The centipede genus Eupolybothrus Verhoeff, 1907 in North Africa is revised. A new cavernicolous species, Eupolybothrus kahfi Stoev & Akkari, sp. n., is described from a cave in Jebel Zaghouan, northeast Tunisia. Morphologically, it is most closely related to Eupolybothrus nudicornis (Gervais, 1837) from North Africa and Southwest Europe but can be readily distinguished by the long antennae and leg-pair 15, a conical dorso-median protuberance emerging from the posterior part of prefemur 15, and the shape of the male first genital sternite. Molecular sequence data from the cytochrome c oxidase I gene (mtDNA–5’ COI-barcoding fragment) exhibit 19.19% divergence between Eupolybothrus kahfi and Eupolybothrus nudicornis, an interspecific value comparable to those observed among four other species of Eupolybothrus which, combined with a low intraspecific divergence (0.3–1.14%), supports the morphological diagnosis of Eupolybothrus kahfi as a separate species. This is the first troglomorphic myriapod to be found in Tunisia, and the second troglomorph lithobiomorph centipede known from North Africa. Eupolybothrus nudicornis is redescribed based on abundant material from Tunisia and its post-embryonic development, distribution and habitat preferences recorded. Eupolybothrus cloudsley-thompsoni Turk, 1955, a nominal species based on Tunisian type material, is placed in synonymy with Eupolybothrus nudicornis. To comply with the latest technological developments in publishing of biological information, the paper implements new approaches in cybertaxonomy, such as fine granularity XML tagging validated against the NLM DTD TaxPub for PubMedCentral and dissemination in XML to various aggregators (GBIF, EOL, Wikipedia), vizualisation of all taxa mentioned in the text via the dynamically created Pensoft Taxon Profile (PTP) page, data publishing, georeferencing of all localities via Google Earth, and ZooBank, GenBank and MorphBank registration of datasets. An interactive key to all valid species of Eupolybothrus is made with DELTA software.
Eupolybothrus kahfi sp. n.; Eupolybothrus nudicornis; North Africa; barcoding; cytochrome c oxidase I gene; troglomorphism; habitat preferences; interactive key; cybertaxonomy; semantic tagging; semantic enhancements
Australian stiletto flies of the sister-genera Acupalpa Kröber, 1912 and Pipinnipons Winterton, 2001 (Diptera: Therevidae: Agapophytinae) are revised. Twelve new species of Acupalpa are described, while Acupalpa imitans (White, 1915), comb. n. is transferred from Pipinnipons and Acupalpa albimanis (Kröber, 1914), comb. n. is transferred from Ectinorhynchus Macquart as a senior synonym of Acupalpa pollinosa Mann. The total number of species of Acupalpa is therefore increased to 19: Acupalpa albimanis (Kröber), comb. n., Acupalpa albitarsa Mann, Acupalpa boharti sp. n., Acupalpa divisa (Walker), Acupalpa dolichorhyncha sp. n., Acupalpa glossa sp. n., Acupalpa imitans (White), comb. n., Acupalpa irwini Winterton, Acupalpa melanophaeos sp. n., Acupalpa miaboolya sp. n., Acupalpa minuta sp. n., Acupalpa minutoides sp. n., Acupalpa notomelas sp. n., Acupalpa novayamarna sp. n., Acupalpa rostrata Kröber, Acupalpa semirufa Mann, Acupalpa westralica sp. n., Acupalpa yalgoo sp. n. and Acupalpa yanchep sp. n. Three new species of Pipinnipons are described, increasing the total number of species to five: Pipinnipons chauncyvallis sp. n., Pipinnipons fascipennis (Kröber), Pipinnipons kampmeierae sp. n., Pipinnipons kroeberi Winterton, and P. sphecoda sp. n. Pipinnipons and Acupalpa are rediagnosed in light of the new species presented herein and revised keys to species are included. A dichotomous key to genera of Australasian Therevidae is included. As an empirical example of cybertaxonomy, taxonomic descriptions were composed using a character matrix developed in Lucid Builder (in Structured Descriptive Data (SDD) format) to generate natural language descriptions supplemented by online specimen and image databases. Web resources are provided throughout the document including: a) links to high resolution colour images of all species on Morphbank, b) registration of authors, publications, taxon names and other nomenclatural acts in Zoobank, with assignment of Life Science Identifiers (LSIDs) for each, c) links to Genbank accession records for DNA sequences, and d) assignment of LSIDs to specimen records with links to respective records in an online Therevidae specimen database.
