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Sarah H Peterson, Joshua T Ackerman, Collin A Eagles-Smith, Mark P Herzog, C Alex Hartman
Predators sample the available prey community when foraging; thus, changes in the environment may be reflected by changes in predator diet and foraging preferences. We examined Forster's tern (Sterna forsteri) prey species over an 11-year period by sampling approximately 10,000 prey fish returned to 17 breeding colonies in south San Francisco Bay, California. We compared the species composition among repeatedly-sampled colonies (≥ 4 years), using both relative species abundance and the composition of total dry mass by species...
2018: PloS One
Antoine Paccard, Ben A Wasserman, Dieta Hanson, Louis Astorg, Dan Durston, Sara Kurland, Travis M Apgar, Rana W El-Sabaawi, Eric P Palkovacs, Andrew P Hendry, Rowan D H Barrett
The evolutionary consequences of temporal variation in selection remain hotly debated. We explored these consequences by studying threespine stickleback in a set of bar-built estuaries along the central California coast. In most years, heavy rains induce water flow strong enough to break through isolating sand bars, connecting streams to the ocean. New sand bars typically re-form within a few weeks or months, thereby re-isolating populations within the estuaries. These breaching events cause severe and often extremely rapid changes in abiotic and biotic conditions, including shifts in predator abundance...
March 13, 2018: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Aleksey A Bolotovskiy, Marina A Levina, Jacquelin DeFaveri, Juha Merilä, Boris A Levin
The three-spined stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus is an important model for studying microevolution and parallel adaptation to freshwater environments. Marine and freshwater forms differ markedly in their phenotype, especially in the number of lateral plates, which are serially repeated elements of the exoskeleton. In fishes, thyroid hormones are involved in adaptation to salinity, as well as the developmental regulation of serially repeated elements. To study how thyroid hormones influence lateral plate development, we manipulated levels of triiodothyronine and thiourea during early ontogeny in a marine and freshwater population with complete and low plate phenotypes, respectively...
2018: PloS One
Laura Casas, Pablo Saenz-Agudelo, Xabier Irigoien
Clownfishes are an excellent model system for investigating the genetic mechanism governing hermaphroditism and socially-controlled sex change in their natural environment because they are broadly distributed and strongly site-attached. Genomic tools, such as genetic linkage maps, allow fine-mapping of loci involved in molecular pathways underlying these reproductive processes. In this study, a high-density genetic map of Amphiprion bicinctus was constructed with 3146 RAD markers in a full-sib family organized in 24 robust linkage groups which correspond to the haploid chromosome number of the species...
March 6, 2018: Scientific Reports
Robin M Tinghitella, Whitley R Lehto, V Faith Lierheimer
Our knowledge of how male competition contributes to speciation is dominated by investigations of competition between within-species morphs or closely related species that differ in conspicuous traits expressed during the breeding season (e.g. color, song). In such studies, it is important to consider the manner in which putatively sexually selected traits influence the outcome of competitive interactions within and between types because these traits can communicate information about competitor quality and may not be utilized by homotypic and heterotypic receivers in the same way...
February 2018: Current Zoology
Stjepan Budimir, Outi Setälä, Maiju Lehtiniemi
Although the presence of microplastics in marine biota has been widely recorded, extraction methods, method validation and approaches to monitoring are not standardized. In this study a method for microplastic extraction from fish guts based on a chemical alkaline digestion is presented. The average particle retrieval rate from spiked fish guts, used for method validation, was 84%. The weight and shape of the test particles (PET, PC, HD-PE) were also analysed with no noticeable changes in any particle shapes and only minor weight change in PET (2...
February 2018: Marine Pollution Bulletin
Lucie Grécias, Julie Valentin, Nadia Aubin-Horth
Many parasites with complex life cycles modify their intermediate host's behaviour, which has been proposed to increase transmission to their definitive host. This behavioural change could result from the parasite actively manipulating its host, but could also be explained by a mechanical effect, where the parasite's physical presence affects host behaviour. We created an artificial internal parasite using silicone injections in the body cavity to test this mechanical effect hypothesis. We used the Schistocephalus solidus - threespine stickleback ( Gasterosteus aculeatus ) system, as this cestode can reach up to 92% of its fish host mass...
