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evolutionary theory

Marta Bigus-Kwiatkowska, Agata Fronczak, Piotr Fronczak
Inspired by albatrosses that use thermal lifts to fly across oceans we develop a simple model of gliders that serves us to study theoretical limitations of unlimited exploration of the Earth. Our studies, grounded in physical theory of continuous percolation and biased random walks, allow us to identify a variety of percolation transitions, which are understood as providing potentially unlimited movement through a space in a specified direction. We discover an unexpected phenomenon of self-organization of gliders in clusters, which resembles the flock organization of birds...
March 2018: Physical Review. E
Robert Lanfear
For the last 100 years, it has been uncontroversial to state that the plant germline is set aside late in development, but there is surprisingly little evidence to support this view. In contrast, much evolutionary theory and several recent empirical studies seem to suggest the opposite-that the germlines of some and perhaps most plants may be set aside early in development. But is this really the case? How much does it matter? How can we reconcile the new evidence with existing knowledge of plant development? And is there a way to reliably establish the timing of germline segregation in both model and nonmodel plants? Answering these questions is vital to understanding one of the most fundamental aspects of plant development and evolution...
May 16, 2018: PLoS Biology
Robert A Laird
Cooperation is a central topic in evolutionary biology because (a) it is difficult to reconcile why individuals would act in a way that benefits others if such action is costly to themselves, and (b) it underpins many of the 'major transitions of evolution', making it essential for explaining the origins of successively higher levels of biological organization. Within evolutionary game theory, the Prisoner's Dilemma and Snowdrift games are the main theoretical constructs used to study the evolution of cooperation in dyadic interactions...
May 12, 2018: Journal of Theoretical Biology
Christine J Ye, Sarah Regan, Guo Liu, Sarah Alemara, Henry H Heng
Background: In the past 15 years, impressive progress has been made to understand the molecular mechanism behind aneuploidy, largely due to the effort of using various -omics approaches to study model systems (e.g. yeast and mouse models) and patient samples, as well as the new realization that chromosome alteration-mediated genome instability plays the key role in cancer. As the molecular characterization of the causes and effects of aneuploidy progresses, the search for the general mechanism of how aneuploidy contributes to cancer becomes increasingly challenging: since aneuploidy can be linked to diverse molecular pathways (in regards to both cause and effect), the chances of it being cancerous is highly context-dependent, making it more difficult to study than individual molecular mechanisms...
2018: Molecular Cytogenetics
Diego Salazar, John Lokvam, Italo Mesones, Magno Vásquez Pilco, Jacqueline Milagros Ayarza Zuñiga, Perry de Valpine, Paul V A Fine
Plant secondary metabolites play important ecological and evolutionary roles, most notably in the deterrence of natural enemies. The classical theory explaining the evolution of plant chemical diversity is that new defences arise through a pairwise co-evolutionary arms race between plants and their specialized natural enemies. However, plant species are bombarded by dozens of different herbivore taxa from disparate phylogenetic lineages that span a wide range of feeding strategies and have distinctive physiological constraints that interact differently with particular plant metabolites...
May 14, 2018: Nature Ecology & Evolution
Rachel L Kendal, Neeltje J Boogert, Luke Rendell, Kevin N Laland, Mike Webster, Patricia L Jones
While social learning is widespread, indiscriminate copying of others is rarely beneficial. Theory suggests that individuals should be selective in what, when, and whom they copy, by following 'social learning strategies' (SLSs). The SLS concept has stimulated extensive experimental work, integrated theory, and empirical findings, and created impetus to the social learning and cultural evolution fields. However, the SLS concept needs updating to accommodate recent findings that individuals switch between strategies flexibly, that multiple strategies are deployed simultaneously, and that there is no one-to-one correspondence between psychological heuristics deployed and resulting population-level patterns...
