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Korotkova N.,Free University of Berlin | Nauheimer L.,Free University of Berlin | Ter-Voskanyan H.,Botanischer Garten und Botanisches Museum Berlin Dahlem | Ter-Voskanyan H.,Armenian National Academy of Sciences | And 2 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Plastid genomes exhibit different levels of variability in their sequences, depending on the respective kinds of genomic regions. Genes are usually more conserved while noncoding introns and spacers evolve at a faster pace. While a set of about thirty maximum variable noncoding genomic regions has been suggested to provide universally promising phylogenetic markers throughout angiosperms, applications often require several regions to be sequenced for many individuals. Our project aims to illuminate evolutionary relationships and species-limits in the genus Pyrus (Rosaceae)- A typical case with very low genetic distances between taxa. In this study, we have sequenced the plastid genome of Pyrus spinosa and aligned it to the already available P. pyrifolia sequence. The overall p-distance of the two Pyrus genomes was 0.00145. The intergenic spacers between ndhC-trnV, trnR- AtpA, ndhF-rpl32, psbM-trnD, and trnQ-rps16 were the most variable regions, also comprising the highest total numbers of substitutions, indels and inversions (potentially informative characters). Our comparative analysis of further plastid genome pairs with similar low p-distances from Oenothera (representing another rosid), Olea (asterids) and Cymbidium (monocots) showed in each case a different ranking of genomic regions in terms of variability and potentially informative characters. Only two intergenic spacers (ndhF-rpl32 and trnK-rps16) were consistently found among the 30 top-ranked regions. We have mapped the occurrence of substitutions and microstructural mutations in the four genome pairs. High AT content in specific sequence elements seems to foster frequent mutations. We conclude that the variability among the fastest evolving plastid genomic regions is lineage-specific and thus cannot be precisely predicted across angiosperms. The often lineage-specific occurrence of stem-loop elements in the sequences of introns and spacers also governs lineage-specific mutations. Sequencing whole plastid genomes to find markers for evolutionary analyses is therefore particularly useful when overall genetic distances are low. © 2014 Korotkova et al.


Clozato C.L.,University of Sao Paulo | Clozato C.L.,Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research | Mazzoni C.J.,Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research | Mazzoni C.J.,Berlin Center for Genomics in Biodiversity Research nDiv | And 5 more authors.
Ecology and Evolution | Year: 2015

The genes of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) code for proteins involved in antigen recognition and activation of the adaptive immune response and are thought to be regulated by natural selection, especially due to pathogen-driven selective pressure. In this study, we investigated the spatial distribution of MHC class II DRB exon 2 gene diversity of the lesser anteater (Tamandua tetradactyla) across five Brazilian biomes using next-generation sequencing and compared the MHC pattern with that of neutral markers (microsatellites). We found a noticeable high level of diversity in DRB (60 amino acid alleles in 65 individuals) and clear signatures of historical positive selection acting on this gene. Higher allelic richness and proportion of private alleles were found in rain forest biomes, especially Amazon forest, a megadiverse biome, possibly harboring greater pathogen richness as well. Neutral markers, however, showed a similar pattern to DRB, demonstrating the strength of demography as an additional force to pathogen-driven selection in shaping MHC diversity and structure. This is the first characterization and description of diversity of a MHC gene for any member of the magna-order Xenarthra, one of the basal lineages of placental mammals. © 2015 Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Frindte K.,University of Bonn | Allgaier M.,Berlin Center for Genomics in Biodiversity Research nDiv | Grossart H.-P.,Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries | Grossart H.-P.,University of Potsdam | Eckert W.,Israel Oceanographic And Limnological Research
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

