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Accelerated Gene Evolution and Subfunctionalization in the Pseudotetraploid Frog Xenopus Laevis

Description: Ancient whole genome duplications have been implicated in the vertebrate and teleost radiations, and in the emergence of diverse angiosperm lineages, but the evolutionary response to such a perturbation is still poorly understood. The African clawed frog Xenopus laevis experienced a relatively recent tetraploidization {approx} 40 million years ago. Analysis of the considerable amount of EST sequence available for this species together with the genome sequence of the related diploid Xenopus tropicalis provides a unique opportunity to study the genomic response to whole genome duplication.
Date: March 1, 2007
Creator: Hellsten, Uffe; Khokha, Mustafa K.; Grammar, Timothy C.; Harland,Richard M.; Richardson, Paul & Rokhsar, Daniel S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Genomic Identification and Analysis of Shared Cis-regulator Elements in a Developmentally Critical homeobox Cluster

Description: The goals of this project were to isolate, characterize, and sequence the Dlx3/Dlx7 bigene cluster from twelve different species of mammals. The Dlx3 and Dlx7 genes are known to encode homeobox transcription factors involved in patterning of structures in the vertebrate jaw as well as vertebrate limbs. Genomic sequences from the respective taxa will subsequently be compared in order to identify conserved non-coding sequences that are potential cis-regulatory elements. Based on the comparisons they will fashion transgenic mouse experiments to functionally test the strength of the potential cis-regulatory elements. A goal of the project is to attempt to identify those elements that may function in coordinately regulating both Dlx3 and Dlx7 functions.
Date: April 1, 2003
Creator: Amemiya, Chris
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Insights from Human/Mouse genome comparisons

Description: Large-scale public genomic sequencing efforts have provided a wealth of vertebrate sequence data poised to provide insights into mammalian biology. These include deep genomic sequence coverage of human, mouse, rat, zebrafish, and two pufferfish (Fugu rubripes and Tetraodon nigroviridis) (Aparicio et al. 2002; Lander et al. 2001; Venter et al. 2001; Waterston et al. 2002). In addition, a high-priority has been placed on determining the genomic sequence of chimpanzee, dog, cow, frog, and chicken (Boguski 2002). While only recently available, whole genome sequence data have provided the unique opportunity to globally compare complete genome contents. Furthermore, the shared evolutionary ancestry of vertebrate species has allowed the development of comparative genomic approaches to identify ancient conserved sequences with functionality. Accordingly, this review focuses on the initial comparison of available mammalian genomes and describes various insights derived from such analysis.
Date: March 30, 2003
Creator: Pennacchio, Len A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Unusual Gene Order and Organization of the Sea Urchin Hox Cluster

Description: The highly consistent gene order and axial colinear expression patterns found in vertebrate hox gene clusters are less well conserved across the rest of bilaterians. We report the first deuterostome instance of an intact hox cluster with a unique gene order where the paralog groups are not expressed in a sequential manner. The finished sequence from BAC clones from the genome of the sea urchin, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus, reveals a gene order wherein the anterior genes (Hox1, Hox2 and Hox3) lie nearest the posterior genes in the cluster such that the most 3 gene is Hox5. (The gene order is : 5-Hox1, 2, 3, 11/13c, 11/13b, 11/13a, 9/10, 8, 7, 6, 5 - 3). The finished sequence result is corroborated by restriction mapping evidence and BAC-end scaffold analyses. Comparisons with a putative ancestral deuterostome Hox gene cluster suggest that the rearrangements leading to the sea urchin gene order were many and complex.
Date: October 11, 2005
Creator: Cameron, R A; Rowen, L; Nesbitt, R; Bloom, S; Rast, J P; Berney, K et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Information Management Infrastructure for the Systematic Annotation of Vertebrate Genomes

Description: The primary accomplishment of the project has been the development of a functional genomics database system, GUS (Genomics Unified Schema). The system provides a relational schema, application framework, and web interface for multiple projects and includes information on sequences, gene expression, gene regulation, ontologies, and data provenance. The system has been made portable and has been set up at other institutions. A web site is available describing the system and providing links for downloading code at http://www.gusdb.org.
Date: March 21, 2003
Creator: Stoeckert, Christian J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

ECR Browser: A Tool For Visualizing And Accessing Data From Comparisons Of Multiple Vertebrate Genomes

