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1.  Multispecies Coalescent Analysis of the Early Diversification of Neotropical Primates: Phylogenetic Inference under Strong Gene Trees/Species Tree Conflict 
Genome Biology and Evolution  2014;6(11):3105-3114.
Neotropical primates (NP) are presently distributed in the New World from Mexico to northern Argentina, comprising three large families, Cebidae, Atelidae, and Pitheciidae, consequently to their diversification following their separation from Old World anthropoids near the Eocene/Oligocene boundary, some 40 Ma. The evolution of NP has been intensively investigated in the last decade by studies focusing on their phylogeny and timescale. However, despite major efforts, the phylogenetic relationship between these three major clades and the age of their last common ancestor are still controversial because these inferences were based on limited numbers of loci and dating analyses that did not consider the evolutionary variation associated with the distribution of gene trees within the proposed phylogenies. We show, by multispecies coalescent analyses of selected genome segments, spanning along 92,496,904 bp that the early diversification of extant NP was marked by a 2-fold increase of their effective population size and that Atelids and Cebids are more closely related respective to Pitheciids. The molecular phylogeny of NP has been difficult to solve because of population-level phenomena at the early evolution of the lineage. The association of evolutionary variation with the distribution of gene trees within proposed phylogenies is crucial for distinguishing the mean genetic divergence between species (the mean coalescent time between loci) from speciation time. This approach, based on extensive genomic data provided by new generation DNA sequencing, provides more accurate reconstructions of phylogenies and timescales for all organisms.
PMCID: PMC4255775  PMID: 25377940
species tree; primate evolution; coalescence; South America; Miocene
2.  Polymorphisms in the α4 Integrin of Neotropical Primates: Insights for Binding of Natural Ligands and HIV-1 gp120 to the Human α4β7 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(9):e24461.
The α4 integrin subunit associates with β7 and β1 and plays important roles in immune function and cell trafficking. The gut-homing receptor α4β7 has been recently described as a new receptor for HIV. Here, we describe polymorphisms of ITGA4 gene in New World primates (NWP), and tested their impact on the binding to monoclonal antibodies, natural ligands (MAdCAM and VCAM), and several gp120 HIV-1 envelope proteins. Genomic DNA of NWP specimens comprising all genera of the group had their exons 5 and 6 (encoding the region of binding to the ligands studied) analyzed. The polymorphisms found were introduced into an ITGA4 cDNA clone encoding the human α4 subunit. Mutant α4 proteins were co-expressed with β7 and were tested for binding of mAbs, MAdCAM, VCAM and gp120 of HIV-1, which was compared to the wild-type (human) α4. Mutant α4 proteins harboring the K201E/I/N substitution had reduced binding of all ligands tested, including HIV-1 gp120 envelopes. The mAbs found with reduced biding included one from which a clinically-approved drug for the treatment of neurological disorders has been derived. α4 polymorphisms in other primate species may influence outcomes in the development and treatment of infectious and autoimmune diseases in humans and in non-human primates.
PMCID: PMC3166318  PMID: 21912696
3.  Swine and Poultry Pathogens: the Complete Genome Sequences of Two Strains of Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae and a Strain of Mycoplasma synoviae†  
Vasconcelos, Ana Tereza R. | Ferreira, Henrique B. | Bizarro, Cristiano V. | Bonatto, Sandro L. | Carvalho, Marcos O. | Pinto, Paulo M. | Almeida, Darcy F. | Almeida, Luiz G. P. | Almeida, Rosana | Alves-Filho, Leonardo | Assunção, Enedina N. | Azevedo, Vasco A. C. | Bogo, Maurício R. | Brigido, Marcelo M. | Brocchi, Marcelo | Burity, Helio A. | Camargo, Anamaria A. | Camargo, Sandro S. | Carepo, Marta S. | Carraro, Dirce M. | de Mattos Cascardo, Júlio C. | Castro, Luiza A. | Cavalcanti, Gisele | Chemale, Gustavo | Collevatti, Rosane G. | Cunha, Cristina W. | Dallagiovanna, Bruno | Dambrós, Bibiana P. | Dellagostin, Odir A. | Falcão, Clarissa | Fantinatti-Garboggini, Fabiana | Felipe, Maria S. S. | Fiorentin, Laurimar | Franco, Gloria R. | Freitas, Nara S. A. | Frías, Diego | Grangeiro, Thalles B. | Grisard, Edmundo C. | Guimarães, Claudia T. | Hungria, Mariangela | Jardim, Sílvia N. | Krieger, Marco A. | Laurino, Jomar P. | Lima, Lucymara F. A. | Lopes, Maryellen I. | Loreto, Élgion L. S. | Madeira, Humberto M. F. | Manfio, Gilson P. | Maranhão, Andrea Q. | Martinkovics, Christyanne T. | Medeiros, Sílvia R. B. | Moreira, Miguel A. M. | Neiva, Márcia | Ramalho-Neto, Cicero E. | Nicolás, Marisa F. | Oliveira, Sergio C. | Paixão, Roger F. C. | Pedrosa, Fábio O. | Pena, Sérgio D. J. | Pereira, Maristela | Pereira-Ferrari, Lilian | Piffer, Itamar | Pinto, Luciano S. | Potrich, Deise P. | Salim, Anna C. M. | Santos, Fabrício R. | Schmitt, Renata | Schneider, Maria P. C. | Schrank, Augusto | Schrank, Irene S. | Schuck, Adriana F. | Seuanez, Hector N. | Silva, Denise W. | Silva, Rosane | Silva, Sérgio C. | Soares, Célia M. A. | Souza, Kelly R. L. | Souza, Rangel C. | Staats, Charley C. | Steffens, Maria B. R. | Teixeira, Santuza M. R. | Urmenyi, Turan P. | Vainstein, Marilene H. | Zuccherato, Luciana W. | Simpson, Andrew J. G. | Zaha, Arnaldo
Journal of Bacteriology  2005;187(16):5568-5577.
This work reports the results of analyses of three complete mycoplasma genomes, a pathogenic (7448) and a nonpathogenic (J) strain of the swine pathogen Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae and a strain of the avian pathogen Mycoplasma synoviae; the genome sizes of the three strains were 920,079 bp, 897,405 bp, and 799,476 bp, respectively. These genomes were compared with other sequenced mycoplasma genomes reported in the literature to examine several aspects of mycoplasma evolution. Strain-specific regions, including integrative and conjugal elements, and genome rearrangements and alterations in adhesin sequences were observed in the M. hyopneumoniae strains, and all of these were potentially related to pathogenicity. Genomic comparisons revealed that reduction in genome size implied loss of redundant metabolic pathways, with maintenance of alternative routes in different species. Horizontal gene transfer was consistently observed between M. synoviae and Mycoplasma gallisepticum. Our analyses indicated a likely transfer event of hemagglutinin-coding DNA sequences from M. gallisepticum to M. synoviae.
PMCID: PMC1196056  PMID: 16077101

Results 1-3 (3)