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BMC Evolutionary Biology

Jingchun Li, Jen-Pen Huang, Jeet Sukumaran, L Lacey Knowles
BACKGROUND: Macroevolutionary modeling of species diversification plays important roles in inferring large-scale biodiversity patterns. It allows estimation of speciation and extinction rates and statistically testing their relationships with different ecological factors. However, macroevolutionary patterns are ultimately generated by microevolutionary processes acting at population levels, especially when speciation and extinction are considered protracted instead of point events. Neglecting the connection between micro- and macroevolution may hinder our ability to fully understand the underlying mechanisms that drive the observed patterns...
August 10, 2018: BMC Evolutionary Biology
Anna Skoracka, Luís Filipe Lopes, Maria Judite Alves, Adam Miller, Mariusz Lewandowski, Wiktoria Szydło, Agnieszka Majer, Elżbieta Różańska, Lechosław Kuczyński
BACKGROUND: Understanding the mechanisms that underlie the diversification of herbivores through interactions with their hosts is important for their diversity assessment and identification of expansion events, particularly in a human-altered world where evolutionary processes can be exacerbated. We studied patterns of host usage and genetic structure in the wheat curl mite complex (WCM), Aceria tosichella, a major pest of the world's grain industry, to identify the factors behind its extensive diversification...
August 7, 2018: BMC Evolutionary Biology
Tzu-Pei Fan, Hsiu-Chi Ting, Jr-Kai Yu, Yi-Hsien Su
BACKGROUND: Mesoderm is generally considered to be a germ layer that is unique to Bilateria, and it develops into diverse tissues, including muscle, and in the case of vertebrates, the skeleton and notochord. Studies on various deuterostome animals have demonstrated that fibroblast growth factor (FGF) signaling is required for the formation of many mesodermal structures, such as vertebrate somites, from which muscles are differentiated, and muscles in sea urchin embryos, suggesting an ancient role of FGF signaling in muscle development...
August 3, 2018: BMC Evolutionary Biology
Cemalettin Bekpen, Chen Xie, Diethard Tautz
BACKGROUND: The adaptive immune system of vertebrates has an extraordinary potential to sense and neutralize foreign antigens entering the body. De novo evolution of genes implies that the genome itself expresses novel antigens from intergenic sequences which could cause a problem with this immune system. Peptides from these novel proteins could be presented by the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) receptors to the cell surface and would be recognized as foreign. The respective cells would then be attacked and destroyed, or would cause inflammatory responses...
August 3, 2018: BMC Evolutionary Biology
Franz-Sebastian Krah, Claus Bässler, Christoph Heibl, John Soghigian, Hanno Schaefer, David S Hibbett
BACKGROUND: The majority of wood decomposing fungi are mushroom-forming Agaricomycetes, which exhibit two main modes of plant cell wall decomposition: white rot, in which all plant cell wall components are degraded, including lignin, and brown rot, in which lignin is modified but not appreciably removed. Previous studies suggested that brown rot fungi tend to be specialists of gymnosperm hosts and that brown rot promotes gymnosperm specialization. However, these hypotheses were based on analyses of limited datasets of Agaricomycetes...
August 3, 2018: BMC Evolutionary Biology
Russell J S Orr, Sen Zhao, Dag Klaveness, Akinori Yabuki, Keiji Ikeda, Makoto M Watanabe, Kamran Shalchian-Tabrizi
In the original publication of this article [1] there was an error in an author name. In this correction article the correct and incorrect name are indicated.
August 3, 2018: BMC Evolutionary Biology
Isidora Mura-Jornet, Carolina Pimentel, Gisele P M Dantas, Maria Virginia Petry, Daniel González-Acuña, Andrés Barbosa, Andrew D Lowther, Kit M Kovacs, Elie Poulin, Juliana A Vianna
Correction to: BMC Evolutionary Biology (2018) 18:90 .
July 25, 2018: BMC Evolutionary Biology
Russell J S Orr, Sen Zhao, Dag Klaveness, Akinori Yabuki, Keiji Ikeda, Makoto M Watanabe, Kamran Shalchian-Tabrizi
BACKGROUND: The class Diphyllatea belongs to a group of enigmatic unicellular eukaryotes that play a key role in reconstructing the morphological innovation and diversification of early eukaryotic evolution. Despite its evolutionary significance, very little is known about the phylogeny and species diversity of Diphyllatea. Only three species have described morphology, being taxonomically divided by flagella number, two or four, and cell size. Currently, one 18S rRNA Diphyllatea sequence is available, with environmental sequencing surveys reporting only a single partial sequence from a Diphyllatea-like organism...