Description: The increasing number of vertebrate genomes being sequenced in draft or finished form provide a unique opportunity to study and decode the language of DNA sequence through comparative genome alignments. However, novel tools and strategies are required to accommodate this increasing volume of genomic information and to facilitate experimental annotation of genome function. Here we present the ECR Browser, a tool that provides an easy and dynamic access to whole genome alignments of human, mouse, rat and fish sequences. This web-based tool (http://ecrbrowser.dcode.org) provides the starting point for discovery of novel genes, identification of distant gene regulatory elements and prediction of transcription factor binding sites. The genome alignment portal of the ECR Browser also permits fast and automated alignment of any user-submitted sequence to the genome of choice. The interconnection of the ECR browser with other DNA sequence analysis tools creates a unique portal for studying and exploring vertebrate genomes.
Date: January 6, 2004
Creator: Loots, G G; Ovcharenko, I; Stubbs, L & Nobrega, M A
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Genome of the Western Clawed Frog Xenopus tropicalis

Description: The western clawed frog Xenopus tropicalis is an important model for vertebrate development that combines experimental advantages of the African clawed frog Xenopus laevis with more tractable genetics. Here we present a draft genome sequence assembly of X. tropicalis. This genome encodes over 20,000 protein-coding genes, including orthologs of at least 1,700 human disease genes. Over a million expressed sequence tags validated the annotation. More than one-third of the genome consists of transposable elements, with unusually prevalent DNA transposons. Like other tetrapods, the genome contains gene deserts enriched for conserved non-coding elements. The genome exhibits remarkable shared synteny with human and chicken over major parts of large chromosomes, broken by lineage-specific chromosome fusions and fissions, mainly in the mammalian lineage.
Date: October 1, 2009
Creator: Hellsten, Uffe; Harland, Richard M.; Gilchrist, Michael J.; Hendrix, David; Jurka, Jerzy; Kapitonov, Vladimir et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Evolutionary Genomics of Life in (and from) the Sea

Description: High throughput genome sequencing centers that were originally built for the Human Genome Project (Lander et al., 2001; Venter et al., 2001) have now become an engine for comparative genomics. The six largest centers alone are now producing over 150 billion nucleotides per year, more than 50 times the amount of DNA in the human genome, and nearly all of this is directed at projects that promise great insights into the pattern and processes of evolution. Unfortunately, this data is being produced at a pace far exceeding the capacity of the scientific community to provide insightful analysis, and few scientists with training and experience in evolutionary biology have played prominent roles to date. One of the consequences is that poor quality analyses are typical; for example, orthology among genes is generally determined by simple measures of sequence similarity, when this has been discredited by molecular evolutionary biologists decades ago. Here we discuss the how genomes are chosen for sequencing and how the scientific community can have input. We describe the PhIGs database and web tools (Dehal and Boore 2005a; http://PhIGs.org), which provide phylogenetic analysis of all gene families for all completely sequenced genomes and the associated 'Synteny Viewer', which allows comparisons of the relative positions of orthologous genes. This is the best tool available for inferring gene function across multiple genomes. We also describe how we have used the PhIGs methods with the whole genome sequences of a tunicate, fish, mouse, and human to conclusively demonstrate that two rounds of whole genome duplication occurred at the base of vertebrates (Dehal and Boore 2005b). This evidence is found in the large scale structure of the positions of paralogous genes that arose from duplications inferred by evolutionary analysis to have occurred at the base of vertebrates.
Date: January 9, 2006
Creator: Boore, Jeffrey L.; Dehal, Paramvir & Fuerstenberg, Susan I.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A Multimedia Atlas of Dissection for Comparative Anatomy of the Vertebrates

Description: This interactive multimedia content is part of the thesis that was prepared for the degree of Master of Science in Biology: http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2224. Traditional methods of teaching the laboratory course for Comparative Anatomy of the Vertebrates could be improved by applying current computer technology to construct an interactive, multimedial atlas of dissection. Five specimens used in comparative anatomy courses at most institutions were chosen as representative members of the Phylum Chordata: amphioxus, lamprey, dogfish shark, mud puppy, and cat. Specimens were dissected according to the modified method of Wischnitzer, 1993, and each stage was photographed with a Kodak DC120 digital zoom camera. These images were processed on a Power Macintosh 7600 computer with Adobe Photoshop v. 5.0. The atlas was constructed from these images using Macromedia Authorware v. 4.0.3. Each image contains a series of interactive objects that display a highlight and descriptive text as the cursor passes over each object.
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: August 1999
Creator: Curran, Anthony A., Jr.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Conservation plan for protected species on Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 1, Kern County, California

