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      Patterns of Positive Selection in Seven Ant Genomes

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          Abstract

          The evolution of ants is marked by remarkable adaptations that allowed the development of very complex social systems. To identify how ant-specific adaptations are associated with patterns of molecular evolution, we searched for signs of positive selection on amino-acid changes in proteins. We identified 24 functional categories of genes which were enriched for positively selected genes in the ant lineage. We also reanalyzed genome-wide data sets in bees and flies with the same methodology to check whether positive selection was specific to ants or also present in other insects. Notably, genes implicated in immunity were enriched for positively selected genes in the three lineages, ruling out the hypothesis that the evolution of hygienic behaviors in social insects caused a major relaxation of selective pressure on immune genes. Our scan also indicated that genes implicated in neurogenesis and olfaction started to undergo increased positive selection before the evolution of sociality in Hymenoptera. Finally, the comparison between these three lineages allowed us to pinpoint molecular evolution patterns that were specific to the ant lineage. In particular, there was ant-specific recurrent positive selection on genes with mitochondrial functions, suggesting that mitochondrial activity was improved during the evolution of this lineage. This might have been an important step toward the evolution of extreme lifespan that is a hallmark of ants.

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          Most cited references 181

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            Gene set enrichment analysis: A knowledge-based approach for interpreting genome-wide expression profiles

            Although genomewide RNA expression analysis has become a routine tool in biomedical research, extracting biological insight from such information remains a major challenge. Here, we describe a powerful analytical method called Gene Set Enrichment Analysis (GSEA) for interpreting gene expression data. The method derives its power by focusing on gene sets, that is, groups of genes that share common biological function, chromosomal location, or regulation. We demonstrate how GSEA yields insights into several cancer-related data sets, including leukemia and lung cancer. Notably, where single-gene analysis finds little similarity between two independent studies of patient survival in lung cancer, GSEA reveals many biological pathways in common. The GSEA method is embodied in a freely available software package, together with an initial database of 1,325 biologically defined gene sets.
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              RAxML-VI-HPC: maximum likelihood-based phylogenetic analyses with thousands of taxa and mixed models.

              RAxML-VI-HPC (randomized axelerated maximum likelihood for high performance computing) is a sequential and parallel program for inference of large phylogenies with maximum likelihood (ML). Low-level technical optimizations, a modification of the search algorithm, and the use of the GTR+CAT approximation as replacement for GTR+Gamma yield a program that is between 2.7 and 52 times faster than the previous version of RAxML. A large-scale performance comparison with GARLI, PHYML, IQPNNI and MrBayes on real data containing 1000 up to 6722 taxa shows that RAxML requires at least 5.6 times less main memory and yields better trees in similar times than the best competing program (GARLI) on datasets up to 2500 taxa. On datasets > or =4000 taxa it also runs 2-3 times faster than GARLI. RAxML has been parallelized with MPI to conduct parallel multiple bootstraps and inferences on distinct starting trees. The program has been used to compute ML trees on two of the largest alignments to date containing 25,057 (1463 bp) and 2182 (51,089 bp) taxa, respectively. icwww.epfl.ch/~stamatak
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Mol Biol Evol
                Mol. Biol. Evol
                molbev
                molbiolevol
                Molecular Biology and Evolution
                Oxford University Press
                0737-4038
                1537-1719
                July 2014
                29 April 2014
                29 April 2014
                : 31
                : 7
                : 1661-1685
                Affiliations
                1Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland
                2SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, Lausanne, Switzerland
                3Vital-IT Group, SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, Lausanne, Switzerland
                4CMPG, Institute of Ecology and Evolution, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
                Author notes

                Present address: Department of Human Genetics, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL

                §Present address: Department of Evolutionary and Environmental Biology, University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel

                *Corresponding author: E-mail: julien.roux@ 123456unil.ch .

                Associate editor: Tal Pupko

                Article
                msu141
                10.1093/molbev/msu141
                4069625
                24782441
                © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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