BackgroundCell walls are essential for most bacteria, archaea, fungi, algae and land plants to provide shape, structural integrity and protection from numerous biotic and abiotic environmental factors. In the case of eukaryotic algae, relatively little is known of the composition, structure or mechanisms of assembly of cell walls in individual species or between species and how these differences enable algae to inhabit a great diversity of environments. In this paper we describe the use of camelid antibody fragments (VHHs) and a streamlined ELISA assay as powerful new tools for obtaining mono-specific reagents for detecting individual algal cell wall components and for isolating algae that share a particular cell surface component.ResultsTo develop new microalgal bioprospecting tools to aid in the search of environmental samples for algae that share similar cell wall and cell surface components, we have produced single-chain camelid antibodies raised against cell surface components of the single-cell alga, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. We have cloned the variable-region domains (VHHs) from the camelid heavy-chain-only antibodies and overproduced tagged versions of these monoclonal-like antibodies in E. coli. Using these VHHs, we have developed an accurate, facile, low cost ELISA that uses live cells as a source of antigens in their native conformation and that requires less than 90 minutes to perform. This ELISA technique was demonstrated to be as accurate as standard ELISAs that employ proteins from cell lysates and that generally require >24 hours to complete. Among the cloned VHHs, VHH B11, exhibited the highest affinity (EC50¿<¿1nM) for the C. reinhardtii cell surface. The live-cell ELISA procedure was employed to detect algae sharing cell surface components with C. reinhardtii in water samples from natural environments. In addition, mCherry-tagged VHH B11 was used along with fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS) to select individual axenic isolates of presumed wild relatives of C. reinhardtii and other Chlorphyceae from the same environmental samples.ConclusionsCamelid antibody VHH domains provide a highly specific tool for detection of individual cell wall components of algae and for allowing the selection of algae that share a particular cell surface molecule from diverse ecosystems.
Male and female, generally defined based on differences in gamete size and motility, likely have multiple independent origins, appearing to have evolved from isogamous organisms in various eukaryotic lineages. Recent studies of the gamete fusogen GCS1/HAP2 indicate that this protein is deeply conserved across eukaryotes, and its exclusive and/or functional expression generally resides in males or in male homologues. However, little is known regarding the conserved or primitive molecular traits of males and females within eukaryotes. Here, using morphologically indistinguishable isogametes of the colonial volvocine Gonium pectorale, we demonstrated that GCS1 is differently regulated between the sexes. G. pectorale GCS1 molecules in one sex (homologous to male) are transported from the gamete cytoplasm to the protruded fusion site, whereas those of the other sex (females) are quickly degraded within the cytoplasm upon gamete activation. This molecular trait difference might be conserved across various eukaryotic lineages and may represent male and female prototypes originating from a common eukaryotic ancestor.
Heteromorphic sex-determining regions or mating-type loci can contain large regions of non-recombining sequence where selection operates under different constraints than in freely recombining autosomal regions. Detailed studies of these non-recombining regions can provide insights into how genes are gained and lost, and how genetic isolation is maintained between mating haplotypes or sex chromosomes. The Chlamydomonas reinhardtii mating-type locus (MT) is a complex polygenic region characterized by sequence rearrangements and suppressed recombination between its two haplotypes, MT+ and MT-. We used new sequence information to redefine the genetic contents of MT and found repeated translocations from autosomes as well as sexually controlled expression patterns for several newly identified genes. We examined sequence diversity of MT genes from wild isolates of C. reinhardtii to investigate the impacts of recombination suppression. Our population data revealed two previously unreported types of genetic exchange in Chlamydomonas MT--gene conversion in the rearranged domains, and crossover exchanges in flanking domains--both of which contribute to maintenance of genetic homogeneity between haplotypes. To investigate the cause of blocked recombination in MT we assessed recombination rates in crosses where the parents were homozygous at MT. While normal recombination was restored in MT+ ×MT+ crosses, it was still suppressed in MT- ×MT- crosses. These data revealed an underlying asymmetry in the two MT haplotypes and suggest that sequence rearrangements are insufficient to fully account for recombination suppression. Together our findings reveal new evolutionary dynamics for mating loci and have implications for the evolution of heteromorphic sex chromosomes and other non-recombining genomic regions.