Description: Habitats in and around Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 1 (NPR-1) support populations of various vertebrates and plants, including a number of threatened and endangered species. Adequate conservation of habitats and species, particularly protected species, can be facilitated through development and implementation of management plans. This document provides a comprehensive plan for the conservation of protected species on NPR-1, through compliance with terms and conditions expressed in Biological Opinions rendered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for NPR-1 activities. Six conservation strategies by which threatened and endangered species have been, and will be, protected are described: population monitoring, mitigation strategies, special studies, operating guidelines and policies, information transfer and outreach, and the endangered species conservation area. Population monitoring programs are essential for determining population densities and for assessing the effects of oil field developments and environmental factors on protected species. Mitigation strategies (preactivity surveys and habitat reclamation) are employed to minimize the loss of important habitats components and to restore previously disturbed lands to conditions more suitable for species` use. A number of special studies were undertaken between 1985 and 1995 to investigate the effectiveness of a variety of population and habitat management techniques with the goal of increasing the density of protected species. Operating guidelines and policies governing routine oil field activities continue to be implemented to minimize the potential for the incidental take of protected species and minimize damage to wildlife habitats. Information transfer and outreach activities are important means by which technical and nontechnical information concerning protected species conservation on NPR-1 is shared with both the scientific and non-scientific public.
Date: July 1, 1997
Creator: Otten, M.R.M. & Cypher, B.L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

rVISTA for Comparative Sequence-Based Discovery of Functional Transcription Factor Binding Sites

Description: Identifying transcriptional regulatory elements represents a significant challenge in annotating the genomes of higher vertebrates. We have developed a computational tool, rVISTA, for high-throughput discovery of cis-regulatory elements that combines transcription factor binding site prediction and the analysis of inter-species sequence conservation. Here, we illustrate the ability of rVISTA to identify true transcription factor binding sites through the analysis of AP-1 and NFAT binding sites in the 1 Mb well-annotated cytokine gene cluster1 (Hs5q31; Mm11). The exploitation of orthologous human-mouse data set resulted in the elimination of 95 percent of the 38,000 binding sites predicted upon analysis of the human sequence alone, while it identified 87 percent of the experimentally verified binding sites in this region.
Date: March 8, 2002
Creator: Loots, Gabriela G.; Ovcharenko, Ivan; Pachter, Lior; Dubchak, Inna & Rubin, Edward M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

RAD51AP2, a novel vertebrate- and meiotic-specific protein, sharesa conserved RAD51-interacting C-terminal domain with RAD51AP1/PIR51

Description: Many interacting proteins regulate and/or assist the activities of RAD51, a recombinase which plays a critical role in both DNA repair and meiotic recombination. Yeast two-hybrid screening of a human testis cDNA library revealed a new protein, RAD51AP2 (RAD51 Associated Protein 2), that interacts strongly with RAD51. A full-length cDNA clone predicts a novel vertebrate specific protein of 1159 residues, and the RAD51AP2 transcript was observed only in meiotic tissue (i.e. adult testis and fetal ovary), suggesting a meiotic-specific function for RAD51AP2. In HEK293 cells the interaction of RAD51 with an ectopically-expressed recombinant large fragment of RAD51AP2 requires the C-terminal 57 residues of RAD51AP2. This RAD51-binding region shows 81% homology to the C-terminus of RAD51AP1/PIR51, an otherwise totally unrelated RAD51-binding partner that is ubiquitously expressed. Analyses using truncations and point mutations in both RAD51AP1 and RAD51AP2 demonstrate that these proteins use the same structural motif for RAD51 binding. RAD54 shares some homology with this RAD51-binding motif, but this homologous region plays only an accessory role to the adjacent main RAD51-interacting region, which has been narrowed here to 40 amino acids. A novel protein, RAD51AP2, has been discovered that interacts with RAD51 through a C-terminal motif also present in RAD51AP1.
Date: July 25, 2006
Creator: Kovalenko, Oleg V.; Wiese, Claudia & Schild, David
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Predicting Tissue-Specific Enhancers in the Human Genome

