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evolutionary ecology

William J Joiner
Despite decades of intense study, the functions of sleep are still shrouded in mystery. The difficulty in understanding these functions can be at least partly attributed to the varied manifestations of sleep in different animals. Daily sleep duration can range from 4-20 hrs among mammals, and sleep can manifest throughout the brain, or it can alternate over time between cerebral hemispheres, depending on the species. Ecological factors are likely to have shaped these and other sleep behaviors during evolution by altering the properties of conserved arousal circuits in the brain...
October 24, 2016: Current Biology: CB
Joerg T Albert, Andrei S Kozlov
The evolution of hearing in terrestrial animals has resulted in remarkable adaptations enabling exquisitely sensitive sound detection by the ear and sophisticated sound analysis by the brain. In this review, we examine several such characteristics, using examples from insects and vertebrates. We focus on two strong and interdependent forces that have been shaping the auditory systems across taxa: the physical environment of auditory transducers on the small, subcellular scale, and the sensory-ecological environment within which hearing happens, on a larger, evolutionary scale...
October 24, 2016: Current Biology: CB
Pedro Jordano
Species-specific traits constrain the ways organisms interact in nature. Some pairwise interactions among coexisting species simply do not occur; they are impossible to observe despite the fact that partners coexist in the same place. The author discusses these 'forbidden links' of species interaction networks. Photo: a sphingid moth, Manduca sexta visiting a flower of Tocoyena formosa (Rubiaceae) in the Brazilian Cerrado; tongue and corolla tube lengths approximately 100 mm. Courtesy of Felipe Amorim. Sazatornil, F...
November 2016: Journal of Animal Ecology
W S Hambright, Jie Deng, James M Tiedje, Ingrid Brettar, Jorge L M Rodrigues
In bacterial populations, subtle expressional differences may promote ecological specialization through the formation of distinct ecotypes. In a barrier-free habitat, this process most likely precedes population divergence and may predict speciation events. To examine this, we used four sequenced strains of the bacterium Shewanella baltica, OS155, OS185, OS195, and OS223, as models to assess transcriptional variation and ecotype formation within a prokaryotic population. All strains were isolated from different depths throughout a water column of the Baltic Sea, occupying different ecological niches characterized by various abiotic parameters...
September 2016: MSphere
Craig R White, Lesley A Alton, Taryn S Crispin, Lewis G Halsey
The energetic costs for animals to locomote on land influence many aspects of their ecology. Size accounts for much of the among-species variation in terrestrial transport costs, but species of similar body size can still exhibit severalfold differences in energy expenditure. We compiled measurements of the (mass-specific) minimum cost of pedestrian transport (COTmin, mL/kg/m) for 201 species - by far the largest sample to date - and used phylogenetically informed comparative analyses to investigate possible eco-evolutionary differences in COTmin between various groupings of those species...
September 2016: Ecology and Evolution
Julie B Hébert, Sonja J Scheffer, David J Hawthorne
Evolutionary radiations have been well documented in plants and insects, and natural selection may often underly these radiations. If radiations are adaptive, the diversity of species could be due to ecological speciation in these lineages. Agromyzid flies exhibit patterns of repeated host-associated radiations. We investigated whether host-associated population divergence and evidence of divergent selection exist in the leaf miner Phytomyza glabricola on its sympatric host plants, the holly species, Ilex coriacea and I...
September 2016: Ecology and Evolution
David S Domozych, Zoë A Popper, Iben Sørensen
Charophytes are the group of green algae whose ancestral lineage gave rise to land plants in what resulted in a profoundly transformative event in the natural history of the planet. Extant charophytes exhibit many features that are similar to those found in land plants and their relatively simple phenotypes make them efficacious organisms for the study of many fundamental biological phenomena. Several taxa including Micrasterias, Penium, Chara, and Coleochaete are valuable model organisms for the study of cell biology, development, physiology and ecology of plants...
2016: Frontiers in Plant Science
Pedro Passos, Duarte Araújo, Keith Davids
An evolutionary psycho-biological perspective on competitiveness dynamics is presented, focusing on continuous behavioral co-adaptations to constraints that arise in performance environments. We suggest that an athlete's behavioral dynamics are constrained by circumstances of competing for the availability of resources, which once obtained offer possibilities for performance success. This defines the influence of the athlete-environment relationship on competitiveness. Constraining factors in performance include proximity to target areas in team sports and the number of other competitors in a location...
