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See detailImpact of Missing Data on Phylogenies Inferred from Empirical Phylogenomic Data Sets
Roure, Béatrice; Baurain, Denis ULg; Philippe, Hervé

in Molecular Biology and Evolution (2013), 30(1), 197-214

Progress in sequencing technology allows researchers to assemble ever-larger supermatrices for phylogenomic inference. However, current phylogenomic studies often rest on patchy data sets, with some ... [more ▼]

Progress in sequencing technology allows researchers to assemble ever-larger supermatrices for phylogenomic inference. However, current phylogenomic studies often rest on patchy data sets, with some having 80% missing (or ambiguous) data or more. Though early simulations had suggested that missing data per se do not harm phylogenetic inference when using sufficiently large data sets, Lemmon et al. (Lemmon AR, Brown JM, Stanger-Hall K, Lemmon EM. 2009. The effect of ambiguous data on phylogenetic estimates obtained by maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference. Syst Biol. 58:130-145.) have recently cast doubt on this consensus in a study based on the introduction of parsimony-uninformative incomplete characters. In this work, we empirically reassess the issue of missing data in phylogenomics while exploring possible interactions with the model of sequence evolution. First, we note that parsimony-uninformative incomplete characters are actually informative in a probabilistic framework. A reanalysis of Lemmon's data set with this in mind gives a very different interpretation of their results and shows that some of their conclusions may be unfounded. Second, we investigate the effect of the progressive introduction of missing data in a complete supermatrix (126 genes × 39 species) capable of resolving animal relationships. These analyses demonstrate that missing data perturb phylogenetic inference slightly beyond the expected decrease in resolving power. In particular, they exacerbate systematic errors by reducing the number of species effectively available for the detection of multiple substitutions. Consequently, large sparse supermatrices are more sensitive to phylogenetic artifacts than smaller but less incomplete data sets, which argue for experimental designs aimed at collecting a modest number (∼50) of highly covered genes. Our results further confirm that including incomplete yet short-branch taxa (i.e., slowly evolving species or close outgroups) can help to eschew artifacts, as predicted by simulations. Finally, it appears that selecting an adequate model of sequence evolution (e.g., the site-heterogeneous CAT model instead of the site-homogeneous WAG model) is more beneficial to phylogenetic accuracy than reducing the level of missing data. [less ▲]

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See detailAtypical subunit composition of the chlorophycean mitochondrial F1FO ATP synthase and role of Asa7 protein in stability and oligomycin resistance of the enzyme.
Lapaille, Marie; Escobar-Ramirez, Adelma; Degand, Hervé et al

in Molecular Biology and Evolution (2010), 27(7), 1630-1644

Background. In yeast, mammals, and land plants, mitochondrial F(1)F(O) ATP synthase (complex V) is a remarkable enzymatic machinery which comprises about 15 conserved subunits. Peculiar among eukaryotes ... [more ▼]

Background. In yeast, mammals, and land plants, mitochondrial F(1)F(O) ATP synthase (complex V) is a remarkable enzymatic machinery which comprises about 15 conserved subunits. Peculiar among eukaryotes, complex V from Chlamydomonadales algae (order of chlorophycean class) has an atypical subunit composition of its peripheral stator and dimerization module, with 9 subunits of unknown evolutionary origin (Asa subunits). In vitro, this enzyme exhibits an increased stability of its dimeric form, and in vivo, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii cells are insensitive to oligomycins, which are potent inhibitors of proton translocation through the F(O) moiety. Methodology/Principal Findings. In this work, we showed that the atypical features of the Chlamydomonadales complex V enzyme are shared by the other chlorophycean orders. By biochemical and in silico analyses, we detected several atypical Asa subunits in Scenedesmus obliquus (Sphaeropleales) and Chlorococcum ellipsoideum (Chlorococcales). In contrast, Complex V has a canonical subunit composition in other classes of Chlorophytes (Trebouxiophyceae, Prasinophyceae, and Ulvophyceae) as well as in Streptophytes (land plants) and in Rhodophytes (red algae). Growth, respiration and ATP levels in Chlorophyceae were also barely affected by oligomycin concentrations that affect representatives of the other classes of Chlorophytes. We finally studied the function of the Asa7 atypical subunit by using RNA interference in C. reinhardtii. Although the loss of Asa7 subunit has no impact on cell bioenergetics or mitochondrial structures, it destabilizes in vitro the enzyme dimeric form and renders growth, respiration and ATP level sensitive to oligomycins. Conclusions/Significance. Altogether, our results suggest that the loss of canonical components of the Complex V stator happened at the root of chlorophycean lineage and was accompanied by the recruitment of novel polypeptides. Such a massive modification of Complex V stator features might have conferred novel properties, including the stabilization of the enzyme dimeric form and the shielding of the proton channel. In these respects, we discuss an evolutionary scenario for F(1)F(O) ATP synthase in the whole green lineage (i.e. Chlorophyta and Streptophyta). [less ▲]