May 11, 2018: Trends in Cognitive Sciences
Joanna Rajchert, Karolina Konopka, Paweł Boguszewski
Research shows that interpersonal rejection increases aggression and decreases helping toward the rejecter. Based on the assumptions of the evolutionary approach, it was hypothesized that aggression would be higher and helping would be lower after rejection by a same-sex rather than an opposite-sex other. Moreover, it was predicted that the effect for aggression would be stronger in men, and the effect for helping would be stronger in women. Participants ( N = 100) were rejected or accepted by a same- or opposite-sex person, and later aggression and helping were measured using the tangram Help-Hurt task...
April 2018: Evolutionary Psychology: An International Journal of Evolutionary Approaches to Psychology and Behavior
Bin-Bin Chen
This study used the life history (LH) theory to investigate how environmental cues are associated with Machiavellianism. A total of 252 undergraduate students completed self-report measures of social rank uncertainty, Machiavellianism, fast LH strategy, and dominance. The results indicated that Machiavellianism was related to a fast LH strategy. Furthermore, a fast LH strategy mediated an association between social rank uncertainty and Machiavellianism. Finally, Machiavellianism was positively associated with dominance...
April 2018: Evolutionary Psychology: An International Journal of Evolutionary Approaches to Psychology and Behavior
Chikara Furusawa, Kunihiko Kaneko
A reduction in high-dimensional phenotypic states to a few degrees of freedom is essential to understand biological systems. Here, we show evolutionary robustness causes such reduction which restricts possible phenotypic changes in response to a variety of environmental conditions. First, global protein expression changes in Escherichia coli after various environmental perturbations were shown to be proportional across components, across different types of environmental conditions. To examine if such dimension reduction is a result of evolution, we analyzed a cell model-with a huge number of components, that reproduces itself via a catalytic reaction network-and confirmed that common proportionality in the concentrations of all components is shaped through evolutionary processes...
April 2018: Physical Review. E
Marco Antonio Amaral, Marco Alberto Javarone
Innovation and evolution are two processes of paramount relevance for social and biological systems. In general, the former allows the introduction of elements of novelty, while the latter is responsible for the motion of a system in its phase space. Often, these processes are strongly related, since an innovation can trigger the evolution, and the latter can provide the optimal conditions for the emergence of innovations. Both processes can be studied by using the framework of evolutionary game theory, where evolution constitutes an intrinsic mechanism...
April 2018: Physical Review. E
Hanna Weichselbaum, Helmut Leder, Ulrich Ansorge
In perception, humans typically prefer symmetrical over asymmetrical patterns. Yet, little is known about differences in symmetry preferences depending on individuals' different past histories of actively reflecting upon pictures and patterns. To address this question, we tested the generality of the symmetry preference for different levels of individual art expertise. The preference for symmetrical versus asymmetrical abstract patterns was measured implicitly, by an Implicit Association Test (IAT), and explicitly, by a rating scale asking participants to evaluate pattern beauty...
March 2018: I-Perception
Natalie J Lemanski, Nina H Fefferman
One evolutionary view of aging, the disposable soma theory, suggests that an organism's rate of senescence depends on the amount of energy invested in somatic maintenance. Since organisms have limited energy to allocate among growth, maintenance, and reproduction, the optimal amount of energy to invest in maintenance is influenced by the probability of death from extrinsic causes and the effect of somatic investment on survival. In eusocial animals, the disposable soma theory can be used to explain colonies' energy investment in the longevity of workers, who act as the somatic elements of a superorganism...
June 2018: American Naturalist
Daniel J Wieczynski, Paul E Turner, David A Vasseur
As global environmental conditions continue to change at an unprecedented rate, many species will experience increases in natural and anthropogenic stress. Generally speaking, selection is expected to favor adaptations that reduce the negative impact of environmental stress (i.e., stress tolerance). However, natural environmental variables typically fluctuate, exhibiting various degrees of temporal autocorrelation, known as environmental colors, which may complicate evolutionary responses to stress. Here we combine experiments and theory to show that temporal environmental autocorrelation can determine long-term evolutionary responses to stress without affecting the total amount of stress experienced over time...
