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evolutionary genetics

Takahiro Ohde, Yusuke Takehana, Takahiro Shiotsuki, Teruyuki Niimi
Despite previous developmental studies on basally branching wingless insects and crustaceans, the evolutionary origin of insect wings remains controversial. Knowledge regarding genetic regulation of tissues hypothesized to have given rise to wings would help to elucidate how ancestral development changed to allow the evolution of true wings. However, genetic tools available for basally branching wingless species are limited. The firebrat Thermobia domestica is an apterygote species, phylogenetically related to winged insects...
June 13, 2018: Arthropod Structure & Development
Alexander Jueterbock, James A Coyer, Jeanine L Olsen, Galice Hoarau
BACKGROUND: The spatial distribution of genetic diversity and structure has important implications for conservation as it reveals a species' strong and weak points with regard to stability and evolutionary capacity. Temporal genetic stability is rarely tested in marine species other than commercially important fishes, but is crucial for the utility of temporal snapshots in conservation management. High and stable diversity can help to mitigate the predicted northward range shift of seaweeds under the impact of climate change...
June 15, 2018: BMC Evolutionary Biology
Ana Laura Almendra, Francisco X González-Cózatl, Mark D Engstrom, Duke S Rogers
Mesoamerica is considered a biodiversity hot spot with levels of endemism and species diversity likely underestimated. Unfortunately, the region continues to experience some of the highest deforestation rates in the world. For mammals, the evolutionary relationships of many endemic taxa are controversial, as it is the case for members of the genus Handleyomys. Estimation of a time-calibrated hypothesis for the evolution of these six genera (Euryoryzomys, Handleyomys, Hylaeamys, Nephelomys, Oecomys and Transandinomys) supported a monophyletic Handleyomys sensu lato...
June 12, 2018: Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Jitka Polechová
More than 100 years after Grigg's influential analysis of species' borders, the causes of limits to species' ranges still represent a puzzle that has never been understood with clarity. The topic has become especially important recently as many scientists have become interested in the potential for species' ranges to shift in response to climate change-and yet nearly all of those studies fail to recognise or incorporate evolutionary genetics in a way that relates to theoretical developments. I show that range margins can be understood based on just two measurable parameters: (i) the fitness cost of dispersal-a measure of environmental heterogeneity-and (ii) the strength of genetic drift, which reduces genetic diversity...
June 15, 2018: PLoS Biology
Jean Cury, Pedro H Oliveira, Fernando de la Cruz, Eduardo P C Rocha
Self-transmissible mobile genetic elements drive horizontal gene transfer between prokaryotes. Some of these elements integrate in the chromosome, whereas others replicate autonomously as plasmids. Recent works showed the existence of few differences, and occasional interconversion, between the two types of elements. Here, we enquired on why evolutionary processes have maintained the two types of mobile genetic elements by comparing integrative and conjugative elements (ICE) with extrachromosomal ones (conjugative plasmids) of the highly abundant MPFT conjugative type...
June 14, 2018: Molecular Biology and Evolution
Fiona Puntieri, Nancy B Andrioli, Mariela Nieves
During the last decades the mammalian genome has been proposed to have regions prone to breakage and reorganization concentrated in certain chromosomal bands that seem to correspond to evolutionary breakpoints. These bands are likely to be involved in chromosome fragility or instability. In Primates, some biomarkers of genetic damage may be associated with various degrees of genomic instability. Here, we investigated the usefulness of Sister Chromatid Exchange (SCE) as a biomarker of potential sites of frequent chromosome breakage and rearrangement in Alouatta caraya, Ateles chamek, Ateles paniscus and Cebus cay...
June 14, 2018: Genome Biology and Evolution
Rocío Pérez-Portela, Owen S Wangensteen, Alex Garcia-Cisneros, Claudio Valero-Jiménez, Cruz Palacín, Xavier Turon
The genetic structure of 13 populations of the amphiatlantic sea urchin Arbacia lixula, as well as temporal genetic changes in three of these localities, were assessed using ten hypervariable microsatellite loci. This thermophilous sea urchin is an important engineer species triggering the formation of barren grounds through its grazing activity. Its abundance seems to be increasing in most parts of the Mediterranean, probably favoured by warming conditions. Significant genetic differentiation was found both spatially and temporally...
