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Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society

Wai Yeow Lee, Maulana Bachtiar, Cheryl C S Choo, Caroline G Lee
PubMed was text mined to glean insights into the role of Hepatitis B virus (HBV) in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) from the massive number of publications (9249) available to date. Reports from ∼70 countries identified >1300 human genes associated with either the Core, Surface or X gene in HBV-associated HCC. One hundred and forty-three of these host genes, which can potentially yield 1180 biomolecular interactions, each were reported in at least three different publications to be associated with the same HBV...
August 13, 2018: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Malte Andersson, Matti Åhlund, Peter Waldeck
Conspecific brood parasitism (CBP) is a reproductive tactic in which parasitic females lay eggs in nests of other females of the same species that then raise the joint brood. Parasites benefit by increased reproduction, without costs of parental care for the parasitic eggs. CBP occurs in many egg-laying animals, among birds most often in species with large clutches and self-feeding young: two major factors facilitating successful parasitism. CBP is particularly common in waterfowl (Anatidae), a group with female-biased natal philopatry and locally related females...
August 2, 2018: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Abhijit Nirwane, Yao Yao
Laminin, an extracellular matrix protein, is widely expressed in the central nervous system (CNS). By interacting with integrin and non-integrin receptors, laminin exerts a large variety of important functions in the CNS in both physiological and pathological conditions. Due to the existence of many laminin isoforms and their differential expression in various cell types in the CNS, the exact functions of each individual laminin molecule in CNS development and homeostasis remain largely unclear. In this review, we first briefly introduce the structure and biochemistry of laminins and their receptors...
August 2, 2018: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Yaolai Wang, Tengfei Ni, Wei Wang, Feng Liu
There is accumulating evidence that, from bacteria to mammalian cells, messenger RNAs (mRNAs) are produced in intermittent bursts - a much 'noisier' process than traditionally thought. Based on quantitative measurements at individual promoters, diverse phenomenological models have been proposed for transcriptional bursting. Nevertheless, the underlying molecular mechanisms and significance for cellular signalling remain elusive. Here, we review recent progress, address the above issues and illuminate our viewpoints with simulation results...
July 19, 2018: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Jonathan Wright, Geir H Bolstad, Yimen G Araya-Ajoy, Niels J Dingemanse
We present a novel perspective on life-history evolution that combines recent theoretical advances in fluctuating density-dependent selection with the notion of pace-of-life syndromes (POLSs) in behavioural ecology. These ideas posit phenotypic co-variation in life-history, physiological, morphological and behavioural traits as a continuum from the highly fecund, short-lived, bold, aggressive and highly dispersive 'fast' types at one end of the POLS to the less fecund, long-lived, cautious, shy, plastic and socially responsive 'slow' types at the other...
July 17, 2018: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Thomas J Sanger, Rajendhran Rajakumar
Over the past half century, the field of Evolutionary Developmental Biology, or Evo-devo, has integrated diverse fields of biology into a more synthetic understanding of morphological diversity. This has resulted in numerous insights into how development can evolve and reciprocally influence morphological evolution, as well as generated several novel theoretical areas. Although comparative by default, there remains a great gap in our understanding of adaptive morphological diversification and how developmental mechanisms influence the shape and pattern of phenotypic variation...
July 15, 2018: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Peter V Minorsky
Foliar nyctinasty is a plant behaviour characterised by a pronounced daily oscillation in leaf orientation. During the day, the blades of nyctinastic plant leaves (or leaflets) assume a more or less horizontal position that optimises their ability to capture sunlight for photosynthesis. At night, the positions that the leaf blades assume, regardless of whether they arise by rising, falling or twisting, are essentially vertical. Among the ideas put forth to explain the raison d'être of foliar nyctinasty are that it: (i) improves the temperature relations of plants; (ii) helps remove surface water from foliage; (iii) prevents the disruption of photoperiodism by moonlight; and (iv) directly discourages insect herbivory...
