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Journal of Evolutionary Biology

Christoph Grüter
Reproductive division of labour is a defining feature of insect societies. Stingless bees (Meliponini) are an interesting exception among the highly eusocial insects in that workers of many species contribute significantly to the production of males. Since workers remain sterile in other species of this large tropical tribe it has been hypothesised that, in the latter species, ancestral queens have won the conflict over who produces the males. The fact that sterile workers of some species lay trophic eggs to feed the queen and display ritualised behaviours towards her during oviposition has been interpreted as an evolutionary relic of this ancient conflict...
September 22, 2018: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
P A Eyer, A Hefetz
Assessing whether behavioral, ecological or geographical factors trigger population divergence provide key insights into the biological processes driving speciation. Recent speciation in restricted geographic area without obvious ecological barriers prompts the question of the behavioral mechanisms underlying species divergence. In this context, we investigated phylogenetic relationships in the Cataglyphis albicans desert ant complex in Israel. We first determined accurate species delimitation using 2 mitochondrial and 6 nuclear genes, as well as 11 microsatellite markers to investigate cryptic species in this group, assessing reduction of gene flow between populations...
September 21, 2018: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Eva Troianou, Jisca Huisman, Josephine M Pemberton, Craig A Walling
Inbreeding depression is widely regarded as a driving force in the evolution of dispersal, mate choice and sperm selection. However, due to likely costs of inbreeding avoidance, which are poorly understood, it is unclear to what extent selection to avoid inbreeding is expected in nature. Moreover, there are currently very few empirical estimates of the strength of selection against the act of inbreeding (mating with a relative), as opposed to the fitness costs of being inbred. Here, we use data from the individual-based study of red deer on the Scottish island of Rum, a strongly polygynous system which harbours a large inbreeding load, to estimate selection against the act of inbreeding for each sex...
September 19, 2018: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Elena G Belkina, Elena B Naimark, Anastasiya A Gorshkova, Alexander V Markov
The emergence of behavioral isolation between populations under divergent selection can be crucial for ecological speciation, but the mechanisms underlying such isolation are poorly understood. Several experimental evolution studies have shown that positive assortative mating (preference for similar mates) can arise rapidly in Drosophila laboratory populations reared in different stressful conditions, while other studies failed to confirm this effect. Here we present the results of an evolution experiment in which outbred lines of D...
September 17, 2018: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Coraline Bichet, David Lepetit, Aurélie Cohas
To reproduce, animals have to form pairs and large variations in the degree of mate switching are observed. Extrinsic and intrinsic factors can constrain individual's mate switching. Among intrinsic factors, genes involved in pair-bonding, such as Avpr-1a, receive increasing attention. The length of microsatellites present in the regulatory region of Avpr-1a determines the neural densities and distributions of the vasopressin receptors known to impact pair-bonding behaviours. For the first time, we investigated if and how the genetic makeup at Avpr-1a, an intrinsic factor, and the social context, an extrinsic factor, experienced by wild Alpine marmot (Marmota marmota) females affect the proportion of extra-pair young...
September 14, 2018: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Aurélien Miralles, Julie Marin, Damien Markus, Anthony Herrel, S Blair Hedges, Nicolas Vidal
The phylogenetic relationships between the three main clades of worm snakes remain controversial. This question is, however, crucial to elucidate the origin of the successful snake radiation, as these burrowing and miniaturized wormlike organisms represent the earliest branching clades within the snake tree. The present molecular phylogenetic study, intended to minimize the amount of missing data, provides fully resolved inter-subfamilial relationships among Typhlopidae. It also brings robust evidence that worm snakes (Scolecophidia) are paraphyletic, with the scolecophidian family Anomalepididae recovered with strong support as sister clade to the "typical snakes" (Alethinophidia)...
