Directed Molecular Evolution
The techniques used to produce molecules exhibiting properties that conform to the demands of the experimenter. These techniques combine methods of generating structural changes with methods of selection. They are also used to examine proposed mechanisms of evolution under in vitro selection conditions.
Differential and non-random reproduction of different genotypes, operating to alter the gene frequencies within a population.
Molecular Sequence Data
Descriptions of specific amino acid, carbohydrate, or nucleotide sequences which have appeared in the published literature and/or are deposited in and maintained by databanks such as GENBANK, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), National Biomedical Research Foundation (NBRF), or other sequence repositories.
The restriction of a characteristic behavior, anatomical structure or physical system, such as immune response; metabolic response, or gene or gene variant to the members of one species. It refers to that property which differentiates one species from another but it is also used for phylogenetic levels higher or lower than the species.
Sequence Analysis, DNA
A multistage process that includes cloning, physical mapping, subcloning, determination of the DNA SEQUENCE, and information analysis.
Amino Acid Sequence
The arrangement of two or more amino acid or base sequences from an organism or organisms in such a way as to align areas of the sequences sharing common properties. The degree of relatedness or homology between the sequences is predicted computationally or statistically based on weights assigned to the elements aligned between the sequences. This in turn can serve as a potential indicator of the genetic relatedness between the organisms.
A set of genes descended by duplication and variation from some ancestral gene. Such genes may be clustered together on the same chromosome or dispersed on different chromosomes. Examples of multigene families include those that encode the hemoglobins, immunoglobulins, histocompatibility antigens, actins, tubulins, keratins, collagens, heat shock proteins, salivary glue proteins, chorion proteins, cuticle proteins, yolk proteins, and phaseolins, as well as histones, ribosomal RNA, and transfer RNA genes. The latter three are examples of reiterated genes, where hundreds of identical genes are present in a tandem array. (King & Stanfield, A Dictionary of Genetics, 4th ed)
Remains, impressions, or traces of animals or plants of past geological times which have been preserved in the earth's crust.
Any detectable and heritable change in the genetic material that causes a change in the GENOTYPE and which is transmitted to daughter cells and to succeeding generations.
Chemical and physical transformation of the biogenic elements from their nucleosynthesis in stars to their incorporation and subsequent modification in planetary bodies and terrestrial biochemistry. It includes the mechanism of incorporation of biogenic elements into complex molecules and molecular systems, leading up to the origin of life.
Gene Transfer, Horizontal
The naturally occurring transmission of genetic information between organisms, related or unrelated, circumventing parent-to-offspring transmission. Horizontal gene transfer may occur via a variety of naturally occurring processes such as GENETIC CONJUGATION; GENETIC TRANSDUCTION; and TRANSFECTION. It may result in a change of the recipient organism's genetic composition (TRANSFORMATION, GENETIC).
A sequence of amino acids in a polypeptide or of nucleotides in DNA or RNA that is similar across multiple species. A known set of conserved sequences is represented by a CONSENSUS SEQUENCE. AMINO ACID MOTIFS are often composed of conserved sequences.
Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
The degree of similarity between sequences of amino acids. This information is useful for the analyzing genetic relatedness of proteins and species.
The non-genetic biological changes of an organism in response to challenges in its ENVIRONMENT.
Members of the group of vascular plants which bear flowers. They are differentiated from GYMNOSPERMS by their production of seeds within a closed chamber (OVARY, PLANT). The Angiosperms division is composed of two classes, the monocotyledons (Liliopsida) and dicotyledons (Magnoliopsida). Angiosperms represent approximately 80% of all known living plants.
Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
The sequential correspondence of nucleotides in one nucleic acid molecule with those of another nucleic acid molecule. Sequence homology is an indication of the genetic relatedness of different organisms and gene function.
One of the three domains of life (the others being BACTERIA and ARCHAEA), also called Eukarya. These are organisms whose cells are enclosed in membranes and possess a nucleus. They comprise almost all multicellular and many unicellular organisms, and are traditionally divided into groups (sometimes called kingdoms) including ANIMALS; PLANTS; FUNGI; and various algae and other taxa that were previously part of the old kingdom Protista.
Genes bearing close resemblance to known genes at different loci, but rendered non-functional by additions or deletions in structure that prevent normal transcription or translation. When lacking introns and containing a poly-A segment near the downstream end (as a result of reverse copying from processed nuclear RNA into double-stranded DNA), they are called processed genes.
