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The evolution of marine microbes over billions of years predicts that the composition of microbial communities should be much greater than the published estimates of a few thousand distinct kinds of microbes per liter of seawater. By adopting a massively parallel tag sequencing strategy, we show that bacterial communities of deep water masses of the North(More)
The analytical power of environmental DNA sequences for modeling microbial ecosystems depends on accurate assessments of population structure, including diversity (richness) and relative abundance (evenness). We investigated both aspects of population structure for microbial communities at two neighboring hydrothermal vents by examining the sequences of(More)
Rotifers of class Bdelloidea have evolved for millions of years apparently without sexual reproduction. We have sequenced 45- to 70-kb regions surrounding the four copies of the hsp82 gene of the bdelloid rotifer Philodina roseola, each of which is on a separate chromosome. The four regions comprise two colinear gene-rich pairs with gene content, order, and(More)
The class Bdelloidea of the phylum Rotifera is the largest well studied eukaryotic taxon in which males and meiosis are unknown, and the only one for which these indications of ancient asexuality are supported by cytological and molecular genetic evidence. We estimated the rates of synonymous and nonsynonymous substitutions in the hsp82 heat shock gene in(More)
Loss of sexual reproduction is considered an evolutionary dead end for metazoans, but bdelloid rotifers challenge this view as they appear to have persisted asexually for millions of years. Neither male sex organs nor meiosis have ever been observed in these microscopic animals: oocytes are formed through mitotic divisions, with no reduction of chromosome(More)
DNA sequencing has shown individual bdelloid rotifer genomes to contain two or more diverged copies of every gene examined and has revealed no closely similar copies. These and other findings are consistent with long-term asexual evolution of bdelloids. It is not entirely ruled out, however, that bdelloid genomes consist of previously undetected pairs of(More)
PCR-based surveys of microbial communities commonly use regions of the small-subunit ribosomal RNA (SSU rRNA) gene to determine taxonomic membership and estimate total diversity. Here we show that the length of the target amplicon has a significant effect on assessments of microbial richness and community membership. Using operational taxonomic unit (OTU)-(More)
Rotifers of the asexual class Bdelloidea are unusual in possessing two or more divergent copies of every gene that has been examined. Phylogenetic analysis of the heat-shock gene hsp82 and the TATA-box-binding protein gene tbp in multiple bdelloid species suggested that for each gene, each copy belonged to one of two lineages that began to diverge before(More)
Comparative biogerontology has much to contribute to the study of aging. A broad range of aging rates has evolved to meet environmental challenges, and understanding these adaptations can produce valuable insights into aging. The supra Phylum Lophotrochozoa is particularly understudied and has several groups that have intriguing patterns of aging. Members(More)
BACKGROUND Rotifers are among the most common non-arthropod animals and are the most experimentally tractable members of the basal assemblage of metazoan phyla known as Gnathifera. The monogonont rotifer Brachionus plicatilis is a developing model system for ecotoxicology, aquatic ecology, cryptic speciation, and the evolution of sex, and is an important(More)