(1/6490) An overview of the evolution of overproduced esterases in the mosquito Culex pipiens.

Insecticide resistance genes have developed in a wide variety of insects in response to heavy chemical application. Few of these examples of adaptation in response to rapid environmental change have been studied both at the population level and at the gene level. One of these is the evolution of the overproduced esterases that are involved in resistance to organophosphate insecticides in the mosquito Culex pipiens. At the gene level, two genetic mechanisms are involved in esterase overproduction, namely gene amplification and gene regulation. At the population level, the co-occurrence of the same amplified allele in distinct geographic areas is best explained by the importance of passive transportation at the worldwide scale. The long-term monitoring of a population of mosquitoes in southern France has enabled a detailed study to be made of the evolution of resistance genes on a local scale, and has shown that a resistance gene with a lower cost has replaced a former resistance allele with a higher cost.  (+info)

(2/6490) Evolutionary analysis of TATA-less proximal promoter function.

Many molecular studies describe how components of the proximal promoter affect transcriptional processes. However, these studies do not account for the likely effects of distant enhancers or chromatin structure, and thus it is difficult to conclude that the sequence variation in proximal promoters acts to modulate transcription in the natural context of the whole genome. This problem, the biological importance of proximal promoter sequence variation, can be addressed using a combination of molecular and evolutionary analyses. Provided here are molecular and evolutionary analyses of the variation in promoter function and sequence within and between populations of Fundulus heteroclitus for the lactate dehydrogenase-B (Ldh-B) proximal promoter. Approximately one third of the Ldh-B proximal promoter contains interspersed regions that are functionally important: (1) they bind transcription factors in vivo, (2) they effect a change in transcription as assayed by transient transfection into two different fish cell lines, and (3) they bind purified transcription factors in vitro. Evolutionary analyses that compare sequence variation in these functional regions versus the nonfunctional regions indicate that the changes in the Ldh-B proximal promoter sequences are due to directional selection. Thus, the Ldh-B proximal promoter sequence variations that affect transcriptional processes constitute a phenotypic change that is subject to natural selection, suggesting that proximal promoter sequence variation affects transcription in the natural context of the whole genome.  (+info)

(3/6490) Ancestral Asian source(s) of new world Y-chromosome founder haplotypes.

Haplotypes constructed from Y-chromosome markers were used to trace the origins of Native Americans. Our sample consisted of 2,198 males from 60 global populations, including 19 Native American and 15 indigenous North Asian groups. A set of 12 biallelic polymorphisms gave rise to 14 unique Y-chromosome haplotypes that were unevenly distributed among the populations. Combining multiallelic variation at two Y-linked microsatellites (DYS19 and DXYS156Y) with the unique haplotypes results in a total of 95 combination haplotypes. Contra previous findings based on Y- chromosome data, our new results suggest the possibility of more than one Native American paternal founder haplotype. We postulate that, of the nine unique haplotypes found in Native Americans, haplotypes 1C and 1F are the best candidates for major New World founder haplotypes, whereas haplotypes 1B, 1I, and 1U may either be founder haplotypes and/or have arrived in the New World via recent admixture. Two of the other four haplotypes (YAP+ haplotypes 4 and 5) are probably present because of post-Columbian admixture, whereas haplotype 1G may have originated in the New World, and the Old World source of the final New World haplotype (1D) remains unresolved. The contrasting distribution patterns of the two major candidate founder haplotypes in Asia and the New World, as well as the results of a nested cladistic analysis, suggest the possibility of more than one paternal migration from the general region of Lake Baikal to the Americas.  (+info)

(4/6490) X chromosome evidence for ancient human histories.

Diverse African and non-African samples of the X-linked PDHA1 (pyruvate dehydrogenase E1 alpha subunit) locus revealed a fixed DNA sequence difference between the two sample groups. The age of onset of population subdivision appears to be about 200 thousand years ago. This predates the earliest modern human fossils, suggesting the transformation to modern humans occurred in a subdivided population. The base of the PDHA1 gene tree is relatively ancient, with an estimated age of 1.86 million years, a late Pliocene time associated with early species of Homo. PDHA1 revealed very low variation among non-Africans, but in other respects the data are consistent with reports from other X-linked and autosomal haplotype data sets. Like these other genes, but in conflict with microsatellite and mitochondrial data, PDHA1 does not show evidence of human population expansion.  (+info)

(5/6490) Maximum-likelihood generalized heritability estimate for blood pressure in Nigerian families.

Elevated blood pressure (BP) is more common in relatives of hypertensives than in relatives of normotensives, indicating familial resemblance of the BP phenotypes. Most published studies have been conducted in westernized societies. To assess the ability to generalize these estimates, we examined familial patterns of BP in a population-based sample of 510 nuclear families, including 1552 individuals (320 fathers, 370 mothers, 475 sons, and 387 daughters) from Ibadan, Nigeria. The prevalence of obesity in this community is low (body mass index: fathers, 21.6; mothers, 23.6; sons, 19.2; and daughters=21.0 kg/m2). The BP phenotype used in all analyses was created from the best regression model by standardizing the age-adjusted systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) to 0 mean and unit variance. Heritability was estimated by use of the computer program SEGPATH from the most parsimonious model of "no spouse and neither gender nor generation difference" as 45% for SBP and 43% for DBP. The lack of a significant spouse correlation is consistent with little or no influence of the common familial environment. However, the heritability estimate of <50% for both SBP and DBPs reinforces the importance of the nonshared environmental effect.  (+info)

(6/6490) DnaSP version 3: an integrated program for molecular population genetics and molecular evolution analysis.

DnaSP is a Windows integrated software package for the analysis of the DNA polymorphism from nucleotide sequence data. DnaSP version 3 incorporates several methods for estimating the amount and pattern of DNA polymorphism and divergence, and for conducting neutrality tests. AVAILABILITY: For academic uses, DnaSP is available free of charge from: http://www.bio.ub.es/julio/DnaSP.html CONTACT: julio@porthos.bio.ub.es  (+info)

(7/6490) Early medieval cattle remains from a Scandinavian settlement in Dublin: genetic analysis and comparison with extant breeds.

A panel of cattle bones excavated from the 1000-year-old Viking Fishamble Street site in Dublin was assessed for the presence of surviving mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). Eleven of these bones gave amplifiable mtDNA and a portion of the hypervariable control region was determined for each specimen. A comparative analysis was performed with control region sequences from five extant Nordic and Irish cattle breeds. The medieval population displayed similar levels of mtDNA diversity to modern European breeds. However, a number of novel mtDNA haplotypes were also detected in these bone samples. In addition, the presence of a putative ancestral sequence at high frequency in the medieval population supports an early post-domestication expansion of cattle in Europe.  (+info)

(8/6490) Freezer anthropology: new uses for old blood.

Archived blood fractions (plasma, settled red cells, white cells) have proved to be a rich and valuable source of DNA for human genetic studies. Large numbers of such samples were collected between 1960 and the present for protein and blood group studies, many of which are languishing in freezers or have already been discarded. More are discarded each year because the usefulness of these samples is not widely understood. Data from DNA derived from 10-35-year-old blood samples have been used to address the peopling of the New World and of the Pacific. Mitochondrial DNA haplotypes from studies using this source DNA support a single wave of migration into the New World (or a single source population for the New World), and that Mongolia was the likely source of the founding population. Data from Melanesia have shown that Polynesians are recent immigrants into the Pacific and did not arise from Melanesia.  (+info)