The common chimpanzee, a species of the genus Pan, family HOMINIDAE. It lives in Africa, primarily in the tropical rainforests. There are a number of recognized subspecies.
Multicellular, eukaryotic life forms of kingdom Plantae (sensu lato), comprising the VIRIDIPLANTAE; RHODOPHYTA; and GLAUCOPHYTA; all of which acquired chloroplasts by direct endosymbiosis of CYANOBACTERIA. They are characterized by a mainly photosynthetic mode of nutrition; essentially unlimited growth at localized regions of cell divisions (MERISTEMS); cellulose within cells providing rigidity; the absence of organs of locomotion; absence of nervous and sensory systems; and an alternation of haploid and diploid generations.
A portion of the animal phylum Chordata comprised of the subphyla CEPHALOCHORDATA; UROCHORDATA, and HYPEROTRETI, but not including the Vertebrata (VERTEBRATES). It includes nonvertebrate animals having a NOTOCHORD during some developmental stage.
A field of biology concerned with the development of techniques for the collection and manipulation of biological data, and the use of such data to make biological discoveries or predictions. This field encompasses all computational methods and theories for solving biological problems including manipulation of models and datasets.
The functional hereditary units of PLANTS.
A theorem in probability theory named for Thomas Bayes (1702-1761). In epidemiology, it is used to obtain the probability of disease in a group of people with some characteristic on the basis of the overall rate of that disease and of the likelihood of that characteristic in healthy and diseased individuals. The most familiar application is in clinical decision analysis where it is used for estimating the probability of a particular diagnosis given the appearance of some symptoms or test result.
Two identical genes showing the same phenotypic action but localized in different regions of a chromosome or on different chromosomes. (From Rieger et al., Glossary of Genetics: Classical and Molecular, 5th ed)
The origin of life. It includes studies of the potential basis for life in organic compounds but excludes studies of the development of altered forms of life through mutation and natural selection, which is BIOLOGICAL EVOLUTION.
Any method used for determining the location of and relative distances between genes on a chromosome.
Members of the phylum Arthropoda, composed of organisms having a hard, jointed exoskeleton and paired jointed legs. It includes the class INSECTS and the subclass ARACHNIDA, many species of which are important medically as parasites or as vectors of organisms capable of causing disease in man.
A set of three nucleotides in a protein coding sequence that specifies individual amino acids or a termination signal (CODON, TERMINATOR). Most codons are universal, but some organisms do not produce the transfer RNAs (RNA, TRANSFER) complementary to all codons. These codons are referred to as unassigned codons (CODONS, NONSENSE).
A functional system which includes the organisms of a natural community together with their environment. (McGraw Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 4th ed)
Protein Structure, Tertiary
The level of protein structure in which combinations of secondary protein structures (alpha helices, beta sheets, loop regions, and motifs) pack together to form folded shapes called domains. Disulfide bridges between cysteines in two different parts of the polypeptide chain along with other interactions between the chains play a role in the formation and stabilization of tertiary structure. Small proteins usually consist of only one domain but larger proteins may contain a number of domains connected by segments of polypeptide chain which lack regular secondary structure.
One of the three domains of life (the others being Eukarya and ARCHAEA), also called Eubacteria. They are unicellular prokaryotic microorganisms which generally possess rigid cell walls, multiply by cell division, and exhibit three principal forms: round or coccal, rodlike or bacillary, and spiral or spirochetal. Bacteria can be classified by their response to OXYGEN: aerobic, anaerobic, or facultatively anaerobic; by the mode by which they obtain their energy: chemotrophy (via chemical reaction) or PHOTOTROPHY (via light reaction); for chemotrophs by their source of chemical energy: CHEMOLITHOTROPHY (from inorganic compounds) or chemoorganotrophy (from organic compounds); and by their source for CARBON; NITROGEN; etc.; HETEROTROPHY (from organic sources) or AUTOTROPHY (from CARBON DIOXIDE). They can also be classified by whether or not they stain (based on the structure of their CELL WALLS) with CRYSTAL VIOLET dye: gram-negative or gram-positive.
Phylum in the domain Eukarya, comprised of animals either with fully developed backbones (VERTEBRATES), or those with notochords only during some developmental stage (CHORDATA, NONVERTEBRATE).
Deoxyribonucleic acid that makes up the genetic material of plants.
