of sapoviruses. Sequence analyses from five major genotypes (GI.1, GI.2, GII.1, GII.3, and GIV.1) showed limited intra-genotypic diversification for over 20-40 years. The accumulation of amino acid mutations in VP1 was detected for GI.2 and GIV.1 viruses, while having a similar rate of nucleotide evolution to the other genotypes. Differences in the phylogenetic clustering were detected between RdRp and VP1 sequences of our archival strains as well as other reported putative recombinants. However, the lack of the parental strains and differences in diversification among genomic regions suggest that discrepancies in the phylogenetic clustering of sapoviruses could be explained, not only by recombination, but also by disparate nucleotide substitution patterns between RdRp and VP1 sequences. Together, this study shows that, contrary to noroviruses, sapoviruses present limited diversification by means of intra-genotype variation and recombination.
Project description:In this review, we describe the distribution and genetic diversity of sapoviruses detected among humans, animals and the environment in African countries. Databases were searched for studies conducted in African countries and published between Jan 2005 and Mar 2019. Only studies where RT- PCR was used for initial detection were included in the systematic review. We identified 27 studies from 14 African countries with 18 focused on human sapoviruses, two on animal sapoviruses and seven on sapoviruses observed in the environment. Samples. The overall estimated pooled prevalence of human sapovirus infections among symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals was similar at 5.0% (95% Confidence Interval (CI): 3.0-7.0) and 2.0% (95% CI: 1.0-3.0), respectively. In environmental samples sapovirus detection rates ranged from 0% to 90% while in animal studies it was 1.7% to 34.8%. Multiple causes of gastroenteritis, sensitivity of detection method used, diversity of sapovirus strains and rotavirus vaccine coverage rate are some of the factors that could have contributed to the wide range of sapovirus detection rates that were reported. The studies reported human genogroups GI, GII, and GIV, with genogroup GI being the most prevalent. Some potential novel strains were detected from animal samples. Most studies genotyped a small portion of either the capsid and/or polymerase region. However, this is a limitation as it does not allow for detection of recombinants that occur frequently in sapoviruses. More studies with harmonized genotyping protocols that cover longer ranges of the sapovirus genome are needed to provide more information on the genomic characterization of sapoviruses circulating in African countries. Further investigations on animal to human transmission for sapoviruses are needed as inter-species transmissions have been documented for other viruses.