The sediment-water interface of freshwater lakes is characterized by sharp chemical gradients, shaped by the interplay between physical, chemical and microbial processes. As dissolved oxygen is depleted in the uppermost sediment, the availability of alternative electron acceptors, e.g. nitrate and sulfate, becomes the limiting factor. We performed a time series experiment in a mesocosm to simulate the transition from aerobic to anaerobic conditions at the sediment-water interface. Our goal was to identify changes in the microbial activity due to redox transitions induced by successive depletion of available electron acceptors. Monitoring critical hydrochemical parameters in the overlying water in conjunction with a new sampling strategy for sediment bacteria enabled us to correlate redox changes in the water to shifts in the active microbial community and the expression of functional genes representing specific redox-dependent microbial processes. Our results show that during several transitions from oxic-heterotrophic condition to sulfate-reducing condition, nitrate-availability and the on-set of sulfate reduction strongly affected the corresponding functional gene expression. There was evidence of anaerobic methane oxidation with NOx. DGGE analysis revealed redox-related changes in microbial activity and expression of functional genes involved in sulfate and nitrite reduction, whereas methanogenesis and methanotrophy showed only minor changes during redox transitions. The combination of high-frequency chemical measurements and molecular methods provide new insights into the temporal dynamics of the interplay between microbial activity and specific redox transitions at the sediment-water interface. © 2015 Frindte et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Gonzalez-Tortuero E.,Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries | Gonzalez-Tortuero E.,Berlin Center for Genomics in Biodiversity Research nDiv | Gonzalez-Tortuero E.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Rusek J.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | And 6 more authors.
Molecular Ecology Resources | Year: 2015

Next generation sequencing (NGS) platforms are replacing traditional molecular biology protocols like cloning and Sanger sequencing. However, accuracy of NGS platforms has rarely been measured when quantifying relative frequencies of genotypes or taxa within populations. Here we developed a new bioinformatic pipeline (QRS) that pools similar sequence variants and estimates their frequencies in NGS data sets from populations or communities. We tested whether the estimated frequency of representative sequences, generated by 454 amplicon sequencing, differs significantly from that obtained by Sanger sequencing of cloned PCR products. This was performed by analysing sequence variation of the highly variable first internal transcribed spacer (ITS1) of the ichthyosporean Caullerya mesnili, a microparasite of cladocerans of the genus Daphnia. This analysis also serves as a case example of the usage of this pipeline to study within-population variation. Additionally, a public Illumina data set was used to validate the pipeline on community-level data. Overall, there was a good correspondence in absolute frequencies of C. mesnili ITS1 sequences obtained from Sanger and 454 platforms. Furthermore, analyses of molecular variance (amova) revealed that population structure of C. mesnili differs across lakes and years independently of the sequencing platform. Our results support not only the usefulness of amplicon sequencing data for studies of within-population structure but also the successful application of the QRS pipeline on Illumina-generated data. The QRS pipeline is freely available together with its documentation under GNU Public Licence version 3 at http://code.google.com/p/quantification-representative-sequences. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Mayer J.,Saarland University | Mazzoni C.J.,Berlin Center for Genomics in Biodiversity Research nDiv | Mazzoni C.J.,Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research | Greenwood A.D.,Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research
Virus Research | Year: 2012

It has recently been reported that the xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV) derives from a laboratory recombinant. However, sequences with characteristics of the 5' half of XMRV (termed PreXMRV-2) have been identified in several laboratory mouse genomes and cell lines suggesting parts of the XMRV genome exist as naturally occurring retroviruses in mice. We compare here PreXMRV-2 gag sequence diversity in mice to that of reported XMRV-like sequences by testing a panel of wild mouse and common inbred laboratory mouse strain genomic DNAs and by using high throughput amplicon sequencing. Sequences with features typical of previously reported PreXMRV-2 sequences, among them a 24 nt deletion, were repeatedly identified in different wild mice and inbred mouse strains within a high background of non-XMRV-like sequences. However, Sanger sequencing of clones from amplicons failed to retrieve such sequences effectively. Phylogenetic analysis suggests that PreXMRV-2 gag sequences from mice, cell lines and patient samples belong to the same evolutionarily young clade and that such sequences are diverse and widespread within Mus musculus domesticus and laboratory mice derived from this species. No evidence of PreXMRV-2 like gag sequences could be obtained outside of the M. musculus lineage. The results suggest that accurate determination of presence, absence and relationships of specific murine retroviral strains benefit greatly from deep sequencing analysis. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