Volvocalean green algae have among the most diverse mitochondrial and plastid DNAs (mtDNAs and ptDNAs) from the eukaryotic domain. However, nearly all of the organelle genome data from this group are restricted to unicellular species, like Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, and presently only one multicellular species, the ?4,000-celled Volvox carteri, has had its organelle DNAs sequenced. The V. carteri organelle genomes are repeat rich, and the ptDNA is the largest plastome ever sequenced. Here, we present the complete mtDNA and ptDNA of the colonial volvocalean Gonium pectorale, which is comprised of ?16 cells and occupies a phylogenetic position closer to that of V. carteri than C. reinhardtii within the volvocine line. The mtDNA and ptDNA of G. pectorale are circular-mapping AT-rich molecules with respective lengths and coding densities of 16 and 222.6 kilobases and 73 and 44%. They share some features with the organelle DNAs of V. carteri, including palindromic repeats within the plastid compartment, but show more similarities with those of C. reinhardtii, such as a compact mtDNA architecture and relatively low organelle DNA intron contents. Overall, the G. pectorale organelle genomes raise several interesting questions about the origin of linear mitochondrial chromosomes within the Volvocales and the relationship between multicellularity and organelle genome expansion.
It has been argued that for certain lineages, noncoding DNA expansion is a consequence of the increased random genetic drift associated with long-term escalations in organism size. But a lack of data has prevented the investigation of this hypothesis in most plastid-bearing protists. Here, using newly sequenced mitochondrial and plastid genomes, we explore the relationship between organelle DNA noncoding content and organism size within volvocine green algae. By looking at unicellular, colonial, and differentiated multicellular algae, we show that organelle DNA complexity scales positively with species size and cell number across the volvocine lineage. Moreover, silent-site genetic diversity data suggest that the volvocine species with the largest cell numbers and most bloated organelle genomes have the smallest effective population sizes. Together, these findings support the view that nonadaptive processes, like random genetic drift, promote the expansion of noncoding regions in organelle genomes.
Volvocine green algae represent the "evolutionary time machine" model lineage for studying multicellularity, because they encompass the whole range of evolutionary transition of multicellularity from unicellular Chlamydomonas to >500-celled Volvox. Multicellular volvocalean species including Gonium pectorale and Volvox carteri generally have several common morphological features to survive as integrated multicellular organisms such as "rotational asymmetry of cells" so that the cells become components of the individual and "cytoplasmic bridges between protoplasts in developing embryos" to maintain the species-specific form of the multicellular individual before secretion of new extracellular matrix (ECM). However, these morphological features have not been studied in the four-celled colonial volvocine species Tetrabaena socialis that is positioned in the most basal lineage within the colonial or multicellular volvocine greens. Here we established synchronous cultures of T. socialis and carried out immunofluorescence microscopic and ultrastructural observations to elucidate these two morphological attributes. Based on immunofluorescence microscopy, four cells of the mature T. socialis colony were identical in morphology but had rotational asymmetry in arrangement of microtubular rootlets and separation of basal bodies like G. pectorale and V. carteri. Ultrastructural observations clearly confirmed the presence of cytoplasmic bridges between protoplasts in developing embryos of T. socialis even after the formation of new flagella in each daughter protoplast within the parental ECM. Therefore, these two morphological attributes might have evolved in the common four-celled ancestor of the colonial volvocine algae and contributed to the further increase in cell number and complexity of the multicellular individuals of this model lineage. T. socialis is one of the simplest integrated multicellular organisms in which four identical cells constitute the individual.
