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Trait evolution

D Luo, X Ma, J Bai, Z Zhou, F Wang, A Wang, J Wang
Timidity in dogs is a trait with high heritability. However, the relevant genetic factors and markers associated with this condition are largely unknown. The function of the catechol-O-methyl transferase (COMT) gene has been found to be associated with human fearful or anxious emotions, and the COMT:p.Val158Met polymorphism locus is significantly related to anxious behavior. In the present study, the correlation between timidity and four single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) variations (C.-1666C>G c.39A>G, c...
June 22, 2018: Animal Genetics
Clavel Julien, Aristide Leandro, Morlon Hélène
Working with high-dimensional phylogenetic comparative datasets is challenging because likelihood-based multivariate methods suffer from low statistical performances as the number of traits p approaches the number of species n and because some computational complications occur when p exceeds n. Alternative phylogenetic comparative methods have recently been proposed to deal with the large p small n scenario but their use and performances are limited. Here we develop a penalized likelihood framework to deal with high-dimensional comparative datasets...
June 19, 2018: Systematic Biology
Ana Catalán, Aide Macias-Muñoz, Adriana D Briscoe
Differences in behavior and life history traits between females and males are the basis of divergent selective pressures between sexes. It has been suggested that a way for the two sexes to deal with different life history requirements is through sex-biased gene expression. In this study, we performed a comparative sex-biased gene expression analysis of the combined eye and brain transcriptome from five Heliconius species, H. charithonia, H. sara, H. erato, H. melpomene and H. doris, representing five of the main clades from the Heliconius phylogeny...
June 19, 2018: Molecular Biology and Evolution
Francisco Dini-Andreote, Jan Dirk van Elsas, Han Olff, Joana Falcão Salles
Ancestor microbes started colonizing inland habitats approximately 2.7 to 3.5 billion years ago. With some exceptions, the key physiological adaptations of microbiomes associated with marine-to-land transitions have remained elusive. This is essentially caused by the lack of suitable systems that depict changes in microbiomes across sufficiently large time scales. Here, we investigate the adaptive routes taken by microbiomes along a contemporary gradient of land formation. Using functional trait-based metagenomics, we show that a switch from a microbial 'dispersal' to a 'competition' response modus best characterizes the microbial trait changes during this eco-evolutionary trajectory...
June 21, 2018: Scientific Reports
Elisabeth Reyes, Sophie Nadot, Maria von Balthazar, Jürg Schönenberger, Hervé Sauquet
Ancestral state reconstruction is an important tool to study morphological evolution and often involves estimating transition rates among character states. However, various factors, including taxonomic scale and sampling density, may impact transition rate estimation and indirectly also the probability of the state at a given node. Here, we test the influence of rate heterogeneity using maximum likelihood methods on five binary perianth characters, optimized on a phylogenetic tree of angiosperms including 1230 species sampled from all families...
June 21, 2018: Scientific Reports
Katrina G Claw, Renee D George, Michael J MacCoss, Willie J Swanson
BACKGROUND: Genomic data from various organisms have been used to study how sexual selection has shaped genetic diversity in reproductive proteins, and in particular, to elucidate how mating systems may have influenced evolution at the molecular and phenotypic levels. However, large-scale proteomic data including protein identifications and abundances are only now entering the field of evolutionary and comparative genomics. Variation in both protein sequence and expression level may play important roles in the evolution of sexual traits and behaviors...
June 22, 2018: BMC Genomics
Tonje K Sørdalen, Kim T Halvorsen, Hugo B Harrison, Charlie D Ellis, Leif Asbjørn Vøllestad, Halvor Knutsen, Even Moland, Esben M Olsen
Removing individuals from a wild population can affect the availability of prospective mates and the outcome of competitive interactions, with subsequent effects on mating patterns and sexual selection. Consequently, the rate of harvest-induced evolution is predicted to be strongly dependent on the strength and dynamics of sexual selection, yet there is limited empirical knowledge on the interplay between selective harvesting and the mating systems of exploited species. In this study, we used genetic parentage assignment to compare mating patterns of the highly valued and overexploited European lobster ( Homarus gammarus ) in a designated lobster reserve and nearby fished area in southern Norway...