The insertion of recombinant DNA molecules from prokaryotic and/or eukaryotic sources into a replicating vehicle, such as a plasmid or virus vector, and the introduction of the resultant hybrid molecules into recipient cells without altering the viability of those cells.
Elements that are transcribed into RNA, reverse-transcribed into DNA and then inserted into a new site in the genome. Long terminal repeats (LTRs) similar to those from retroviruses are contained in retrotransposons and retrovirus-like elements. Retroposons, such as LONG INTERSPERSED NUCLEOTIDE ELEMENTS and SHORT INTERSPERSED NUCLEOTIDE ELEMENTS do not contain LTRs.
Amino Acid Substitution
The naturally occurring or experimentally induced replacement of one or more AMINO ACIDS in a protein with another. If a functionally equivalent amino acid is substituted, the protein may retain wild-type activity. Substitution may also diminish, enhance, or eliminate protein function. Experimentally induced substitution is often used to study enzyme activities and binding site properties.
Linear POLYPEPTIDES that are synthesized on RIBOSOMES and may be further modified, crosslinked, cleaved, or assembled into complex proteins with several subunits. The specific sequence of AMINO ACIDS determines the shape the polypeptide will take, during PROTEIN FOLDING, and the function of the protein.
The number of mutations that occur in a specific sequence, GENE, or GENOME over a specified period of time such as years, CELL DIVISIONS, or generations.
The genetic complement of MITOCHONDRIA as represented in their DNA.
The regular and simultaneous occurrence in a single interbreeding population of two or more discontinuous genotypes. The concept includes differences in genotypes ranging in size from a single nucleotide site (POLYMORPHISM, SINGLE NUCLEOTIDE) to large nucleotide sequences visible at a chromosomal level.
The branch of science concerned with the interrelationship of organisms and their ENVIRONMENT, especially as manifested by natural cycles and rhythms, community development and structure, interactions between different kinds of organisms, geographic distributions, and population alterations. (Webster's, 3d ed)
The complete genetic complement contained in a DNA or RNA molecule in a virus.
Theoretical construct used in applied mathematics to analyze certain situations in which there is an interplay between parties that may have similar, opposed, or mixed interests. In a typical game, decision-making "players," who each have their own goals, try to gain advantage over the other parties by anticipating each other's decisions; the game is finally resolved as a consequence of the players' decisions.
DNA Transposable Elements
Discrete segments of DNA which can excise and reintegrate to another site in the genome. Most are inactive, i.e., have not been found to exist outside the integrated state. DNA transposable elements include bacterial IS (insertion sequence) elements, Tn elements, the maize controlling elements Ac and Ds, Drosophila P, gypsy, and pogo elements, the human Tigger elements and the Tc and mariner elements which are found throughout the animal kingdom.
The sequential location of genes on a chromosome.
A set of statistical methods used to group variables or observations into strongly inter-related subgroups. In epidemiology, it may be used to analyze a closely grouped series of events or cases of disease or other health-related phenomenon with well-defined distribution patterns in relation to time or place or both.
The genetic complement of an insect (INSECTS) as represented in its DNA.
General name for two extinct orders of reptiles from the Mesozoic era: Saurischia and Ornithischia.
The reproductive organs of plants.
A species of gram-negative, facultatively anaerobic, rod-shaped bacteria (GRAM-NEGATIVE FACULTATIVELY ANAEROBIC RODS) commonly found in the lower part of the intestine of warm-blooded animals. It is usually nonpathogenic, but some strains are known to produce DIARRHEA and pyogenic infections. Pathogenic strains (virotypes) are classified by their specific pathogenic mechanisms such as toxins (ENTEROTOXIGENIC ESCHERICHIA COLI), etc.
The parts of a transcript of a split GENE remaining after the INTRONS are removed. They are spliced together to become a MESSENGER RNA or other functional RNA.
One of the three domains of life (the others being BACTERIA and Eukarya), formerly called Archaebacteria under the taxon Bacteria, but now considered separate and distinct. They are characterized by: (1) the presence of characteristic tRNAs and ribosomal RNAs; (2) the absence of peptidoglycan cell walls; (3) the presence of ether-linked lipids built from branched-chain subunits; and (4) their occurrence in unusual habitats. While archaea resemble bacteria in morphology and genomic organization, they resemble eukarya in their method of genomic replication. The domain contains at least four kingdoms: CRENARCHAEOTA; EURYARCHAEOTA; NANOARCHAEOTA; and KORARCHAEOTA.