July 18, 2018: BMC Evolutionary Biology
Matthew R J Morris, Ella Bowles, Brandon E Allen, Heather A Jamniczky, Sean M Rogers
BACKGROUND: Populations that have repeatedly colonized novel environments are useful for studying the role of ecology in adaptive divergence - particularly if some individuals persist in the ancestral habitat. Such "contemporary ancestors" can be used to demonstrate the effects of selection by comparing phenotypic and genetic divergence between the derived population and their extant ancestors. However, evolution and demography in these "contemporary ancestors" can complicate inferences about the source (standing genetic variation, de novo mutation) and pace of adaptive divergence...
July 18, 2018: BMC Evolutionary Biology
Kimberly L Foster, Kyle R Piller
BACKGROUND: One of the most perplexing questions in evolutionary biology is why some lineages diversify into many species, and others do not. In many cases, ecological opportunity has played an important role, leading to diversification along trophic or habitat-based axes. The Goodeidae (Teleostomi: Cyprinodontiformes) are a family of freshwater fishes with two subfamilies: Goodeinae (42 species, viviparous, heterogeneous habitats, Mesa Central of Mexico) and Empetrichthyinae (4 species, oviparous, homogeneous habitats, Great Basin of the United States)...
July 18, 2018: BMC Evolutionary Biology
Astrid Schuster, Sergio Vargas, Ingrid S Knapp, Shirley A Pomponi, Robert J Toonen, Dirk Erpenbeck, Gert Wörheide
BACKGROUND: Approximately 80% of all described extant sponge species belong to the class Demospongiae. Yet, despite their diversity and importance, accurate divergence times are still unknown for most demosponge clades. The estimation of demosponge divergence time is key to answering fundamental questions on the origin of Demospongiae, their diversification and historical biogeography. Molecular sequence data alone is not informative on an absolute time scale, and therefore needs to be "calibrated" with additional data such as fossils...
July 18, 2018: BMC Evolutionary Biology
Jan Christian Habel, Martin Husemann, Werner Ulrich
BACKGROUND: Spatial isolation, diverging environmental conditions and social structures may lead to the differentiation of various traits, e.g. molecules, morphology and behaviour. Bird calls may provide important information on effects of geographic isolation and may reflect diverging ecological conditions related to altitude. Furthermore, bird calls are strongly shaped by the social behaviour of species. The Kenyan endemic bird Hinde's Babbler, Turdoides hindei, is a cooperative breeder existing in distinct family groups...
July 17, 2018: BMC Evolutionary Biology
Ignas Safari, Wolfgang Goymann
BACKGROUND: Certainty of paternity is considered an important factor in the evolution of paternal care. Several meta-analyses across birds support this idea, particularly for species with altricial young. However, the role of certainty of paternity in the evolution and maintenance of exclusive paternal care in the black coucal (Centropus grillii), which is the only known altricial bird species with male-only care, is not well understood. Here we investigated whether the differences in levels of paternal care in the black coucal and its sympatric congener, the bi-parental white-browed coucal (Centropus superciliosus), are shaped by extra-pair paternity...
July 13, 2018: BMC Evolutionary Biology
Jiaojiao Qu, Yeming Zhou, Jianping Yu, Jian Zhang, Yanfeng Han, Xiao Zou
BACKGROUND: Hirsutella Pat genus, the asexual morphs of the Ophiocordyceps Sung, is globally distributed entomopathogenic fungi, which infect a variety of arthropods, mites and nematodes. The fungal species also have shown potential application in the field of biological control, bio-medicine and food development. Although these fungi are synonymized under Ophiocordyceps, formal taxonomic assignments remain necessary for classification of species in Hirsutella. However, due to the heterogeneity and complexity of Hirsutella genus, more detailed taxonomic and phylogenetic analyses are required to address the following subjects: (1) the relationships between the phialide morphological characteristics and phylogenetic information of Hirsutella with asexual morphs, (2) the origin and evolution of the phialide structure, and (3) host specificity and fungal pathogenicity...
July 13, 2018: BMC Evolutionary Biology
Agata Plesnar-Bielak, Anna Maria Skwierzyńska, Kasper Hlebowicz, Jacek Radwan
BACKGROUND: The maintenance of considerable genetic variation in sexually selected traits (SSTs) is puzzling given directional selection expected to act on these traits. A possible explanation is the existence of a genotype-by-environment (GxE) interaction for fitness, by which elaborate SSTs are favored in some environments but selected against in others. In the current study, we look for such interactions for fitness-related traits in the bulb mite, a male-dimorphic species with discontinuous expression of a heritable SST in the form of enlarged legs that are used as weapons...
