Ancient Origin (ancient + origin)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

The Yellow-necked Mouse Apodemus flavicollis in Britain: status and analysis of factors affecting distribution

MAMMAL REVIEW, Issue 3-4 2001
Aidan C. W. Marsh
ABSTRACT A national survey of the Yellow-necked Mouse (Apodemus flavicollis) in Britain was undertaken by The Mammal Society. The live-trapping study sampled small mammal populations from 168 deciduous woodlands in autumn 1998. Within their range, Yellow-necked Mice were widespread in deciduous woodland and were more abundant than Wood Mice in 15% of the woodlands sampled. These trapping records, as well as records solicited from local recorders, record centres and individuals, supplemented the existing distribution map, confirming the general pattern, but with minor extensions to some range borders. Yellow-necked Mice were found in woodland of all ages, but were more common in woods of ancient origin than in younger woodland. Woodland size was not important in determining the presence or abundance of Yellow-necked Mice, but they were more often absent from woods more than 2 km from neighbouring substantial woodland. The presence of Yellow-necked Mice did not affect the relative abundance of Wood Mice (Apodemus sylvaticus). However, the decline in the proportion of breeding male Wood Mice at the end of the main breeding season was more marked in those woods that also contained Yellow-necked Mice. Where their ranges overlapped, Bank Voles (Clethrionomys glareolus) were less abundant where Yellow-necked Mice were also present. The distribution of the Yellow-necked Mouse was explored with respect to a number of climatic, soil and habitat variables. Maximum summer temperature was the most significant variable explaining distribution, although woodland cover variables also contributed. Soil moisture and pH, mean rainfall and winter temperature parameters did not predict Yellow-necked Mouse distribution. Low summer temperature may limit Yellow-necked Mouse distribution through its impact on tree seed production and diversity. Climatic change leading to a rise in summer temperature might encourage range expansion by Yellow-necked Mice, if their other habitat requirements are met. [source]

Mycoviruses of filamentous fungi and their relevance to plant pathology

SUMMARY Mycoviruses (fungal viruses) are reviewed with emphasis on plant pathogenic fungi. Based on the presence of virus-like particles and unencapsidated dsRNAs, mycoviruses are common in all major fungal groups. Over 80 mycovirus species have been officially recognized from ten virus families, but a paucity of nucleic acid sequence data makes assignment of many reported mycoviruses difficult. Although most of the particle types recognized to date are isometric, a variety of morphologies have been found and, additionally, many apparently unencapsidated dsRNAs have been reported. Until recently, most characterized mycoviruses have dsRNA genomes, but ssRNA mycoviruses now constitute about one-third of the total. Two hypotheses for the origin of mycoviruses of plant pathogens are discussed: the first that they are of unknown but ancient origin and have coevolved along with their hosts, the second that they have relatively recently moved from a fungal plant host into the fungus. Although mycoviruses are typically readily transmitted through asexual spores, transmission through sexual spores varies with the host fungus. Evidence for natural horizontal transmission has been found. Typically, mycoviruses are apparently symptomless (cryptic) but beneficial effects on the host fungus have been reported. Of more practical interest to plant pathologists are those viruses that confer a hypovirulent phenotype, and the scope for using such viruses as biocontrol agents is reviewed. New tools are being developed based on host genome studies that will help to address the intellectual challenge of understanding the fungal,virus interactions and the practical challenge of manipulating this relationship to develop novel biocontrol agents for important plant pathogens. [source]

Characterization of two members of the cryptochrome/photolyase family from Ostreococcus tauri provides insights into the origin and evolution of cryptochromes