2016: Frontiers in Psychology
Davinia Pla, Libia Sanz, Mahmood Sasa, Manuel E Acevedo, Quetzal Dwyer, Jordi Durban, Alicia Pérez, Yania Rodriguez, Bruno Lomonte, Juan J Calvete
: Bothriechis is a genus of eleven currently recognized slender and arboreal venomous snakes, commonly called palm-pitvipers that range from southern Mexico to northern South America. Despite dietary studies suggesting that palm-pitvipers are generalists with an ontogenetic shift toward endothermic prey, venom proteomic analyses have revealed remarkable divergence between the venoms of the Costa Rican species, B. lateralis, B. schlegelii, B. supraciliaris, and B. nigroviridis. To achieve a more complete picture of the venomic landscape across Bothriechis, the venom proteomes of biodiversity of the northern Middle American highland palm-pitvipers, B...
October 21, 2016: Journal of Proteomics
Michael M Kasumovic, Zhiliang Chen, Marc R Wilkins
BACKGROUND: Ecological and evolutionary model organisms have provided extensive insight into the ecological triggers, adaptive benefits, and evolution of life-history driven developmental plasticity. Despite this, we still have a poor understanding of the underlying genetic changes that occur during shifts towards different developmental trajectories. The goal of this study is to determine whether we can identify underlying gene expression patterns that can describe the different life-history trajectories individuals follow in response to social cues of competition...
October 24, 2016: BMC Genomics
Truc T Pham, Shengli Meng, Yan Sun, Wenli Lv, Justin Bahl
A comprehensive monitoring strategy is vital for tracking the spread of mosquito-borne Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV), the leading cause of viral encephalitis in Asia. Virus detection consists of passive surveillance of primarily humans and swine, and/or active surveillance in mosquitoes, which may be a valuable proxy in providing insights into ecological processes underlying the spread and persistence of JEV. However, it has not been well characterized whether passive surveillance alone can capture the circulating genetic diversity to make reasonable inferences...
January 2016: Virus Evolution
Ralf G Dietzgen, Hideki Kondo, Michael M Goodin, Gael Kurath, Nikos Vasilakis
The family Rhabdoviridae consists of mostly enveloped, bullet-shaped or bacilliform viruses with a negative-sense, single-stranded RNA genome that infect vertebrates, invertebrates or plants. This ecological diversity is reflected by the diversity and complexity of their genomes. Five canonical structural protein genes are conserved in all rhabdoviruses, but may be overprinted, overlapped or interspersed with several novel and diverse accessory genes. This review gives an overview of the characteristics and diversity of rhabdoviruses, their taxonomic classification, replication mechanism, properties of classical rhabdoviruses such as rabies virus and rhabdoviruses with complex genomes, rhabdoviruses infecting aquatic species, and plant rhabdoviruses with both mono- and bipartite genomes...
October 20, 2016: Virus Research
M C Fontaine
The harbour porpoise, Phocoena phocoena, is one of the best studied cetacean species owing to its common distribution along the coastal waters of the Northern Hemisphere. In European waters, strandings are common and bycatch mortalities in commercial fisheries reach alarming numbers. Lethal interactions resulting from human activities together with ongoing environmental changes raise serious concerns about population viability throughout the species' range. These concerns foster the need to fill critical gaps in knowledge of harbour porpoise biology, including population structure, feeding ecology, habitat preference and evolutionary history, that are critical information for planning effective management and conservation efforts...
2016: Advances in Marine Biology
Boahemaa Adu-Oppong, Andrew J Gasparrini, Gautam Dantas
Microbial communities contain diverse bacteria that play important roles in every environment. Advances in sequencing and computational methodologies over the past decades have illuminated the phylogenetic and functional diversity of microbial communities from diverse habitats. Among the activities encoded in microbiomes are the abilities to synthesize and resist small molecules, yielding antimicrobial activity. These functions are of particular interest when viewed in light of the public health emergency posed by the increase in clinical antimicrobial resistance and the dwindling antimicrobial discovery and approval pipeline, and given the intimate ecological and evolutionary relationship between antimicrobial biosynthesis and resistance...