We used data from a randomized controlled study of Oxford House (OH), a self-run, self-supporting recovery home, to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of the program. Following substance abuse treatment, individuals that were assigned to an OH condition (n=68) were compared to individuals assigned to a usual care condition (n=61). Economic cost measures were derived from length of stay at an Oxford House residence, and derived from self-reported measures of inpatient and outpatient treatment utilization. Economic benefit measures were derived from self-reported information on monthly income, days participating in illegal activities, binary responses of alcohol and drug use, and incarceration. Results suggest that OH compared quite favorably to usual care: the net benefit of an OH stay was estimated to be roughly $29,000 per person on average. Bootstrapped standard errors suggested that the net benefit was statistically significant. Costs were incrementally higher under OH, but the benefits in terms of reduced illegal activity, incarceration and substance use substantially outweighed the costs. The positive net benefit for Oxford House is primarily driven by a large difference in illegal activity between OH and usual care participants. Using sensitivity analyses, under more conservative assumptions we still arrived at a net benefit favorable to OH of $17,830 per person.
The translocator protein 18 kDa (TSPO), previously known as the peripheral-type benzodiazepine receptor (PBR), is important for many cellular functions in mammals and bacteria, such as steroid biosynthesis, cellular respiration, cell proliferation, apoptosis, immunomodulation, transport of porphyrins and anions. Arabidopsis thaliana contains a single TSPO/PBR-related gene with a 40 amino acid N-terminal extension compared to its homologs in bacteria or mammals suggesting it might be chloroplast or mitochondrial localized.
We examined the cell cycle dynamics of the retinoblastoma (RB) protein complex in the unicellular alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii that has single homologs for each subunit-RB, E2F, and DP. We found that Chlamydomonas RB (encoded by MAT3) is a cell cycle-regulated phosphoprotein, that E2F1-DP1 can bind to a consensus E2F site, and that all three proteins interact in vivo to form a complex that can be quantitatively immunopurified. Yeast two-hybrid assays revealed the formation of a ternary complex between MAT3, DP1, and E2F1 that requires a C-terminal motif in E2F1 analogous to the RB binding domain of plant and animal E2Fs. We examined the abundance of MAT3/RB and E2F1-DP1 in highly synchronous cultures and found that they are synthesized and remain stably associated throughout the cell cycle with no detectable fraction of free E2F1-DP1. Consistent with their stable association, MAT3/RB and DP1 are constitutively nuclear, and MAT3/RB does not require DP1-E2F1 for nuclear localization. In the nucleus, MAT3/RB remains bound to chromatin throughout the cell cycle, and its chromatin binding is mediated through E2F1-DP1. Together, our data show that E2F-DP complexes can regulate the cell cycle without dissociation of their RB-related subunit and that other changes may be sufficient to convert RB-E2F-DP from a cell cycle repressor to an activator.
Bacteria and chloroplasts require the ring-forming cytoskeletal protein FtsZ for division. Although bacteria accomplish division with a single FtsZ, plant chloroplasts require two FtsZ types for division, FtsZ1 and FtsZ2. These proteins colocalize to a mid-plastid Z ring, but their biochemical relationship is poorly understood. We investigated the in vitro behavior of recombinant FtsZ1 and FtsZ2 separately and together. Both proteins bind and hydrolyze GTP, although GTPase activities are low compared with the activity of Escherichia coli FtsZ. Each protein undergoes GTP-dependent assembly into thin protofilaments in the presence of calcium as a stabilizing agent, similar to bacterial FtsZ. In contrast, when mixed without calcium, FtsZ1 and FtsZ2 exhibit slightly elevated GTPase activity and coassembly into extensively bundled protofilaments. Coassembly is enhanced by FtsZ1, suggesting that it promotes lateral interactions between protofilaments. Experiments with GTPase-deficient mutants reveal that FtsZ1 and FtsZ2 form heteropolymers. Maximum coassembly occurs in reactions containing equimolar FtsZ1 and FtsZ2, but significant coassembly occurs at other stoichiometries. The FtsZ1:FtsZ2 ratio in coassembled structures mirrors their input ratio, suggesting plasticity in protofilament and/or bundle composition. This behavior contrasts with that of alpha- and beta-tubulin and the bacterial tubulin-like proteins BtubA and BtubB, which coassemble in a strict 1:1 stoichiometry. Our findings raise the possibility that plasticity in FtsZ filament composition and heteropolymerization-induced bundling could have been a driving force for the coevolution of FtsZ1 and FtsZ2 in the green lineage, perhaps arising from an enhanced capacity for the regulation of Z ring composition and activity in vivo.