cybertaxonomy; LSID; character matrix; natural language description
Storck, Roger (The University of Texas, Austin). Nucleotide composition of nucleic acids from fungi. II. Deoxyribonucleic acids. J. Bacteriol. 91:227–230. 1966.—The nucleotide composition of the deoxyribonucleic acids (DNA) present in extracts of 30 species of fungi was determined. The results were analyzed, together with those in the literature. It was found that the content, in moles per cent of guanine plus cytosine (GC content), varied from 38 to 63% in a distribution composed of 9 species of zygomycetes, 14 of ascomycetes, and 9 each of deuteromycetes and basidiomycetes. The GC content ranges were: 38 to 48% for the zygomycetes, 38 to 54% for the ascomycetes, 47 to 62% for the deuteromycetes, and 44 to 63% for the basidiomycetes. The GC content ranged from 38 to 40% for four Mucor species. The base composition of fungal DNA appears, therefore, to have a taxonomic and phylogenetic significance.
A large part of our knowledge on the world's species is recorded in the corpus of biodiversity literature with well over hundred million pages, and is represented in natural history collections estimated at 2 – 3 billion specimens. But this body of knowledge is almost entirely in paper-print form and is not directly accessible through the Internet. For the digitization of this literature, new territories have to be chartered in the fields of technical, legal and social issues that presently impede its advance. The taxonomic literature seems especially destined for such a transformation.
Plazi was founded as an association with the primary goal of transforming both the printed and, more recently, "born-digital" taxonomic literature into semantically enabled, enhanced documents. This includes the creation of a test body of literature, an XML schema modeling its logic content (TaxonX), the development of a mark-up editor (GoldenGATE) allowing also the enhancement of documents with links to external resources via Life Science Identifiers (LSID), a repository for publications and issuance of bibliographic identifiers, a dedicated server to serve the marked up content (the Plazi Search and Retrieval Server, SRS) and semantic tools to mine information. Plazi's workflow is designed to respect copyright protection and achieves extraction by observing exceptions and limitations existent in international copyright law.
The information found in Plazi's databases – taxonomic treatments as well as the metadata of the publications – are in the public domain and can therefore be used for further scientific research without any restriction, whether or not contained in copyrighted publications.
Evolutionary cytogenetic comparisons involved 5 species of birds (California condor, chicken, zebra finch, collared flycatcher and black stork) belonging to divergent taxonomic orders. Seventy-four clones from a condor BAC library containing 80 genes were mapped to condor chromosomes using FISH, and 15 clones containing 16 genes were mapped to the stork Z chromosome. Maps for chicken and finch were derived from genome sequence databases, and that for flycatcher from the published literature. Gene content and gene order were highly conserved when individual condor, chicken, and zebra finch autosomes were compared, confirming that these species largely retain karyotypes close to the ancestral condition for neognathous birds. However, several differences were noted: zebra finch chromosomes 1 and 1A are homologous to condor and chicken chromosomes 1, the CHUNK1 gene appears to have transposed on condor chromosome 1, condor chromosomes 4 and 9 and zebra finch chromosomes 4 and 4A are homologous to chicken chromosome arms 4q and 4p, and novel inversions on chromosomes 4, 12 and 13 were found. Condor and stork Z chromosome gene orders are collinear and differentiated by a series of inversions/transpositions when compared to chicken, zebra finch, or flycatcher; phylogenetic analyses suggest independent rearrangement along the chicken, finch, and flycatcher lineages.