February 14, 2018: Journal of Experimental Biology
D P Benesh
When many worms co-infect the same host, their average size is often reduced. This negative density-dependent growth is called the crowding effect. Crowding has been reported many times for worms in their intermediate hosts, but rarely have the fitness consequences of crowding been examined. This study tested whether larval crowding reduces establishment success in the next host for two parasites with complex life cycles, the nematode Camallanus lacustris and the cestode Schistocephalus solidus. Infected copepods, the first host, were fed to sticklebacks, the second host...
February 14, 2018: Journal of Helminthology
Jolle W Jolles, Kate L Laskowski, Neeltje J Boogert, Andrea Manica
Establishing how collective behaviour emerges is central to our understanding of animal societies. Previous research has highlighted how universal interaction rules shape collective behaviour, and that individual differences can drive group functioning. Groups themselves may also differ considerably in their collective behaviour, but little is known about the consistency of such group variation, especially across different ecological contexts that may alter individuals' behavioural responses. Here, we test if randomly composed groups of sticklebacks differ consistently from one another in both their structure and movement dynamics across an open environment, an environment with food, and an environment with food and shelter...
February 14, 2018: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
David C H Metzger, Patricia M Schulte
Epigenetic mechanisms such as DNA methylation are a key component of dosage compensation on sex chromosomes and have been proposed as an important source of phenotypic variation influencing plasticity and adaptive evolutionary processes, yet little is known about the role of DNA methylation in an ecological or evolutionary context in vertebrates. The threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) is an ecological an evolutionary model system that has been used to study mechanisms involved in the evolution of adaptive phenotypes in novel environments as well as the evolution heteromorphic sex chromosomes and dosage compensation in vertebrates...
February 6, 2018: Genome Biology and Evolution
Alison M Bell, Rebecca Trapp, Jason Keagy
Parental care is critical for fitness, yet little is known about its genetic basis. Here, we estimate the heritability of parenting behaviour in a species famous for its diversity and its behavioural repertoire: three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus). Male three-spined stickleback are the sole providers of parental care that is necessary for offspring survival; therefore, this system offers the opportunity to study the inheritance of parental behaviour when selection is primarily acting on males...
January 2018: Royal Society Open Science
Kjartan Østbye, Annette Taugbøl, Mark Ravinet, Chris Harrod, Ruben Alexander Pettersen, Louis Bernatchez, Leif Asbjørn Vøllestad
BACKGROUND: Marine threespine sticklebacks colonized and adapted to brackish and freshwater environments since the last Pleistocene glacial. Throughout the Holarctic, three lateral plate morphs are observed; the low, partial and completely plated morph. We test if the three plate morphs in the brackish water Lake Engervann, Norway, differ in body size, trophic morphology (gill raker number and length), niche (stable isotopes; δ15N, δ13C, and parasites (Theristina gasterostei, Trematoda spp...
February 5, 2018: BMC Evolutionary Biology
Kieran Samuk, Jan Xue, Diana J Rennision
Natural selection is often invoked to explain differences in brain size among vertebrates. However, the particular agents of selection that shape brain size variation remain obscure. Recent studies suggest that predators may select for larger brains because increased cognitive and sensory abilities allow prey to better elude predators. Yet, there is little direct evidence that exposure to predators causes the evolution of larger brains in prey species. We experimentally tested this prediction by exposing families of 1000-2000 F2 hybrid benthic-limnetic threespine stickleback to predators under naturalistic conditions, along with matched controls...
February 2, 2018: Evolution; International Journal of Organic Evolution
Bo Gao, Dan Shen, Cai Chen, Saisai Wang, Kunlun Yang, Wei Chen, Wei Wang, Li Zhang, Chengyi Song
In this study, the mobilomes of nine teleost species were annotated by bioinformatics methods. Both of the mobilome size and constitute displayed a significant difference in 9 species of teleost fishes. The species of mobilome content ranking from high to low were zebrafish, medaka, tilapia, coelacanth, platyfish, cod, stickleback, tetradon and fugu. Mobilome content and genome size were positively correlated. The DNA transposons displayed higher diversity and larger variation in teleost (0.50% to 38.37%), was a major determinant of differences in teleost mobilomes, and hAT and Tc/Mariner superfamily were the major DNA transposons in teleost...