September 7, 2018: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
McKenna J Penley, Arielle B Greenberg, Arooj Khalid, Sathvik R Namburar, Levi T Morran
Host susceptibility to parasites can vary over space and time. Costs associated with the maintenance of host defense are thought to account for a portion of this variation. Specifically, tradeoffs wherein elevated defense is maintained at the cost of fitness in the absence of the parasite may cause levels of host defense to change over time and differ between populations. In previous studies we found that populations of the host nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans evolved greater levels of parasite avoidance and resistance against the bacterial parasite, Serratia marcescens...
September 6, 2018: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Jacob D Berson, Leigh W Simmons
Chemical traits are increasingly recognised as important cues used in mate choice. For example, the cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) of insects have been shown to influence mating success in a range of taxa. Less is known, however, about how CHCs are expressed in proportion to an individual's condition, and consequently whether CHCs can function as condition dependent signals of quality. We investigated this question using the dung beetle, Onthophagus taurus. CHCs are subject to sexual selection in this species through mate choice...
September 4, 2018: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Ryan D Phillips, Rod Peakall
Pollination by sexual deception of male insects is perhaps one of the most remarkable cases of mimicry in the plant kingdom. However, understanding the influence of floral traits on pollinator behaviour in sexually deceptive orchids is challenging, due to the risk of confounding changes in floral odour when manipulating morphology. Here, we investigated the floral traits influencing the sexual response of male Zaspilothynnus nigripes (Tiphiidae) wasps, a pollinator of two distantly related sexually deceptive orchids with contrasting floral architecture, Caladenia pectinata and Drakaea livida...
August 25, 2018: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Thomas L Parchman, Pim Edelaar, Kathryn Uckele, Eduardo T Mezquida, Daniel Alonso, Joshua P Jahner, Ron W Summers, Craig W Benkman
While many conifers produce annually variable seed crops, serotinous species (which hold seeds in cones for multiple years) represent unusually stable food resources for seed predators. Such stability is conducive to residency and potentially population divergence of consumers as exemplified by the Cassia crossbill (Loxia sinesciuris) in North America. We used genotyping by sequencing (GBS) to test whether three Mediterranean subspecies of common crossbills (L. curvirostra) associated with the serotinous Aleppo pine (Pinus halepensis) were more genetically distinct than European crossbills associated with nonserotinous conifers...
August 19, 2018: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Gina L Marchini, Tina M Arredondo, Mitchell B Cruzan
The potential for rapid evolution in invasive species makes them useful for studying adaptive responses of populations to novel environments. However, phenotypic divergence during invasion is not necessarily due to selection, but may be a product of neutral processes resulting from population bottlenecks during colonization and range expansion. We investigated phenotypic adaptation during the establishment and range expansion of the invasive bunchgrass, slender false brome (Brachypodium sylvaticum; Poaceae)...
August 18, 2018: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Björn Stelbrink, Elena Jovanovska, Zlatko Levkov, Nadja Ognjanova-Rumenova, Thomas Wilke, Christian Albrecht
Due to the ubiquity and high dispersal capacity of unicellular eukaryotes, their often extraordinary diversity found in isolated and long-lived ecosystems such as ancient lakes is typically attributed to multiple colonization events rather than to in situ speciation. However, respective evolutionary studies are very scarce and the often high number of species flocks in ancient lakes across multicellular taxa raises the question whether unicellular species, such as diatoms, may radiate as well. Here, we use an integrative approach that includes molecular data from benthic diatom species of the genus Aneumastus endemic to ancient Lake Ohrid, fossil data obtained from the sediment record of a recent deep-drilling project and biogeographical information to test if this group, indeed, constitutes a species flock...
August 16, 2018: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Daisy Elizabeth Gates, John Joseph Valletta, Camille Bonneaud, Mario Recker
Emergent infectious diseases can have a devastating impact on host populations. The high selective pressures on both the hosts and the pathogens frequently lead to rapid adaptations not only in pathogen virulence but also host resistance following an initial outbreak. However, it is often unclear whether hosts will evolve to avoid infection-associated fitness costs by preventing the establishment of infection (here referred to as qualitative resistance) or by limiting its deleterious effects through immune functioning (here referred to as quantitative resistance)...