July 2018: Evolutionary Applications
Michael Lynch
Most cellular features have a range of states, but understanding the mechanisms responsible for interspecific divergence is a challenge for evolutionary cell biology. Models are developed for the distribution of mean phenotypes likely to evolve under the joint forces of mutation and genetic drift in the face of constant selection pressures. Mean phenotypes will deviate from optimal states to a degree depending on the effective population size, potentially leading to substantial divergence in the absence of diversifying selection...
June 21, 2018: ELife
Chidiebere Akusobi, Benjamin K Chan, Elizabeth S C P Williams, John E Wertz, Paul E Turner
The emergence of antibiotic resistance has sparked interest in phage therapy, which uses virulent phages as antibacterial agents. Bacteriophage PP01 has been studied for potential bio-control of Escherichia coli O157:H7, its natural host, but in the laboratory, PP01 can be inefficient at killing this bacterium. Thus, the goal of this study was to improve the therapeutic potential of PP01 through short-term experimental evolution. Four replicate populations of PP01 were serially passaged 21 times on non-evolving E...
June 20, 2018: Pharmaceuticals
Ben Ashby, Emily Bruns
Infection prior to reproduction usually carries greater fitness costs for hosts than infection later in life, suggesting selection should tend to favour juvenile resistance. Yet, juveniles are generally more susceptible than adults across a wide spectrum of host taxa. While physiological constraints and a lack of prior exposure can explain some of this pattern, studies in plants and insects suggest that hosts may trade off juvenile susceptibility against other life-history traits. However, it is unclear precisely how trade-offs shape the evolution of juvenile susceptibility...
June 27, 2018: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Alejandro Rico-Guevara, Kristiina J Hurme
We propose a practical concept that distinguishes the particular kind of weaponry that has evolved to be used in combat between individuals of the same species and sex, which we term intrasexually selected weapons (ISWs). We present a treatise of ISWs in nature, aiming to understand their distinction and evolution from other secondary sex traits, including from 'sexually selected weapons', and from sexually dimorphic and monomorphic weaponry. We focus on the subset of secondary sex traits that are the result of same-sex combat, defined here as ISWs, provide not previously reported evolutionary patterns, and offer hypotheses to answer questions such as: why have only some species evolved weapons to fight for the opposite sex or breeding resources? We examined traits that seem to have evolved as ISWs in the entire animal phylogeny, restricting the classification of ISW to traits that are only present or enlarged in adults of one of the sexes, and are used as weapons during intrasexual fights...
June 20, 2018: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
James R Whiting, Isabel S Magalhaes, Abdul R Singkam, Shaun Robertson, Daniele D'Agostino, Janette E Bradley, Andrew D C MacColl
Understanding how wild immune variation covaries with other traits can reveal how costs and trade-offs shape immune evolution in the wild. Divergent life history strategies may increase or alleviate immune costs, helping shape immune variation in a consistent, testable way. Contrasting hypotheses suggest that shorter life histories may alleviate costs by offsetting them against increased mortality; or increase the effect of costs if immune responses are traded off against development or reproduction. We investigated the evolutionary relationship between life history and immune responses within an island radiation of three-spined stickleback, with discrete populations of varying life histories and parasitism...
June 20, 2018: Molecular Ecology
Claire M S Dufour, Anthony Herrel, Jonathan B Losos
Invasive species are a global threat to biodiversity. Cases where the invasion has been tracked since its beginning are rare, however, such that the first interactions between invasive and native species remain poorly understood. Communication behavior is an integral part of species identity and is subject to selection. Consequently, resource use and direct interference competition between native and invasive species may drive its evolution. Here, we tested the role of interactions between the recently introduced invasive lizard Anolis cristatellus and the native Anolis oculatus on variation in behavior and communication in Calibishie (Dominica)...
2018: PeerJ
Selene L Fernandez-Valverde, Felipe Aguilera, René Alexander Ramos-Díaz
The advent of high-throughput sequencing technologies has revolutionized the way we understand the transformation of genetic information into morphological traits. Elucidating the network of interactions between genes that govern cell differentiation through development is one of the core challenges in genome research. These networks are known as developmental gene regulatory networks (dGRNs) and consist largely of the functional linkage between developmental control genes, cis-regulatory modules and differentiation genes, which generate spatially and temporally refined patterns of gene expression...