July 11, 2018: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Jos Kramer, Joël Meunier
Family life forms an integral part of the life history of species across the animal kingdom and plays a crucial role in the evolution of animal sociality. Our current understanding of family life, however, is almost exclusively based on studies that (i) focus on parental care and associated family interactions (such as those arising from sibling rivalry and parent-offspring conflict), and (ii) investigate these phenomena in the advanced family systems of mammals, birds, and eusocial insects. Here, we argue that these historical biases have fostered the neglect of key processes shaping social life in ancestral family systems, and thus profoundly hamper our understanding of the (early) evolution of family life...
July 10, 2018: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Florent Figon, Jérôme Casas
Ommochromes are widely occurring coloured molecules of invertebrates, arising from tryptophan catabolism through the so-called Tryptophan → Ommochrome pathway. They are mainly known to mediate compound eye vision, as well as reversible and irreversible colour patterning. Ommochromes might also be involved in cell homeostasis by detoxifying free tryptophan and buffering oxidative stress. These biological functions are directly linked to their unique chromophore, the phenoxazine/phenothiazine system. The most recent reviews on ommochrome biochemistry were published more than 30 years ago, since when new results on the enzymes of the ommochrome pathway, on ommochrome photochemistry as well as on their antiradical capacities have been obtained...
July 10, 2018: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Nichola J Hawkins, Chris Bass, Andrea Dixon, Paul Neve
Durable crop protection is an essential component of current and future food security. However, the effectiveness of pesticides is threatened by the evolution of resistant pathogens, weeds and insect pests. Pesticides are mostly novel synthetic compounds, and yet target species are often able to evolve resistance soon after a new compound is introduced. Therefore, pesticide resistance provides an interesting case of rapid evolution under strong selective pressures, which can be used to address fundamental questions concerning the evolutionary origins of adaptations to novel conditions...
July 3, 2018: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Andreas Wanninger, Tim Wollesen
Molluscs are extremely diverse invertebrate animals with a rich fossil record, highly divergent life cycles, and considerable economical and ecological importance. Key representatives include worm-like aplacophorans, armoured groups (e.g. polyplacophorans, gastropods, bivalves) and the highly complex cephalopods. Molluscan origins and evolution of their different phenotypes have largely remained unresolved, but significant progress has been made over recent years. Phylogenomic studies revealed a dichotomy of the phylum, resulting in Aculifera (shell-less aplacophorans and multi-shelled polyplacophorans) and Conchifera (all other, primarily uni-shelled groups)...
June 21, 2018: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Martin Stevens, Graeme D Ruxton
Animal camouflage represents one of the most important ways of preventing (or facilitating) predation. It attracted the attention of the earliest evolutionary biologists, and today remains a focus of investigation in areas ranging from evolutionary ecology, animal decision-making, optimal strategies, visual psychology, computer science, to materials science. Most work focuses on the role of animal morphology per se, and its interactions with the background in affecting detection and recognition. However, the behaviour of organisms is likely to be crucial in affecting camouflage too, through background choice, body orientation and positioning; and strategies of camouflage that require movement...
June 21, 2018: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Alejandro Rico-Guevara, Kristiina J Hurme
We propose a practical concept that distinguishes the particular kind of weaponry that has evolved to be used in combat between individuals of the same species and sex, which we term intrasexually selected weapons (ISWs). We present a treatise of ISWs in nature, aiming to understand their distinction and evolution from other secondary sex traits, including from 'sexually selected weapons', and from sexually dimorphic and monomorphic weaponry. We focus on the subset of secondary sex traits that are the result of same-sex combat, defined here as ISWs, provide not previously reported evolutionary patterns, and offer hypotheses to answer questions such as: why have only some species evolved weapons to fight for the opposite sex or breeding resources? We examined traits that seem to have evolved as ISWs in the entire animal phylogeny, restricting the classification of ISW to traits that are only present or enlarged in adults of one of the sexes, and are used as weapons during intrasexual fights...