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See detailPhylogenomic evidence for separate acquisition of plastids in cryptophytes, haptophytes, and stramenopiles
Baurain, Denis ULg; Brinkmann, Henner; Petersen, Jorn et al

in Molecular Biology and Evolution (2010), 27(7), 1698-709

According to the chromalveolate hypothesis (Cavalier-Smith T. 1999. Principles of protein and lipid targeting in secondary symbiogenesis: euglenoid, dinoflagellate, and sporozoan plastid origins and the ... [more ▼]

According to the chromalveolate hypothesis (Cavalier-Smith T. 1999. Principles of protein and lipid targeting in secondary symbiogenesis: euglenoid, dinoflagellate, and sporozoan plastid origins and the eukaryote family tree. J Eukaryot Microbiol 46:347-366), the four eukaryotic groups with chlorophyll c-containing plastids originate from a single photosynthetic ancestor, which acquired its plastids by secondary endosymbiosis with a red alga. So far, molecular phylogenies have failed to either support or disprove this view. Here, we devise a phylogenomic falsification of the chromalveolate hypothesis that estimates signal strength across the three genomic compartments: If the four chlorophyll c-containing lineages indeed derive from a single photosynthetic ancestor, then similar amounts of plastid, mitochondrial, and nuclear sequences should allow to recover their monophyly. Our results refute this prediction, with statistical support levels too different to be explained by evolutionary rate variation, phylogenetic artifacts, or endosymbiotic gene transfer. Therefore, we reject the chromalveolate hypothesis as falsified in favor of more complex evolutionary scenarios involving multiple higher order eukaryote-eukaryote endosymbioses. [less ▲]

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See detailLack of resolution in the animal phylogeny: Closely spaced cladogeneses or undetected systematic errors?
Baurain, Denis ULg; Brinkmann, Henner; Philippe, Hervé

in Molecular Biology and Evolution (2007), 24(1), 6-9

A recent phylogenomic study reported that the animal phylogeny was unresolved despite the use of 50 genes. This lack of resolution was interpreted as "a positive signature of closely spaced cladogenetic ... [more ▼]

A recent phylogenomic study reported that the animal phylogeny was unresolved despite the use of 50 genes. This lack of resolution was interpreted as "a positive signature of closely spaced cladogenetic events." Here, we propose that this lack of resolution is rather due to the mutual cancellation of the phylogenetic signal (historical) and the nonphylogenetic signal (due to systematic errors) that results from inadequate taxon sampling and/or model of sequence evolution. Starting with a data set of comparable size, we use 3 different strategies to reduce the nonphylogenetic signal: 1) increasing the number of species; 2) replacing a fast-evolving species by a slowly evolving one; and 3) using a better model of sequence evolution. In all cases, the phylogenetic resolution is markedly improved, in agreement with our hypothesis that the originally reported lack of resolution was artifactual. [less ▲]

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See detailUV-targeted dinucleotides are not depleted in light-exposed prokaryotic genomes
Palmeira, Leonor ULg; Gueguen, Laurent; Lobry, Jean R

in Molecular Biology and Evolution (2006), 23(11), 2214--2219

We have investigated the hypothesis that pyrimidine dinucleotides are avoided in light-exposed genomes as the result of selective pressure due to high ultraviolet (UV) exposure. The main damage to DNA ... [more ▼]

We have investigated the hypothesis that pyrimidine dinucleotides are avoided in light-exposed genomes as the result of selective pressure due to high ultraviolet (UV) exposure. The main damage to DNA produced by UV radiation is known to be the formation of pyrimidine photoproducts: it is estimated that about 10 dimers per minute are formed in an Escherichia coli chromosome exposed to the UV light in direct overhead sunlight at sea level. It is also known that on an E. coli chromosome exposed to UVb wavelengths (290-320 nm), pyrimidine photoproducts are formed in the following proportions: 59 TpT, 7 CpC, and 34 CpT plus TpC. We have analyzed all available complete prokaryotic genomes and the model organism Prochlorococcus marinus and have found that pyrimidine dinucleotides are not systematically avoided. This suggests that prokaryotes must have sufficiently effective protection and repair systems for UV exposure to not affect their dinucleotide composition. [less ▲]

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See detailEvolutionary history of the most speciose mammals: molecular phylogeny of muroid rodents.
Michaux, Johan ULg; Reyes, A.; Catzeflis, F.

in Molecular Biology and Evolution (2001), 18(11), 2017-31

Phylogenetic relationships between 32 species of rodents representing 14 subfamilies of Muridae and four subfamilies of Dipodidae were studied using sequences of the nuclear protein-coding genes Lecithin ... [more ▼]

