6,449 research outputs found

    Squarepants in a Tree: Sum of Subtree Clustering and Hyperbolic Pants Decomposition

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    We provide efficient constant factor approximation algorithms for the problems of finding a hierarchical clustering of a point set in any metric space, minimizing the sum of minimimum spanning tree lengths within each cluster, and in the hyperbolic or Euclidean planes, minimizing the sum of cluster perimeters. Our algorithms for the hyperbolic and Euclidean planes can also be used to provide a pants decomposition, that is, a set of disjoint simple closed curves partitioning the plane minus the input points into subsets with exactly three boundary components, with approximately minimum total length. In the Euclidean case, these curves are squares; in the hyperbolic case, they combine our Euclidean square pants decomposition with our tree clustering method for general metric spaces.Comment: 22 pages, 14 figures. This version replaces the proof of what is now Lemma 5.2, as the previous proof was erroneou

    A eubacterial origin for the human tRNA nucleotidyltransferase?

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    tRNA CCA-termini are generated and maintained by tRNA nucleotidyltransferases. Together with poly(A) polymerases and other enzymes they belong to the nucleotidyltransferase superfamily. However, sequence alignments within this family do not allow to distinguish between CCA-adding enzymes and poly(A) polymerases. Furthermore, due to the lack of sequence information about animal CCA-adding enzymes, identification of corresponding animal genes was not possible so far. Therefore, we looked for the human homolog using the baker's yeast tRNA nucleotidyltransferase as a query sequence in a BLAST search. This revealed that the human gene transcript CGI-47, (\#AF151805) deposited in GenBank is likely to encode such an enzyme. To identify the nature of this protein, the cDNA of the transcript was cloned and the recombinant protein biochemically characterized, indicating that CGI-47 encodes a bona fide CCA-adding enzyme and not a poly(A) polymerase. This confirmed animal CCA-adding enzyme allowed us to identify putative homologs from other animals. Calculation of a neighbor-joining tree, using an alignment of several CCA-adding enzymes, revealed that the animal enzymes resemble more eubacterial ones than eukaryotic plant and fungal tRNA nucleotidyltransferases, suggesting that the animal nuclear cca genes might have been derived from the endosymbiotic progenitor of mitochondria and are therefore of eubacterial origin

    Selective Pressure of Antibiotic Pollution on Bacteria of Importance to Public Health

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    Background: Many bacteria of clinical importance survive and may grow in different environments. Antibiotic pollution may exert on them a selective pressure leading to an increase in the prevalence of resistance. Objectives: In this study we sought to determine whether environmental concentrations of antibiotics and concentrations representing action limits used in environmental risk assessment may exert a selective pressure on clinically relevant bacteria in the environment. Methods: We used bacterial inhibition as an assessment end point to link antibiotic selective pressures to the prevalence of resistance in bacterial populations. Species sensitivity distributions were derived for three antibiotics by fitting log-logistic models to end points calculated from minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) distributions based on worldwide data collated by the European Committee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing (EUCAST). To place bacteria represented in these distributions in a broader context, we performed a brief phylogenetic analysis. The potentially affected fraction of bacterial genera at measured environmental concentrations of antibiotics and environmental risk assessment action limits was used as a proxy for antibiotic selective pressure. Measured environmental concentrations and environmental risk assessment action limits were also directly compared to wild-type cut-off values. Results: The potentially affected fraction of bacterial genera estimated based on antibiotic concentrations measured in water environments is ≤ 7%. We estimated that measured environmental concentrations in river sediments, swine feces lagoons, liquid manure, and farmed soil inhibit wild-type populations in up to 60%, 92%, 100%, and 30% of bacterial genera, respectively. At concentrations used as action limits in environmental risk assessment, erythromycin and ciprofloxacin were estimated to inhibit wild-type populations in up to 25% and 76% of bacterial genera. Conclusions: Measured environmental concentrations of antibiotics, as well as concentrations representing environmental risk assessment action limits, are high enough to exert a selective pressure on clinically relevant bacteria that may lead to an increase in the prevalence of resistance

    Phylogenetic Analysis of Kindlins Suggests Subfunctionalization of an Ancestral Unduplicated Kindlin into Three Paralogs in Vertebrates

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    Kindlin proteins represent a newly discovered family of evolutionarily conserved FERM domain-containing proteins. This family includes three highly conserved proteins: Kindlin-1, Kindlin-2 and Kindlin-3. All three Kindlin proteins are associated with focal adhesions and are involved in integrin activation. The FERM domain of each Kindlin is bipartite and plays a key role in integrin activation. We herein explore for the first time the evolutionary history of these proteins. The phylogeny of the Kindlins suggests a single ancestral Kindlin protein present in even the earliest metazoan ie, hydra. This protein then underwent duplication events in insects and also experienced genome duplication in vertebrates, leading to the Kindlin family. A comparative study of the Kindlin paralogs showed that Kindlin-2 is the slowest evolving protein among the three family members. The analysis of synonymous and non-synonymous substitutions in orthologous Kindlin sequences in different species showed that all three Kindlins have been evolving under the influence of purifying selection. The expression pattern of Kindlins along with phylogenetic studies supports the subfunctionalization model of gene duplication

    Widespread association between the ericoid mycorrhizal fungus Rhizoscyphus ericae and a leafy liverwort in the maritime and sub-Antarctic

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    A recent study identified a fungal isolate from the Antarctic leafy liverwort Cephaloziella varians as the ericoid mycorrhizal associate Rhizoscyphus ericae. However, nothing is known about the wider Antarctic distribution of R. ericae in C. varians, and inoculation experiments confirming the ability of the fungus to form coils in the liverwort are lacking. Using direct isolation and baiting with Vaccinium macrocarpon seedlings, fungi were isolated from C. varians sampled from eight sites across a 1875-km transect through sub- and maritime Antarctica. The ability of an isolate to form coils in aseptically grown C. varians was also tested. Fungi with 98–99% sequence identity to R. ericae internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region and partial large subunit ribosomal (r)DNA sequences were frequently isolated from C. varians at all sites sampled. The EF4/Fung5 primer set did not amplify small subunit rDNA from three of five R. ericae isolates, probably accounting for the reported absence of the fungus from C. varians in a previous study. Rhizoscyphus ericae was found to colonize aseptically-grown C. varians intracellularly, forming hyphal coils. This study shows that the association between R. ericae and C. varians is apparently widespread in Antarctica, and confirms that R. ericae is at least in part responsible for the formation of the coils observed in rhizoids of field-collected C. varians

    Simultaneous Assembly Planning and Assembly System Design Using Multi-objective Genetic Algorithms

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    This paper aims to demonstrate the application of multi-objective evolutionary optimization, namely an adaptation of NSGA-II, to simultaneously optimize the assembly sequence plan as well as selection of the type and number of assembly stations for a production shop that produces three different models of wind propelled ventilators. The decision variables, which are the assembly sequences of each product and the machine selection at each assembly station, are encoded in a manner that allows efficient implementation of a repair operator to maintain the feasibility of the offspring. Test runs are conducted for the sample assembly system using a crossover operator tailored for the proposed encoding and some conventional crossover schemes. The results show overall good performance for all schemes with the best performance achieved by the tailored crossover, which illustrates the applicability of multi-objective GAÕs. The presented framework proposed is generic to be applicable to other products and assembly systems.Peer Reviewedhttp://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/87283/4/Saitou97.pd