Gonzalez-Tortuero E.,Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries | Gonzalez-Tortuero E.,Berlin Center for Genomics in Biodiversity Research nDiv | Gonzalez-Tortuero E.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Rusek J.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | And 8 more authors.
Parasites and Vectors | Year: 2016

Background: Microsporidia are spore-forming obligate intracellular parasites that include both emerging pathogens and economically important disease agents. However, little is known about the genetic diversity of microsporidia. Here, we investigated patterns of geographic population structure, intraspecific genetic variation, and recombination in two microsporidian taxa that commonly infect cladocerans of the Daphnia longispina complex in central Europe. Taken together, this information helps elucidate the reproductive mode and life-cycles of these parasite species. Methods: Microsporidia-infected Daphnia were sampled from seven drinking water reservoirs in the Czech Republic. Two microsporidia species (Berwaldia schaefernai and microsporidium lineage MIC1) were sequenced at the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region, using the 454 pyrosequencing platform. Geographical structure analyses were performed applying Fisher's exact tests, analyses of molecular variance, and permutational MANOVA. To evaluate the genetic diversity of the ITS region, the number of polymorphic sites and Tajima's and Watterson's estimators of theta were calculated. Tajima's D was also used to determine if the ITS in these taxa evolved neutrally. Finally, neighbour similarity score and pairwise homology index tests were performed to detect recombination events. Results: While there was little variation among Berwaldia parasite strains infecting different host populations, the among-population genetic variation of MIC1 was significant. Likewise, ITS genetic diversity was lower in Berwaldia than in MIC1. Recombination signals were detected only in Berwaldia. Conclusion: Genetic tests showed that parasite populations could have expanded recently after a bottleneck or that the ITS could be under negative selection in both microsporidia species. Recombination analyses might indicate cryptic sex in Berwaldia and pure asexuality in MIC1. The differences observed between the two microsporidian species present an exciting opportunity to study the genetic basis of microsporidia-Daphnia coevolution in natural populations, and to better understand reproduction in these parasites. © 2016 González-Tortuero et al.


PubMed | Berlin Center for Genomics in Biodiversity Research nDiv, CSIC - Doñana Biological Station and University of Ulm
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2016

The characterization of multigene families with high copy number variation is often approached through PCR amplification with highly degenerate primers to account for all expected variants flanking the region of interest. Such an approach often introduces PCR biases that result in an unbalanced representation of targets in high-throughput sequencing libraries that eventually results in incomplete detection of the targeted alleles. Here we confirm this result and propose two different amplification strategies to alleviate this problem. The first strategy (called pooled-PCRs) targets different subsets of alleles in multiple independent PCRs using different moderately degenerate primer pairs, whereas the second approach (called pooled-primers) uses a custom-made pool of non-degenerate primers in a single PCR. We compare their performance to the common use of a single PCR with highly degenerate primers using the MHC class I of the Iberian lynx as a model. We found both novel approaches to work similarly well and better than the conventional approach. They significantly scored more alleles per individual (11.33 1.38 and 11.72 0.89 vs 7.94 1.95), yielded more complete allelic profiles (96.28 8.46 and 99.50 2.12 vs 63.76 15.43), and revealed more alleles at a population level (13 vs 12). Finally, we could link each alleles amplification efficiency with the primer-mismatches in its flanking sequences and show that ultra-deep coverage offered by high-throughput technologies does not fully compensate for such biases, especially as real alleles may reach lower coverage than artefacts. Adopting either of the proposed amplification methods provides the opportunity to attain more complete allelic profiles at lower coverages, improving confidence over the downstream analyses and subsequent applications.