October 21, 2016: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Michael R Gillings, Ian T Paulsen, Sasha G Tetu
Antibiotic resistance arises as a consequence of complex interactions among genes, mobile elements, and their bacterial hosts, coupled with the intense selection pressures imposed by humans in an attempt to control bacterial growth. Understanding the evolution of resistance requires an understanding of interacting cellular and genetic components. Here, we review how DNA analysis has helped reconstruct the origins of the mosaic, multiresistant mobile elements that have spread through pathogens in the last 60 years...
October 21, 2016: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Jenny Y Y Lau, Chun-Chiu Pang, Lawrence Ramsden, Richard M K Saunders
The floral phenology, pollination ecology and breeding systems of two sympatric early-divergent angiosperms, Goniothalamus tapisoides and G. suaveolens (Annonaceae) are compared. The flowers are protogynous and morphologically similar, with anthesis over 23-25 h. Both species are predominantly xenogamous and pollinated by small beetles: G. tapisoides mainly by Curculionidae and G. suaveolens mainly by Nitidulidae. Coevolution and reproductive resource partitioning, reducing interspecific pollen transfer, is achieved by temporal isolation, due to contrasting floral phenologies; and ethological isolation, due to contrasting floral scents that contain attractants specific to the two beetle families...
October 21, 2016: Scientific Reports
Seth Bybee, Alex Córdoba-Aguilar, M Catherine Duryea, Ryo Futahashi, Bengt Hansson, M Olalla Lorenzo-Carballa, Ruud Schilder, Robby Stoks, Anton Suvorov, Erik I Svensson, Janne Swaegers, Yuma Takahashi, Phillip C Watts, Maren Wellenreuther
Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies) present an unparalleled insect model to integrate evolutionary genomics with ecology for the study of insect evolution. Key features of Odonata include their ancient phylogenetic position, extensive phenotypic and ecological diversity, several unique evolutionary innovations, ease of study in the wild and usefulness as bioindicators for freshwater ecosystems worldwide. In this review, we synthesize studies on the evolution, ecology and physiology of odonates, highlighting those areas where the integration of ecology with genomics would yield significant insights into the evolutionary processes that would not be gained easily by working on other animal groups...
2016: Frontiers in Zoology
Saroj Rajvanshi, Kirti Choudhary, Nirupama Agrawal
The protein encoding zone of Mitochondrial DNA region (inherited from single lineage) seems most suitable and effective for taxonomic, systematic, ecological, evolutionary, DNA barcoding, cryptic species and population studies, exploiting nucleotide/amino acid datasets (1D/2D/3D conformational level). Nowadays, expeditious computerized methods are in trend for analyzing genetic material to demonstrate variations at various levels of protein structures. Structural proteomics have implemented here for genetic identification, differentiation and relationship of species from information rich data of mt COI gene of the family Diplostomidae with inclusion of molecular tools...
October 17, 2016: Experimental Parasitology
Noah T Ashley, Greg E Demas
Multidirectional interactions among the immune, endocrine, and nervous systems have been demonstrated in humans and non-human animal models for many decades by the biomedical community, but ecological and evolutionary perspectives are lacking. Neuroendocrine-immune interactions can be conceptualized using a series of feedback loops, which culminate into distinct neuroendocrine-immune phenotypes. Behavior can exert profound influences on these phenotypes, which can in turn reciprocally modulate behavior. For example, the behavioral aspects of reproduction, including courtship, aggression, mate selection and parental behaviors can impinge upon neuroendocrine-immune interactions...
October 17, 2016: Hormones and Behavior
Katherine R Amato
Research examining the gut microbiota is currently exploding, and results are providing new perspectives on human biology. Factors such as host diet and physiology influence the composition and function of the gut microbiota, which in turn affects human nutrition, health, and behavior via interactions with metabolism, the immune system, and the brain. These findings represent an exciting new twist on familiar topics, and as a result, gut microbiome research is likely to provide insight into unresolved biological mechanisms driving human health...
October 20, 2016: American Journal of Human Biology: the Official Journal of the Human Biology Council
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