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BMC Evolutionary Biology

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https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29237396/musculoskeletal-networks-reveal-topological-disparity-in-mammalian-neck-evolution
#1
Patrick Arnold, Borja Esteve-Altava, Martin S Fischer
BACKGROUND: The increase in locomotor and metabolic performance during mammalian evolution was accompanied by the limitation of the number of cervical vertebrae to only seven. In turn, nuchal muscles underwent a reorganization while forelimb muscles expanded into the neck region. As variation in the cervical spine is low, the variation in the arrangement of the neck muscles and their attachment sites (i.e., the variability of the neck's musculoskeletal organization) is thus proposed to be an important source of neck disparity across mammals...
December 13, 2017: BMC Evolutionary Biology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29237395/insights-into-the-evolution-biogeography-and-natural-history-of-the-acorn-ants-genus-temnothorax-mayr-hymenoptera-formicidae
#2
Matthew Prebus
BACKGROUND: Temnothorax (Formicidae: Myrmicinae) is a diverse genus of ants found in a broad spectrum of ecosystems across the northern hemisphere. These diminutive ants have long served as models for social insect behavior, leading to discoveries about social learning and inspiring hypotheses about the process of speciation and the evolution of social parasitism. This genus is highly morphologically and behaviorally diverse, and this has caused a great deal of taxonomic confusion in recent years...
December 13, 2017: BMC Evolutionary Biology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29228925/daily-activity-patterns-influence-retinal-morphology-signatures-of-selection-and-spectral-tuning-of-opsin-genes-in-colubrid-snakes
#3
E Hauzman, D M O Bonci, E Y Suárez-Villota, M Neitz, D F Ventura
BACKGROUND: Morphological divergences of snake retinal structure point to complex evolutionary processes and adaptations. The Colubridae family has a remarkable variety of retinal structure that can range from all-cone and all-rod to duplex (cone/rod) retinas. To explore whether nocturnal versus diurnal activity is responsible for constraints on molecular evolution and plays a role in visual opsin spectral tuning of colubrids, we carried out molecular evolution analyses of the visual opsin genes LWS, RH1, and SWS1 from 17 species and performed morphological analyses...
December 11, 2017: BMC Evolutionary Biology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29216839/rates-of-morphological-evolution-asymmetry-and-morphological-integration-of-shell-shape-in-scallops
#4
Emma Sherratt, Jeanne M Serb, Dean C Adams
BACKGROUND: Rates of morphological evolution vary across different taxonomic groups, and this has been proposed as one of the main drivers for the great diversity of organisms on Earth. Of the extrinsic factors pertaining to this variation, ecological hypotheses feature prominently in observed differences in phenotypic evolutionary rates across lineages. But complex organisms are inherently modular, comprising distinct body parts that can be differentially affected by external selective pressures...
December 8, 2017: BMC Evolutionary Biology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29216829/the-role-of-isolation-on-contrasting-phylogeographic-patterns-in-two-cave-crustaceans
#5
Jorge L Pérez-Moreno, Gergely Balázs, Blake Wilkins, Gábor Herczeg, Heather D Bracken-Grissom
BACKGROUND: The underlying mechanisms and processes that prompt the colonisation of extreme environments, such as caves, constitute major research themes of evolutionary biology and biospeleology. The special adaptations required to survive in subterranean environments (low food availability, hypoxic waters, permanent darkness), and the geographical isolation of caves, nominate cave biodiversity as ideal subjects to answer long-standing questions concerning the interplay amongst adaptation, biogeography, and evolution...
