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"Evolutionary biology"

Tobias Marczewski, Yong-Peng Ma, Xue-Mei Zhang, Wei-Bang Sun, A Jane Marczewski
Hybridisation has become a focal topic in evolutionary biology, and many taxonomists are aware that the process occurs more frequently than previously assumed. Nonetheless many species and varieties are still described without explicitly considering the possibility of hybridisation, especially in countries that have relatively short scientific histories, but which often possess the highest species diversities. Furthermore, new taxa are often described based only on herbarium specimens, not taking into account information from wild populations, significantly decreasing the potential to detect morphologies arising from hybridisation at this crucial descriptive stage...
October 6, 2016: AoB Plants
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
Kurt B Petersen, Martin Burd
The primitive land plant life cycle featured the production of spores of unimodal size, a condition called homospory. The evolution of bimodal size distributions with small male spores and large female spores, known as heterospory, was an innovation that occurred repeatedly in the history of land plants. The importance of desiccation-resistant spores for colonization of the land is well known, but the adaptive value of heterospory has never been well established. It was an addition to a sexual life cycle that already involved male and female gametes...
October 11, 2016: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Yasir Ahmed-Braimah
Understanding the genetic basis of speciation is a central problem in evolutionary biology. Studies of reproductive isolation have provided several insights into the genetic causes of speciation, especially in taxa that lend themselves to detailed genetic scrutiny. Reproductive barriers have usually been divided into those that occur before zygote formation (prezygotic) and after (postzygotic), with the latter receiving a great deal of attention over several decades. Reproductive barriers that occur after mating but before zygote formation (postmating prezygotic) are especially understudied at the genetic level...
October 11, 2016: G3: Genes—Genomes—Genetics
Yuma Takahashi, Koh-Ichi Takakura, Masakado Kawata
Understanding the mechanisms shaping the spatiotemporal distribution of species has long been a central concern of ecology and evolutionary biology. Contemporary patterns of plant assemblies suggest that sexual interactions among species, i.e., reproductive interference, lead to the exclusive distributions of closely related species that share pollinators. However, the fitness consequences and the initial ecological/evolutionary responses to reproductive interference remain unclear in nature, since reproductive isolation or allopatric distribution has already been achieved in the natural community...
2016: PloS One
Petr Smýkal, Rajeev K Varshney, Vikas K Singh, Clarice J Coyne, Claire Domoney, Eduard Kejnovský, Thomas Warkentin
This work discusses several selected topics of plant genetics and breeding in relation to the 150th anniversary of the seminal work of Gregor Johann Mendel. In 2015, we celebrated the 150th anniversary of the presentation of the seminal work of Gregor Johann Mendel. While Darwin's theory of evolution was based on differential survival and differential reproductive success, Mendel's theory of heredity relies on equality and stability throughout all stages of the life cycle. Darwin's concepts were continuous variation and "soft" heredity; Mendel espoused discontinuous variation and "hard" heredity...
October 7, 2016: TAG. Theoretical and Applied Genetics. Theoretische und Angewandte Genetik
Robert R Dunn, Charles L Nunn, Julie E Horvath
Here we coin the term synanthrome to describe all of the species we interact with. We propose that the time is now here for The Global Synanthrome Project to describe all of our interacting species and how they have changed through time and across space. This effort must involve natural history, ecology, and evolutionary biology in addition to genomics studies that are already underway.
October 4, 2016: Trends in Parasitology
Sara Magalhães, Élio Sucena
One of the major challenges in evolutionary biology is to unravel the genetic basis of adaptation. This issue has been gaining momentum in recent years with the accelerated development of novel genetic and genomic techniques and resources. In this issue of Molecular Ecology, Cogni et al. (2016) address the genetic basis of resistance to two viruses in Drosophila melanogaster using a panel of recombinant inbred lines with unprecedented resolution allowing detection of rare alleles and/or alleles of small effect...
October 2016: Molecular Ecology
J T Kilmer, R L Rodríguez
When it comes to fitting simple allometric slopes through measurement data, evolutionary biologists have been torn between regression methods. On the one hand, there is the ordinary least squares (OLS) regression, which is commonly used across many disciplines of biology to fit lines through data, but which has a reputation for underestimating slopes when measurement error is present. On the other hand, there is the reduced major axis (RMA) regression, which is often recommended as a substitute for OLS regression in studies of allometry, but which has several weaknesses of its own...
October 6, 2016: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
John S Torday, William B Miller
A well-developed theory of evolutionary biology requires understanding of the origins of life on Earth. However, the initial conditions (ontology) and causal (epistemology) bases on which physiology proceeded have more recently been called into question, given the teleologic nature of Darwinian evolutionary thinking. When evolutionary development is focused on cellular communication, a distinctly different perspective unfolds. The cellular communicative-molecular approach affords a logical progression for the evolutionary narrative based on the basic physiologic properties of the cell...
