Other affiliations: Université libre de Bruxelles, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology
Bio: Jan Šobotník is an academic researcher from Czech University of Life Sciences Prague. The author has contributed to research in topics: Termitidae & Biology. The author has an hindex of 27, co-authored 99 publications receiving 2172 citations. Previous affiliations of Jan Šobotník include Université libre de Bruxelles & Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic.
Papers published on a yearly basis
TL;DR: In this article, the authors sequenced the mitochondrial genomes of 48 termite species and combined them with 18 previously sequenced termite mitochondrial genomes for phylogenetic and molecular clock analyses using multiple fossil calibrations.
Abstract: Termites have colonized many habitats and are among the most abundant animals in tropical ecosystems, which they modify considerably through their actions. The timing of their rise in abundance and of the dispersal events that gave rise to modern termite lineages is not well understood. To shed light on termite origins and diversification, we sequenced the mitochondrial genome of 48 termite species and combined them with 18 previously sequenced termite mitochondrial genomes for phylogenetic and molecular clock analyses using multiple fossil calibrations. The 66 genomes represent most major clades of termites. Unlike previous phylogenetic studies based on fewer molecular data, our phylogenetic tree is fully resolved for the lower termites. The phylogenetic positions of Macrotermitinae and Apicotermitinae are also resolved as the basal groups in the higher termites, but in the crown termitid groups, including Termitinae + Syntermitinae + Nasutitermitinae + Cubitermitinae, the position of some nodes remains uncertain. Our molecular clock tree indicates that the lineages leading to termites and Cryptocercus roaches diverged 170 Ma (153-196 Ma 95% confidence interval [CI]), that modern Termitidae arose 54 Ma (46-66 Ma 95% CI), and that the crown termitid group arose 40 Ma (35-49 Ma 95% CI). This indicates that the distribution of basal termite clades was influenced by the final stages of the breakup of Pangaea. Our inference of ancestral geographic ranges shows that the Termitidae, which includes more than 75% of extant termite species, most likely originated in Africa or Asia, and acquired their pantropical distribution after a series of dispersal and subsequent diversification events.
TL;DR: This text aims to fill the gap of the past 25 years and overview all of the relevant primary sources about the chemistry of termite defense along with related biological aspects, such as the anatomy of defensive glands and their functional mechanisms, alarm communication, and the evolutionary significance of these defensive elements.
Abstract: The rapid development of analytical methods in the last four decades has led to the discovery of a fascinating diversity of defensive chemicals used by termites. The last exhaustive review on termite defensive chemicals was published by G.D. Prestwich in 1984. In this text, we aim to fill the gap of the past 25 years and overview all of the relevant primary sources about the chemistry of termite defense (126 original papers, see Fig. 1 and online supplementary material) along with related biological aspects, such as the anatomy of defensive glands and their functional mechanisms, alarm communication, and the evolutionary significance of these defensive elements.
University of Sydney1, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague2, National University of Singapore3, Centre national de la recherche scientifique4, University of Grenoble5, Institut de recherche pour le développement6, University of Paris7, Université libre de Bruxelles8, University of Western Australia9
TL;DR: The spread of higher termites across oceans was helped by the novel ecological opportunities brought about by environmental and ecosystem change, and led termites to become one of the few insect groups with specialized mammal predators, which has parallels with modern invasive species that have been able to thrive in human-impacted ecosystems.
Abstract: The higher termites (Termitidae) are keystone species and ecosystem engineers. They have exceptional biomass and play important roles in decomposition of dead plant matter, in soil manipulation, and as the primary food for many animals, especially in the tropics. Higher termites are most diverse in rainforests, with estimated origins in the late Eocene (∼54 Ma), postdating the breakup of Pangaea and Gondwana when most continents became separated. Since termites are poor fliers, their origin and spread across the globe requires alternative explanation. Here, we show that higher termites originated 42-54 Ma in Africa and subsequently underwent at least 24 dispersal events between the continents in two main periods. Using phylogenetic analyses of mitochondrial genomes from 415 species, including all higher termite taxonomic and feeding groups, we inferred 10 dispersal events to South America and Asia 35-23 Ma, coinciding with the sharp decrease in global temperature, sea level, and rainforest cover in the Oligocene. After global temperatures increased, 23-5 Ma, there was only one more dispersal to South America but 11 to Asia and Australia, and one dispersal back to Africa. Most of these dispersal events were transoceanic and might have occurred via floating logs. The spread of higher termites across oceans was helped by the novel ecological opportunities brought about by environmental and ecosystem change, and led termites to become one of the few insect groups with specialized mammal predators. This has parallels with modern invasive species that have been able to thrive in human-impacted ecosystems.