June 18, 2018: Integrative and Comparative Biology
Jay P McEntee, Joseph A Tobias, Catherine Sheard, J Gordon Burleigh
Organismal traits may evolve either gradually or in rapid pulses, but the relative importance of these modes in the generation of species differences is unclear. Additionally, while pulsed evolution is frequently assumed to be associated with speciation events, few studies have explicitly examined how the tempo of trait divergence varies with respect to different geographical phases of speciation, starting with geographic isolation and ending, in many cases, with spatial overlap (sympatry). Here we address these issues by combining divergence time estimates, trait measurements and geographic range data for 952 avian sister species pairs worldwide to examine the tempo and timing of trait divergence in recent speciation events...
June 18, 2018: Nature Ecology & Evolution
Adrian Forsythe, Victoria Giglio, Jonathan Asa, Jianping Xu
White-nose Syndrome (WNS) is an ongoing epizootic affecting multiple species of North American bats, caused by epidermal infections of the psychrophilic filamentous fungus, Pseudogymnoascus destructans Since its introduction from Europe, WNS has spread rapidly across eastern North America and resulted in high mortality rates in bats. At present, the mechanisms behind its spread and the extent of its adaptation to different geographic and ecological niches remain unknown. The objective of this study was to examine the geographic patterns of phenotypic variation and the potential evidence for adaptation among strains representing broad geographic locations in eastern North America...
June 18, 2018: Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Melissa Tumen-Velasquez, Christopher W Johnson, Alaa Ahmed, Graham Dominick, Emily M Fulk, Payal Khanna, Sarah A Lee, Alicia L Schmidt, Jeffrey G Linger, Mark A Eiteman, Gregg T Beckham, Ellen L Neidle
Experimental evolution is a critical tool in many disciplines, including metabolic engineering and synthetic biology. However, current methods rely on the chance occurrence of a key step that can dramatically accelerate evolution in natural systems, namely increased gene dosage. Our studies sought to induce the targeted amplification of chromosomal segments to facilitate rapid evolution. Since increased gene dosage confers novel phenotypes and genetic redundancy, we developed a method, Evolution by Amplification and Synthetic Biology (EASy), to create tandem arrays of chromosomal regions...
June 18, 2018: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Leslea J Hlusko
The past few years of genetic research on primate quantitative trait variation have been notable in the diversity of phenotypes explored, ranging from classic skeletal measurements to behavior, through to levels of gene expression, and with observations from both captive and wild populations. These studies demonstrate the importance of captive pedigreed breeding colonies, populations that can be matched to their wild counterparts to enable comparison of genetic architectures. Non-human primate genotype:phenotype maps are essential for placing human variation within an evolutionary framework as well as for gaining insight to human biology...
June 15, 2018: Current Opinion in Genetics & Development
Courtney M Clark-Hachtel, Madison R Moe, Yoshinori Tomoyasu
Despite the immense importance of the wing in the evolution and successful radiation of the insect lineages, the origin of this critical structure remains a hotly-debated mystery. Two possible tissues have been identified as an evolutionary origin of wings; the lateral expansion of the dorsal body wall (tergal edge) and structures related to an ancestral proximal leg segment (pleural tissues). Through studying wing-related tissues in the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum, we have previously presented evidence in support of a dual origin of insect wings, a third hypothesis proposing that wings evolved from a combination of both tergal and pleural tissues...
June 15, 2018: Arthropod Structure & Development
Francesco Oliva, Chiara Mangiapane, Gabriele Nibbio, Alberto Portigliatti Pomeri, Giuseppe Maina
OBJECTIVE: To assess prevalence of personality traits and disorders according to Millon's evolution-based model and to identify the most representative personality profiles among adult ADHD outpatients. METHOD: Personality traits and disorders were evaluated using the Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory-III (MCMI-III) and an exploratory factor analysis (EFA) in a consecutive sample of adult ADHD outpatients ( N = 70) diagnosed by the Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale-version 1...
June 1, 2018: Journal of Attention Disorders
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