Although dimorphic sexes have evolved repeatedly in multicellular eukaryotes, their origins are unknown. The mating locus (MT) of the sexually dimorphic multicellular green alga Volvox carteri specifies the production of eggs and sperm and has undergone a remarkable expansion and divergence relative to MT from Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, which is a closely related unicellular species that has equal-sized gametes. Transcriptome analysis revealed a rewired gametic expression program for Volvox MT genes relative to Chlamydomonas and identified multiple gender-specific and sex-regulated transcripts. The retinoblastoma tumor suppressor homolog MAT3 is a Volvox MT gene that displays sexually regulated alternative splicing and evidence of gender-specific selection, both of which are indicative of cooption into the sexual cycle. Thus, sex-determining loci affect the evolution of both sex-related and non-sex-related genes.
FtsZ1 and FtsZ2 are phylogenetically distinct families of FtsZ in plants that co-localize to mid-plastid rings and facilitate division of chloroplasts. In plants, altered levels of either FtsZ1 or FtsZ2 cause dose-dependent defects in chloroplast division; thus, studies on the functional relationship between FtsZ genes require careful manipulation of FtsZ levels in vivo. To define the functional relationship between the two FtsZ2 genes in Arabidopsis thaliana, FtsZ2-1 and FtsZ2-2, we expressed FtsZ2-1 in an ftsZ2-2 null mutant, and vice versa, and determined whether the chloroplast division defects were rescued in plants expressing different total levels of FtsZ2. Full rescue was observed when either the FtsZ2-1 or FtsZ2-2 level approximated total FtsZ2 levels in wild-type (WT). Additionally, FtsZ2-2 interacts with ARC6, as shown previously for FtsZ2-1. These data indicate that FtsZ2-1 and FtsZ2-2 are functionally redundant for chloroplast division in Arabidopsis. To rigorously validate the requirement of each FtsZ family for chloroplast division, we replaced FtsZ1 with FtsZ2 in vivo, and vice versa, while maintaining the FtsZ level in the transgenic plants equal to that of the total level in WT. Chloroplast division defects were not rescued, demonstrating conclusively that FtsZ1 and FtsZ2 are non-redundant for maintenance of WT chloroplast numbers. Finally, we generated ftsZ triple null mutants and show that plants completely devoid of FtsZ protein are viable and fertile. As plastids are presumably essential organelles, these findings suggest that an FtsZ-independent mode of plastid partitioning may occur in higher plants.
Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 12 Latino/a residents of a mutual help residential recovery program (Oxford House) in order to elicit their experiences of the programs therapeutic elements. A model of recovery emerged from the analysis including several themes supported by existing literature: personal motivation and readiness to change, mutual help, sober environment, social support, and accountability. Consistent with a broad conceptualization of recovery, outcomes included abstinence, new life skills, and increased self-esteem/sense of purpose. Most participants were the only Latino/a in their Houses; however, cultural differences did not emerge as salient issues. The studys findings highlight potential therapeutic aspects of mutual-help communal recovery programs and suggest that English-speaking, bicultural Latinos/as have positive experiences and may benefit from participating in these programs.
Criminal and aggressive behaviors are frequently observed among those recovering from substance abuse problems. In the present one-year longitudinal study, a national sample of residents from self-governed, communal living recovery homes for substance abuse completed baseline and follow-up measures of criminal and aggressive behavior. Results indicated that a length of stay of six months or longer was associated with lower levels of self-reported criminal and aggressive behaviors at the one-year follow-up. Environmental mechanisms proposed as influences for these outcomes, as well as treatment implications, are discussed.
The treatment of a traumatically damaged single central incisor poses significant challenges relative to function and esthetics to the restoring clinician. Providing a good long-term prognosis is paramount when determining whether to maintain or extract a structurally compromised tooth. Successful restoration demands timely and thorough risk assessment along with excellent communication with both the patient and the laboratory fabricating the restoration.
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