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      Ongoing Transposon-Mediated Genome Reduction in the Luminous Bacterial Symbionts of Deep-Sea Ceratioid Anglerfishes

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          Diverse marine fish and squid form symbiotic associations with extracellular bioluminescent bacteria. These symbionts are typically free-living bacteria with large genomes, but one known lineage of symbionts has undergone genomic reduction and evolution of host dependence. It is not known why distinct evolutionary trajectories have occurred among different luminous symbionts, and not all known lineages previously had genome sequences available. In order to better understand patterns of evolution across diverse bioluminescent symbionts, we de novo sequenced the genomes of bacteria from a poorly studied interaction, the extracellular symbionts from the “lures” of deep-sea ceratioid anglerfishes. Deep-sea anglerfish symbiont genomes are reduced in size by about 50% compared to free-living relatives. They show a striking convergence of genome reduction and loss of metabolic capabilities with a distinct lineage of obligately host-dependent luminous symbionts. These losses include reductions in amino acid synthesis pathways and abilities to utilize diverse sugars. However, the symbiont genomes have retained a number of categories of genes predicted to be useful only outside the host, such as those involved in chemotaxis and motility, suggesting that they may persist in the environment. These genomes contain very high numbers of pseudogenes and show massive expansions of transposable elements, with transposases accounting for 28 and 31% of coding sequences in the symbiont genomes. Transposon expansions appear to have occurred at different times in each symbiont lineage, indicating either independent evolutions of reduction or symbiont replacement. These results suggest ongoing genomic reduction in extracellular luminous symbionts that is facilitated by transposon proliferations.


          Many female deep-sea anglerfishes possess a “lure” containing luminous bacterial symbionts. Here we show that unlike most luminous symbionts, these bacteria are undergoing an evolutionary transition toward small genomes with limited metabolic capabilities. Comparative analyses of the symbiont genomes indicate that this transition is ongoing and facilitated by transposon expansions. This transition may have occurred independently in different symbiont lineages, although it is unclear why. Genomic reduction is common in bacteria that only live within host cells but less common in bacteria that, like anglerfish symbionts, live outside host cells. Since multiple evolutions of genomic reduction have occurred convergently in luminous bacteria, they make a useful system with which to understand patterns of genome evolution in extracellular symbionts. This work demonstrates that ecological factors other than an intracellular lifestyle can lead to dramatic gene loss and evolutionary changes and that transposon expansions may play important roles in this process.

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          Most cited references 77

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          MrBayes 3.2: Efficient Bayesian Phylogenetic Inference and Model Choice Across a Large Model Space

          Since its introduction in 2001, MrBayes has grown in popularity as a software package for Bayesian phylogenetic inference using Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) methods. With this note, we announce the release of version 3.2, a major upgrade to the latest official release presented in 2003. The new version provides convergence diagnostics and allows multiple analyses to be run in parallel with convergence progress monitored on the fly. The introduction of new proposals and automatic optimization of tuning parameters has improved convergence for many problems. The new version also sports significantly faster likelihood calculations through streaming single-instruction-multiple-data extensions (SSE) and support of the BEAGLE library, allowing likelihood calculations to be delegated to graphics processing units (GPUs) on compatible hardware. Speedup factors range from around 2 with SSE code to more than 50 with BEAGLE for codon problems. Checkpointing across all models allows long runs to be completed even when an analysis is prematurely terminated. New models include relaxed clocks, dating, model averaging across time-reversible substitution models, and support for hard, negative, and partial (backbone) tree constraints. Inference of species trees from gene trees is supported by full incorporation of the Bayesian estimation of species trees (BEST) algorithms. Marginal model likelihoods for Bayes factor tests can be estimated accurately across the entire model space using the stepping stone method. The new version provides more output options than previously, including samples of ancestral states, site rates, site d N /d S rations, branch rates, and node dates. A wide range of statistics on tree parameters can also be output for visualization in FigTree and compatible software.
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            PAML 4: phylogenetic analysis by maximum likelihood.

             Ziheng Yang (2007)
            PAML, currently in version 4, is a package of programs for phylogenetic analyses of DNA and protein sequences using maximum likelihood (ML). The programs may be used to compare and test phylogenetic trees, but their main strengths lie in the rich repertoire of evolutionary models implemented, which can be used to estimate parameters in models of sequence evolution and to test interesting biological hypotheses. Uses of the programs include estimation of synonymous and nonsynonymous rates (d(N) and d(S)) between two protein-coding DNA sequences, inference of positive Darwinian selection through phylogenetic comparison of protein-coding genes, reconstruction of ancestral genes and proteins for molecular restoration studies of extinct life forms, combined analysis of heterogeneous data sets from multiple gene loci, and estimation of species divergence times incorporating uncertainties in fossil calibrations. This note discusses some of the major applications of the package, which includes example data sets to demonstrate their use. The package is written in ANSI C, and runs under Windows, Mac OSX, and UNIX systems. It is available at -- (
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              IQ-TREE: A Fast and Effective Stochastic Algorithm for Estimating Maximum-Likelihood Phylogenies

              Large phylogenomics data sets require fast tree inference methods, especially for maximum-likelihood (ML) phylogenies. Fast programs exist, but due to inherent heuristics to find optimal trees, it is not clear whether the best tree is found. Thus, there is need for additional approaches that employ different search strategies to find ML trees and that are at the same time as fast as currently available ML programs. We show that a combination of hill-climbing approaches and a stochastic perturbation method can be time-efficiently implemented. If we allow the same CPU time as RAxML and PhyML, then our software IQ-TREE found higher likelihoods between 62.2% and 87.1% of the studied alignments, thus efficiently exploring the tree-space. If we use the IQ-TREE stopping rule, RAxML and PhyML are faster in 75.7% and 47.1% of the DNA alignments and 42.2% and 100% of the protein alignments, respectively. However, the range of obtaining higher likelihoods with IQ-TREE improves to 73.3-97.1%.

                Author and article information

                Role: Editor
                American Society for Microbiology (1752 N St., N.W., Washington, DC )
                26 June 2018
                May-Jun 2018
                : 9
                : 3
                [a ]Department of Microbiology, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA
                [b ]Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography, Nova Southeastern University, Dania Beach, Florida, USA
                [c ]Department of Conservation and Research, San Antonio Zoo, San Antonio, Texas, USA
                University of Texas at Austin
                Copyright © 2018 Hendry et al.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.

                supplementary-material: 10, Figures: 4, Tables: 4, Equations: 0, References: 77, Pages: 16, Words: 9804
                Funded by: The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative;
                Award Recipient : Award Recipient : Award Recipient : Award Recipient :
                Research Article
                Custom metadata
                May/June 2018

                Life sciences

                bioluminescence, evolution, genome reduction, symbiosis, transposons


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