Xiangjun Tian

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The social amoebae (Dictyostelia) are a diverse group of Amoebozoa that achieve multicellularity by aggregation and undergo morphogenesis into fruiting bodies with terminally differentiated spores and stalk cells. There are four groups of dictyostelids, with the most derived being a group that contains the model species Dictyostelium discoideum. We have(More)
Stable multipartite mutualistic associations require that all partners benefit. We show that a single mutational step is sufficient to turn a symbiotic bacterium from an inedible but host-beneficial secondary metabolite producer into a host food source. The bacteria's host is a "farmer" clone of the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum that carries and(More)
Regulatory T (T reg) cell deficiency causes lethal, CD4+ T cell-driven autoimmune diseases. Stem cell transplantation is used to treat these diseases, but this procedure is limited by the availability of a suitable donor. The intestinal microbiota drives host immune homeostasis by regulating the differentiation and expansion of T reg, Th1, and Th2 cells. It(More)
Simple sequence repeats (SSRs) or microsatellites are a common component of genomes but vary greatly across species in their abundance. We tested the hypothesis that this variation is due in part to AT/GC content of genomes, with genomes biased toward either high AT or high CG generating more short random repeats that are long enough to enhance expansion(More)
Dietary fibers are increasingly appreciated as beneficial nutritional components. However, a requisite role of gut microbiota in fiber function and the overall impact of fibers on metabolomic flux remain unclear. We herein showed enhancing effects of a soluble resistant maltodextrin (RM) on glucose homeostasis in mouse metabolic disease models. Remarkably,(More)
Cooperative systems are susceptible to invasion by selfish individuals that profit from receiving the social benefits but fail to contribute. These so-called "cheaters" can have a fitness advantage in the laboratory, but it is unclear whether cheating provides an important selective advantage in nature. We used a population genomic approach to examine the(More)
von Baer's law states that early stages of animal development are the most conserved. More recent evidence supports a modified "hourglass" pattern in which an early but somewhat later stage is most conserved. Both patterns have been explained by the relative complexity of either temporal or spatial interactions; the greatest conservation and lowest(More)
Protein sequences are normally the most conserved elements of genomes owing to purifying selection to maintain their functions. We document an extraordinary amount of within-species protein sequence variation in the model eukaryote Dictyostelium discoideum stemming from triplet DNA repeats coding for long strings of single amino acids. D. discoideum has a(More)
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