June 2018: American Naturalist
Meike J Wittmann, Tadashi Fukami
Inhibitory priority effects, in which early-arriving species exclude competing species from local communities, are thought to enhance regional species diversity via community divergence. Theory suggests, however, that these same priority effects make it difficult for species to coexist in the region unless individuals are continuously supplied from an external species pool, often an unrealistic assumption. Here we develop an eco-evolutionary hypothesis to solve this conundrum. We build a metacommunity model in which local priority effects occur between two species via interspecific interference...
June 2018: American Naturalist
Boris Kotchoubey
Consciousness is not a process in the brain but a kind of behavior that, of course, is controlled by the brain like any other behavior. Human consciousness emerges on the interface between three components of animal behavior: communication, play, and the use of tools. These three components interact on the basis of anticipatory behavioral control, which is common for all complex forms of animal life. All three do not exclusively distinguish our close relatives, i.e., primates, but are broadly presented among various species of mammals, birds, and even cephalopods; however, their particular combination in humans is unique...
2018: Frontiers in Psychology
Olivier Larouche, Miriam L Zelditch, Richard Cloutier
Modularity is considered a prerequisite for the evolvability of biological systems. This is because in theory, individual modules can follow quasi-independent evolutionary trajectories or evolve at different rates compared to other aspects of the organism. This may influence the potential of some modules to diverge, leading to differences in disparity. Here, we investigated this relationship between modularity, rates of morphological evolution and disparity using a phylogenetically diverse sample of ray-finned fishes...
May 8, 2018: Scientific Reports
Zhihua Hua, Paymon Doroodian, William Vu
Ubiquitin (Ub) and Ub-like proteins, collectively forming the ubiquiton family, regulate nearly all aspects of cellular processes via posttranslational modifications. Studies devoted to specific members suggested a large expansion of this family in plants. However, lack of its systematic analysis hinders the comparison of individual members at both evolutionary history and functional divergence levels, which may provide new insight into biological functions. In this work, we first retrieved in total 5,856 members of 17 known ubiquiton subfamilies in 50 plant genomes by searching both prior annotations and missing loci in each genome...
May 8, 2018: Plant Journal: for Cell and Molecular Biology
Dan G Bock, Michael B Kantar, Celine Caseys, Remi Matthey-Doret, Loren H Rieseberg
Invasion success of species introduced to novel environments may be facilitated by adaptive evolution and by phenotypic plasticity. Here we investigate the independent and joint contribution of both mechanisms as drivers of invasiveness in the perennial sunflower Helianthus tuberosus. We show that invasive genotypes have multiple origins, and that invasive spread was facilitated by the repeated evolution of extreme values in a single trait, clonality. In line with genetic accommodation theory, we establish that this evolutionary transition occurred by refining a preexisting plastic response of clonality to water availability...
May 7, 2018: Nature Ecology & Evolution
H Clark Barrett
In the evolution of cognition and behavior, a recurrent question concerns the degree to which any given aspect of the phenotype has been "selected for" or "specified," as opposed to arising as a byproduct of some other process. In some sense this is the key question for evolutionary theories of development that seek to connect ultimate evolutionary accounts to proximate developmental accounts of ontogeny. A popular solution to the specification problem is to invoke "emergence," in which phenotypes are co-constructed by many causes and cannot be reduced to any one of them...
May 4, 2018: Behavioural Processes
Guillaume de Lafontaine, Joseph D Napier, Rémy J Petit, Feng Sheng Hu
Persistence of natural populations during periods of climate change is likely to depend on migration (range shifts) or adaptation. These responses were traditionally considered discrete processes and conceptually divided into the realms of ecology and evolution. In a milestone paper, Davis and Shaw (2001) argued that the interplay of adaptation and migration was central to biotic responses to Quaternary climate, but since then there has been no synthesis of efforts made to set up this research program. Here we review some of the salient findings from molecular genetic studies assessing ecological and evolutionary responses to Quaternary climate change...
May 5, 2018: Ecology
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