A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine).
The homologous chromosomes that are dissimilar in the heterogametic sex. There are the X CHROMOSOME, the Y CHROMOSOME, and the W, Z chromosomes (in animals in which the female is the heterogametic sex (the silkworm moth Bombyx mori, for example)). In such cases the W chromosome is the female-determining and the male is ZZ. (From King & Stansfield, A Dictionary of Genetics, 4th ed)
A species of orangutan, family HOMINIDAE, found in the forests on the island of Borneo.
Open Reading Frames
Repetitive Sequences, Nucleic Acid
Sequences of DNA or RNA that occur in multiple copies. There are several types: INTERSPERSED REPETITIVE SEQUENCES are copies of transposable elements (DNA TRANSPOSABLE ELEMENTS or RETROELEMENTS) dispersed throughout the genome. TERMINAL REPEAT SEQUENCES flank both ends of another sequence, for example, the long terminal repeats (LTRs) on RETROVIRUSES. Variations may be direct repeats, those occurring in the same direction, or inverted repeats, those opposite to each other in direction. TANDEM REPEAT SEQUENCES are copies which lie adjacent to each other, direct or inverted (INVERTED REPEAT SEQUENCES).
Polymerase Chain Reaction
In vitro method for producing large amounts of specific DNA or RNA fragments of defined length and sequence from small amounts of short oligonucleotide flanking sequences (primers). The essential steps include thermal denaturation of the double-stranded target molecules, annealing of the primers to their complementary sequences, and extension of the annealed primers by enzymatic synthesis with DNA polymerase. The reaction is efficient, specific, and extremely sensitive. Uses for the reaction include disease diagnosis, detection of difficult-to-isolate pathogens, mutation analysis, genetic testing, DNA sequencing, and analyzing evolutionary relationships.
Mating Preference, Animal
Short sequences (generally about 10 base pairs) of DNA that are complementary to sequences of messenger RNA and allow reverse transcriptases to start copying the adjacent sequences of mRNA. Primers are used extensively in genetic and molecular biology techniques.
The asymmetrical segregation of genes during replication which leads to the production of non-reciprocal recombinant strands and the apparent conversion of one allele into another. Thus, e.g., the meiotic products of an Aa individual may be AAAa or aaaA instead of AAaa, i.e., the A allele has been converted into the a allele or vice versa.
The genetic constitution of the individual, comprising the ALLELES present at each GENETIC LOCUS.
Group of fish under the superorder Acanthopterygii, separate from the PERCIFORMES, which includes swamp eels, mullets, sticklebacks, seahorses, spiny eels, rainbowfishes, and KILLIFISHES. The name is derived from the six taxa which comprise the group. (From http://www.nanfa.org/articles/Elassoma/elassoma.htm, 8/4/2000)
A class of unsegmented helminths with fundamental bilateral symmetry and secondary triradiate symmetry of the oral and esophageal structures. Many species are parasites.
The functional hereditary units of BACTERIA.
A plant family of the order Capparales, subclass Dilleniidae, class Magnoliopsida. They are mostly herbaceous plants with peppery-flavored leaves, due to gluconapin (GLUCOSINOLATES) and its hydrolysis product butenylisotrhiocyanate. The family includes many plants of economic importance that have been extensively altered and domesticated by humans. Flowers have 4 petals. Podlike fruits contain a number of seeds. Cress is a general term used for many in the Brassicacea family. Rockcress is usually ARABIS; Bittercress is usually CARDAMINE; Yellowcress is usually RORIPPA; Pennycress is usually THLASPI; Watercress refers to NASTURTIUM; or RORIPPA or TROPAEOLUM; Gardencress refers to LEPIDIUM; Indiancress refers to TROPAEOLUM.
Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
An order of wholly aquatic MAMMALS occurring in all the OCEANS and adjoining seas of the world, as well as in certain river systems. They feed generally on FISHES, cephalopods, and crustaceans. Most are gregarious and most have a relatively long period of parental care and maturation. Included are DOLPHINS; PORPOISES; and WHALES. (From Walker's Mammals of the World, 5th ed, pp969-70)
Expressed Sequence Tags
Partial cDNA (DNA, COMPLEMENTARY) sequences that are unique to the cDNAs from which they were derived.
