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Current Biology
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Dec 18, 2017

Volume 27Issue 24p3743-3906, R1293-R1342
Open Archive
On the cover: Inside the oral cavity of the common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) thrives an unusual number of diverse, previously uncharacterized microbes. In this issue, Dudek et al. (pages 3752–3762) reconstruct genomes from these microbes and propose two new bacterial phyla, one of which is common in the dolphin mouth and is predicted to have an effect on host health. In addition to a wealth of novel phylogenetic diversity, novel functional diversity is also described, including unusual Cas9 protein sequences with large insertions. The results hint at the vast evolutionary and biochemical diversity that remains uncharted within familiar but poorly explored habitats, especially within marine mammals. Photograph courtesy of US Navy (Dianna Samuelson Dibble)....
On the cover: Inside the oral cavity of the common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) thrives an unusual number of diverse, previously uncharacterized microbes. In this issue, Dudek et al. (pages 3752–3762) reconstruct genomes from these microbes and propose two new bacterial phyla, one of which is common in the dolphin mouth and is predicted to have an effect on host health. In addition to a wealth of novel phylogenetic diversity, novel functional diversity is also described, including unusual Cas9 protein sequences with large insertions. The results hint at the vast evolutionary and biochemical diversity that remains uncharted within familiar but poorly explored habitats, especially within marine mammals. Photograph courtesy of US Navy (Dianna Samuelson Dibble).

Magazine

Feature

  • Shining new light on quorum sensing

    • Michael Gross
    Single-cell organisms co-operate and communicate in multiple and complex ways that science is only beginning to understand. By communicating with each other and acting collectively, they can deliver many complex functions including the bright light in luminescent fish, the digestion of food in our intestines, and pathogen invasions.

Q & A

Quick guide

Correspondences

Dispatches

Review

Articles

  • Theta Oscillations in the Human Medial Temporal Lobe during Real-World Ambulatory Movement

    • Zahra M. Aghajan,
    • Peter Schuette,
    • Tony A. Fields,
    • Michelle E. Tran,
    • Sameed M. Siddiqui,
    • Nicholas R. Hasulak,
    • Thomas K. Tcheng,
    • Dawn Eliashiv,
    • Emily A. Mankin,
    • John Stern,
    • Itzhak Fried,
    • Nanthia Suthana
    Aghajan et al. record deep brain activity, during untethered freely moving behavior, from participants chronically implanted with depth electrodes. They demonstrate that 8 Hz theta oscillations, the hallmark of spatial navigation in rodents, also occur in humans, albeit in shorter bouts that are more prevalent during fast versus slow movements.
  • Novel Microbial Diversity and Functional Potential in the Marine Mammal Oral Microbiome

    • Natasha K. Dudek,
    • Christine L. Sun,
    • David Burstein,
    • Rose S. Kantor,
    • Daniela S. Aliaga Goltsman,
    • Elisabeth M. Bik,
    • Brian C. Thomas,
    • Jillian F. Banfield,
    • David A. Relman
    Dudek et al. reconstruct genomes from previously uncharacterized microbes living in the dolphin mouth. Three of these genomes represent two new phyla, and 22 come from members of nine relatively unexplored candidate phyla. Novel taxonomic diversity in the community is accompanied by novel functional diversity, such as unusual CRISPR-Cas9 systems.
  • Nigrotectal Stimulation Stops Interval Timing in Mice

    • Koji Toda,
    • Nicholas A. Lusk,
    • Glenn D.R. Watson,
    • Namsoo Kim,
    • Dongye Lu,
    • Haofang E. Li,
    • Warren H. Meck,
    • Henry H. Yin
    Toda et al. design a novel paradigm to study interval timing in mice. Using optogenetic manipulations, the authors show that activation of the nigrotectal pathway not only suppresses ongoing behavior but also delays timing of future behavior. These results suggest that disrupting basal ganglia output can stop central networks underlying timing.
  • The Plastid Genome in Cladophorales Green Algae Is Encoded by Hairpin Chromosomes