Avian molecular cytogenetics; California condor; Z chromosome in birds
Carboxymethylcellulase (CMCase)-producing obligate anaerobes were isolated from the intestinal tract contents but not the feeding habitat of seagrass-consuming pinfish. Taxonomic characterization of these CMCase-producing strains revealed four taxonomic clusters; three were clostridial and one was of unknown taxonomic affinity. Our results demonstrated that the CMCase-producing obligate anaerobe community from pinfish differed from functionally similar microbial communities in terrestrial herbivores.
Motivation: Datasets from high-throughput sequencing technologies have yielded a vast amount of data about organisms in environmental samples. Yet, it is still a challenge to assess the exact organism content in these samples because the task of taxonomic classification is too computationally complex to annotate all reads in a dataset. An easy-to-use webserver is needed to process these reads. While many methods exist, only a few are publicly available on webservers, and out of those, most do not annotate all reads.
Results: We introduce a webserver that implements the naïve Bayes classifier (NBC) to classify all metagenomic reads to their best taxonomic match. Results indicate that NBC can assign next-generation sequencing reads to their taxonomic classification and can find significant populations of genera that other classifiers may miss.
Availability: Publicly available at: http://nbc.ece.drexel.edu.
Motivation: Metagenomics is a recent field of biology that studies microbial communities by analyzing their genomic content directly sequenced from the environment. A metagenomic dataset consists of many short DNA or RNA fragments called reads. One interesting problem in metagenomic data analysis is the discovery of the taxonomic composition of a given dataset. A simple method for this task, called the Lowest Common Ancestor (LCA), is employed in state-of-the-art computational tools for metagenomic data analysis of very short reads (about 100 bp). However LCA has two main drawbacks: it possibly assigns many reads to high taxonomic ranks and it discards a high number of reads.
Results: We present MTR, a new method for tackling these drawbacks using clustering at Multiple Taxonomic Ranks. Unlike LCA, which processes the reads one-by-one, MTR exploits information shared by reads. Specifically, MTR consists of two main phases. First, for each taxonomic rank, a collection of potential clusters of reads is generated, and each potential cluster is associated to a taxon at that rank. Next, a small number of clusters is selected at each rank using a combinatorial optimization algorithm. The effectiveness of the resulting method is tested on a large number of simulated and real-life metagenomes. Results of experiments show that MTR improves on LCA by discarding a significantly smaller number of reads and by assigning much more reads at lower taxonomic ranks. Moreover, MTR provides a more faithful taxonomic characterization of the metagenome population distribution.
Availability: Matlab and C++ source codes of the method available at http://cs.ru.nl/˜gori/software/MTR.tar.gz.
Contact: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.
Not only seasonality but also taxonomic resolution of prey categories has been shown to affect diet studies. We analyzed the stomach contents of three sympatric species, Stellifer rastrifer, S. brasiliensis and S. stellifer, sampled monthly from August 2003 to October 2004 in Caraguatatuba Bay, southeastern Brazil. General characteristics and similarities among their diets were evaluated by considering high taxonomic ranks of all prey groups, and also the lower taxonomic ranks of the main prey groups. Dietary similarity was relatively high among species and low between seasons, and both evaluation criteria gave the equivalent results. The rare items, however, provided information about resource partition, and the species compositions of the most important groups were apparently good indicators of food availability.
Signature genes are genes that are unique to a taxonomic clade and are common within it. They contain a wealth of information about clade-specific processes and hold a strong evolutionary signal that can be used to phylogenetically characterize a set of sequences, such as a metagenomics sample. As signature genes are based on gene content, they provide a means to assess the taxonomic origin of a sequence sample that is complementary to sequence-based analyses. Here, we introduce Signature (http://www.cmbi.ru.nl/signature), a web server that identifies the signature genes in a set of query sequences, and therewith phylogenetically characterizes it. The server produces a list of taxonomic clades that share signature genes with the set of query sequences, along with an insightful image of the tree of life, in which the clades are color coded based on the number of signature genes present. This allows the user to quickly see from which part(s) of the taxonomy the query sequences likely originate.
Taxonomy or biological systematics is the basic scientific discipline of biology, postulating hypotheses of identity and relationships, on which all other natural sciences dealing with organisms relies. However, the scientific contributions of taxonomists have been largely neglected when using species names in scientific publications by not citing the authority on which they are based.