December 7, 2017: BMC Evolutionary Biology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29216823/historical-isolation-and-contemporary-gene-flow-drive-population-diversity-of-the-brown-alga-sargassum-thunbergii-along-the-coast-of-china
#6
Jing-Jing Li, Zi-Min Hu, Zhong-Min Sun, Jian-Ting Yao, Fu-Li Liu, Pablo Fresia, De-Lin Duan
BACKGROUND: Long-term survival in isolated marginal seas of the China coast during the late Pleistocene ice ages is widely believed to be an important historical factor contributing to population genetic structure in coastal marine species. Whether or not contemporary factors (e.g. long-distance dispersal via coastal currents) continue to shape diversity gradients in marine organisms with high dispersal capability remains poorly understood. Our aim was to explore how historical and contemporary factors influenced the genetic diversity and distribution of the brown alga Sargassum thunbergii, which can drift on surface water, leading to long-distance dispersal...
December 7, 2017: BMC Evolutionary Biology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29212454/ice-age-unfrozen-severe-effect-of-the-last-interglacial-not-glacial-climate-change-on-east-asian-avifauna
#7
Feng Dong, Chih-Ming Hung, Xin-Lei Li, Jian-Yun Gao, Qiang Zhang, Fei Wu, Fu-Min Lei, Shou-Hsien Li, Xiao-Jun Yang
BACKGROUND: The glacial-interglacial cycles in the Pleistocene caused repeated range expansion and contraction of species in several regions in the world. However, it remains uncertain whether such climate oscillations had similar impact on East Asian biota, despite its widely recognized importance in global biodiversity. Here we use both molecular and ecological niche profiles on 11 East Asian avian species with various elevational ranges to reveal their response to the late Pleistocene climate changes...
December 6, 2017: BMC Evolutionary Biology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29212441/evolution-of-cytokinesis-related-protein-localization-during-the-emergence-of-multicellularity-in-volvocine-green-algae
#8
Yoko Arakaki, Takayuki Fujiwara, Hiroko Kawai-Toyooka, Kaoru Kawafune, Jonathan Featherston, Pierre M Durand, Shin-Ya Miyagishima, Hisayoshi Nozaki
BACKGROUND: The volvocine lineage, containing unicellular Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and differentiated multicellular Volvox carteri, is a powerful model for comparative studies aiming at understanding emergence of multicellularity. Tetrabaena socialis is the simplest multicellular volvocine alga and belongs to the family Tetrabaenaceae that is sister to more complex multicellular volvocine families, Goniaceae and Volvocaceae. Thus, T. socialis is a key species to elucidate the initial steps in the evolution of multicellularity...
December 6, 2017: BMC Evolutionary Biology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29207942/a-reconstruction-of-sexual-modes-throughout-animal-evolution
#9
Daniel A Sasson, Joseph F Ryan
BACKGROUND: Although most extant animals have separate sexes, simultaneous hermaphrodites can be found in lineages throughout the animal kingdom. However, the sexual modes of key ancestral nodes including the last common ancestor (LCA) of all animals remain unclear. Without these data, it is difficult to infer the reproductive-state transitions that occurred early in animal evolution, and thus a broad understanding of the evolution of animal reproduction remains elusive. In this study, we use a composite phylogeny from four previously published studies, two alternative topologies (ctenophores or sponges as sister to the rest of animals), and multiple phylogenetic approaches to conduct the most extensive analysis to date of the evolution of animal sexual modes...
December 6, 2017: BMC Evolutionary Biology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29202710/parallel-loss-of-introns-in-the-abcb1-gene-in-angiosperms
#10
Rajiv K Parvathaneni, Victoria L DeLeo, John J Spiekerman, Debkanta Chakraborty, Katrien M Devos
BACKGROUND: The presence of non-coding introns is a characteristic feature of most eukaryotic genes. While the size of the introns, number of introns per gene and the number of intron-containing genes can vary greatly between sequenced eukaryotic genomes, the structure of a gene with reference to intron presence and positions is typically conserved in closely related species. Unexpectedly, the ABCB1 (ATP-Binding Cassette Subfamily B Member 1) gene which encodes a P-glycoprotein and underlies dwarfing traits in maize (br2), sorghum (dw3) and pearl millet (d2) displayed considerable variation in intron composition...