July 11, 2018: BMC Evolutionary Biology
Addisu Mekonnen, Eli K Rueness, Nils Chr Stenseth, Peter J Fashing, Afework Bekele, R Adriana Hernandez-Aguilar, Rose Missbach, Tanja Haus, Dietmar Zinner, Christian Roos
BACKGROUND: Species with a restricted geographic distribution, and highly specialized habitat and dietary requirements, are particularly vulnerable to extinction. The Bale monkey (Chlorocebus djamdjamensis) is a little-known arboreal, bamboo-specialist primate endemic to the southern Ethiopian Highlands. While most Bale monkeys inhabit montane forests dominated by bamboo, some occupy forest fragments where bamboo is much less abundant. We used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences to analyse the genetic structure and evolutionary history of Bale monkeys covering the majority of their remaining distribution range...
July 10, 2018: BMC Evolutionary Biology
Ewan J A Minter, Chris D Lowe, Megan E S Sørensen, A Jamie Wood, Duncan D Cameron, Michael A Brockhurst
BACKGROUND: Symbiosis is a major source of evolutionary innovation and, by allowing species to exploit new ecological niches, underpins the functioning of ecosystems. The transition from free-living to obligate symbiosis requires the alignment of the partners' fitness interests and the evolution of mutual dependence. While symbiotic taxa are known to vary widely in the extent of host-symbiont dependence, rather less is known about variation within symbiotic associations. RESULTS: Using experiments with the microbial symbiosis between the protist Paramecium bursaria and the alga Chlorella, we show variation between pairings in host-symbiont dependence, encompassing facultative associations, mutual dependence and host dependence upon the symbiont...
July 9, 2018: BMC Evolutionary Biology
Samantha Scherbaum, Nadja Hellmann, Rosa Fernández, Christian Pick, Thorsten Burmester
BACKGROUND: Hemocyanin transports O2 in the hemolymph of many arthropod species. Such respiratory proteins have long been considered unnecessary in Myriapoda. As a result, the presence of hemocyanin in Myriapoda has long been overlooked. We analyzed transcriptome and genome sequences from all major myriapod taxa - Chilopoda, Diplopoda, Symphyla, and Pauropoda - with the aim of identifying hemocyanin-like proteins. RESULTS: We investigated the genomes and transcriptomes of 56 myriapod species and identified 46 novel full-length hemocyanin subunit sequences in 20 species of Chilopoda, Diplopoda, and Symphyla, but not Pauropoda...
July 5, 2018: BMC Evolutionary Biology
Marina Pais, Kentaro Yoshida, Artemis Giannakopoulou, Mathieu A Pel, Liliana M Cano, Ricardo F Oliva, Kamil Witek, Hannele Lindqvist-Kreuze, Vivianne G A A Vleeshouwers, Sophien Kamoun
BACKGROUND: Outbreaks caused by asexual lineages of fungal and oomycete pathogens are a continuing threat to crops, wild animals and natural ecosystems (Fisher MC, Henk DA, Briggs CJ, Brownstein JS, Madoff LC, McCraw SL, Gurr SJ, Nature 484:186-194, 2012; Kupferschmidt K, Science 337:636-638, 2012). However, the mechanisms underlying genome evolution and phenotypic plasticity in asexual eukaryotic microbes remain poorly understood (Seidl MF, Thomma BP, BioEssays 36:335-345, 2014). Ever since the 19th century Irish famine, the oomycete Phytophthora infestans has caused recurrent outbreaks on potato and tomato crops that have been primarily caused by the successive rise and migration of pandemic asexual lineages (Goodwin SB, Cohen BA, Fry WE, Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 91:11591-11595, 1994; Yoshida K, Burbano HA, Krause J, Thines M, Weigel D, Kamoun S, PLoS Pathog 10:e1004028, 2014; Yoshida K, Schuenemann VJ, Cano LM, Pais M, Mishra B, Sharma R, Lanz C, Martin FN, Kamoun S, Krause J, et al...
July 5, 2018: BMC Evolutionary Biology
Veronika Bartáková, Josef Bryja, Martin Reichard
BACKGROUND: Anthropogenic factors can have a major impact on the contemporary distribution of intraspecific genetic diversity. Many freshwater fishes have finely structured and locally adapted populations, but their natural genetic structure can be affected by river engineering schemes across river basins, fish transfers in aquaculture industry and conservation management. The European bitterling (Rhodeus amarus) is a small fish that is a brood parasite of freshwater mussels and is widespread across continental Europe...
July 4, 2018: BMC Evolutionary Biology
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