    • Andrea Del Cortona,
    • Frederik Leliaert,
    • Kenny A. Bogaert,
    • Monique Turmel,
    • Christian Boedeker,
    • Jan Janouškovec,
    • Juan M. Lopez-Bautista,
    • Heroen Verbruggen,
    • Klaas Vandepoele,
    • Olivier De Clerck
    Del Cortona et al. describe intriguing features of the plastid genome of Cladophorales, which is fragmented into linear ssDNA molecules that fold into hairpin configurations due to the presence of inverted repeats. This architecture is unprecedented among eukaryotes, and highlights unexpected variation in plastid genome structure.
  • Tension-Dependent Stretching Activates ZO-1 to Control the Junctional Localization of Its Interactors

    • Domenica Spadaro,
    • Shimin Le,
    • Thierry Laroche,
    • Isabelle Mean,
    • Lionel Jond,
    • Jie Yan,
    • Sandra Citi
    Spadaro et al. use super-resolution microscopy to show that ZO-1, a protein that connects tight junction membrane proteins to the actin cytoskeleton, exists in either stretched or folded conformations, depending on actomyosin-dependent force, resulting in changes in the localization, stability, and downstream signaling of its interactors.
  • Neuropeptide Y Regulates Sleep by Modulating Noradrenergic Signaling

    • Chanpreet Singh,
    • Jason Rihel,
    • David A. Prober
    Based on a genetic screen, Singh et al. identify NPY signaling and npy-expressing neurons as regulators of zebrafish sleep. They show that NPY promotes sleep by inhibiting noradrenergic signaling, thus linking NPY signaling to an established arousal-promoting system.
  • Vagus Motor Neuron Topographic Map Determined by Parallel Mechanisms of hox5 Expression and Time of Axon Initiation

    • Gabrielle R. Barsh,
    • Adam J. Isabella,
    • Cecilia B. Moens
    The development of topographic maps classically relies upon spatial patterning mechanisms. Barsh et al. show that in zebrafish vagus motor neurons, map formation is determined by a hox5-dependent spatial mechanism that acts in parallel with a novel temporal mechanism dependent upon the time of axon outgrowth.
  • Origins and Specification of the Drosophila Wing

    • David Requena,
    • Jose Andres Álvarez,
    • Hugo Gabilondo,
    • Ryan Loker,
    • Richard S. Mann,
    • Carlos Estella
    By studying a cis-regulatory module that is specifically active in the embryonic dorsal (wing and haltere) primordia of Drosophila, Requena et al. demonstrate that dorsal fates are derived from two separate groups of cells, one of which shares a lineage with the ventral primordia. These data are consistent with a dual evolutionary origin of the wing.

Reports

  • Evolution and Genetics of Precocious Burrowing Behavior in Peromyscus Mice

    • Hillery C. Metz,
    • Nicole L. Bedford,
    • Yangshu Linda Pan,
    • Hopi E. Hoekstra
    Metz et al. find that oldfield mice, a species that digs long, complex burrows, also digs burrows earlier than its sister species. In hybrids, an allele linked to adult tunnel length also affects the timing of first burrow construction, suggesting that this genetic region influences different aspects of the same behavior across life stages.
  • Nociceptive Cortical Activity Is Dissociated from Nociceptive Behavior in Newborn Human Infants under Stress

    • Laura Jones,
    • Lorenzo Fabrizi,
    • Maria Laudiano-Dray,
    • Kimberley Whitehead,
    • Judith Meek,
    • Madeleine Verriotis,
    • Maria Fitzgerald
    Jones et al. show that high physiological stress in infants, measured by cortisol and heart rate variability, is associated with greater cortical pain activity, but not with increased pain behavior. Stress disrupts the relationship between nociceptive brain activity and behavior and is an important extraneous factor when predicting infant pain.
  • Evolution of the Sauropterygian Labyrinth with Increasingly Pelagic Lifestyles

    • James M. Neenan,
    • Tobias Reich,
    • Serjoscha W. Evers,
    • Patrick S. Druckenmiller,
    • Dennis F.A.E. Voeten,
    • Jonah N. Choiniere,
    • Paul M. Barrett,
    • Stephanie E. Pierce,
    • Roger B.J. Benson
    Neenan et al. quantify endosseous labyrinth shape across a group of extinct marine reptiles called Sauropterygia. They find distinctly different labyrinth proportions depending on locomotory mode. Importantly, independent radiations of short-necked plesiosaurs with whale-like body proportions have miniaturized labyrinths, much like extant cetaceans.
  • Maternal Brain TNF-α Programs Innate Fear in the Offspring

