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BMC Evolutionary Biology

Yiyong Chen, Noa Shenkar, Ping Ni, Yaping Lin, Shiguo Li, Aibin Zhan
BACKGROUND: Adaptive evolution is one of the crucial mechanisms for organisms to survive and thrive in new environments. Recent studies suggest that adaptive evolution could rapidly occur in species to respond to novel environments or environmental challenges during range expansion. However, for environmental adaptation, many studies successfully detected phenotypic features associated with local environments, but did not provide ample genetic evidence on microevolutionary dynamics. It is therefore crucial to thoroughly investigate the genetic basis of rapid microevolution in response to environmental changes, in particular on what genes and associated variation are responsible for environmental challenges...
December 7, 2018: BMC Evolutionary Biology
Guadalupe López Juri, Margarita Chiaraviglio, Gabriela Cardozo
BACKGROUND: Comparing sexual size dimorphism (SSD) in the light of the phylogenetic hypothesis may help to understand the phenotypic evolution associated with sexual selection (size of whole body and of reproduction-related body parts). Within a macroevolutionary framework, we evaluated the association between the evolution of SSD and the evolution of reproduction-related phenotypic traits, and whether this association has favored female fecundity, considering also variations according to reproductive modes...
December 7, 2018: BMC Evolutionary Biology
Cindy Gidoin, Beata Ujvari, Frédéric Thomas, Benjamin Roche
BACKGROUND: A strong variability in cancer incidence is observed between human organs. Recently, it has been suggested that the relative contribution of organs to organism fitness (reproduction or survival) could explain at least a part of the observed variation. The objective of this study is to investigate theoretically the main factors driving the evolution of tumour resistance mechanisms of organs when their relative contribution to organism fitness is considered. We use a population-scale model where individuals can develop a tumour in a key organ (i...
December 6, 2018: BMC Evolutionary Biology
James D Gardiner, Julia Behnsen, Charlotte A Brassey
BACKGROUND: Following recent advances in bioimaging, high-resolution 3D models of biological structures are now generated rapidly and at low-cost. To use this data to address evolutionary and ecological questions, an array of tools has been developed to conduct shape analysis and quantify topographic complexity. Here we focus particularly on shape techniques applied to irregular-shaped objects lacking clear homologous landmarks, and propose a new 'alpha-shapes' method for quantifying 3D shape complexity...
December 5, 2018: BMC Evolutionary Biology
Vasco M N C S Vieira, Aschwin H Engelen, Oscar R Huanel, Marie-Laure Guillemin
BACKGROUND: Algal isomorphic biphasic life cycles alternate between free-living diploid (tetrasporophytes) and haploid (dioicious gametophytes) phases and the hypotheses explaining their maintenance are still debated. Classic models state that conditional differentiation between phases is required for the evolutionary stability of biphasic life cycles while other authors proposed that the uneven ploidy abundances observed in the field are explained by their cytological differences in spore production...
December 5, 2018: BMC Evolutionary Biology
Jere Tolvanen, Janne-Tuomas Seppänen, Mikko Mönkkönen, Robert L Thomson, Hannu Ylönen, Jukka T Forsman
BACKGROUND: Breeding site choice constitutes an important part of the species niche. Nest predation affects breeding site choice, and has been suggested to drive niche segregation and local coexistence of species. Interspecific social information use may, in turn, result in copying or rejection of heterospecific niche characteristics and thus affect realized niche overlap between species. We tested experimentally whether a migratory bird, the pied flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca, collects information about nest predation risk from indirect cues of predators visiting nests of heterospecific birds...
December 4, 2018: BMC Evolutionary Biology
Ka Yan Ma, Lynne van Herwerden, Stephen J Newman, Michael L Berumen, John Howard Choat, Ka Hou Chu, Yvonne Sadovy de Mitcheson
BACKGROUND: Understanding the factors shaping population genetic structure is important for evolutionary considerations as well as for management and conservation. While studies have revealed the importance of palaeogeographic changes in shaping phylogeographic patterns in multiple marine fauna, the role of reproductive behaviour is rarely considered in reef fishes. We investigated the population genetics of three commercially important aggregating grouper species in the Indo-West Pacific, namely the camouflage grouper Epinephelus polyphekadion, the squaretail coral grouper Plectropomus areolatus, and the common coral trout P...