TL;DR: The behavioral and electroantennographic responses of Prorhinotermes canalifrons to its soldier frontal gland secretion, and two separated major components of the secretion, (E)-1-nitropentadec-1-ene and (E,E)-α-farnesene, were studied in laboratory experiments as discussed by the authors.
Abstract: The behavioral and electroantennographic responses of Prorhinotermes canalifrons to its soldier frontal gland secretion, and two separated major components of the secretion, (E)-1-nitropentadec-1-ene and (E,E)-α-farnesene, were studied in laboratory experiments. Behavioral experiments showed that both the frontal gland secretion and (E,E)-α-farnesene triggered alarm reactions in P. canalifrons, whereas (E)-1-nitropentadec-1-ene did not affect the behavior of termite groups. The alarm reactions were characterized by rapid walking of activated termites and efforts to alert and activate other members of the group. Behavioral responses to alarm pheromone differed between homogeneous and mixed groups, suggesting complex interactions. Antennae of both soldiers and pseudergates were sensitive to the frontal gland secretion and to (E,E)-α-farnesene, but soldiers showed stronger responses. The dose responses to (E,E)-α-farnesene were identical for both soldiers and pseudergates, suggesting that both castes use similar receptors to perceive (E,E)-α-farnesene. Our data confirm (E,E)-α-farnesene as an alarm pheromone of P. canalifrons.
TL;DR: The results indicate that "mixed-mode" transmission, which combines colony-to-offspring vertical transmission with horizontal colony- to-colony transfer, has been the primary driving force shaping the gut microbiota of termites.
Abstract: Summary The gut microbiota of animals exert major effects on host biology . Although horizontal transfer is generally considered the prevalent route for the acquisition of gut bacteria in mammals , some bacterial lineages have co-speciated with their hosts on timescales of several million years . Termites harbor a complex gut microbiota, and their advanced social behavior provides the potential for long-term vertical symbiont transmission, and co-evolution of gut symbionts and host [4–6]. Despite clear evolutionary patterns in the gut microbiota of termites , a consensus on how microbial communities were assembled during termite diversification has yet to be reached. Although some studies have concluded that vertical transmission has played a major role [8, 9], others indicate that diet and gut microenvironment have been the primary determinants shaping microbial communities in termite guts [7, 10]. To address this issue, we examined the gut microbiota of 94 termite species, through 16S rRNA metabarcoding. We analyzed the phylogeny of 211 bacterial lineages obtained from termite guts, including their closest relatives from other environments, which were identified using BLAST. The results provided strong evidence for rampant horizontal transfer of gut bacteria between termite host lineages. Although the majority of termite-derived phylotypes formed large monophyletic groups, indicating high levels of niche specialization, numerous other clades were interspersed with bacterial lineages from the guts of other animals. Our results indicate that "mixed-mode" transmission, which combines colony-to-offspring vertical transmission with horizontal colony-to-colony transfer, has been the primary driving force shaping the gut microbiota of termites.
01 Jun 2012
TL;DR: SPAdes as mentioned in this paper is a new assembler for both single-cell and standard (multicell) assembly, and demonstrate that it improves on the recently released E+V-SC assembler and on popular assemblers Velvet and SoapDeNovo (for multicell data).
Abstract: The lion's share of bacteria in various environments cannot be cloned in the laboratory and thus cannot be sequenced using existing technologies. A major goal of single-cell genomics is to complement gene-centric metagenomic data with whole-genome assemblies of uncultivated organisms. Assembly of single-cell data is challenging because of highly non-uniform read coverage as well as elevated levels of sequencing errors and chimeric reads. We describe SPAdes, a new assembler for both single-cell and standard (multicell) assembly, and demonstrate that it improves on the recently released E+V-SC assembler (specialized for single-cell data) and on popular assemblers Velvet and SoapDeNovo (for multicell data). SPAdes generates single-cell assemblies, providing information about genomes of uncultivatable bacteria that vastly exceeds what may be obtained via traditional metagenomics studies. SPAdes is available online ( http://bioinf.spbau.ru/spades ). It is distributed as open source software.