December 4, 2017: BMC Evolutionary Biology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29202706/ancient-dna-reveals-genetic-connections-between-early-di-qiang-and-han-chinese
#11
Jiawei Li, Wen Zeng, Ye Zhang, Albert Min-Shan Ko, Chunxiang Li, Hong Zhu, Qiaomei Fu, Hui Zhou
BACKGROUND: Ancient Di-Qiang people once resided in the Ganqing region of China, adjacent to the Central Plain area from where Han Chinese originated. While gene flow between the Di-Qiang and Han Chinese has been proposed, there is no evidence to support this view. Here we analyzed the human remains from an early Di-Qiang site (Mogou site dated ~4000 years old) and compared them to other ancient DNA across China, including an early Han-related site (Hengbei site dated ~3000 years old) to establish the underlying genetic relationship between the Di-Qiang and ancestors of Han Chinese...
December 4, 2017: BMC Evolutionary Biology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29202688/rethinking-the-evolution-of-eukaryotic-metabolism-novel-cellular-partitioning-of-enzymes-in-stramenopiles-links-serine-biosynthesis-to-glycolysis-in-mitochondria
#12
Melania Abrahamian, Meenakshi Kagda, Audrey M V Ah-Fong, Howard S Judelson
BACKGROUND: An important feature of eukaryotic evolution is metabolic compartmentalization, in which certain pathways are restricted to the cytosol or specific organelles. Glycolysis in eukaryotes is described as a cytosolic process. The universality of this canon has been challenged by recent genome data that suggest that some glycolytic enzymes made by stramenopiles bear mitochondrial targeting peptides. RESULTS: Mining of oomycete, diatom, and brown algal genomes indicates that stramenopiles encode two forms of enzymes for the second half of glycolysis, one with and the other without mitochondrial targeting peptides...
December 4, 2017: BMC Evolutionary Biology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29202687/total-evidence-phylogeny-and-evolutionary-timescale-for-australian-faunivorous-marsupials-dasyuromorphia
#13
Shimona Kealy, Robin Beck
BACKGROUND: The order Dasyuromorphia is a diverse radiation of faunivorous marsupials, comprising >80 modern species in Australia and New Guinea. It includes dasyurids, the numbat (the myrmecobiid Myrmecobius fasciatus) and the recently extinct thylacine (the thylacinid Thylacinus cyncocephalus). There is also a diverse fossil record of dasyuromorphians and "dasyuromorphian-like" taxa known from Australia. We present the first total evidence phylogenetic analyses of the order, based on combined morphological and molecular data (including a novel set of 115 postcranial characters), to resolve relationships and calculate divergence dates...
December 4, 2017: BMC Evolutionary Biology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29202686/species-specific-genes-under-selection-characterize-the-co-evolution-of-slavemaker-and-host-lifestyles
#14
B Feldmeyer, D Elsner, A Alleman, S Foitzik
BACKGROUND: The transition to a parasitic lifestyle entails comprehensive changes to the selective regime. In parasites, genes encoding for traits that facilitate host detection, exploitation and transmission should be under selection. Slavemaking ants are social parasites that exploit the altruistic behaviour of their hosts by stealing heterospecific host brood during raids, which afterwards serve as slaves in slavemaker nests. Here we search for evidence of selection in the transcriptomes of three slavemaker species and three closely related hosts...
December 4, 2017: BMC Evolutionary Biology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29197327/re-evaluation-of-the-haarlem-archaeopteryx-and-the-radiation-of-maniraptoran-theropod-dinosaurs
#15
Christian Foth, Oliver W M Rauhut
BACKGROUND: Archaeopteryx is an iconic fossil that has long been pivotal for our understanding of the origin of birds. Remains of this important taxon have only been found in the Late Jurassic lithographic limestones of Bavaria, Germany. Twelve skeletal specimens are reported so far. Archaeopteryx was long the only pre-Cretaceous paravian theropod known, but recent discoveries from the Tiaojishan Formation, China, yielded a remarkable diversity of this clade, including the possibly oldest and most basal known clade of avialan, here named Anchiornithidae...