December 4, 2018: BMC Evolutionary Biology
Carmel McDougall, Michael J Hammond, Simon C Dailey, Ildiko M L Somorjai, Scott F Cummins, Bernard M Degnan
BACKGROUND: Ependymins were originally defined as fish-specific secreted glycoproteins involved in central nervous system plasticity and memory formation. Subsequent research revealed that these proteins represent a fish-specific lineage of a larger ependymin-related protein family (EPDRs). EPDRs have now been identified in a number of bilaterian animals and have been implicated in diverse non-neural functions. The recent discoveries of putative EPDRs in unicellular holozoans and an expanded EPDR family with potential roles in conspecific communication in crown-of-thorns starfish suggest that the distribution and diversity of EPDRs is significantly broader than currently understood...
December 4, 2018: BMC Evolutionary Biology
C Darrin Hulsey, Jimmy Zheng, Roi Holzman, Michael E Alfaro, Melisa Olave, Axel Meyer
BACKGROUND: Phylogenies provide critical information about convergence during adaptive radiation. To test whether there have been multiple origins of a distinctive trophic phenotype in one of the most rapidly radiating groups known, we used ultra-conserved elements (UCEs) to examine the evolutionary affinities of Lake Malawi cichlids lineages exhibiting greatly hypertrophied lips. RESULTS: The hypertrophied lip cichlids Cheilochromis euchilus, Eclectochromis ornatus, Placidochromis "Mbenji fatlip", and Placidochromis milomo are all nested within the non-mbuna clade of Malawi cichlids based on both concatenated sequence and single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) inferred phylogenies...
November 29, 2018: BMC Evolutionary Biology
Bette J Hecox-Lea, David B Mark Welch
BACKGROUND: Bdelloid rotifers are the oldest, most diverse and successful animal taxon for which males, hermaphrodites, and traditional meiosis are unknown. Their degenerate tetraploid genome, with 2-4 copies of most loci, includes thousands of genes acquired from all domains of life by horizontal transfer. Many bdelloid species thrive in ephemerally aquatic habitats by surviving desiccation at any life stage with no loss of fecundity or lifespan. Their unique genomic diversity and the intense selective pressure of desiccation provide an exceptional opportunity to study the evolution of diversity and novelty in genes involved in DNA repair...
November 28, 2018: BMC Evolutionary Biology
Tzach Auman, Ariel D Chipman
BACKGROUND: One of the best studied developmental processes is the Drosophila segmentation cascade. However, this cascade is generally considered to be highly derived and unusual, with segments being patterned simultaneously, rather than the ancestral sequential segmentation mode. We present a detailed analysis of the segmentation cascade of the milkweed bug Oncopletus fasciatus, an insect with a more primitive segmentation mode, as a comparison to Drosophila, with the aim of reconstructing the evolution of insect segmentation modes...
November 28, 2018: BMC Evolutionary Biology
Jesús Nadal, Carolina Ponz, Antoni Margalida
BACKGROUND: Predation is one of the most important natural selection forces. Prey species can optimize feeding behavior and escape from predators based on mobility conditioned by body proportions. With age, mobility capacity increases and individuals are more efficient in finding resources and safety (e.g., food and refuge). Birds' mobility is driven by the dimensions, of the head and torso, as well as the extremities and flight feathers. To assess the relationship between body traits and to understand how body proportions are organized in wild Red-legged partridges (Alectoris rufa), we used biometric data from nearly 14,000 individuals, obtained during a long-term study (1988-2011) on a wild population...
November 26, 2018: BMC Evolutionary Biology
Vasco M N C S Vieira, Aschwin H Engelen, Oscar R Huanel, Marie-Laure Guillemin
BACKGROUND: Conditional differentiation is one of the most fundamental drivers of biodiversity. Competitive entities (usually species) differ in environmental or ecological niche enabling them to co-exist. Conditional differentiation of haploid and diploid generations is considered to be a requirement for the evolutionary stability of isomorphic biphasic life-cycles and the cause for the natural occurrence of both phases at uneven abundances. Theoretically, stage dependent survival rates are the most efficient way to explain conditional differentiation...
November 20, 2018: BMC Evolutionary Biology
Ondine Filippi-Codaccioni, Marie-Pauline Beugin, Damien M de Vienne, Elodie Portanier, David Fouchet, Cecile Kaerle, Lina Muselet, Guillaume Queney, Eric J Petit, Corinne Regis, Jean-Baptiste Pons, Dominique Pontier
BACKGROUND: The distinction between lineages of neotropical bats from the Pteronotus parnellii species complex has been previously made according to mitochondrial DNA, and especially morphology and acoustics, in order to separate them into two species. In these studies, either sample sizes were too low when genetic and acoustic or morphological data were gathered on the same individuals, or genetic and other data were collected on different individuals. In this study, we intensively sampled bats in 4 caves and combined all approaches in order to analyse genetic, morphologic, and acoustic divergence between these lineages that live in the same caves in French Guiana...
