Centromeres in the legume genera Pisum and Lathyrus exhibit unique morphological characteristics, including extended primary constrictions and multiple separate domains of centromeric chromatin. These so-called metapolycentromeres resemble an intermediate form between monocentric and holocentric types, and therefore provide a great opportunity for studying the transitions between different types of centromere organizations. However, because of the exceedingly large and highly repetitive nature of metapolycentromeres, highly contiguous assemblies needed for these studies are lacking. Here, we report on the assembly and analysis of a 177.6 Mb region of pea ( Pisum sativum ) chromosome 6, including the 81.6 Mb centromere region (CEN6) and adjacent chromosome arms. Genes, DNA methylation profiles, and most of the repeats were uniformly distributed within the centromere, and their densities in CEN6 and chromosome arms were similar. The exception was an accumulation of satellite DNA in CEN6, where it formed multiple arrays up to 2 Mb in length. Centromeric chromatin, characterized by the presence of the CENH3 protein, was predominantly associated with arrays of three different satellite repeats; however, five other satellites present in CEN6 lacked CENH3. The presence of CENH3 chromatin was found to determine the spatial distribution of the respective satellites during the cell cycle. Finally, oligo-FISH painting experiments, performed using probes specifically designed to label the genomic regions corresponding to CEN6 in Pisum , Lathyrus , and Vicia species, revealed that metapolycentromeres evolved via the expansion of centromeric chromatin into neighboring chromosomal regions and the accumulation of novel satellite repeats. However, in some of these species, centromere evolution also involved chromosomal translocations and centromere repositioning.

Seoul orthohantavirus (SEOV) is a rat-associated zoonotic pathogen with an almost worldwide distribution. In 2019, the first autochthonous human case of SEOV-induced hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome was reported in Germany, and a pet rat was identified as the source of the zoonotic infection. To further investigate the SEOV reservoir, additional rats from the patient and another owner, all of which were purchased from the same vendor, were tested. SEOV RNA and anti-SEOV antibodies were found in both of the patient’s rats and in two of the three rats belonging to the other owner. The complete coding sequences of the small (S), medium (M), and large (L) segments obtained from one rat per owner exhibited a high sequence similarity to SEOV strains of breeder rat or human origin from the Netherlands, France, the USA, and Great Britain. Serological screening of 490 rats from breeding facilities and 563 wild rats from Germany (2007–2020) as well as 594 wild rats from the Netherlands (2013–2021) revealed 1 and 6 seropositive individuals, respectively. However, SEOV RNA was not detected in any of these animals. Increased surveillance of pet, breeder, and wild rats is needed to identify the origin of the SEOV strain in Europe and to develop measures to prevent transmission to the human population.

Premise Recent phylogenetic studies of the Araceae have confirmed the position of the duckweeds nested within the aroids, and the monophyly of a clade containing all the unisexual flowered aroids plus the bisexual-flowered Calla palustris. The main objective of the present study was to better resolve the deep phylogenetic relationships among the main lineages within the family, particularly the relationships between the eight currently recognized subfamilies. We also aimed to confirm the phylogenetic position of the enigmatic genus Calla in relation to the long-debated evolutionary transition between bisexual and unisexual flowers in the family. Methods Nuclear DNA sequence data were generated for 128 species across 111 genera (78%) of Araceae using target sequence capture and the Angiosperms 353 universal probe set. Results The phylogenomic data confirmed the monophyly of the eight Araceae subfamilies, but the phylogenetic position of subfamily Lasioideae remains uncertain. The genus Calla is included in subfamily Aroideae, which has also been expanded to include Zamioculcadoideae. The tribe Aglaonemateae is newly defined to include the genera Aglaonema and Boycea. Conclusions Our results strongly suggest that new research on African genera (Callopsis, Nephthytis, and Anubias) and Calla will be important for understanding the early evolution of the Aroideae. Also of particular interest are the phylogenetic positions of the isolated genera Montrichardia, Zantedeschia, and Anchomanes, which remain only moderately supported here.