Consequences of this neglect is reduced recognition of the importance of taxonomy, which in turn results in diminished funding, lower interest from journals in publishing taxonomic research, and a reduced number of young scientists entering the field. This has lead to the so-called taxonomic impediment at a time when biodiversity studies are of critical importance.
Here we emphasize a practical and obvious solution to this dilemma. We propose that whenever a species name is used, the author(s) of the species hypothesis be included and the original literature source cited, including taxonomic revisions and identification literature - nothing more than what is done for every other hypothesis or assumption included in a scientific publication. In addition, we postulate that journals primarily publishing taxonomic studies should be indexed in ISISM.
The proposal outlined above would make visible the true contribution of taxonomists within the scientific community, and would provide a more accurate assessment for funding agencies impact and importance of taxonomy, and help in the recruitment of young scientists into the field, thus helping to alleviate the taxonomic impediment. In addition, it would also make much of the biological literature more robust by reducing or alleviating taxonomic uncertainty.
Taxonomy crisis; taxonomic impediment; impact factor; original species description; citation index; systematics
Myelochroa (Asahina) Elix & Hale is a common foliose lichen genus found on the Korean Peninsula. Since it was first recorded nearly two decades ago, no detailed taxonomic or revisionary study of the genus has been conducted. Thus, the current study was conducted to carry out a detailed taxonomic and revisionary study of Myelochroa in South Korea. This study was based on specimens deposited in the Korean Lichen Research Institute (KoLRI). Detailed taxonomic studies and a literature review confirmed the presence of twelve species of Myelochroa from S. Korea, including one new record, Myelochroa xantholepis (Mont. & Bosch) Elix & Hale. Descriptions of each species with their morphological, anatomical and chemical characters together with a key to all known Myelochroa species are presented.
Key; Myelochroa; New record; Parmeliaceae; South Korea
Hypotrachyna (Vainio) Hale is a somewhat rare lichen genus found on the Korean Peninsula. Since it was first recorded more than two decades ago, no detailed taxonomic or revisionary study of the genus has been conducted. Thus, the present study was conducted to carry out a detailed taxonomic and revisionary study of Hypotrachyna in South Korea. This study was based on specimens deposited in the Korean Lichen Research Institute (KoLRI). Detailed taxonomic studies and a literature review confirmed the presence of seven species of Hypotrachyna from South Korea, including one new record, Hypotrachyna nodakensis (Asahina) Hale. Descriptions of each species with their morphological, anatomical and chemical characters together with a key to all known Hypotrachyna species are presented.
Hypotrachyna; Key; New record; Parmeliaceae; South Korea
Revisionary taxonomy is frequently dismissed as merely descriptive, which belies its strong intellectual content and hypothesis-driven nature. Funding for taxonomy is inadequate and largely diverted to studies of phylogeny that neither improve classifications nor nomenclature. Phylogenetic classifications are optimal for storing and predicting information, but phylogeny divorced from taxonomy is ephemeral and erodes the accuracy and information content of the language of biology. Taxonomic revisions and monographs are efficient, high-throughput species hypothesis-testing devices that are ideal for the World Wide Web. Taxonomic knowledge remains essential to credible biological research and is made urgent by the biodiversity crisis. Theoretical and technological advances and threats of mass species extinctions indicate that this is the time for a renaissance in taxonomy. Clarity of vision and courage of purpose are needed from individual taxonomists and natural history museums to bring about this evolution of taxonomy into the information age.
Molecular taxonomic and electron microscopy studies were performed on four bacterial isolates obtained from different sources of San Francisco sourdough (SD). These bacteria were first isolated by Kline and Sugihara who tentatively described them as a previously unreported species of heterofermentative Lactobacillus; they suggested the name Lactobacillus sanfrancisco. The guanine plus cytosine base composition (%GC) of the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) ranged from 38 to 40%. The possible genetic relatedness of these SD isolates to five known species of Lactobacillus with comparable GC contents was assessed in the present work by means of DNA-DNA hybridization competition experiments. Little or no DNA homology was observed between the SD bacteria and the known species. The SD bacteria exhibited a high degree of homology (>88%) among themselves, suggesting that the four isolates were identical taxonomically. Also, the electron photomicrographs revealed structures similar to those of gram-positive bacilli. Accordingly, since these SD isolates have the characteristic phenotypic and morphological properties of the genus Lactobacillus and are not related genetically to any known species, the tentative characterization by the above workers of these isolates as a new species is substantiated.