November 20, 2018: BMC Evolutionary Biology
Diushi Keri Corona-Santiago, Omar Domínguez-Domínguez, Llanet Tovar-Mora, José Ramón Pardons-Blas, Yvonne Herrerías-Diego, Rodolfo Pérez-Rodríguez, Ignacio Doadrio
BACKGROUND: The Pantosteus plebeius-nebuliferus species-group is a group of freshwater fishes distributed in endo- and exorheic drainage basins in the Mexican Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range system and central North Mexico. The geological history of this region is considered an important factor in explaining the evolutionary history of low vagility animals like freshwaters fishes. The aim of this study was to examine the phylogenetic relationships and describe the evolutionary history of the species-group...
November 20, 2018: BMC Evolutionary Biology
Katrina E Jones, Lorena Benitez, Kenneth D Angielczyk, Stephanie E Pierce
BACKGROUND: The axial skeleton consists of repeating units (vertebrae) that are integrated through their development and evolution. Unlike most tetrapods, vertebrae in the mammalian trunk are subdivided into distinct thoracic and lumbar modules, resulting in a system that is constrained in terms of count but highly variable in morphology. This study asks how thoracolumbar regionalization has impacted adaptation and evolvability across mammals. Using geometric morphometrics, we examine evolutionary patterns in five vertebral positions from diverse mammal species encompassing a broad range of locomotor ecologies...
November 16, 2018: BMC Evolutionary Biology
Yonas I Tekle, Fiona C Wood
BACKGROUND: Transcriptome sequencing has become a method of choice for evolutionary studies in microbial eukaryotes due to low cost and minimal sample requirements. Transcriptome data has been extensively used in phylogenomic studies to infer ancient evolutionary histories. However, its utility in studying cryptic species diversity is not well explored. An empirical investigation was conducted to test the applicability of transcriptome data in resolving two major types of discordances at lower taxonomic levels...
November 16, 2018: BMC Evolutionary Biology
Mudassir Iqbal, Mukesh Dubey, Mikael Gudmundsson, Maria Viketoft, Dan Funck Jensen, Magnus Karlsson
BACKGROUND: The ascomycete fungus Clonostachys rosea (order Hypocreales) can control several important plant diseases caused by plant pathogenic fungi and nematodes. Subtilisin-like serine proteases are considered to play an important role in pathogenesis in entomopathogenic, mycoparasitic, and nematophagous fungi used for biological control. In this study, we analysed the evolutionary histories of protease gene families, and investigated sequence divergence and regulation of serine protease genes in C...
November 16, 2018: BMC Evolutionary Biology
Anthony K Redmond, Daniel J Macqueen, Helen Dooley
BACKGROUND: The cartilaginous fishes diverged from other jawed vertebrates ~ 450 million years ago (mya). Despite this key evolutionary position, the only high-quality cartilaginous fish genome available is for the elephant shark (Callorhinchus milii), a chimaera whose ancestors split from the elasmobranch lineage ~ 420 mya. Initial analysis of this resource led to proposals that key components of the cartilaginous fish adaptive immune system, most notably their array of T cell subsets, was primitive compared to mammals...
November 15, 2018: BMC Evolutionary Biology
Caroline T Cheung, Jérémy Pasquier, Aurélien Bouleau, Thaovi Nguyen, Franck Chesnel, Yann Guiguen, Julien Bobe
BACKGROUND: Nucleoplasmin 2 (npm2) is an essential maternal-effect gene that mediates early embryonic events through its function as a histone chaperone that remodels chromatin. Recently, two npm2 (npm2a and npm2b) genes have been annotated in zebrafish. Thus, we examined the evolution of npm2a and npm2b in a variety of vertebrates, their potential phylogenetic relationships, and their biological functions using knockout models via the CRISPR/cas9 system. RESULTS: We demonstrated that the two npm2 duplicates exist in a wide range of vertebrates, including sharks, ray-finned fish, amphibians, and sauropsids, while npm2a was lost in coelacanth and mammals, as well as some specific teleost lineages...
November 12, 2018: BMC Evolutionary Biology
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