January 25, 2018: Sheng Wu Gong Cheng Xue Bao, Chinese Journal of Biotechnology
Sergey Morozov, Tuomas Leinonen, Juha Merilä, R J Scott McCairns
Conspecifics inhabiting divergent environments frequently differ in morphology, physiology, and performance, but the interrelationships amongst traits and with Darwinian fitness remains poorly understood. We investigated population differentiation in morphology, metabolic rate, and swimming performance in three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus L.), contrasting a marine/ancestral population with two distinct freshwater morphotypes derived from it: the "typical" low-plated morph, and a unique "small-plated" morph...
January 2018: Ecology and Evolution
Manabu Kume, Seiichi Mori, Jun Kitano, Tetsuya Sumi, Shotaro Nishida
On March 11, 2011, a large earthquake occurred, causing a tsunami which struck the Pacific coast of northeast Japan. We investigated the ecological and genetic effects of the large tsunami on the threespine stickleback (genus Gasterosteus) populations in Otsuchi Town, which was one of the most severely damaged areas after the tsunami. Our environmental surveys showed that spring water may have contributed to the habitat recovery. Morphological analysis of the stickleback before and after the tsunami showed morphological shifts in the gill raker number, which is a foraging trait...
January 26, 2018: Scientific Reports
Tianli Wu, Yunying Cheng, Zhilong Liu, Wenjing Tao, Shuqing Zheng, Deshou Wang
Zona pellucida (ZP) genes encode ZP glycoproteins which constitute the coat surrounding oocytes and early embryos. Genome-wide identification of ZP genes is still lacking in vertebrates, especially in fish species. Herein, we conducted bioinformatic analyses of the ZP genes of the Nile tilapia and other vertebrates. Totally 16, 9, 17, 27, 21, 20, 26, 19, 14,11, 24, 17, 9, 18, 8, 11, 9, 8, 5, and 4 ZP genes belonging to 5 subfamilies (ZPA, ZPB, ZPC, ZPD, and ZPAX) were found in the sea lamprey, elephant shark, coelacanth, spotted gar, zebrafish, medaka, stickleback, Nile tilapia, Amazon molly, platyfish, seahorse, Northern snakehead, cavefish, tetraodon, clawed frog, turtle, chicken, platypus, kangaroo rat, and human genomes, respectively...
January 6, 2018: Fish Physiology and Biochemistry
Junya Kawase, Jun-Ya Aoki, Kazuo Araki
To investigate chromosome evolution in fish species, we newly mapped 181 markers that allowed us to construct a yellowtail (Seriola quinqueradiata) radiation hybrid (RH) physical map with 1,713 DNA markers, which was far denser than a previous map, and we anchored the de novo assembled sequences onto the RH physical map. Finally, we mapped a total of 13,977 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) on a genome sequence assembly aligned with the physical map. Using the high-density physical map and anchored genome sequences, we accurately compared the yellowtail genome structure with the genome structures of five model fishes to identify characteristics of the yellowtail genome...
2018: Journal of Genomics
Julian Catchen
A robust signal of population structure often provides the first glimpse into the evolutionary history of a species and its populations. In this issue of Molecular Ecology, new work from Louis Bernatchez's group (Benestan et al., ) starts with an investigation of apparent structure in two marine species and concludes with an identification of sex-linked genes, and in the process provides a model for robust analysis. Structure is the genetic signal left by natural selection as well as by neutral processes like migration and gene flow...
December 2017: Molecular Ecology
Travis Ingram, Raul Costa-Pereira, Márcio S Araújo
The inherently multidimensional nature of the niche has not yet been integrated into the investigation of individual niche specialization within populations. We propose a framework for modeling the between- and within-individual components of the population niche as a set of variance-covariance matrices, which can be visualized with ellipses or ellipsoids. These niche components can be inferred using multiple response mixed models, and can incorporate diverse types of data, including diet composition, stable isotopes, spatial location, and other continuous measures of niche dimensions...
December 28, 2017: Ecology
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