TL;DR: FastTree as mentioned in this paper uses sequence profiles of internal nodes in the tree to implement neighbor-joining and uses heuristics to quickly identify candidate joins, then uses nearest-neighbor interchanges to reduce the length of the tree.
Abstract: Gene families are growing rapidly, but standard methods for inferring phylogenies do not scale to alignments with over 10,000 sequences. We present FastTree, a method for constructing large phylogenies and for estimating their reliability. Instead of storing a distance matrix, FastTree stores sequence profiles of internal nodes in the tree. FastTree uses these profiles to implement neighbor-joining and uses heuristics to quickly identify candidate joins. FastTree then uses nearest-neighbor interchanges to reduce the length of the tree. For an alignment with N sequences, L sites, and a different characters, a distance matrix requires O(N^2) space and O(N^2 L) time, but FastTree requires just O( NLa + N sqrt(N) ) memory and O( N sqrt(N) log(N) L a ) time. To estimate the tree's reliability, FastTree uses local bootstrapping, which gives another 100-fold speedup over a distance matrix. For example, FastTree computed a tree and support values for 158,022 distinct 16S ribosomal RNAs in 17 hours and 2.4 gigabytes of memory. Just computing pairwise Jukes-Cantor distances and storing them, without inferring a tree or bootstrapping, would require 17 hours and 50 gigabytes of memory. In simulations, FastTree was slightly more accurate than neighbor joining, BIONJ, or FastME; on genuine alignments, FastTree's topologies had higher likelihoods. FastTree is available at http://microbesonline.org/fasttree.
TL;DR: The author wished to relate the three phases of research on insects and to express insect sociology as population biology in this detailed survey of knowledge of insect societies.
Abstract: In his introduction to this detailed survey of knowledge of insect societies, the author points out that research on insect sociology has proceeded in three phases, the natural history phase, the physiological phase and the population-biology phase. Advances in the first two phases have permitted embarkation in the third phase on a more rigorous theory of social evolution based on population genetics and writing this book, the author wished to relate the three phases of research on insects and to express insect sociology as population biology. A glossary of terms, a considerable bibliography and a general index are included. Other CABI sites
TL;DR: A variety of local and relaxed clock methods have been proposed and implemented for phylogenetic divergence dating as discussed by the authors, which allows different molecular clocks in different parts of the phylogenetic tree, thereby retaining the advantages of the classical molecular clock while casting off the restrictive assumption of a single, global rate of substitution.
Abstract: The estimation of phylogenetic divergence times from sequence data is an important component of many molecular evolutionary studies. There is now a general appreciation that the procedure of divergence dating is considerably more complex than that initially described in the 1960s by Zuckerkandl and Pauling (1962, 1965). In particular, there has been much critical attention toward the assumption of a global molecular clock, resulting in the development of increasingly sophisticated techniques for inferring divergence times from sequence data. In response to the documentation of widespread departures from clocklike behavior, a variety of local- and relaxed-clock methods have been proposed and implemented. Local-clock methods permit different molecular clocks in different parts of the phylogenetic tree, thereby retaining the advantages of the classical molecular clock while casting off the restrictive assumption of a single, global rate of substitution (Rambaut and Bromham 1998; Yoder and Yang 2000).
01 Jan 2014
TL;DR: This extensively revised and expanded book offers a thorough exploration of the evolutionary and behavioral contexts of chemical communication along with a detailed introduction to the molecular and neural basis of signal perception through olfaction.
Abstract: Pheromones and other kinds of chemical communication underlie the behavior of all animals Building on the strengths of the first edition, widely recognized as the leading text in the subject, this is a comprehensive overview of how pheromones work Extensively revised and expanded to cover advances made over the last ten years, the book offers a thorough exploration of the evolutionary and behavioral contexts of chemical communication along with a detailed introduction to the molecular and neural basis of signal perception through olfaction At a time of ever increasing specialization, Wyatt offers a unique synthesis, integrating examples across the animal kingdom A final chapter critically considers human pheromones and the importance of olfaction to human biology Its breadth of coverage and readability make the book an unrivaled resource for students and researchers in a range of fields from chemistry, genetics, genomics, molecular biology and neuroscience to ecology, evolution and behavior