Selective Differentiation (selective + differentiation)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Stemness, fusion and renewal of hematopoietic and embryonic stem cells

S. Constantinescu
Abstract Development of replacement cell therapies awaits the identification of factors that regulate nuclear reprogramming and the mechanisms that control stem cell renewal and differentiation. Once such factors and signals will begin to be elucidated, new technologies will have to be envisaged where uniform differentiation of adult or embryonic stem cells along one differentiation pathway can be induced. Controlled differentiation of stem cells will require the engineering of niches and extracellular signal combinations that would amplify a particular signaling network and allow uniform and selective differentiation. Three recent advances in stem cell research open the possibility to approach engineering studies for cell replacement therapies. Fusion events between stem cells and adult cells or between adult and embryonic stem cells have been shown to result in altered fates and nuclear reprogramming of cell hybrids. Hematopoietic stem cells were shown to require Wnt signaling in order to renew. The purification of Wnt proteins would allow their use as exogenous purified cytokines in attempts to amplify stem cells before bone marrow transplantation. The homeodomain protein Nanog has been shown to be crucial for the embryonic stem cell renewal and pluripotency. However, the cardinal question of how stemness is preserved in the early embryo and adult stem cells remains opened. [source]

Morphological and genetic divergence of intralacustrine stickleback morphs in Iceland: a case for selective differentiation?

Abstract The evolutionary processes involved in population divergence and local adaptation are poorly understood. Theory predicts that divergence of adjacent populations is possible but depends on several factors including gene flow, divergent selection, population size and the number of genes involved in divergence and their distribution on the genome. We analyse variation in neutral markers, markers linked to putative quantitative trait loci and morphological traits in a recent (< 10 000 years) zone of primary divergence between stickleback morphs in Lake Thingvallavatn, Iceland. Environmental factors, especially predation, are clearly implicated in reducing gene flow between morphs. There is continuous morphological and genetic variation between habitats with a zone centre similar to secondary contact zones. Individual microsatellite loci are implicated as being linked to adaptive variation by direct tests as well as by differences in cline shape. Patterns of linkage disequilibria indicate that the morphs have diverged at several loci. This divergence shows parallels and differences with the well-studied limnetic,benthic stickleback morphs, both in phenotypic divergence and at the genomic level. [source]

Maternal genetic effects on adaptive divergence between anadromous and resident brook charr during early life history

Abstract The importance of directional selection relative to neutral evolution may be determined by comparing quantitative genetic variation in phenotype (QST) to variation at neutral molecular markers (FST). Quantitative divergence between salmonid life history types is often considerable, but ontogenetic changes in the significance of major sources of genetic variance during post-hatch development suggest that selective differentiation varies by developmental stage. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that maternal genetic differentiation between anadromous and resident brook charr (Salvelinus fontinalis Mitchill) populations for early quantitative traits (embryonic size/growth, survival, egg number and developmental time) would be greater than neutral genetic differentiation, but that the maternal genetic basis for differentiation would be higher for pre-resorption traits than post-resorption traits. Quantitative genetic divergence between anadromous (seawater migratory) and resident Laval River (Québec) brook charr based on maternal genetic variance was high (QST > 0.4) for embryonic length, yolk sac volume, embryonic growth rate and time to first response to feeding relative to neutral genetic differentiation [FST = 0.153 (0.071,0.214)], with anadromous females having positive genetic coefficients for all of the above characters. However, QST was essentially zero for all traits post-resorption of the yolk sac. Our results indicate that the observed divergence between resident and anadromous brook charr has been driven by directional selection, and may therefore be adaptive. Moreover, they provide among the first evidence that the relative importance of selective differentiation may be highly context-specific, and varies by genetic contributions to phenotype by parental sex at specific points in offspring ontogeny. This in turn suggests that interpretations of QST - FST comparisons may be improved by considering the structure of quantitative genetic architecture by age category and the sex of the parent used in estimation. [source]

Cladogenesis and reticulation in the Hawaiian endemic mints (Lamiaceae)

CLADISTICS, Issue 6 2003
Charlotte Lindqvist
The Hawaiian endemic mints, which comprise 58 species of dry-fruited Haplostachys and fleshy-fruited Phyllostegia and Stenogyne, represent a major island radiation that likely originated from polyploid hybrid ancestors in the temperate North American Stachys lineage. In contrast with considerable morphological and ecological diversity among taxa, sequence variation in the nrDNA 5S non-transcribed spacer was found to be remarkably low, which when analyzed using standard parsimony resulted in a lack of phylogenetic resolution among accessions of insect-pollinated Phyllostegia and bird-pollinated Stenogyne. However, many within-individual nucleotide polymorphisms were observed, and under the assumption that they could contain phylogenetic information, these ambiguities were recoded as new character states. Substantially more phylogenetic structure was obtained with these data, including the resolution of most Stenogyne species into a monophyletic group with an apparent recent origin on O'ahu (3.0 My) or the Maui Nui island complex (2.2 My). Subsequent diversification appears to have involved multiple inter-island dispersal events. Intergeneric placements for a few morphotypes, seemingly misplaced within either Phyllostegia or Stenogyne, may indicate reticulation as one polymorphism-generating force. For a finer scale exploration of hybridization, preliminary AFLP fragment data were examined among putative hybrids of Stenogyne microphylla and S. rugosa from Mauna Kea, Hawai'i, that had been identified based on morphology. Cladistic analysis (corroborated by multivariate correspondence analysis) showed the morphologically intermediate individuals to group in a strongly supported monophyletic clade with S. microphylla. Therefore, reticulation could be both historic and active in Stenogyne, and perhaps a force of general importance in the evolution of the Hawaiian mints. The relatively greater extent of lineage-sorted polymorphisms in Stenogyne may indicate selective differentiation from other fleshy-fruited taxa, perhaps through the agency of highly specialized bird pollinators that restricted gene flow with other Hawaiian mint morphotypes. [source]