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Microsporidia have the leanest genomes among eukaryotes, and their physiological and genomic simplicity has been attributed to their intracellular, obligate parasitic lifestyle. However, not all microsporidia genomes are small or lean, with the largest dwarfing the smallest ones by at least an order of magnitude. To better understand the evolutionary mechanisms behind this genomic diversification, we explore here two clades of microsporidia with distinct life histories, Ordospora and Hamiltosporidium, parasitizing the same host species, Daphnia magna. Based on seven newly assembled genomes, we show that mixed-mode transmission (the combination of horizontal and vertical transmission), which occurs in Hamiltosporidium, is found to be associated with larger and AT-biased genomes, more genes and longer intergenic regions, as compared to the exclusively horizontally transmitted Ordospora. Furthermore, the Hamiltosporidium genome assemblies contain a variety of repetitive elements and long segmental duplications. We show that there is an excess of non-synonymous substitutions in the microsporidia with mixed-mode transmission, which cannot be solely attributed to the lack of recombination, suggesting that bursts of genome size in these microsporidia result primarily from genetic drift. Overall, these findings suggest that the switch from a horizontal-only to a mixed mode of transmission likely produces population bottlenecks in Hamiltosporidium species, therefore reducing the effectiveness of natural selection, and allowing their genomic features to be largely shaped by nonadaptive processes.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Genome biology and evolution
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The transmission of infectious disease or pathogens. When transmission is within the same species, the mode can be horizontal or vertical (INFECTIOUS DISEASE TRANSMISSION, VERTICAL).
The expelling of virus particles from the body. Important routes include the respiratory tract, genital tract, and intestinal tract. Virus shedding is an important means of vertical transmission (INFECTIOUS DISEASE TRANSMISSION, VERTICAL).
The transmission of infectious disease or pathogens from one generation to another. It includes transmission in utero or intrapartum by exposure to blood and secretions, and postpartum exposure via breastfeeding.
The length of the face determined by the distance of separation of jaws. Occlusal vertical dimension (OVD or VDO) or contact vertical dimension is the lower face height with the teeth in centric occlusion. Rest vertical dimension (VDR) is the lower face height measured from a chin point to a point just below the nose, with the mandible in rest position. (From Jablonski, Dictionary of Dentistry, 1992, p250)
A family of RNA viruses naturally infecting rodents and consisting of one genus (ARENAVIRUS) with two groups: Old World Arenaviruses (ARENAVIRUSES, OLD WORLD) and New World Arenaviruses (ARENAVIRUSES, NEW WORLD). Infection in rodents is persistent and silent. Vertical transmission is through milk-, saliva-, or urine-borne routes. Horizontal transmission to humans, monkeys, and other animals is important.
Bioinformatics is the application of computer software and hardware to the management of biological data to create useful information. Computers are used to gather, store, analyze and integrate biological and genetic information which can then be applied...