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Journal of Evolutionary Biology

Yusan Yang, Matthew B Dugas, Houston J Sudekum, Sean Murphy, Corinne L Richards-Zawacki
Phenotypic polymorphism is common in animals, and the maintenance of multiple phenotypes in a population requires forces that act against homogenizing drift and selection. Male-male competition can contribute to the stability of a polymorphism when males compete primarily with males of the same phenotype. In and around a contact zone between red and blue lineages of the poison frog Oophaga pumilio, we used simulated territorial intrusions to test the non-exclusive predictions that males would direct more aggression toward males of (i) their own phenotype and/or (ii) the phenotype that is most common in their population...
January 18, 2018: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
S V Nielsen, J L Banks, R E Diaz, P A Trainor, T Gamble
Much of our current state of knowledge concerning sex chromosome evolution is based on a handful of 'exceptional' taxa with heteromorphic sex chromosomes. However, classifying the sex chromosome systems of additional species lacking easily identifiable, heteromorphic sex chromosomes is indispensible if we wish to fully understand the genesis, degeneration, and turnover of vertebrate sex chromosomes. Squamate reptiles (lizards and snakes) are a potential model clade for studying sex chromosome evolution as they exhibit a suite of sex determining modes yet most species lack heteromorphic sex chromosomes...
January 18, 2018: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Nicholas M Teets, Daniel A Hahn
Temperature variation is one of the primary challenges facing ectotherms, and the ability to tolerate a range of thermal environments is critical for setting current and future species distributions. Low temperature is particularly challenging for ectotherms because winter conditions have strong latitudinal and temporal variation. Lower lethal temperature (LLT) is a common metric of cold tolerance used in studies of local adaptation and plasticity. Comparisons of LLT across groups typically assume parallel S-shaped survival curves, but genetic variation in the shape of survival vs...
January 18, 2018: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Masaru Hasegawa, Emi Arai
The evolution of brood parasitism should affect adult phenotypic traits due to sexual selection as well as the parasite-host interactions, though it is rarely focused on. Sexual selection theory predicts extravagant secondary sexual characteristics in brood parasites while immature-like modest sexual characteristics in parental species. This is because juvenile-like immature traits can attract mates by exploiting parental care for young (i.e. attraction to young), and because the good parent process, which favors traits that signal parental care ability, would constrain the evolution of costly secondary sexual characteristics due to evolutionary tradeoffs between parental investment and sexually selected traits...
January 16, 2018: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Michael Kasumovic, Frank Seebacher
Maximal locomotor performance is often used as a proxy for fitness. Maximal speed may be important under high-threat conditions, such as during predator escape. However, animals do not always move at a speed that reflects their maximal physiological capacities when undisturbed. The physiological factors that determine the movement speed chosen by animals, such as minimisation of energy use, may be independent from maximal performance. As a result, the casual speed at which individuals move when undisturbed in a given context may better represent an individual's motivation to move...
January 16, 2018: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Chris R Smith, Claire Morandin, Moataz Noureddine, Swati Pant
Much of the variation among insects is derived from the different ways that chitin has been molded to form rigid structures, both internal and external. In this study, we identify a highly conserved expression pattern in an insect-only gene family, the Osiris genes, that is essential for development, but also plays a significant role in phenotypic plasticity and in immunity/toxicity responses. The majority of Osiris genes exist in a highly syntenic cluster, and the cluster itself appears to have arisen very early in the evolution of insects...
January 10, 2018: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Jessyca Michele Citadini, Renata Brandt, Craig R Williams, Fernando Ribeiro Gomes
The relationships between morphology, performance, behavior and ecology provide evidence for multiple and complex phenotypic adaptations. The anuran body plan, for example, is evolutionarily conserved and shows clear specializations to jumping performance back at least to the early Jurassic. However, there are instances of more recent adaptation to habit diversity in the post-cranial skeleton, including relative limb length. The present study tested adaptive models of morphological evolution in anurans associated with the diversity of microhabitat use (aquatic, arboreal, fossorial, torrent, and terrestrial) in species of anuran amphibians from Brazil and Australia...
January 3, 2018: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Stephen A Y Gipson, Matthew D Hall
The patterns of immunity conferred by host sex or age represent two sources of host heterogeneity that can potentially shape the evolutionary trajectory of disease. With each host sex or age encountered, a pathogen's optimal exploitative strategy may change, leading to considerable variation in expression of pathogen transmission and virulence. To date, these host characteristics have been studied in the context of host fitness alone, overlooking the effects of host sex and age on the fundamental virulence-transmission trade-off faced by pathogens...
December 29, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Mircea T Sofonea, Lafi Aldakak, Luis Fernando Boullosa, Samuel Alizon
Understanding Ebola Virus (EBOV) virulence evolution is not only timely but also raises specific questions because it causes one of the most virulent human infections and it is capable of transmission after the death of its host. Using a compartmental epidemiological model that captures three transmission routes (by regular contact, via dead bodies and by sexual contact), we infer the evolutionary dynamics of case fatality ratio (CFR) on the scale of an outbreak and on the long term. Our major finding is that the virus's specific life cycle imposes selection for high levels of virulence and that this pattern is robust to parameter variations in biological ranges...
December 29, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Mark N Puttick
Macroevolutionary theory predicts high rates of evolution should occur early in a clade's history as species exploit ecological opportunity. Evidence from the fossil record has shown a high prevalence of early bursts in morphological evolution, but recent work has provided little evidence for early high rates in the evolution of extant clades. Here I test the prevalence of early bursts in extant data using phylogenetic comparative methods. Existing models are extended to allow a shift from a background Brownian motion (BM) process to an early burst process within sub-clades of phylogenies, rather than an early burst being applied to an entire phylogenetic tree...