Background and Aims
The genus Eucalyptus occupies a broad ecological range, forming the dominant canopy in many Australian ecosystems. Many Eucalyptus species are renowned for tolerance to aridity, yet inter-specific variation in physiological traits, particularly water relations parameters, contributing to this tolerance is weakly characterized only in a limited taxonomic range. The study tests the hypothesis that differences in the distribution of Eucalyptus species is related to cellular water relations.
Six eucalypt species originating from (1) contrasting environments for aridity and (2) diverse taxonomic groups were grown in pots and subjected to the effects of water deficit over a 10-week period. Water potential, relative water content and osmotic parameters were analysed by using pressure–volume curves and related to gas exchange, photosynthesis and biomass.
The six eucalypt species differed in response to water deficit. Most significantly, species from high rainfall environments (E. obliqua, E. rubida) and the phreatophyte (E. camaldulensis) had lower osmotic potential under water deficit via accumulation of cellular osmotica (osmotic adjustment). In contrast, species from low rainfall environments (E. cladocalyx, E. polyanthemos and E. tricarpa) had lower osmotic potential through a combination of both constitutive solutes and osmotic adjustment, combined with reductions in leaf water content.
It is demonstrated that osmotic adjustment is a common response to water deficit in six eucalypt species. In addition, significant inter-specific variation in osmotic potential correlates with species distribution in environments where water is scarce. This provides a physiological explanation for aridity tolerance and emphasizes the need to identify osmolytes that accumulate under stress in the genus Eucalyptus.
Eucalyptus; water potential; osmotic adjustment; water deficit
Metagenomics has transformed our understanding of the microbial world, allowing researchers to bypass the need to isolate and culture individual taxa and to directly characterize both the taxonomic and gene compositions of environmental samples. However, associating the genes found in a metagenomic sample with the specific taxa of origin remains a critical challenge. Existing binning methods, based on nucleotide composition or alignment to reference genomes allow only a coarse-grained classification and rely heavily on the availability of sequenced genomes from closely related taxa. Here, we introduce a novel computational framework, integrating variation in gene abundances across multiple samples with taxonomic abundance data to deconvolve metagenomic samples into taxa-specific gene profiles and to reconstruct the genomic content of community members. This assembly-free method is not bounded by various factors limiting previously described methods of metagenomic binning or metagenomic assembly and represents a fundamentally different approach to metagenomic-based genome reconstruction. An implementation of this framework is available at http://elbo.gs.washington.edu/software.html. We first describe the mathematical foundations of our framework and discuss considerations for implementing its various components. We demonstrate the ability of this framework to accurately deconvolve a set of metagenomic samples and to recover the gene content of individual taxa using synthetic metagenomic samples. We specifically characterize determinants of prediction accuracy and examine the impact of annotation errors on the reconstructed genomes. We finally apply metagenomic deconvolution to samples from the Human Microbiome Project, successfully reconstructing genus-level genomic content of various microbial genera, based solely on variation in gene count. These reconstructed genera are shown to correctly capture genus-specific properties. With the accumulation of metagenomic data, this deconvolution framework provides an essential tool for characterizing microbial taxa never before seen, laying the foundation for addressing fundamental questions concerning the taxa comprising diverse microbial communities.
