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Hemichordate genomes illuminate deuterostome origins

June 3, 2024

Hemichordate genomes illuminate deuterostome origins

The diversity of deuterostome body plans has made it challenging to reconstruct their ancestral condition and to understand their diversification. Che-Yi Lin, Daniel Rokhsar, Jr-Kai Yu, Yi-Hsien Su and colleagues use chromosome-level genome assemblies of two hemichordates to help infer the genomic architecture of the deuterostome common ancestor and subsequent lineage-specific rearrangement events.

Image credit: Yi-Hsien Su & Ching-Yi Lin

PLOS Biologue

Community blog for PLOS Biology, PLOS Genetics and PLOS Computational Biology.

PLOS BIOLOGUE

06/06/2024

Research Article

Evolution of fungal pathogenesis

Understanding the different evolution of closely related pathogenic and non-pathogenic fungi can help decipher the mechanisms of pathogenesis. Marco Coelho, Márcia David-Palma, Sheng Sun, Christina Cuomo, Joseph Heitman and co-authors use comparative genomics to reveal the intricate genomic evolution of Cryptococcus and Kwoniella, highlighting distinct mechanisms that drive their biological diversity and lifestyles.

Image credit: pbio.3002682

Evolution of fungal pathogenesis

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Current Issue

Current Issue May 2024

06/06/2024

Research Article

Route optimization needs little brain power

Homing pigeons improve their route efficiency in consecutive generations, potentially through social interaction. Edwin Dalmaijer uses artificial agents with a highly limited cognitive architecture to show that although their only "social" capacity is to seek proximity, their behavior matches that of pigeons, and they show cumulative improvements in route efficiency.

Image credit: Unsplash user Zac Ong

Route optimization needs little brain power

06/06/2024

Research Article

Swimming together in turbulent waters

What are the benefits of collective behavior? Yangfan Zhang, George Lauder and co-workers test the "turbulence sheltering hypothesis," finding that the collective movement of fish schools substantially reduces the energetic cost of locomotion in turbulent conditions compared to that of swimming alone. Don't miss the accompanying Primer by Tyson Hedrick.

Image credit: Fernando Lessa

Swimming together in turbulent waters

06/04/2024

Research Article

Maternal obesity and offspring greed

Perinatal exposure to maternal obesity increases the risk of developing obesity in offspring as they grow up. Laura Dearden, Susan Ozanne and colleagues identify an underlying mechanism of this phenomenon, showing that maternal obesity increases hypothalamic miR-505-5p expression in mouse offspring, which in turn regulates fatty acid sensing and promotes consumption of fatty food.

Maternal obesity and offspring greed

Image credit: pbio.3002641

06/03/2024

Methods and Resources

A window on the brain

Whole-brain optical imaging approaches are often applied through a cranial window but are limited by their low spatio-temporal resolution. Bradley Edelman, Dominique Siegenthaler, Emilie Macé and colleagues describe a chronic cranial implant called the COMBO window that provides a larger field of view and is compatible for multiple imaging techniques across scales in head-fixed mice.

A window on the brain

Image credit: Julia Kuhl

05/31/2024

Research Article

Host cell ingestion by malaria parasites

Malaria blood stage parasites ingest most of their host cell contents via an endocytic process. Ricarda Sabitzki, Tobias Spielmann and co-workers show that despite a repurposing of many typical endosomal proteins for secretion, the highly parasite-specific upstream uptake system feeds into a more canonical Rbsn5/VPS45/Rab5b-dependent endosomal pathway.

Host cell ingestion by malaria parasites

Image credit: pbio.3002639

06/04/2024

Essay

Better data to save the planet

Frank Hawkins argues that we need better spatially explicit and actionable data on the causes of biodiversity loss that can be conveyed to company decision-makers in a format that they can use easily and efficiently.

Better data to save the planet

Image credit: pbio.3002689

05/30/2024

Essay

Glioblastoma at the single-cell level

Yahaya Yabo and Dieter Heiland advocate the study of glioblastoma at a single-cell level to understand its heterogeneity, in the hope that insights gained will guide the development of personalized and effective therapies.

Glioblastoma at the single-cell level

Image credit: pbio.3002640

05/28/2024

Editorial

Trees as a metaphor

The phylogenetic tree has been a core conceptual tool for evolutionary biology for nearly 200 years. Roli Roberts explores the role of the tree as a metaphor, discussing two new PLOS Biology Essays that look to the future.

Trees as a metaphor

Image credit: Ernst Haeckel via Wikimedia Commons

05/24/2024

Essay

Integrating phylogenies into single-cell RNA data

Samuel Church, Jasmine Mah and Casey Dunn argue that, by integrating phylogenetic approaches into scRNA-seq analyses, hypotheses about gene and cell evolution can be robustly tested.

Integrating phylogenies into single-cell RNA data

Image credit: pbio.3002633

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PLOS Biology | ISSN: 1545-7885 (online)