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evolutionary theory

Melissa J Brown
The incorporation of niche construction theory (NCT) and epigenetics into an extended evolutionary synthesis (EES) increases the explanatory power of evolutionary analyses of human history. NCT allows identification of distinct social inheritance and cultural inheritance and can thereby account for how an existing-but-dynamic social system yields variable influences across individuals and also how these individuals' microlevel actions can feed back to alter the dynamic heterogeneously across time and space...
October 24, 2016: Human Nature: An Interdisciplinary Biosocial Perspective
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
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
V Reyes-García, A L Balbo, E Gomez-Baggethun, M Gueze, A Mesoudi, P Richerson, X Rubio-Campillo, I Ruiz-Mallén, S Shennan
Cultural adaptation has become central in the context of accelerated global change with authors increasingly acknowledging the importance of understanding multilevel processes that operate as adaptation takes place. We explore the importance of multilevel processes in explaining cultural adaptation by describing how processes leading to cultural (mis)adaptation are linked through a complex nested hierarchy, where the lower levels combine into new units with new organizations, functions, and emergent properties or collective behaviours...
December 2016: Ecology and Society: a Journal of Integrative Science for Resilience and Sustainability
Kerry A Geiler-Samerotte, Yuan O Zhu, Benjamin E Goulet, David W Hall, Mark L Siegal
The protein-folding chaperone Hsp90 has been proposed to buffer the phenotypic effects of mutations. The potential for Hsp90 and other putative buffers to increase robustness to mutation has had major impact on disease models, quantitative genetics, and evolutionary theory. But Hsp90 sometimes contradicts expectations for a buffer by potentiating rapid phenotypic changes that would otherwise not occur. Here, we quantify Hsp90's ability to buffer or potentiate (i.e., diminish or enhance) the effects of genetic variation on single-cell morphological features in budding yeast...
October 2016: PLoS Biology
Félix LaRoche-Johnston, Caroline Monat, Benoit Cousineau
BACKGROUND: Group II introns are catalytically active RNA and mobile retroelements present in certain eukaryotic organelles, bacteria and archaea. These ribozymes self-splice from the pre-mRNA of interrupted genes and reinsert within target DNA sequences by retrohoming and retrotransposition. Evolutionary hypotheses place these retromobile elements at the origin of over half the human genome. Nevertheless, the evolution and dissemination of group II introns was found to be quite difficult to infer...
October 20, 2016: BMC Evolutionary Biology
Laure D Sultan, Daria Mileshina, Felix Grewe, Katarzyna Rolle, Sivan Abudraham, Paweł Głodowicz, Adnan Khan Niazi, Ido Keren, Sofia Shevtsov, Liron Klipcan, Jan Barciszewski, Jeffrey P Mower, Andre Dietrich, Oren Ostersetzer
Group II introns are large catalytic RNAs that are ancestrally related to nuclear spliceosomal introns. Sequences corresponding to group II RNAs are found in many prokaryotes and are particularly prevalent within plants organellar genomes. Proteins encoded within the introns themselves (maturases) facilitate the splicing of their own host pre-RNAs. Mitochondrial introns in plants have diverged considerably in sequence and have lost their maturases. In angiosperms, only a single maturase has been retained in the mitochondrial DNA: the matR gene found within NADH dehydrogenase 1 (nad1) intron 4...
October 19, 2016: Plant Cell
Fredrik Elinder, Michael Madeja, Hugo Zeberg, Peter Århem
The transmembrane voltage needed to open different voltage-gated K (Kv) channels differs by up to 50 mV from each other. In this study we test the hypothesis that the channels' voltage dependences to a large extent are set by charged amino-acid residues of the extracellular linkers of the Kv channels, which electrostatically affect the charged amino-acid residues of the voltage sensor S4. Extracellular cations shift the conductance-versus-voltage curve, G(V), by interfering with these extracellular charges...
October 18, 2016: Biophysical Journal
Karl J Niklas, Ulrich Kutschera
In 1790, the German poet Johann W. v. Goethe (1749-1832) proposed the concept of a hypothetical sessile organism known as the 'Plant Archetype,' which was subsequently reconstructed and depicted by 19th-century botanists, such as Franz Unger (1800-1870) and Julius Sachs (1832-1897), and can be considered one of the first expressions of Evo-Devo thinking. Here, we present the history of this concept in the context of Ernst Haeckel's (1834-1919) biogenetic law espoused in his Generelle Morphologie der Organismen of 1866...
October 18, 2016: Theory in Biosciences, Theorie in Den Biowissenschaften
Jeremy B Yoder
Decades of research on the evolution of mutualism has generated a wealth of possible ways whereby mutually beneficial interactions between species persist in spite of the apparent advantages to individuals that accept the benefits of mutualism without reciprocating - but identifying how any particular empirical system is stabilized against cheating remains challenging. Different hypothesized models of mutualism stability predict different forms of coevolutionary selection, and emerging high-throughput sequencing methods allow examination of the selective histories of mutualism genes and, thereby, the form of selection acting on those genes...