    • Bojana Zupan,
    • Bingfang Liu,
    • Faten Taki,
    • Judit Gal Toth,
    • Miklos Toth
    TNF-α regulates synaptic scaling, but Zupan et al. show that TNF-α-null mice exhibit no behavioral anomalies. Instead, a brain TNF-α deficit in dams results in low fear in offspring. As maternal activity reduces brain TNF-α and downregulates offspring fear, brain TNF-α may report environmental conditions and help optimize offspring behavioral adaptation.
  • Improved Modeling of Compositional Heterogeneity Supports Sponges as Sister to All Other Animals

    • Roberto Feuda,
    • Martin Dohrmann,
    • Walker Pett,
    • Hervé Philippe,
    • Omar Rota-Stabelli,
    • Nicolas Lartillot,
    • Gert Wörheide,
    • Davide Pisani
    The relationships at the root of the animal tree are debated. Feuda et al. show that comb jellies emerge as the sister of all the other animals when the model inadequately describes the data. As modeling improves, sponges emerge in this position instead, indicating that trees placing the comb jellies at the root of the animals are artifactual.
  • Ocean-wide Drivers of Migration Strategies and Their Influence on Population Breeding Performance in a Declining Seabird

    • Annette L. Fayet,
    • Robin Freeman,
    • Tycho Anker-Nilssen,
    • Antony Diamond,
    • Kjell E. Erikstad,
    • Dave Fifield,
    • Michelle G. Fitzsimmons,
    • Erpur S. Hansen,
    • Mike P. Harris,
    • Mark Jessopp,
    • Amy-Lee Kouwenberg,
    • Steve Kress,
    • Stephen Mowat,
    • Chris M. Perrins,
    • Aevar Petersen,
    • Ib K. Petersen,
    • Tone K. Reiertsen,
    • Gregory J. Robertson,
    • Paula Shannon,
    • Ingvar A. Sigurðsson,
    • Akiko Shoji,
    • Sarah Wanless,
    • Tim Guilford
    To investigate the species-wide drivers and fitness consequences of animal migration, Fayet et al. tracked 270 puffins across the North Atlantic. They show that competition and geographical and environmental factors drive a species’ migration movements across its range and that these migration patterns are reflected in population breeding performance.
  • At Birth, Humans Associate “Few” with Left and “Many” with Right

    • Maria Dolores de Hevia,
    • Ludovica Veggiotti,
    • Arlette Streri,
    • Cory D. Bonn
    de Hevia et al. show in a series of five experiments that newborns possess a left-few/right-many bias. The results suggest that the predisposition to map numbers to spatial locations is independent of postnatal sensory experience.
  • Causes and Consequences of Tool Shape Variation in New Caledonian Crows

    • Shoko Sugasawa,
    • Barbara C. Klump,
    • James J.H. St Clair,
    • Christian Rutz
    The New Caledonian crow is the only non-human animal known to craft hooked foraging tools. In experiments with wild-caught crows, Sugasawa et al. identify extrinsic and intrinsic factors that affect tool morphology and, as a consequence, tool efficiency. This provides valuable insights into the drivers and constraints of technological evolution.
  • The Mitotic Function of Augmin Is Dependent on Its Microtubule-Associated Protein Subunit EDE1 in Arabidopsis thaliana

    • Yuh-Ru Julie Lee,
    • Yuji Hiwatashi,
    • Takashi Hotta,
    • Tingting Xie,
    • John H. Doonan,
    • Bo Liu
    Augmin activates MT-dependent MT nucleation in both interphase and mitotic cells in plants. It has been unclear how the augmin function is differentially regulated under the two circumstances. Lee et al. demonstrate that a member of the AUG8 MT-associated protein family, EDE1, specifies the mitotic function of augmin in Arabidopsis.
  • Differential Effects of Climate on Survival Rates Drive Hybrid Zone Movement

    • Elizabeth A. Hunter,
    • Marjorie D. Matocq,
    • Peter J. Murphy,
    • Kevin T. Shoemaker
    Hunter et al. show that climate- and competition-driven survival differentials in two species of hybridizing Neotoma woodrats correspond to a northward movement of the hybrid zone. These results demonstrate the importance of delineating competing species’ fitness differentials to predict how range limits will shift under a changing climate.

Corrections

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