We find a non-neutral regime where, for any given population size

We find a non-neutral regime where, for any given population size, there is an optimal mutation selleck kinase inhibitor bias that maximizes fitness. Interestingly, this optimal GC usage is small for small populations, large for intermediate populations and around 50% for large populations. This result is robust with respect to the definition of the fitness function and to the protein structures studied. Our model suggests that small populations evolving with small GC usage eventually accumulate a significant selective advantage over populations evolving without this bias.

This provides a possible explanation to the observation that most species adopting obligatory intracellular lifestyles with a consequent reduction of effective population size shifted their mutation spectrum towards AT. The model also predicts that large GC usage is optimal for intermediate population size. To test these predictions we estimated the selleck inhibitor effective population sizes of bacterial species using the optimal codon usage coefficients

computed by dos Reis et al. and the synonymous to non-synonymous substitution ratio computed by Daubin and Moran. We found that the population sizes estimated in these ways are significantly smaller for species with small and large GC usage compared to species with no bias, which supports our prediction.”
“Background: The pathogenicity of Plasmodium falciparum is in part due to the ability of the parasitized red blood cell (pRBC) to adhere to intra- vascular host cell receptors and serum-proteins. Binding of the pRBC is mediated by Plasmodium buy AZD6738 falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1), a large multi-variant molecule encoded by a

family of approximate to 60 var genes.

Methods: The study of var gene transcription in the parasite clone FCR3S1.2 was performed by semi-quantitative PCR and quantitative PCR (qPCR). The expression of the major PfEMP1 in FCR3S1.2 pRBC was analysed with polyclonal sera in rosette disruption assays and immunofluorecence.

Results: Transcripts from var1 (FCR3S1.2(var1); IT4var21) and other var genes were detected by semi-quantitative PCR but results from qPCR showed that one var gene transcript dominated over the others (FCR3S1.2var2; IT4var60). Antibodies raised in rats to the recombinant NTS-DBL1a of var2 produced in E. coli completely and dosedependently disrupted rosettes (approximate to 95% at a dilution of 1/5). The sera reacted with the Maurer’s clefts in trophozoite stages (IFA) and to the infected erythrocyte surface (FACS) indicating that FCR3S1.2var2 encodes the dominant PfEMP1 expressed in this parasite.

Conclusion: The major transcript in the rosetting model parasite FCR3S1.2 is FCR3S1.2var2 (IT4var60). The results suggest that this gene encodes the PfEMP1-species responsible for the rosetting phenotype of this parasite. The activity of previously raised antibodies to the NTS-DBL1a of FCR3S1.

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