PubMed | Berlin Center for Genomics in Biodiversity Research nDiv, University of Bonn, Israel Oceanographic And Limnological Research and Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries
Type: | Journal: Environmental microbiology reports | Year: 2016

Changes in redox conditions occur in a wide range of microbial habitats, in particular at the sediment-water interface (SWI) of aquatic systems. A mesocosm study using intact sediment cores from Lake Stechlin (Germany) was performed to investigate the impact of redox changes on microbial communities at the SWI. The SWI was exposed to permanent oxic (OX) or anoxic (ANOX) or to variable (VR) redox conditions, and for molecular analysis sediment samples were taken at the start and after seven days of the treatment. We performed 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing to identify redox-specific changes in the composition of metabolically active microbes. Generally, the community of active microbes in the VR cores was similar to in the OX cores, but differed significantly from the ANOX cores. Interestingly, VR conditions resulted in a high fraction of a Crenothrix-like microorganism increasing in read abundance from 4 to 5% initially, up to 69% over the experimental period. This implies that periodic redox fluctuations select for specific bacteria in environments such as seiches-affected sediments of stratified lakes. In Lake Stechlin sediment cores, these redox fluctuations lead to increased activities of specific microorganisms and high organic matter turnover rates with profound implications for aquatic organic matter cycling.


PubMed | Berlin Center for Genomics in Biodiversity Research nDiv, Free University of Berlin, Kenya International Livestock Research Institute and Technical University of Denmark
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Immunogenetics | Year: 2016

There is strong evidence that the immunity induced by live vaccination for control of the protozoan parasite Theileria parva is mediated by class I MHC-restricted CD8(+) T cells directed against the schizont stage of the parasite that infects bovine lymphocytes. The functional competency of class I MHC genes is dependent on the presence of codons specifying certain critical amino acid residues that line the peptide binding groove. Compared with European Bos taurus in which class I MHC allelic polymorphisms have been examined extensively, published data on class I MHC transcripts in African taurines in T. parva endemic areas is very limited. We utilized the multiplexing capabilities of 454 pyrosequencing to make an initial assessment of class I MHC allelic diversity in a population of Ankole cattle. We also typed a population of exotic Holstein cattle from an African ranch for class I MHC and investigated the extent, if any, that their peptide-binding motifs overlapped with those of Ankole cattle. We report the identification of 18 novel allelic sequences in Ankole cattle and provide evidence of positive selection for sequence diversity, including in residues that predominantly interact with peptides. In silico functional analysis resulted in peptide binding specificities that were largely distinct between the two breeds. We also demonstrate that CD8(+) T cells derived from Ankole cattle that are seropositive for T. parva do not recognize vaccine candidate antigens originally identified in Holstein and Boran (Bos indicus) cattle breeds.


PubMed | Berlin Center for Genomics in Biodiversity Research nDiv, University of Bonn, Israel Oceanographic And Limnological Research and Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2015

The sediment-water interface of freshwater lakes is characterized by sharp chemical gradients, shaped by the interplay between physical, chemical and microbial processes. As dissolved oxygen is depleted in the uppermost sediment, the availability of alternative electron acceptors, e.g. nitrate and sulfate, becomes the limiting factor. We performed a time series experiment in a mesocosm to simulate the transition from aerobic to anaerobic conditions at the sediment-water interface. Our goal was to identify changes in the microbial activity due to redox transitions induced by successive depletion of available electron acceptors. Monitoring critical hydrochemical parameters in the overlying water in conjunction with a new sampling strategy for sediment bacteria enabled us to correlate redox changes in the water to shifts in the active microbial community and the expression of functional genes representing specific redox-dependent microbial processes. Our results show that during several transitions from oxic-heterotrophic condition to sulfate-reducing condition, nitrate-availability and the on-set of sulfate reduction strongly affected the corresponding functional gene expression. There was evidence of anaerobic methane oxidation with NOx. DGGE analysis revealed redox-related changes in microbial activity and expression of functional genes involved in sulfate and nitrite reduction, whereas methanogenesis and methanotrophy showed only minor changes during redox transitions. The combination of high-frequency chemical measurements and molecular methods provide new insights into the temporal dynamics of the interplay between microbial activity and specific redox transitions at the sediment-water interface.

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