Consumption of buffalofish has been sporadically associated with Haff disease-like illnesses involving sudden onset muscle pain and weakness due to skeletal muscle rhabdomyolysis, but determination of precisely which species are associated with these illnesses has been impeded by a lack of species-specific DNA-based markers. Here, three closely related species of buffalofish native to the Mississippi River Basin (Ictiobus bubalus, Ictiobus cyprinellus and Ictiobus niger) that have previously proven genetically indistinguishable using both mitochondrial and nuclear single-locus sequencing were reliably discriminated using low-coverage whole genome sequencing (‘genome skimming’). Using 44 specimens representing the three species collected from the mid/upper (Missouri) and lower (Louisiana) regions of the species’ native ranges, the SISRS (Site Identification from Short Read Sequences) bioinformatics pipeline was adapted to (1) identify over 620Mbp of putatively homologous nuclear sequence data and (2) isolate over 140,000 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that supported accurate species delimitation, all without the use of a reference genome or annotation data. These sites were used to classify Ictiobus spp. samples with genome-skim data, along with a larger set (n=67) where ultraconserved elements (UCEs) were sequenced. Analyses of whole mitochondrial data revealed more limited signal. Nearly all samples matched their purported species based on morphologic identification, but two Missouri samples morphologically identified as I. niger grouped with samples of I. bubalus, albeit with significant enrichment of I. niger SNPs. To our knowledge this is the first report of a DNA-based tool to reliably discriminate these three morphologically distinct species.

Hyphessobrycon is one of the most species rich and widely distributed genera in the family Characidae, with more than 160 species ranging from Veracruz, Mexico to Mar Chiquita Lagoon in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The majority of Hyphessobrycon diversity shows a cis-Andean distribution; only nine species are trans-Andean including H. compressus (Meek 1908). It is well established that Hyphessobrycon is not monophyletic but it has been suggested that natural groups can be identified within the larger Hyphessobrycon species group. In this study, we tested the monophyly of trans-Andean species of Hyphessobrycon and investigated the placement of H. compressus. We inferred the first phylogenomic hypothesis of trans-Andean Hyphessobrycon that includes nearly complete taxonomic sampling (eight of nine valid species) using ultraconserved elements (UCEs). We analyzed 75% (1682 UCEs), 90% (1258 UCEs), and 95% (838 UCEs) complete data matrices, and inferred phylogenomic hypotheses under concatenation and coalescent approaches. In all cases, we recovered the monophyly of trans-Andean Hyphessobrycon inclusive of H. compressus, strong support for three species groups, and evidence of cryptic diversity within the widespread H. compressus and H. condotensis. We used our phylogenomic hypothesis to investigate the biogeographic history of Hyphessobrycon in Middle America. Our ancestral range estimation analysis suggests a single event of cis- to trans-Andean colonization followed by stepwise colonization from the Pacific slope of northwestern South America (Chocó block) to northern Middle America (Maya block). Our work supports the recognition of the trans-Andean species as Hyphessobrycon sensu stricto and provides an evolutionary template to examine morphological characters that will allow us to better understand the diversity of Hyphessobrycon in Middle America.

Abstract Background and Aims Southwestern Asia is a significant centre of biodiversity and a cradle of diversification for many plant groups, especially xerophytic elements. In contrast, little is known about the evolution and diversification of hygrophytic flora. To fill this gap, we focus on Cardamine (Brassicaceae) species that grow in wetlands over a wide altitudinal range. We aimed to elucidate their evolution, assess the extent of presumed historical gene flow between species, and draw inferences about intraspecific structure. Methods We applied the phylogenomic Hyb-Seq approach, ecological niche analyses, and multivariate morphometrics to a total of 85 Cardamine populations from the target region of Anatolia-Caucasus, usually treated as four to six species, and supplemented them with close relatives from Europe. Key Results Five diploids are recognised in the focus area, three of which occur in regions adjacent to the Black and/or Caspian Seas (C. penzesii, C. tenera, C. lazica), one species widely distributed from the Caucasus to Lebanon and Iran (C. uliginosa), and one western Anatolian entity (provisionally as C. cf. uliginosa). Phylogenomic data suggest recent speciation during the Pleistocene, likely driven by both geographical separation (allopatry) and ecological divergence. With the exception of a single hybrid (allotetraploid) speciation event proven for C. wiedemanniana, an endemic of southern Turkey, no significant traces of past or present interspecific gene flow were observed. Genetic variation within the studied species is spatially structured, suggesting reduced gene flow due to geographical and ecological barriers, but also glacial survival in different refugia. Conclusions This study highlights the importance of the refugial regions of the Black and Caspian Seas for both harbouring and generating hygrophytic species diversity in SW Asia. It also supports the significance of evolutionary links between Anatolia and the Balkan Peninsula. Reticulation and polyploidisation played a minor evolutionary role here in contrast to the European relatives.