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Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) emerged in 2002 to 2003 in southern China. The origin of its etiological agent, the SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV), remains elusive. Here we report that species of bats are a natural host of coronaviruses closely related to those responsible for the SARS outbreak. These viruses, termed SARS-like coronaviruses (SL-CoVs),(More)
Bats are natural hosts for a large variety of zoonotic viruses. This study aimed to describe the range of bat viromes, including viruses from mammals, insects, fungi, plants, and phages, in 11 insectivorous bat species (216 bats in total) common in six provinces of China. To analyze viromes, we used sequence-independent PCR amplification and next-generation(More)
Sensing bitter tastes is crucial for many animals because it can prevent them from ingesting harmful foods. This process is mainly mediated by the bitter taste receptors (T2R), which are largely expressed in the taste buds. Previous studies have identified some T2R gene repertoires, and marked variation in repertoire size has been noted among species.(More)
Cyanobacteria are unique among bacteria in performing oxygenic photosynthesis, often together with nitrogen fixation and, thus, are major primary producers in many ecosystems. The cyanobacterium, Leptolyngbya sp. strain JSC-1, exhibits an extensive photoacclimative response to growth in far-red light that includes the synthesis of chlorophylls d and f.(More)
The remarkable high-frequency sensitivity and selectivity of the mammalian auditory system has been attributed to the evolution of mechanical amplification, in which sound waves are amplified by outer hair cells in the cochlea. This process is driven by the recently discovered protein prestin, encoded by the gene Prestin. Echolocating bats use ultrasound(More)
Cases of convergent evolution - where different lineages have evolved similar traits independently - are common and have proven central to our understanding of selection. Yet convincing examples of adaptive convergence at the sequence level are exceptionally rare [1]. The motor protein Prestin is expressed in mammalian outer hair cells (OHCs) and is thought(More)
Nonfunctional visual genes are usually associated with species that inhabit poor light environments (aquatic/subterranean/nocturnal), and these genes are believed to have lost function through relaxed selection acting on the visual system. Indeed, the visual system is so adaptive that the reconstruction of intact ancestral opsin genes has been used to(More)
Phylogeographical studies are typically based on haplotype data, occasionally on nuclear markers such as microsatellites, but rarely combine both. This is unfortunate because the use of markers with contrasting modes of inheritance and rates of evolution might provide a more accurate and comprehensive understanding of a species' history. Here we present a(More)
Studies have demonstrated that ~60%-80% of emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) in humans originated from wild life. Bats are natural reservoirs of a large variety of viruses, including many important zoonotic viruses that cause severe diseases in humans and domestic animals. However, the understanding of the viral population and the ecological diversity(More)