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Proceedings Paper

Co-evolution of cyanophage and cyanobacteria in Antarctic lakes: adaptive responses to high UV flux and global warming
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Paper Abstract

Rapid adaptation to acute environmental change demands co-evolution of indigenous viral populations and their hosts. Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is a highly efficient adaptive mechanism, but a difficult phenomena to dectect. The mosaic nature of bacteriophage genomes resulting from HGT has generally been explored using phylogenetic analysis of coding regions. Focusing on the proteome certainly provides one window into the origin and evolution of genome information storage. However, the original fitness function for a nucleotide polymer would arise from a more primal survival imperative predating the appearance of a coding function. Multivariate analysis of a genome information storage metric (lossless compression), nucleotide distributions, and distributions of the three major physiochemical characteristics of the polymer (triple:double bonding [G+C], purine:pyrimidine [G+A], and keto:amine [G+T] fractions) produces a metric to detect and characterize mosaicism in both coding and non-coding regions of a genome. We discuss possibilities and limitations of using these techniques to investigate HGT and the origins and evolution of genome complexity. Analysis of available virus (n= 2374) and bacteriophage genomes (n=417) indicates these probes can perform whole-genome taxonomy tasks or sliding window searches for evidence of HGT in a single genome. HGT responses may serve as a canary or bell-weather for global environmental change. We discuss one area of application of considerable interest to our institute: the response of cyanophage and their cyanobacteria hosts to variations in ultraviolet solar flux in geographically isolated Antarctic lakes.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 October 2007
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 6694, Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology X, 66941E (1 October 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.745960
Show Author Affiliations
Michael C. Storrie-Lombardi, Kinohi Institute (United States)
Holly C. Pinkart, Central Washington Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6694:
Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology X
Richard B. Hoover; Gilbert V. Levin; Alexei Y. Rozanov; Paul C. W. Davies, Editor(s)

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