October 18, 2016: American Journal of Botany
Juan Antonio Garcia-Martin, Amir H Bayegan, Ivan Dotu, Peter Clote
BACKGROUND: RNA inverse folding is the problem of finding one or more sequences that fold into a user-specified target structure s 0, i.e. whose minimum free energy secondary structure is identical to the target s 0. Here we consider the ensemble of all RNA sequences that have low free energy with respect to a given target s 0. RESULTS: We introduce the program RNAdualPF, which computes the dual partition function Z (∗), defined as the sum of Boltzmann factors exp(-E(a,s 0)/RT) of all RNA nucleotide sequences a compatible with target structure s 0...
October 19, 2016: BMC Bioinformatics
Ricky-John Spencer, James U Van Dyke, Michael B Thompson
Ecological traps are threats to organisms, and exist in a range of biological systems. A subset of ecological trap theory is the "ethological trap," whereby behaviors canalized by past natural selection become traps when environments change rapidly. Invasive predators are major threats to imperiled species and their ability to exploit canalized behaviors of naive prey is particularly important for the establishment of the predator and the decline of the native prey. Our study uses ecological theory to demonstrate that invasive predator controls require shifts in management priorities...
October 2016: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
Riadh Abed, Paul St John-Smith
Evolutionary science remains an overlooked area in psychiatry and medicine. The newly established Royal College of Psychiatrists' Evolutionary Psychiatry Special Interest Group aims to reverse this trend by raising the profile of evolutionary thinking among College members and others further afield. Here we provide a brief outline of the importance of the evolutionary approach to both the theory and practice of psychiatry and for future research.
October 2016: BJPsych Bulletin
Janette W Boughman, Richard Svanbäck
The ecological niche and mate preferences have independently been shown to be important for the process of speciation. Here we articulate a novel mechanism by which ecological niche use and mate preference can be linked to promote speciation. The degree to which individual niches are narrow and clustered affects the strength of divergent natural selection and population splitting. Similarly, the degree to which individual mate preferences are narrow and clustered affects the strength of divergent sexual selection and assortative mating between diverging forms...
October 17, 2016: Evolution; International Journal of Organic Evolution
Andrew V Dane, Zopito A Marini, Anthony A Volk, Tracy Vaillancourt
Taking an evolutionary psychological perspective, we investigated whether involvement in bullying as a perpetrator or victim was more likely if adolescents reported having more dating and sexual partners than their peers, an indication of greater engagement in competition for mates. A total of 334 adolescents (173 boys, 160 girls) between the ages of 12 and 16 years (M = 13.6, SD = 1.3), recruited from community youth organizations, completed self-report measures of physical and relational bullying and victimization, as well as dating and sexual behavior...
October 17, 2016: Aggressive Behavior
Yuval B Simons, Guy Sella
Over the past decade, there has been both great interest and confusion about whether recent demographic events-notably the Out-of-Africa-bottleneck and recent population growth-have led to differences in mutation load among human populations. The confusion can be traced to the use of different summary statistics to measure load, which lead to apparently conflicting results. We argue, however, that when statistics more directly related to load are used, the results of different studies and data sets consistently reveal little or no difference in the load of non-synonymous mutations among human populations...
October 13, 2016: Current Opinion in Genetics & Development
Elisabete F Dias, M Moura, H Schaefer, Luís Silva
Island plants are frequently used as model systems in evolutionary biology to understand factors that might explain genetic diversity and population differentiation levels. Theory suggests that island plants should have lower levels of genetic diversity than their continental relatives, but this hypothesis has been rejected in several recent studies. In the Azores, the population level genetic diversity is generally low. But, like in most island systems, there are high levels of genetic differentiation between different islands...
October 13, 2016: AoB Plants
Sylvain Billiard, Pierre Collet, Régis Ferrière, Sylvie Méléard, Viet Chi Tran
Horizontal transfer (HT) of heritable information or 'traits' (carried by genetic elements, plasmids, endosymbionts, or culture) is widespread among living organisms. Yet current ecological and evolutionary theory addressing HT is scant. We present a modeling framework for the dynamics of two populations that compete for resources and horizontally exchange (transfer) an otherwise vertically inherited trait. Competition infuences individual demographics, thereby affecting population size, which feeds back on the dynamics of transfer...
October 11, 2016: Journal of Theoretical Biology
Jianlei Zhang, Franz J Weissing, Ming Cao
A commonly used assumption in evolutionary game theory is that natural selection acts on individuals in the same time scale; e.g., players use the same frequency to update their strategies. Variation in learning rates within populations suggests that evolutionary game theory may not necessarily be restricted to uniform time scales associated with the game interaction and strategy adaption evolution. In this study, we remove this restricting assumption by dividing the population into fast and slow groups according to the players' strategy updating frequencies and investigate how different strategy compositions of one group influence the evolutionary outcome of the other's fixation probabilities of strategies within its own group...
September 2016: Physical Review. E
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