• Share

stress-induced evolutionary innovation: a mechanism for the origin of cell types
Citation: Wagner, G.P., Erkenbrack, E. M., & Love, A.C. (2019). Stress-induced evolutionary innovation: A mechanism for the origin of cell types. BioEssays, 41(4), pp.
Understanding the evolutionary role of environmentally-induced phenotypic variation (i.e., plasticity) is an important issue in developmental evolution. A major physiological response to environmental change is cellular stress, which is counteracted by generic stress reactions detoxifying the cell. A model, stress‐induced evolutionary innovation (SIEI), whereby ancestral stress reactions and their corresponding pathways can be transformed into novel structural components of body plans, such as new cell types, is described. Previous findings suggesting that the cell differentiation cascade of a cell type critical to pregnancy in humans, the decidual stromal cell, evolved from a cellular stress reaction are described. It is hypothesized that the stress reaction in these cells was elicited ancestrally via inflammation caused by embryo attachment. The present study proposes that SIEI is a distinct form of plasticity‐based evolutionary change leading to the origin of novel structures rather than adaptive transformation of pre‐existing characters.

More Publications

Production of fungal and bacterial growth modulating secondary metabolites is widespread among mycorrhiza-associated streptomycetes

Studies on mycorrhiza associated bacteria suggest that bacterial-fungal interactions play important roles during mycorrhiza formation and affect plant health. We surveyed Streptomyces Actinobacteria, known as antibiotic producers and antagonists of fungi, from Norway spruce mycorrhizas with predominantlyPiloderma species as the fungal partner. Mycorrhiza associated streptomycetes appear to have an important role in inhibiting the growth of fungi and bacteria. Additionally, our study indicates that the Streptomyces strains, which are not general antagonists of fungi, may produce still un-described metabolites.

A Derived Allosteric Switch Underlies the Evolution of Conditional Cooperativity Between HOXA11 and FOXO1

Transcription factors (TFs) play multiple roles in development. Given this multifunctionality, it has been assumed that TFs are evolutionarily highly constrained. Here, we investigate the molecular mechanisms for the origin of a derived functional interaction between two TFs, HOXA11 and FOXO1. We have previously shown that the regulatory role of HOXA11 in mammalian endometrial stromal cells requires interaction with FOXO1, and that the physical interaction between these proteins evolved before their functional cooperativity. Here, we demonstrate that the derived functional cooperativity between HOXA11 and FOXO1 is due to derived allosteric regulation of HOXA11 by FOXO1. This study shows that TF function can evolve through changes affecting the functional output of a pre-existing protein complex.
© 2016 Eric M Erkenbrack and SpringerNature. All rights reserved.