August 14, 2018: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Gopal Murali, Sami Merilaita, Ullasa Kodandaramaiah
Understanding the functions of animal coloration has been a long-standing question in evolutionary biology. For example, the widespread occurrence of striking longitudinal stripes and colourful tails in lizards begs for an explanation. Experiments have suggested that colourful tails can deflect attacks towards the tail (the 'deflection' hypothesis), which is sacrificable in most lizards, thereby increasing the chance of escape. Studies also suggest that in moving lizards, longitudinal body stripes can redirect predators' strikes towards the tail through the 'motion dazzle' effect...
August 13, 2018: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Katherine E Eisen, Monica A Geber
Despite long-standing interest in the evolutionary ecology of plants that share pollinators, few studies have explored how these interactions may affect communities during both community assembly (ecological sorting) and through ongoing, in situ evolution (character displacement), and how the effects of these interactions may change with community context. To determine if communities display patterns consistent with ecological sorting, we assessed the frequency of co-occurrence of four species of Clarkia in the southern Sierra foothills (Kern County, CA, USA)...
August 12, 2018: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Kôji Sasakawa, Yûsuke Kon
Ecological speciation via a host shift plays an important role in the diversification of phytophagous and parasitic insects. However, it is not clear how separation is maintained among initial populations in which genetic separation mechanisms are not fully established. Learning-induced host preference in females can contribute to host fidelity and result in a barrier to gene flow in the initial populations. However, the role of males, which also affects gene flow, has been largely unexplored. We examined host preference through induced learning in males, which can contribute to initial population divergence, in the parasitoid wasp, Anisopteromalus calandrae, and two host species, Callosobruchus chinensis and C...
August 6, 2018: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Roshan K Vijendravarma
Investigating the evolutionary origins of disease vulnerability is an important aspect of evolutionary medicine that strongly complements our current understanding on proximate causes of disease. Life-history trade-offs mediated through evolutionary changes in resource allocation strategies could be one possible explanation to why suboptimal traits that leave bodies vulnerable to disease exist. For example, Drosophila melanogaster populations experimentally evolved to tolerate chronic larval malnutrition succumb to intestinal infection despite eliciting a competent immune response, owing to the loss of their intestinal integrity...
August 3, 2018: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Yoshinori Endo, Ken-Ichiro Kamei, Miho Inoue-Murayama
In mammalian evolutionary history, Cetacea (whales, dolphins and porpoises) achieved astonishing success by adapting to an aquatic environment. One unique characteristic of cetaceans, contributing to this adaptive success, is efficient lipid utilization. Here, we report a comparative genetic analysis of five aquatic and five terrestrial Cetartiodactyla species using 144 genes associated with lipid metabolism. Mutation ratio (dN /dS ), amino acid substitution in functional domains and metabolic pathways were evaluated using branch-site model in PAML, Pfam and KEGG, respectively...
August 3, 2018: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Karin Svanfeldt, Keyne Monro, Dustin J Marshall
The life histories of modular organisms are complicated, where selection and optimization can occur at both organismal and modular levels. At a modular level, growth, reproduction and death can occur in one module, independently of others. Across modular groups, there are no formal investigations of selection on module longevity. We used two field experiments to test whether selection acts on module longevity in a sessile marine invertebrate and whether selection varies across successional gradients and resource regimes...
August 3, 2018: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Renée C Firman, Francisco Garcia-Gonzalez, Leigh W Simmons, Gonçalo I André
Due to the physiological cost of sperm production, males are expected to be prudent in their expenditure and adjust their investment according to current social conditions. Strategic adjustments in sperm expenditure during development can be made via changes in testes size, sperm production rates or testes tissue composition. Here, using house mice, we test the hypothesis that elevated sperm production is driven by a plastic response in the spatial organization of the testes. We reared males under different social conditions (competitive vs...
August 3, 2018: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
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