Phylogenetic relationships between 32 species of rodents representing 14 subfamilies of Muridae and four subfamilies of Dipodidae were studied using sequences of the nuclear protein-coding genes Lecithin Cholesterol Acyl Transferase (LCAT) and von Willebrand Factor (vWF). An examination of some evolutionary properties of each data matrix indicates that the two genes are rather complementary, with lower rates of nonsynonymous substitutions for LCAT. Both markers exhibit a wide range of GC3 percentages (55%-89%), with several taxa above 70% GC3 for vWF, which indicates that those exonic regions might belong to the richest class of isochores. The primary sequence data apparently harbor few saturations, except for transitions on third codon positions for vWF, as indicated by comparisons of observed and expected pairwise values of substitutions. Phylogenetic trees based on 1,962 nucleotidic sites from the two genes indicate that the 14 Muridae subfamilies are organized into five major lineages. An early isolation leads to the clade uniting the fossorial Spalacinae and semifossorial Rhizomyinae with a strong robustness. The second lineage includes a series of African taxa representing nesomyines, dendromurines, cricetomyines, and the sole living member of mystromyines. The third one comprises only the mouselike hamster CALOMYSCUS: The fourth clade represents the cricetines, myospalacines, sigmodontines, and arvicolines, whereas the fifth one comprises four "traditional" subfamilies (Gerbillinae, Murinae, Otomyinae, and Acomyinae). Within these groups, we confirm the monophyly of almost all studied subfamilies, namely, Spalacinae, Rhizomyinae, Nesomyinae, Cricetomyinae, Arvicolinae, Sigmodontinae, Cricetinae, Gerbillinae, Acomyinae, and Murinae. Finally, we present evidence that the sister group of Acomyinae is Gerbillinae, and we confirm a nested position of Myospalacinae within Cricetinae and Otomyinae within Murinae. From a biogeographical point of view, the five main lineages spread and radiated from Asia with different degrees of success: the first three groups are now represented by a limited number of species and genera localized in some regions, whereas the last two groups radiated in a large variety of species and genera dispersed all over the world. [less ▲]

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See detailThe 67-kDa laminin receptor originated from a ribosomal protein that acquired a dual function during evolution.
Ardini, E.; Pesole, G.; Tagliabue, E. et al

in Molecular Biology and Evolution (1998), 15(8), 1017-25

The 67-kDa laminin receptor (67LR) is a nonintegrin cell surface receptor that mediates high-affinity interactions between cells and laminin. Overexpression of this protein in tumor cells has been related ... [more ▼]

The 67-kDa laminin receptor (67LR) is a nonintegrin cell surface receptor that mediates high-affinity interactions between cells and laminin. Overexpression of this protein in tumor cells has been related to tumor invasion and metastasis. Thus far, only a full-length gene encoding a 37-kDa precursor protein (37LRP) has been isolated. The finding that the cDNA for the 37LRP is virtually identical to a cDNA encoding the ribosomal protein p40 has suggested that 37LRP is actually a component of the translational machinery, with no laminin-binding activity. On the other hand, a peptide of 20 amino acids deduced from the sequence of 37LR/p40 was shown to exhibit high laminin-binding activity. The evolutionary relationship between 23 sequences of 37LRP/p40 proteins was analyzed. This phylogenetic analysis indicated that all of the protein sequences derive from orthologous genes and that the 37LRP is indeed a ribosomal protein that acquired the novel function of laminin receptor during evolution. The evolutionary analysis of the sequence identified as the laminin-binding site in the human protein suggested that the acquisition of the laminin-binding capability is linked to the palindromic sequence LMWWML, which appeared during evolution concomitantly with laminin. [less ▲]

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See detailAn early origin of plastids within the cyanobacterial divergence is suggested by evolutionary trees based on complete 16S rRNA sequences
Nelissen, Bart; Van De Peer, Yves; Wilmotte, Annick ULg et al

in Molecular Biology and Evolution (1995), 12

It is generally accepted that the plastids arose from a cyanobacterial ancestor, but the exact phylogenetic relationships between cyanobacteria and plastids are still controversial. Most studies based on ... [more ▼]

It is generally accepted that the plastids arose from a cyanobacterial ancestor, but the exact phylogenetic relationships between cyanobacteria and plastids are still controversial. Most studies based on partial 16S rRNA sequences suggested a relatively late origin of plastids within the cyanobacterial divergence. In order to clarify the exact relationship and divergence order of cyanobacteria and plastids, we studied their phylogeny on the basis of nearly complete 16S rRNA gene sequences. The data set comprised 15 strains of cyanobacteria from different morphological groups, 1 prochlorophyte, and plastids belonging to 8 species of plants and 12 species of diverse algae. This set included three cyanobacterial sequences determined in this study. This is the most comprehensive set of complete cyanobacterial and plastidial 16S rRNA sequences used so far. Phylogenetic trees were constructed using neighbor joining and maximum parsimony, and the reliability of the tree topologies was tested by different methods. Our results suggest an early origin of plastids within the cyanobacterial divergence, preceded only by the divergence of two cyanobacterial genera, Gloeobacter and Pseudanabaena. [less ▲]

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