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"Evolutionary biology"

Ben Halliwell, Tobias Uller, Barbara R Holland, Geoffrey M While
Identifying factors responsible for the emergence and evolution of social complexity is an outstanding challenge in evolutionary biology. Here we report results from a phylogenetic comparative analysis of over 1000 species of squamate reptile, nearly 100 of which exhibit facultative forms of group living, including prolonged parent-offspring associations. We show that the evolution of social groupings among adults and juveniles is overwhelmingly preceded by the evolution of live birth across multiple independent origins of both traits...
December 11, 2017: Nature Communications
Nikolaos N Vakirlis, Alex S Hebert, Dana A Opulente, Guillaume Achaz, Chris Todd Hittinger, Gilles Fischer, Joshua J Coon, Ingrid Lafontaine
New genes, with novel protein functions, can evolve "from scratch" out of intergenic sequences. These de novo genes can integrate the cell's genetic network and drive important phenotypic innovations. Therefore, identifying de novo genes and understanding how the transition from noncoding to coding occurs are key problems in evolutionary biology. However, identifying de novo genes is a difficult task, hampered by the presence of remote homologs, fast evolving sequences and erroneously annotated protein coding genes...
December 6, 2017: Molecular Biology and Evolution
Maike Herrmann, Suda Parimala Ravindran, Klaus Schwenk, Mathilde Cordellier
The complex interplay of forces influencing genetic divergence among populations complicates the discovery of the genetic basis underlying local adaptation. Here, we utilized for the first time a combined reverse ecology and population transcriptomic approach to assess the contribution of thermal selection to population differentiation, thereby considering transcriptome-wide variation in both gene expression profiles and DNA sequences. We compared transcriptomes among four Daphnia galeata populations and identified transcripts potentially responding to local thermal selection based on an extensive literature search for candidate genes possibly under thermal selection in arthropods...
December 8, 2017: Molecular Ecology
Joaquín Villalba, Fernando A Navarro, Francisco Cortés
The origin of the words transmit and transmission and their derivatives can be traced to the Latin transmittere, in turn formed by prefixing the preposition trans ("across or beyond") to the verb mittere ("to let go or to send"). From the times of Ancient Rome in the 3rd century b.c.e., the Latin word transmissio has been "transmitted" (through Romance languages such as French, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese) to all the major languages of culture, English among them. And through English, the international language of biomedical science in the 21st century, the term transmission is increasingly present today in some of the most dynamic disciplines of modern natural science, including genomics, molecular microbiology, hospital epidemiology, molecular genetics, biotechnology, evolutionary biology, and systems biology...
December 2017: Microbiology Spectrum
Xi Li, Baohai Hao, Da Pan, Gerald M Schneeweiss
Phylogenomic approaches, employing next-generation sequencing (NGS) techniques, have revolutionized systematic and evolutionary biology. Target enrichment is an efficient and cost-effective method in phylogenomics and is becoming increasingly popular. Depending on availability and quality of reference data as well as on biological features of the study system, (semi-)automated identification of suitable markers will require specific bioinformatic pipelines. Here, we established a highly flexible bioinformatic pipeline, BaitsFinder, to identify putative orthologous single copy genes (SCGs) and to construct bait sequences in a single workflow...
2017: Frontiers in Plant Science
Jorge L Pérez-Moreno, Gergely Balázs, Blake Wilkins, Gábor Herczeg, Heather D Bracken-Grissom
BACKGROUND: The underlying mechanisms and processes that prompt the colonisation of extreme environments, such as caves, constitute major research themes of evolutionary biology and biospeleology. The special adaptations required to survive in subterranean environments (low food availability, hypoxic waters, permanent darkness), and the geographical isolation of caves, nominate cave biodiversity as ideal subjects to answer long-standing questions concerning the interplay amongst adaptation, biogeography, and evolution...