ABSTRACT Cryptochromes (Crys) are blue light receptors believed to have evolved from the DNA photolyase protein family, implying that light control and light protection share a common ancient origin. In this paper, we report the identification of five genes of the Cry/photolyase family (CPF) in two green algae of the Ostreococcus genus. Phylogenetic analyses were used to confidently assign three of these sequences to cyclobutane pyrimidine dimer (CPD) photolyases, one of them to a DASH-type Cry, and a third CPF gene has high homology with the recently described diatom CPF1 that displays a bifunctional activity. Both purified OtCPF1 and OtCPF2 proteins show non-covalent binding to flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD), and additionally to 5,10-methenyl-tetrahydrofolate (MTHF) for OtCPF2. Expression analyses revealed that all five CPF members of Ostreococcus tauri are regulated by light. Furthermore, we show that OtCPF1 and OtCPF2 display photolyase activity and that OtCPF1 is able to interact with the CLOCK:BMAL heterodimer, transcription factors regulating circadian clock function in other organisms. Finally, we provide evidence for the involvement of OtCPF1 in the maintenance of the Ostreococcus circadian clock. This work improves our understanding of the evolutionary transition between photolyases and Crys. [source]

Mitochondrial DNA analysis of horses recovered from a frozen tomb (Berel site, Kazakhstan, 3rd Century BC)

C. Keyser-Tracqui
Summary Sequence polymorphism of the mitochondrial DNA D-loop was used to determine the genetic diversity of horses recovered from a Scythian princely tomb dating from the beginning of the 3rd century BC. Eight haplotypes were found among the 13 ancient horse samples tested. Phylogenetical analysis showed that these ancient horse's sequences, along with two Yakut ones, were distributed throughout the tree defined by modern horses' sequences and are closely related to them. No clear geographical affiliation of the specimens studied was thus determined. Our work, among others, supports the very ancient origin of the matrilines in horses. [source]

Karyotype morphology and cytogeography in Brunnera and Cynoglottis (Boraginaceae)

A comparative study of karyotype morphology and heterochromatin patterns in Brunnera and Cynoglottis (Boraginaceae) was carried out with traditional methods and Giemsa C-banding. Two polymorphic species of Cynoglottis, each with two subspecies, and two of Brunnera were investigated using native population samples from the central-eastern Mediterranean and Middle East. Pollen size of these samples was measured to investigate relationships with ploidy level. C. barrelieri subsp. barrelieri and subsp. serpentinicola are characterized by In = 18 and smaller pollen grains in contrast to C. chetikiana subsp. chetikiana and subsp. paphlagonica, which are fundamentally tetraploid with 2n = 36. The occurrence of cytotypes with 2n ,/2 and 2n = 24 in both subspecies of C. chetikiana, however, would suggest x = 6 as the original haploid number and x = 9 as a derived one. Furthermore, the finding of a hypoploid cytotype with 2n = 16 in C. barrelieri ssp. barrelieri was consistent with previous reports and suggested relationships with Anchusa. Karyoevolutionary processes possibly associated with such a wide chromosome variation in Cynoglottis are discussed. Brunnera macrophylla and B. orientalis share a complement of 2n= 12 and an apparently identical karyotype, which differs from Cynoglottis in terms of asymmetry, chromosome size and morphology. A basic C-banding style was present in Brunnera and Cynoglottis, but heterochromatin content increased from the former to the latter. The parallel increase in chromosome number, heterochromatin content and size of the pollen from Brunnera to Cynoglottis may reflect an evolutionary progression, and is consistent with the supposed ancient origin of Brunnera. [source]

Biological and Molecular Geochemical Evidence for Dinoflagellate Ancestors in the Upper Sinian-Cambrian

ZHANG Shuichang
Abstract Dinoflagellates are single celled organisms that reflect the ecological conditions in modern oceans and lakes. Their earliest undisputed fossil record suggests that dinoflagellates originated from the Middle Triassic (c. 240 Ma ago). However, the presence of molecular biomarkers (dinosterane, 4,-methyl-24-ethylcholestane and triaromatic dinosteroids) in rock extracts and coccoid dinoflagellate fossils from the upper Sinian to Cambrian of the Tarim basin confirms the hypothesis that dinoflagellates have an ancient origin, and predate the oldest undisputed dinoflagellate fossils at least by 300 Ma, as early as the late Sinian-Cambrian. [source]