June 14, 2018: Heredity
Jordi Morata, Marc Tormo, Konstantinos G Alexiou, Cristina Vives, Sebastián Ramos-Onsins, Jordi Garcia-Mas, Josep M Casacuberta
Transposable elements (TEs) are a major driver of plant genome evolution. A part from being a rich source of new genes and regulatory sequences, TEs can also affect plant genome evolution by modifying genome size and shaping chromosome structure. TEs tend to concentrate in heterochromatic pericentromeric regions and their proliferation may expand these regions. Here we show that after the split of melon and cucumber, TEs have expanded the pericentromeric regions of melon chromosomes that, probably as a consequence, show a very low recombination frequency...
June 13, 2018: Genome Biology and Evolution
Wai Hoong Chang, Alvina G Lai
The homeodomain-containing proteins are an important group of transcription factors found in most eukaryotes including animals, plants and fungi. Homeobox genes are responsible for a wide range of critical developmental and physiological processes, ranging from embryonic development, innate immune homeostasis to whole-body regeneration. With continued fascination on this key class of proteins by developmental and evolutionary biologists, multiple efforts have thus far focused on the identification and characterization of homeobox orthologs from key model organisms in attempts to infer their evolutionary origin and how this underpins the evolution of complex body plans...
2018: F1000Research
Christine M Jones, Yoosook Lee, Andrew Kitchen, Travis Collier, Julia C Pringle, Mbanga Muleba, Seth Irish, Jennifer C Stevenson, Maureen Coetzee, Anthony J Cornel, Douglas E Norris, Giovanna Carpi
Anopheles funestus s.s. is a primary vector of malaria in sub-Saharan Africa. Despite its important role in human Plasmodium transmission, evolutionary history, genetic diversity, and population structure of An. funestus in southern and central Africa remains understudied. We deep sequenced, assembled, and annotated the complete mitochondrial genome of An. funestus s.s. for the first time, providing a foundation for further genetic research of this important malaria vector species. We further analyzed the complete mitochondrial genomes of 43 An...
June 13, 2018: Scientific Reports
Ryan R Germain, Matthew E Wolak, Jane M Reid
Understanding micro-evolutionary responses of mating systems to contemporary selection requires estimating sex-specific additive genetic variances and cross-sex genetic covariances in key reproductive strategy traits. One key trait comprises the occurrence of divorce versus mate fidelity across sequential reproductive attempts. If divorce represents an evolving behavioural strategy that responds to selection it must have non-zero individual repeatability and heritability, but quantitative estimates from wild populations are scarce...
June 2018: Biology Letters
Keita Matsuno, Masahiro Kajihara, Ryo Nakao, Naganori Nao, Akina Mori-Kajihara, Mieko Muramatsu, Yongjin Qiu, Shiho Torii, Manabu Igarashi, Nodoka Kasajima, Keita Mizuma, Kentaro Yoshii, Hirofumi Sawa, Chihiro Sugimoto, Ayato Takada, Hideki Ebihara
The recent emergence of novel tick-borne RNA viruses has complicated the epidemiological landscape of tick-borne infectious diseases, posing a significant challenge to public health systems that seek to counteract tick-borne diseases. The identification of two novel tick-borne phleboviruses (TBPVs), severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus (SFTSV) and Heartland virus (HRTV), as causative agents of severe illness in humans has accelerated the investigation and discoveries of novel TBPVs. In the present study, we isolated a novel TBPV designated Mukawa virus (MKWV) from host-questing Ixodes persulcatus females captured in Japan...
June 27, 2018: MSphere
Pedro A Inostroza, Ivan Vera-Escalona, Romy Wild, Helge Norf, Mario Brauns
Agricultural and urban land use has dramatically increased over the last century and one consequence is the release of anthropogenic chemicals into aquatic ecosystems. One of the rarely studied consequences is the effect of land use change on internal concentrations of organic micropollutants (OMPs) in aquatic invertebrates and its effects on their genotype diversity. Here, we applied population genetic and internal concentrations of OMPs analyses to determine evolutionary implications of chemical pollution on Gammarus pulex populations from a natural and two agricultural streams...