A category of nucleic acid sequences that function as units of heredity and which code for the basic instructions for the development, reproduction, and maintenance of organisms.
An infraclass of MAMMALS, also called Metatheria, where the young are born at an early stage of development and continue to develop in a pouch (marsupium). In contrast to Eutheria (placentals), marsupials have an incomplete PLACENTA.
The synthesis by organisms of organic chemical compounds, especially carbohydrates, from carbon dioxide using energy obtained from light rather than from the oxidation of chemical compounds. Photosynthesis comprises two separate processes: the light reactions and the dark reactions. In higher plants; GREEN ALGAE; and CYANOBACTERIA; NADPH and ATP formed by the light reactions drive the dark reactions which result in the fixation of carbon dioxide. (from Oxford Dictionary of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 2001)
Sequence Analysis, Protein
A process that includes the determination of AMINO ACID SEQUENCE of a protein (or peptide, oligopeptide or peptide fragment) and the information analysis of the sequence.
A phylum of radially symmetrical invertebrates characterized by possession of stinging cells called nematocysts. It includes the classes ANTHOZOA; CUBOZOA; HYDROZOA, and SCYPHOZOA. Members carry CNIDARIAN VENOMS.
A kingdom of eukaryotic, heterotrophic organisms that live parasitically as saprobes, including MUSHROOMS; YEASTS; smuts, molds, etc. They reproduce either sexually or asexually, and have life cycles that range from simple to complex. Filamentous fungi, commonly known as molds, refer to those that grow as multicellular colonies.
Insects of the family Formicidae, very common and widespread, probably the most successful of all the insect groups. All ants are social insects, and most colonies contain three castes, queens, males, and workers. Their habits are often very elaborate and a great many studies have been made of ant behavior. Ants produce a number of secretions that function in offense, defense, and communication. (From Borror, et al., An Introduction to the Study of Insects, 4th ed, p676)
Genes that encode highly conserved TRANSCRIPTION FACTORS that control positional identity of cells (BODY PATTERNING) and MORPHOGENESIS throughout development. Their sequences contain a 180 nucleotide sequence designated the homeobox, so called because mutations of these genes often results in homeotic transformations, in which one body structure replaces another. The proteins encoded by homeobox genes are called HOMEODOMAIN PROTEINS.
A phylum of photosynthetic EUKARYOTA bearing double membrane-bound plastids containing chlorophyll a and b. They comprise the classical green algae, and represent over 7000 species that live in a variety of primarily aquatic habitats. Only about ten percent are marine species, most live in freshwater.
Genes that are located on the MITOCHONDRIAL DNA. Mitochondrial inheritance is often referred to as maternal inheritance but should be differentiated from maternal inheritance that is transmitted chromosomally.
Endogenous substances, usually proteins, which are effective in the initiation, stimulation, or termination of the genetic transcription process.
An extensive order of highly specialized insects including bees, wasps, and ants.
Databases devoted to knowledge about specific genes and gene products.
The characteristic 3-dimensional shape of a protein, including the secondary, supersecondary (motifs), tertiary (domains) and quaternary structure of the peptide chain. PROTEIN STRUCTURE, QUATERNARY describes the conformation assumed by multimeric proteins (aggregates of more than one polypeptide chain).
A mutation named with the blend of insertion and deletion. It refers to a length difference between two ALLELES where it is unknowable if the difference was originally caused by a SEQUENCE INSERTION or by a SEQUENCE DELETION. If the number of nucleotides in the insertion/deletion is not divisible by three, and it occurs in a protein coding region, it is also a FRAMESHIFT MUTATION.
The ordered rearrangement of gene regions by DNA recombination such as that which occurs normally during development.
Sex Determination Processes
The mechanisms by which the SEX of an individual's GONADS are fixed.
Deoxyribonucleic acid that makes up the genetic material of bacteria.
A variety of simple repeat sequences that are distributed throughout the GENOME. They are characterized by a short repeat unit of 2-8 basepairs that is repeated up to 100 times. They are also known as short tandem repeats (STRs).
Nucleic Acid Conformation
Gene Regulatory Networks
Interacting DNA-encoded regulatory subsystems in the GENOME that coordinate input from activator and repressor TRANSCRIPTION FACTORS during development, cell differentiation, or in response to environmental cues. The networks function to ultimately specify expression of particular sets of GENES for specific conditions, times, or locations.