December 2, 2017: BMC Evolutionary Biology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29187208/multiple-markers-niche-modelling-and-bioregions-analyses-to-evaluate-the-genetic-diversity-of-a-plant-species-complex
#16
Ana Lúcia A Segatto, Maikel Reck-Kortmann, Caroline Turchetto, Loreta B Freitas
BACKGROUND: The classification of closely related plants is not straightforward. These morphologically similar taxa frequently maintain their inter-hybridization potential and share ancestral polymorphisms as a consequence of their recent divergence. Under the biological species concept, they may thus not be considered separate species. The Petunia integrifolia complex is especially interesting because, in addition to the features mentioned above, its taxa share a pollinator, and their geographical ranges show multiple overlaps...
November 29, 2017: BMC Evolutionary Biology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29187161/does-the-oviparity-viviparity-transition-alter-the-partitioning-of-yolk-in-embryonic-snakes
#17
Yan-Qing Wu, Yan-Fu Qu, Xue-Ji Wang, Jian-Fang Gao, Xiang Ji
BACKGROUND: The oviparity-viviparity transition is a major evolutionary event, likely altering the reproductive process of the organisms involved. Residual yolk, a portion of yolk remaining unutilized at hatching or birth as parental investment in care, has been investigated in many oviparous amniotes but remained largely unknown in viviparous species. Here, we used data from 20 (12 oviparous and 8 viviparous) species of snakes to see if the oviparity-viviparity transition alters the partitioning of yolk in embryonic snakes...
November 29, 2017: BMC Evolutionary Biology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29183283/mitochondrial-genome-sequencing-reveals-potential-origins-of-the-scabies-mite-sarcoptes-scabiei-infesting-two-iconic-australian-marsupials
#18
Tamieka A Fraser, Renfu Shao, Nicholas M Fountain-Jones, Michael Charleston, Alynn Martin, Pam Whiteley, Roz Holme, Scott Carver, Adam Polkinghorne
BACKGROUND: Debilitating skin infestations caused by the mite, Sarcoptes scabiei, have a profound impact on human and animal health globally. In Australia, this impact is evident across different segments of Australian society, with a growing recognition that it can contribute to rapid declines of native Australian marsupials. Cross-host transmission has been suggested to play a significant role in the epidemiology and origin of mite infestations in different species but a chronic lack of genetic resources has made further inferences difficult...
November 28, 2017: BMC Evolutionary Biology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29179671/phylogenomics-of-cas4-family-nucleases
#19
Sanjarbek Hudaiberdiev, Sergey Shmakov, Yuri I Wolf, Michael P Terns, Kira S Makarova, Eugene V Koonin
BACKGROUND: The Cas4 family endonuclease is a component of the adaptation module in many variants of CRISPR-Cas adaptive immunity systems. Unlike most of the other Cas proteins, Cas4 is often encoded outside CRISPR-cas loci (solo-Cas4) and is also found in mobile genetic elements (MGE-Cas4). RESULTS: As part of our ongoing investigation of CRISPR-Cas evolution, we explored the phylogenomics of the Cas4 family. About 90% of the archaeal genomes encode Cas4 compared to only about 20% of the bacterial genomes...
November 28, 2017: BMC Evolutionary Biology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29178825/phylogenetic-relationships-of-cone-snails-endemic-to-cabo-verde-based-on-mitochondrial-genomes
#20
Samuel Abalde, Manuel J Tenorio, Carlos M L Afonso, Juan E Uribe, Ana M Echeverry, Rafael Zardoya
BACKGROUND: Due to their great species and ecological diversity as well as their capacity to produce hundreds of different toxins, cone snails are of interest to evolutionary biologists, pharmacologists and amateur naturalists alike. Taxonomic identification of cone snails still relies mostly on the shape, color, and banding patterns of the shell. However, these phenotypic traits are prone to homoplasy. Therefore, the consistent use of genetic data for species delimitation and phylogenetic inference in this apparently hyperdiverse group is largely wanting...
November 25, 2017: BMC Evolutionary Biology
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