June 14, 2018: Environmental Science & Technology
Ricardo Waizbort, Filipe Porto
The role of epidemics in the demographic collapse of the Amerindians in Mexico and Andean America after the arrival of the Spanish is discussed. Ernst Mayr's categories of ultimate (or evolutionary) and proximal (or functional) causes are used to argue that ultimate causes, such as genetics, which gave the Spanish immunological resistance, were manifested in a very stratified setting, triggering the destruction of the Incas and Aztecs. Recent interpretations of colonization have played down the importance of epidemics or combined them with social, economic, and political factors, interpreted here as proximate causes...
April 2018: História, Ciências, Saúde—Manguinhos
Frédérique Le Roux, Melanie Blokesch
Vibrio is a genus of ubiquitous heterotrophic bacteria found in aquatic environments. Although they are a small percentage of the bacteria in these environments, vibrios can predominate during blooms. Vibrios also play important roles in the degradation of polymeric substances, such as chitin, and in other biogeochemical processes. Vibrios can be found as free-living bacteria, attached to particles, or associated with other organisms in a mutualistic, commensal, or pathogenic relationship. This review focuses on vibrio ecology and genome plasticity, which confers an ability to adapt to new niches and is driven, at least in part, by horizontal gene transfer (HGT)...
June 13, 2018: Annual Review of Microbiology
Anna Runemark, Laura Piñeiro Fernández, Fabrice Eroukhmanoff, Glenn-Peter Sætre
Hybridization is increasingly recognized as a potent evolutionary force. Although additive genetic variation and novel combinations of parental genes theoretically increase the potential for hybrid species to adapt, few empirical studies have investigated the adaptive potential within a hybrid species. Here, we address whether genomic contingencies, adaptation to climate, or diet best explain divergence in beak morphology using genomically diverged island populations of the homoploid hybrid Italian sparrow Passer italiae from Crete, Corsica, and Sicily...
July 2018: American Naturalist
Rebecca H Chisholm, Brian D Connelly, Benjamin Kerr, Mark M Tanaka
Organisms often modify their environments to their advantage through a process of niche construction. Environments that are improved through positive niche construction can be viewed as a public good. If free riders appear that do not contribute to the shared resource and therefore do not incur any associated costs, the constructed niche may become degraded, resulting in a tragedy of the commons and the extinction of niche constructors. Niche construction can persist if free riders are excluded, for example, if niche constructors monopolize the resource they produce to a sufficient degree...
July 2018: American Naturalist
Zhiyong Zong, Samuel Fenn, Christopher Connor, Yu Feng, Alan McNally
Objectives: The increase in infections as a result of MDR strains of Escherichia coli is a global health crisis. The emergence of globally disseminated lineages of E. coli carrying ESBL genes has been well characterized. An increase in strains producing carbapenemase enzymes and mobile colistin resistance is now being reported, but to date there is little genomic characterization of such strains. Methods: Routine screening of patients within an ICU of West China Hospital identified a number of E...
June 11, 2018: Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
Tamara Salloum, Elie Nassour, George F Araj, Edmond Abboud, Sima Tokajian
PURPOSE: Burkholderia cenocepacia is among the most common members of the Burkholderia cepacia complex (Bcc) isolated from patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). The factors triggering the high rates of morbidity and mortality in CF patients are not well elucidated. In this study, we aim to highlight the genome diversity of two clinical isolates of B. cenocepacia through comparative genome analysis. METHODOLOGY: The repertoire of virulence factors and resistance genes compared to reference strains J2315 and K56-2 was elucidated...
June 13, 2018: Journal of Medical Microbiology
Andrew C Tadrowski, Martin R Evans, Bartlomiej Waclaw
Stochastic phenotype switching has been suggested to play a beneficial role in microbial populations by leading to the division of labour among cells, or ensuring that at least some of the population survives an unexpected change in environmental conditions. Here we use a computational model to investigate an alternative possible function of stochastic phenotype switching: as a way to adapt more quickly even in a static environment. We show that when a genetic mutation causes a population to become less fit, switching to an alternative phenotype with higher fitness (growth rate) may give the population enough time to develop compensatory mutations that increase the fitness again...
June 12, 2018: Scientific Reports
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