June 20, 2018: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Eva Delmas, Mathilde Besson, Marie-Hélène Brice, Laura A Burkle, Giulio V Dalla Riva, Marie-Josée Fortin, Dominique Gravel, Paulo R Guimarães, David H Hembry, Erica A Newman, Jens M Olesen, Mathias M Pires, Justin D Yeakel, Timothée Poisot
Network approaches to ecological questions have been increasingly used, particularly in recent decades. The abstraction of ecological systems - such as communities - through networks of interactions between their components indeed provides a way to summarize this information with single objects. The methodological framework derived from graph theory also provides numerous approaches and measures to analyze these objects and can offer new perspectives on established ecological theories as well as tools to address new challenges...
June 20, 2018: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Anton M Potapov, Alexei V Tiunov, Stefan Scheu
Despite the major importance of soil biota in nutrient and energy fluxes, interactions in soil food webs are poorly understood. Here we provide an overview of recent advances in uncovering the trophic structure of soil food webs using natural variations in stable isotope ratios. We discuss approaches of application, normalization and interpretation of stable isotope ratios along with methodological pitfalls. Analysis of published data from temperate forest ecosystems is used to outline emerging concepts and perspectives in soil food web research...
June 19, 2018: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Isaac Schamberg, Roman M Wittig, Catharine Crockford
After 40 years of debate it remains unclear whether signallers produce vocalizations in order to provide receivers with information about call context or external stimuli. This has led some researchers to propose that call production is arousal- or affect-based. Although arousal influences certain acoustic parameters within a call type, we argue that it cannot explain why individuals across vertebrates produce different call types. Given emerging evidence that calls are goal-based, we argue that call type is a signal of a caller's goal to elicit a change in receiver behaviour...
June 12, 2018: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Jordan Bestwick, David M Unwin, Richard J Butler, Donald M Henderson, Mark A Purnell
Pterosaurs are an extinct group of Mesozoic flying reptiles, whose fossil record extends from approximately 210 to 66 million years ago. They were integral components of continental and marginal marine ecosystems, yet their diets remain poorly constrained. Numerous dietary hypotheses have been proposed for different pterosaur groups, including insectivory, piscivory, carnivory, durophagy, herbivory/frugivory, filter-feeding and generalism. These hypotheses, and subsequent interpretations of pterosaur diet, are supported by qualitative (content fossils, associations, ichnology, comparative anatomy) and/or quantitative (functional morphology, stable isotope analysis) evidence...
June 7, 2018: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Andreas H Schweiger, Isabelle Boulangeat, Timo Conradi, Matt Davis, Jens-Christian Svenning
Increasing human pressure on strongly defaunated ecosystems is characteristic of the Anthropocene and calls for proactive restoration approaches that promote self-sustaining, functioning ecosystems. However, the suitability of novel restoration concepts such as trophic rewilding is still under discussion given fragmentary empirical data and limited theory development. Here, we develop a theoretical framework that integrates the concept of 'ecological memory' into trophic rewilding. The ecological memory of an ecosystem is defined as an ecosystem's accumulated abiotic and biotic material and information legacies from past dynamics...
June 6, 2018: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
An C Hsiung, W Alice Boyle, Robert J Cooper, Richard B Chandler
Animal migration has been the subject of intensive research for more than a century, but most research has focused on long-distance rather than short-distance migration. Altitudinal migration is a form of short-distance migration in which individuals perform seasonal elevational movements. Despite its geographic and taxonomic ubiquity, there is relatively little information about the intrinsic and extrinsic factors that influence altitudinal migratory behaviour. Without this information, it is difficult to predict how rapid environmental changes will affect population viability of altitudinal migrants...
June 6, 2018: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Jenny Melo Clavijo, Alexander Donath, João Serôdio, Gregor Christa
Mutualistic symbioses are common throughout the animal kingdom. Rather unusual is a form of symbiosis, photosymbiosis, where animals are symbiotic with photoautotrophic organisms. Photosymbiosis is found among sponges, cnidarians, flatworms, molluscs, ascidians and even some amphibians. Generally the animal host harbours a phototrophic partner, usually a cyanobacteria or a unicellular alga. An exception to this rule is found in some sea slugs, which only retain the chloroplasts of the algal food source and maintain them photosynthetically active in their own cytosol - a phenomenon called 'functional kleptoplasty'...
May 28, 2018: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
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