Posted by: salamandercandy | July 17, 2007

Déjà vu

I’ve been cited… and then some. A group of researchers studying antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) from shrimp really liked my review paper on AMP evolution. In fact, they liked it a little too much. The following is a section of text from my paper, published in 2005:

Although individual tests of selection on AMPs are sometimes merely suggestive, taken together these studies present convincing evidence that positive selection on AMPs is common and taxonomically widespread…
…The specific pathogens driving selection undoubtedly vary among hosts, which could result in different patterns of evolution. Some hosts might be in a constant co-evolutionary arms race with pathogens that are under selection to resist their defenses. A variety of resistance mechanisms to AMPs are known in microbes, some of which involve a single gene product (Andreu & Rivas, 1998; Yeaman & Yount, 2003). In some cases, derived microbial strains are more resistant than the wild type (Fernandez & Weiss, 1996; Thevissen et al., 2004), which is consistent with the hypothesis that positive selection on microbial genomes can result in increased resistance to AMPs. Thus, it may be the case that resistance is easy to evolve and happens frequently. On the other hand, some AMPs might attack their targets in such a way that evolving resistance is not possible without coordinated changes at many microbial genes. Selection on these AMPs would primarily occur when hosts enter new niches and are forced to adapt to completely different pathogen species not previously encountered.

Compare that to the following section of text from this paper, published in 2007:

In consistent with the results of previous studies on the molecular evolution of AMPs in vertebrates and invertebrates (e.g. refs. Nicolas et al. 2003; Bulmer and Crozier 2004; Tennessen 2005; and Duda et al. 2002), the present study also present convincing evidence that positive selection on penaeidin, the AMP gene family of penaeid shrimps, is common and taxonomically widespread…
…The specific pathogens driving selection certainly vary among hosts, which could also result in different patterns of evolution (Tennessen 2005). Some hosts might also be co-evolving with pathogens that are under selection to resist their defenses. An array of resistance mechanisms to AMPs are known in pathogens, some of which are involved in a single gene product (Andreu & Rivas, 1998; and Yeaman & Yount, 2003). In some cases, derived microbial strains are more resistant than the wild type (Thevissen et al., 2004), which is consistent with the hypothesis that positive selection on microbial genomes can result in increased resistance to AMPs. However, it could be more likely that resistance is easy to evolve and happens frequently. On the other hand, penaeidin peptides might attack their targets in such a way that evolving resistance is not possible without synchronized changes at many microbial genes. Selection on the penaeidin mature peptides might also occur when hosts enter new habitats or environments and are forced to adapt to completely different pathogens not previously encountered (e.g. during species introduction).

Notice some similarities? Granted, only one sentence is completely identical, but there are also a lot of sentences that only differ by a few words. At this point, I think that best course of action is to simply be flattered and not register any kind of formal complaint. However, if I were teaching a class and a student handed in an assignment like this, it would be time for a discussion about plagiarism.

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