Most microorganisms inhabit complex, diverse, and largely uncharacterized communities. Metagenomic technologies allow us to determine the taxonomic and gene compositions of these communities and to obtain insights into their function as a whole but usually do not enable the characterization of individual member taxa. Here, we introduce a novel computational framework for decomposing metagenomic community-level gene content data into taxa-specific gene profiles. Specifically, by analyzing the way taxonomic and gene abundances co-vary across a set of metagenomic samples, we are able to associate genes with their taxa of origin. We first demonstrate the ability of this approach to decompose metagenomes and to reconstruct the genomes of member taxa using simulated datasets. We further identify the factors that contribute to the accuracy of our method. We then apply our framework to samples from the human microbiome – the set of microorganisms that inhabit the human body – and show that it can be used to successfully reconstruct the typical genomes of various microbiome genera. Notably, our framework is based solely on variation in gene composition and does not rely on sequence composition signatures, assembly, or available reference genomes. It is therefore especially suited to studying the many microbial habitats yet to be extensively characterized.
Species check-lists are helpful to establish Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and protect local richness, endemicity, rarity, and biodiversity in general. However, such exhaustive taxonomic lists (i.e., true surrogate of biodiversity) require extensive and expensive censuses, and the use of estimator surrogates (e.g., habitats) is an appealing alternative. In truth, surrogate effectiveness appears from the literature highly variable both in marine and terrestrial ecosystems, making it difficult to provide practical recommendations for managers. Here, we evaluate how the biodiversity reference data set and its inherent bias can influence effectiveness. Specifically, we defined habitats by geomorphology, rugosity, and benthic cover and architecture criteria, and mapped them with satellite images for a New-Caledonian site. Fish taxonomic and functional lists were elaborated from Underwater Visual Censuses, stratified according to geomorphology and exposure. We then tested if MPA networks designed to maximize habitat richness, diversity and rarity could also effectively maximize fish richness, diversity, and rarity. Effectiveness appeared highly sensitive to the fish census design itself, in relation to the type of habitat map used and the scale of analysis. Spatial distribution of habitats (estimator surrogate’s distribution), quantity and location of fish census stations (target surrogate’s sampling), and random processes in the MPA design all affected effectiveness to the point that one small change in the data set could lead to opposite conclusions. We suggest that previous conclusions on surrogacy effectiveness, either positive or negative, marine or terrestrial, should be considered with caution, except in instances where very dense data sets were used without pseudo-replication. Although this does not rule out the validity of using surrogates of species lists for conservation planning, the critical joint examination of both target and estimator surrogates is needed for every case study.
The European database of the Small Subunit (SSU) Ribosomal RNA is a curated database that strives to collect all information about the primary and secondary structure of completely or nearly-completely sequenced rRNAs. Furthermore, the database compiles additional information such as literature references and taxonomic status of the organism the sequence was derived from. The database can be consulted via the WWW at URL http://rrna.uia.ac.be/ssu/ . Through the WWW, sequences can be easily selected either one by one, by taxonomic group, or by a combination of both, and can be retrieved in different sequence and alignment formats.
Hitherto available sources from literature mentioned several wild growing Allium species as "edible" or "medicinally used" but without any further specification.
New data were gained during recent research missions: Allium plants were collected and shown to the local population which was asked for names and usage of these plants.
Information was collected about current medical applications of sixteen wild species, nine of which belong to different sections of Allium subgenus Melanocrommyum. These plants are used against headache, cold, and stomach problems, and are mostly applied fresh or after boiling.
Close taxonomic relatives of the common onion were used similar to cultivated onion species, but medical use like garlic was mostly reported for species taxonomically not related to garlic.
Coryneform isolates from clinical specimens frequently cannot be identified by either reference laboratories or research laboratories. Many of these organisms are skin flora that belong to a large number of taxonomic groups, only 40% of which are in the genus Corynebacterium. This review provides an update on clinical presentations, microbiological features, and pathogenic mechanisms of infections with nondiphtheria Corynebacterium species and other pleomorphic gram-positive rods. The early literature is also reviewed for a few coryneforms, especially those whose roles as pathogens are controversial. Recognition of newly emerging opportunistic coryneforms is dependent on sound identification schemes which cannot be developed until cell wall analyses and nucleic acid studies have defined the taxonomic groups and all of the reference strains within each taxon have been shown by molecular methods to be authentic members. Only then can reliable batteries of biochemical tests be selected for distinguishing each taxon.
Authority and year information have been attached to taxonomic names since Linnaean times. The systematic structure of taxonomic nomenclature facilitates the ability to develop tools that can be used to explore historical trends that may be associated with taxonomy.