December 7, 2017: BMC Evolutionary Biology
Lluis Franch-Gras, Eduardo M García-Roger, Manuel Serra, María José Carmona
Understanding how organisms adaptively respond to environmental fluctuations is a fundamental question in evolutionary biology. The Mediterranean region typically exhibits levels of environmental unpredictability that vary greatly in habitats over small geographical scales. In cyclically parthenogenetic rotifers, clonal proliferation occurs along with occasional bouts of sex. These bouts contribute to the production of diapausing eggs, which allows survival between growing seasons. Here, we studied two diapause-related traits in rotifers using clones from nine Brachionus plicatilis natural populations that vary in the degree of environmental unpredictability...
December 6, 2017: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Martin A Nowak, Karl Sigmund
This paper summarizes the Opening Lecture of the European Forum Alpbach 2017 in Tyrol/Austria ( It deals with the evolution of cooperation throughout the history of life on Earth, and in particular human cooperation based on partnership. It emphasizes the role of institutions providing incentives for cooperation, and the role of praise and blame in guiding our actions. This helps for a better understanding of the social contract, based on evolutionary biology and psychology.
December 6, 2017: Gerontology
Serena E Dool, Sven Künzel, Martin Haase, Mike D Picker, Monika J B Eberhard
The recently discovered insect order Mantophasmatodea currently comprises 19 Southern African species. These mainly occur in allopatry, have high levels of colour polymorphism and communicate via species- and gender-specific vibratory signals. High levels of interspecific morphological conservatism mean that cryptic species are likely to be uncovered. These aspects of Mantophasmatodean biology make them an ideal group in which to investigate population divergence due to habitat-specific adaptation, sexual selection and potentially sensory speciation...
December 1, 2017: Journal of Heredity
Aliye Akcalı, Niklaus P Lang
Dental calculus represents the first fossilized record of bacterial communities as a testimony of evolutionary biology. The development of dental calculus is a dynamic process that starts with a nonmineralized biofilm which eventually calcifies. Nonmineralized dental biofilm entraps particles from the oral cavity, including large amounts of oral bacteria, human proteins, viruses and food remnants, and preserves their DNA. The process of mineralization involves metabolic activities of the bacterial colonies and strengthens the attachment of nonmineralized biofilms to the tooth surface...
December 1, 2017: Periodontology 2000
Robbie S Wilson, Gwendolyn K David, Sean C Murphy, Michael J Angilletta, Amanda C Niehaus, Andrew H Hunter, Michelle D Smith
Just as evolutionary biologists endeavour to link phenotypes to fitness, sport scientists try to identify traits that determine athlete success. Both disciplines would benefit from collaboration, and to illustrate this, we used an analytical approach common to evolutionary biology to isolate the phenotypes that promote success in soccer, a complex activity of humans played in nearly every modern society. Using path analysis, we quantified the relationships among morphology, balance, skill, athleticism and performance of soccer players...
December 13, 2017: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Arhat Abzhanov
In 1917, the publication of On Growth and Form by D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson challenged both mathematicians and naturalists to think about biological shapes and diversity as more than a confusion of chaotic forms generated at random, but rather as geometric shapes that could be described by principles of physics and mathematics. Thompson's work was based on the ideas of Galileo and Goethe on morphology and of Russell on functionalism, but he was first to postulate that physical forces and internal growth parameters regulate biological forms and could be revealed via geometric transformations in morphological space...
December 1, 2017: Development
A G Little, G Lau, K Mathers, S C Leary, C D Moyes
Cytochrome c oxidase (COX), the terminal enzyme of the electron transport system, is central to aerobic metabolism of animals. Many aspects of its structure and function are highly conserved, yet, paradoxically, it is also an important model for studying the evolution of the metabolic phenotype. In this review, part of a special issue honouring Peter Hochachka, we consider the biology of COX from the perspective of comparative and evolutionary biochemistry. The approach is to consider what is known about the enzyme in the context of conventional biochemistry, but focus on how evolutionary researchers have used this background to explore the role of the enzyme in biochemical adaptation of animals...