December 29, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Pierre de Villemereuil, Michael B Morrissey, Shinichi Nakagawa, Holger Schielzeth
Linear mixed effects models are frequently used for estimating quantitative genetic parameters, including the heritability, as well as the repeatability, of traits. Heritability acts as a filter that determines how efficiently phenotypic selection translates into evolutionary change, while repeatability informs us about the individual consistency of phenotypic traits. As quantities of biological interest, it is important that the denominator, the phenotypic variance in both cases, reflects the amount of phenotypic variance in the relevant ecological setting...
December 28, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Elisa Cavoto, Samuel Neuenschwander, Jérôme Goudet, Nicolas Perrin
The canonical model of sex-chromosome evolution predicts that sex-antagonistic (SA) genes play an instrumental role in the arrest of XY recombination and ensuing Y-chromosome degeneration. Although this model might account for the highly differentiated sex chromosomes of birds and mammals, it does not fit the situation of many lineages of fish, amphibians or non-avian reptiles, where sex chromosomes are maintained homomorphic through occasional XY recombination and/or high turnover rates. Such situations call for alternative explanatory frameworks...
December 28, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Brent L Lockwood, Tarun Gupta, Rosemary Scavotto
Many terrestrial ectothermic species exhibit limited variation in upper thermal tolerance across latitude. However, these trends may not signify limited adaptive capacity to increase thermal tolerance in the face of climate change. Instead, thermal tolerance may be similar among populations because behavioral thermoregulation by mobile organisms or life stages may buffer natural selection for thermal tolerance. We compared thermal tolerance of adults and embryos among natural populations of Drosophila melanogaster from a broad range of thermal habitats around the globe to assess natural variation of thermal tolerance in mobile vs...
December 28, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Emily S Durkin, Lien T Luong
Parasitic lifestyles have evolved many times in animals, but how such life-history strategies evolved from free-living ancestors remains a great puzzle. Transitional symbiotic strategies, such as facultative parasitism, are hypothesized evolutionary stepping-stones towards obligate parasitism. However, to consider this hypothesis, heritable genetic variation in infectious behaviour of transitional symbiotic strategies must exist. In this study, we experimentally evolved infectivity and estimated the additive genetic variation in a facultative parasite...
December 28, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Lana J de Vries, Frank van Langevelde
Trophically-transmitted parasites start their development in an intermediate host, before they finish the development in their definitive host when the definitive host preys on the intermediate host. In intermediate-definitive host systems, two strategies of host manipulation have been evolved: increasing the rate of transmission to the definitive host by increasing the chance that the definitive host will prey on the intermediate host, or increasing the lifespan of the parasite in the intermediate host by decreasing the predation chance when the intermediate host is not yet infectious...
December 28, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Andrew D Saxon, Eleanor K O'Brien, Jon R Bridle
Understanding the potential for organisms to tolerate thermal stress through physiological or evolutionary responses is crucial given rapid climate change. Although climate models predict increases in both temperature mean and variance, such tolerances are typically assessed under constant conditions. We tested the effects of temperature variability during development on male fitness in the rainforest fly Drosophila birchii, by simulating thermal variation typical of the warm and cool margins of its elevational distribution, and estimated heritabilities and genetic correlations of fitness traits...
December 28, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Camille Anna Simonet, Raphaël Scherrer, Artur Rego-Costa, Rampal S Etienne
The protracted speciation model presents a realistic and parsimonious explanation for the observed slowdown in lineage accumulation through time, by accounting for the fact that speciation takes time. A method to compute the likelihood for this model given a phylogeny is available and allows estimation of its parameters (rate of initiation of speciation, rate of completion of speciation, and extinction rate) and statistical comparison of this model to other proposed models of diversification. However this likelihood computation method makes an approximation of the protracted speciation model to be mathematically tractable: it sometimes counts fewer species than one would do from a biological perspective...
December 22, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Douglas H Cornwall, Jason L Kubinak, Elisabeth Zachary, Derek L Stark, Dustan Seipel, Wayne K Potts
The virulence levels attained by serial passage of pathogens through similar host genotypes are much higher than observed in natural systems, however, it is unknown what keeps natural virulence levels below these empirically demonstrated maximum levels. One hypothesis suggests that host diversity impedes pathogen virulence, because adaptation to one host genotype carries tradeoffs in the ability to replicate and cause disease in other host genotypes. To test this hypothesis, with the simplest level of population diversity within the loci of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC), we serially passaged Friend Virus Complex (FVC) through two rounds, in hosts with either the same MHC genotypes (pure passage) or hosts with different MHC genotypes (alternated passage)...
December 20, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Eric K Moody, Ma de Lourdes Lozano-Vilano
Fish morphology is often constrained by a trade-off between optimizing steady vs. unsteady swimming performance due to opposing effects of caudal peduncle size. Lotic environments tend to select for steady swimming performance, leading to smaller caudal peduncles, while predators tend to select for unsteady swimming performance, leading to larger caudal peduncles. However, it is unclear which aspect of performance should be optimized across heterogeneous flow and predation environments and how this heterogeneity may affect parallel phenotypic evolution...
December 20, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Sarah E Kingston, Pieter Martino, Marko Melendy, Floyd A Reed, David B Carlon
A key component to understanding the evolutionary response to a changing climate is linking underlying genetic variation to phenotypic variation in stress response. Here we use a genome-wide association approach (GWAS) to understand the genetic architecture of calcification rates under simulated climate stress. We take advantage of the genomic gradient across the blue mussel hybrid zone (Mytilus edulis and Mytilus trossulus) in the Gulf of Maine (GOM) to link genetic variation with variance in calcification rates in response to simulated climate change...
December 20, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
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