From the over 10.7 million taxonomic names that are part of the uBio system , approximately 3 million names were identified to have taxonomic authority information from the years 1750 to 2004. A pipe-delimited file was then generated, organized according to a Linnaean hierarchy and by years from 1750 to 2004, and imported into an Excel workbook. A series of macros were developed to create an Excel-based tool and a complementary Web site to explore the taxonomic data. A cursory and speculative analysis of the data reveals observable trends that may be attributable to significant events that are of both taxonomic (e.g., publishing of key monographs) and societal importance (e.g., world wars). The findings also help quantify the number of taxonomic descriptions that may be made available through digitization initiatives.
Temporal organization of taxonomic data can be used to identify interesting biological epochs relative to historically significant events and ongoing efforts. We have developed an Excel workbook and complementary Web site that enables one to explore taxonomic trends for Linnaean taxonomic groupings, from Kingdoms to Families.
Base compositions were examined at every position in codons of more than 50 genes from taxonomically different bacteria and of the corresponding antisense sequences on the bacterial genes. We propose that the nonstop frame on antisense strand [NSF(a)] of GC-rich bacterial genes is the most promising sequence for newly-born genes. Reasons are: (i) NSF(a) frequently appears on the antisense strand of GC-rich bacterial genes; (ii) base compositions at three positions in the codon are nearly symmetrical between the gene having around 55% GC content and the corresponding NSF(a); (iii) amino acid compositions of actual proteins are also similar to those of hypothetical proteins from the GC-rich NSF(a); and (iv) proteins from NSF(a) of 60% or more GC content are flexible enough to adapt to various molecules encountered as novel substrates, due to the high glycine content. To support our proposition, using a computer we generated hypothetical antisense sequences with the same base compositions as of NSF(a) at each base position in the codon, and examined properties of resulting proteins encoded by the imaginary genes. It was confirmed that NSF(a) of GC-rich gene carrying about 60% GC content is competent enough for a newly-born gene.
The buoyant density of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) from nine species and two varieties of Cryptococcus, three species and two varieties of Rhodotorula, and six species of Sporobolomyces was determined by CsCl density gradient equilibrium centrifugation. Several species were represented by two to four different strains. Expressed in moles per cent of guanine plus cytosine (GC content) the ranges were 49 to 65%, 52 to 70%, and 51 to 65% for Cryptococcus, Rhodotorula, and Sporobolomyces, respectively. For each genus, the GC content was distributed into two discrete groups with averages ranging from 52 to 54 and 60 to 66, respectively. An analysis of these results suggested that the determination of GC content of DNA had a taxonomic value for these yeast genera.
Here, we combined flow cytometry (FCM) and phylogenetic analyses after cell sorting to characterize the dominant groups of the prokaryotic assemblages inhabiting two ponds of increasing salinity: a crystallizer pond (TS) with a salinity of 390 g/L, and the non-crystallizer pond (M1) with a salinity of 200 g/L retrieved from the solar saltern of Sfax in Tunisia. As expected, FCM analysis enabled the resolution of high nucleic acid content (HNA) and low nucleic acid content (LNA) prokaryotes. Next, we performed a taxonomic analysis of the bacterial and archaeal communities comprising the two most populated clusters by phylogenetic analyses of 16S rRNA gene clone library. We show for the first time that the presence of HNA and LNA content cells could also be extended to the archaeal populations. Archaea were detected in all M1 and TS samples, whereas representatives of Bacteria were detected only in LNA for M1 and HNA for TS. Although most of the archaeal sequences remained undetermined, other clones were most frequently affiliated to Haloquadratum and Halorubrum. In contrast, most bacterial clones belonged to the Alphaproteobacteria class (Phyllobacterium genus) in M1 samples and to the Bacteroidetes phylum (Sphingobacteria and Salinibacter genus) in TS samples.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00792-011-0364-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Heterotrophic prokaryote; Halophiles; Flow cytometry; HNA; LNA; Solar saltern; Molecular ecology; Archaea; Bacteria