Description: Determining how transcriptional regulatory signals areencoded in vertebrate genomes is essential for understanding the originsof multi-cellular complexity; yet the genetic code of vertebrate generegulation remains poorly understood. In an attempt to elucidate thiscode, we synergistically combined genome-wide gene expression profiling,vertebrate genome comparisons, and transcription factor binding siteanalysis to define sequence signatures characteristic of candidatetissue-specific enhancers in the human genome. We applied this strategyto microarray-based gene expression profiles from 79 human tissues andidentified 7,187 candidate enhancers that defined their flanking geneexpression, the majority of which were located outside of knownpromoters. We cross-validated this method for its ability to de novopredict tissue-specific gene expression and confirmed its reliability in57 of the 79 available human tissues, with an average precision inenhancer recognition ranging from 32 percent to 63 percent, and asensitivity of 47 percent. We used the sequence signatures identified bythis approach to assign tissue-specific predictions to ~;328,000human-mouse conserved noncoding elements in the human genome. Byoverlapping these genome-wide predictions with a large in vivo dataset ofenhancers validated in transgenic mice, we confirmed our results with a28 percent sensitivity and 50 percent precision. These results indicatethe power of combining complementary genomic datasets as an initialcomputational foray into the global view of tissue-specific generegulation in vertebrates.
Date: July 1, 2006
Creator: Pennacchio, Len A.; Loots, Gabriela G.; Nobrega, Marcelo A. & Ovcharenko, Ivan
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A Multimedia Atlas of Dissection for Comparative Anatomy of the Vertebrates

Description: Traditional methods of teaching the laboratory course for Comparative Anatomy of the Vertebrates could be improved by applying current computer technology to construct an interactive, multimedial atlas of dissection. Five specimens used in comparative anatomy courses at most institutions were chosen as representative members of the Phylum Chordata: amphioxus, lamprey, dogfish shark, mud puppy, and cat. Specimens were dissected according to the modified method of Wischnitzer, 1993, and each stage was photographed with a Kodak DC120 digital zoom camera. These images were processed on a Power Macintosh 7600 computer with Adobe Photoshop v. 5.0. The atlas was constructed from these images using Macromedia Authorware v. 4.0.3. Each image contains a series of interactive objects that display a highlight and descriptive text as the cursor passes over each object.
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: August 1999
Creator: Curran, Anthony A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Mulan: Multiple-Sequence Local Alignment and Visualization for Studying Function and Evolution

Description: Multiple sequence alignment analysis is a powerful approach for understanding phylogenetic relationships, annotating genes and detecting functional regulatory elements. With a growing number of partly or fully sequenced vertebrate genomes, effective tools for performing multiple comparisons are required to accurately and efficiently assist biological discoveries. Here we introduce Mulan (http://mulan.dcode.org/), a novel method and a network server for comparing multiple draft and finished-quality sequences to identify functional elements conserved over evolutionary time. Mulan brings together several novel algorithms: the tba multi-aligner program for rapid identification of local sequence conservation and the multiTF program for detecting evolutionarily conserved transcription factor binding sites in multiple alignments. In addition, Mulan supports two-way communication with the GALA database; alignments of multiple species dynamically generated in GALA can be viewed in Mulan, and conserved transcription factor binding sites identified with Mulan/multiTF can be integrated and overlaid with extensive genome annotation data using GALA. Local multiple alignments computed by Mulan ensure reliable representation of short-and large-scale genomic rearrangements in distant organisms. Mulan allows for interactive modification of critical conservation parameters to differentially predict conserved regions in comparisons of both closely and distantly related species. We illustrate the uses and applications of the Mulan tool through multi-species comparisons of the GATA3 gene locus and the identification of elements that are conserved differently in avians than in other genomes allowing speculation on the evolution of birds. Source code for the aligners and the aligner-evaluation software can be freely downloaded from http://bio.cse.psu.edu/.
Date: July 14, 2004
Creator: Ovcharenko, I; Loots, G; Giardine, B; Hou, M; Ma, J; Hardison, R et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Computational Analysis of an Evolutionarily Conserved VertebrateMuscle Alternative Splicing Program

Description: A novel exon microarray format that probes gene expression with single exon resolution was employed to elucidate critical features of a vertebrate muscle alternative splicing program. A dataset of 56 microarray-defined, muscle-enriched exons and their flanking introns were examined computationally in order to investigate coordination of the muscle splicing program. Candidate intron regulatory motifs were required to meet several stringent criteria: significant over-representation near muscle-enriched exons, correlation with muscle expression, and phylogenetic conservation among genomes of several vertebrate orders. Three classes of regulatory motifs were identified in the proximal downstream intron, within 200nt of the target exons: UGCAUG, a specific binding site for Fox-1 related splicing factors; ACUAAC, a novel branchpoint-like element; and UG-/UGC-rich elements characteristic of binding sites for CELF splicing factors. UGCAUG was remarkably enriched, being present in nearly one-half of all cases. These studies suggest that Fox and CELF splicing factors play a major role in enforcing the muscle-specific alternative splicing program, facilitating expression of a set of unique isoforms of cytoskeletal proteins that are critical to muscle cell differentiation. Supplementary materials: There are four supplementary tables and one supplementary figure. The tables provide additional detailed information concerning the muscle-enriched datasets, and about over-represented oligonucleotide sequences in the flanking introns. The supplementary figure shows RT-PCR data confirming the muscle-enriched expression of exons predicted from the microarray analysis.
Date: June 15, 2006
Creator: Das, Debopriya; Clark, Tyson A.; Schweitzer, Anthony; Marr,Henry; Yamamoto, Miki L.; Parra, Marilyn K. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Unusual Gene Order and Organization of the Sea Urchin HoxCluster