November 25, 2017: Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology. Part B, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Rachel M Germain, Jennifer L Williams, Dolph Schluter, Amy L Angert
Character displacement is one of the most studied phenomena in evolutionary biology, yet research has narrowly focused on demonstrating whether or not displacement has occurred. We propose a new experimental approach, adopted from the coexistence literature, that directly measures interspecific competition among sympatric and allopatric populations of species. Doing so allows increased ability to (i) test predictions of character displacement without biases inherent to character-centric tests, (ii) quantify its effect on the stability of coexistence, (iii) resolve the phenotypic pathways through which competitive divergence is achieved, and (iv) perform comparative tests...
November 24, 2017: Trends in Ecology & Evolution
Jelena Mlinarec, Lucija Nuskern, Marin Ježić, Daniel Rigling, Mirna Ćurković-Perica
Understanding virus evolution is a fundamental goal of virology, evolutionary biology, and disease epidemiology. We provide a detailed analysis of evolution and origin of Cryphonectria hypovirus 1 (CHV1) populations in Europe, based on the complete genome sequence of all European subtypes. Phylogenetic analyses divided European strains into two closely related clades. Strains of the subtype I belong to the first, while strains of the subtypes F1, D and E belong to the second clade suggesting that the subtypes F1, D and E are more closely related than previously thought...
November 24, 2017: Virology
Jing Qin, Yaohua Hu, Ka Yan Ma, Xiaosen Jiang, Ching Hei Ho, Ling Ming Tsang, Lefei Yi, Ricky Wai Tak Leung, Ka Hou Chu
BACKGROUND: Crustacea, the second largest subphylum of Arthropoda, includes species of major ecological and economic importance, such as crabs, lobsters, crayfishes, shrimps, and barnacles. With the rapid development of crustacean aquaculture and biodiversity loss, understanding the gene regulatory mechanisms of growth, reproduction, and development of crustaceans is crucial to both aquaculture development and biodiversity conservation of this group of organisms. In these biological processes, transcription factors (TFs) play a vital role in regulating gene expression...
November 25, 2017: BMC Genomics
Lin Wang, Jiahui Xie, Jiantuan Hu, Binyuan Lan, Chenjiang You, Fenglan Li, Zhengjia Wang, Haifeng Wang
The evolution of duplicated genes after polyploidization has been the subject of many evolutionary biology studies. Potato (Solanum tuberosum) and tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) are the first two sequenced genomes of asterids, and share a common polyploidization event. However, the epigenetic role of DNA methylation on the evolution of duplicated genes derived from polyploidization is not fully understood. Here, we explore the role of the DNA methylation in the evolution of duplicated genes in potato and tomato...
November 27, 2017: Plant Journal: for Cell and Molecular Biology
William B Miller
An alternative biological synthesis is presented that conceptualizes evolutionary biology as an epiphenomenon of integrated self-referential information management. Since all biological information has inherent ambiguity, the systematic assessment of information is required by living organisms to maintain self-identity and homeostatic equipoise in confrontation with environmental challenges. Through their self-referential attachment to information space, cells are the cornerstone of biological action. That individualized assessment of information space permits self-referential, self-organizing niche construction...
November 22, 2017: Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology
Alex Dornburg, Jeffrey P Townsend, Zheng Wang
Since its original inception over 150 years ago by Darwin, we have made tremendous progress toward the reconstruction of the Tree of Life. In particular, the transition from analyzing datasets comprised of small numbers of loci to those comprised of hundreds of loci, if not entire genomes, has aided in resolving some of the most vexing of evolutionary problems while giving us a new perspective on biodiversity. Correspondingly, phylogenetic trees have taken a central role in fields that span ecology, conservation, and medicine...
2017: Advances in Genetics
Gianni M Castiglione, Ryan K Schott, Frances E Hauser, Belinda S W Chang
Convergent evolution in response to similar selective pressures is a well-known phenomenon in evolutionary biology. Less well understood is how selection drives convergence in protein function, and the underlying mechanisms by which this can be achieved. Here we investigate functional convergence in the visual system of two distantly related lineages of high-altitude adapted Andean and Himalayan catfishes. Statistical analyses revealed in the two high-altitude lineages, a parallel acceleration of evolutionary rates in rhodopsin, the dim-light visual pigment...
November 16, 2017: Evolution; International Journal of Organic Evolution
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