Description: The highly consistent gene order and axial colinear expression patterns found in vertebrate hox gene clusters are less well conserved across the rest of bilaterians. We report the first deuterostome instance of an intact hox cluster with a unique gene order where the paralog groups are not expressed in a sequential manner. The finished sequence from BAC clones from the genome of the sea urchin, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus, reveals a gene order wherein the anterior genes (Hox1, Hox2 and Hox3) lie nearest the posterior genes in the cluster such that the most 3' gene is Hox5. (The gene order is : 5'-Hox1,2, 3, 11/13c, 11/13b, '11/13a, 9/10, 8, 7, 6, 5 - 3)'. The finished sequence result is corroborated by restriction mapping evidence and BAC-end scaffold analyses. Comparisons with a putative ancestral deuterostome Hox gene cluster suggest that the rearrangements leading to the sea urchin gene order were many and complex.
Date: May 10, 2005
Creator: Richardson, Paul M.; Lucas, Susan; Cameron, R. Andrew; Rowen,Lee; Nesbitt, Ryan; Bloom, Scott et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Comparative genomic analysis as a tool for biologicaldiscovery

Description: Biology is a discipline rooted in comparisons. Comparative physiology has assembled a detailed catalogue of the biological similarities and differences between species, revealing insights into how life has adapted to fill a wide-range of environmental niches. For example, the oxygen and carbon dioxide carrying capacity of vertebrate has evolved to provide strong advantages for species respiring at sea level, at high elevation or within water. Comparative- anatomy, -biochemistry, -pharmacology, -immunology and -cell biology have provided the fundamental paradigms from which each discipline has grown.
Date: March 30, 2003
Creator: Nobrega, Marcelo A. & Pennacchio, Len A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

ECRbase: Database of Evolutionary Conserved Regions, Promoters, and Transcription Factor Binding Sites in Vertebrate Genomes

Description: Evolutionary conservation of DNA sequences provides a tool for the identification of functional elements in genomes. We have created a database of evolutionary conserved regions (ECRs) in vertebrate genomes entitled ECRbase that is constructed from a collection of pairwise vertebrate genome alignments produced by the ECR Browser database. ECRbase features a database of syntenic blocks that recapitulate the evolution of rearrangements in vertebrates and a collection of promoters in all vertebrate genomes presented in the database. The database also contains a collection of annotated transcription factor binding sites (TFBS) in all ECRs and promoter elements. ECRbase currently includes human, rhesus macaque, dog, opossum, rat, mouse, chicken, frog, zebrafish, and two pufferfish genomes. It is freely accessible at http://ECRbase.dcode.org.
Date: August 8, 2006
Creator: Loots, G & Ovcharenko, I
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

04-ERD-052-Final Report

Description: Generating the sequence of the human genome represents a colossal achievement for science and mankind. The technical use for the human genome project information holds great promise to cure disease, prevent bioterror threats, as well as to learn about human origins. Yet converting the sequence data into biological meaningful information has not been immediately obvious, and we are still in the preliminary stages of understanding how the genome is organized, what are the functional building blocks and how do these sequences mediate complex biological processes. The overarching goal of this program was to develop novel methods and high throughput strategies for determining the functions of ''anonymous'' human genes that are evolutionarily deeply conserved in other vertebrates. We coupled analytical tool development and computational predictions regarding gene function with novel high throughput experimental strategies and tested biological predictions in the laboratory. The tools required for comparative genomic data-mining are fundamentally the same whether they are applied to scientific studies of related microbes or the search for functions of novel human genes. For this reason the tools, conceptual framework and the coupled informatics-experimental biology paradigm we developed in this LDRD has many potential scientific applications relevant to LLNL multidisciplinary research in bio-defense, bioengineering, bionanosciences and microbial and environmental genomics.
Date: February 26, 2007
Creator: Loots, G G; Ovcharenko, I; Collette, N; Babu, P; Chang, J; Stubbs, L et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department