October 2016: International Journal of Astrobiology
Ryosuke Imai, Yoshiaki Tsuda, Sadamu Matsumoto, Atsushi Ebihara, Yasuyuki Watano
The impact of variation in mating system on genetic diversity is a well-debated topic in evolutionary biology. The diploid sexual race of Cyrtomium falcatum (Japanese holly fern) shows mating system variation, i.e., it displays two different types of sexual expression (gametangia formation) in gametophytes: mixed (M) type and separate (S) type. We examined whether there is variation in the selfing rate among populations of this species, and evaluated the relationship between mating system, genetic diversity and effective population size using microsatellites...
2016: PloS One
Alex McAvoy, Christoph Hauert
Repeated games have a long tradition in the behavioral sciences and evolutionary biology. Recently, strategies were discovered that permit an unprecedented level of control over repeated interactions by enabling a player to unilaterally enforce linear constraints on payoffs. Here, we extend this theory of "zero-determinant" (or, more generally, "autocratic") strategies to alternating games, which are often biologically more relevant than traditional synchronous games. Alternating games naturally result in asymmetries between players because the first move matters or because players might not move with equal probabilities...
September 29, 2016: Theoretical Population Biology
Tamra C Mendelson, Courtney L Fitzpatrick, Mark E Hauber, Charles H Pence, Rafael L Rodríguez, Rebecca J Safran, Caitlin A Stern, Jeffrey R Stevens
Despite the clear fitness consequences of animal decisions, the science of animal decision making in evolutionary biology is underdeveloped compared with decision science in human psychology. Specifically, the field lacks a conceptual framework that defines and describes the relevant components of a decision, leading to imprecise language and concepts. The 'judgment and decision-making' (JDM) framework in human psychology is a powerful tool for framing and understanding human decisions, and we apply it here to components of animal decisions, which we refer to as 'cognitive phenotypes'...
September 29, 2016: Trends in Ecology & Evolution
Robert Polster, Christos J Petropoulos, Sebastian Bonhoeffer, Frédéric Guillaume
The genotype-phenotype (GP) map is a central concept in evolutionary biology as it describes the mapping of molecular genetic variation onto phenotypic trait variation. Our understanding of that mapping remains partial, especially when trying to link functional clustering of pleiotropic gene effects with patterns of phenotypic trait co-variation. Only on rare occasions have studies been able to fully explore that link and tend to show poor correspondence between modular structures within the GP map and among phenotypes...
September 27, 2016: Molecular Biology and Evolution
Matthew J Jenny, Samantha L Payton, David A Baltzegar, Jeffrey D Lozier
Mechanisms by which organisms genetically adapt to environmental conditions are of fundamental importance to studies of evolutionary biology and environmental physiology. Natural selection acts on existing genetic variation leading to adaptation through selection of new mutations that confer beneficial advantages to populations. The American oyster, Crassostrea virginica, is an excellent model to investigate interactions between environmental and ecological factors as driving forces for natural selection. A great example of this is represented by the diversity of C...
September 27, 2016: Journal of Molecular Evolution
Xing-Xing Shen, Xiaofan Zhou, Jacek Kominek, Cletus P Kurtzman, Chris Todd Hittinger, Antonis Rokas
Understanding the phylogenetic relationships among the yeasts of the subphylum Saccharomycotina is a prerequisite for understanding the evolution of their metabolisms and ecological lifestyles. In the last two decades, the use of rDNA and multi-locus data sets has greatly advanced our understanding of the yeast phylogeny, but many deep relationships remain unsupported. In contrast, phylogenomic analyses have involved relatively few taxa and lineages that were often selected with limited considerations for covering the breadth of yeast biodiversity...
September 26, 2016: G3: Genes—Genomes—Genetics
Robin S Waples
The last decade has seen an explosion of interest in use of genetic markers to estimate effective population size, Ne . Effective population size is important both theoretically (Ne is a key parameter in almost every aspect of evolutionary biology) and for practical application (Ne determines rates of genetic drift and loss of genetic variability and modulates the effectiveness of selection, so it is crucial to consider in conservation). As documented by Palstra & Fraser (), most of the recent growth in Ne estimation can be attributed to development or refinement of methods that can use a single sample of individuals (the older temporal method requires at least two samples separated in time)...
October 2016: Molecular Ecology
Cécile Berthouly-Salazar, Anne-Céline Thuillet, Bénédicte Rhoné, Cédric Mariac, Issaka Salia Ousseini, Marie Couderc, Maud I Tenaillon, Yves Vigouroux
Uncovering genomic regions involved in adaption is a major goal in evolutionary biology. High-throughput sequencing now makes it possible to tackle this challenge in nonmodel species. Yet, despite the increasing number of methods targeted to specifically detect genomic footprints of selection, the complex demography of natural populations often causes high rates of false positive in gene discoveries. The aim of this study was to identify climate adaptations in wild pearl millet populations, Cenchrus americanus ssp...
September 24, 2016: Molecular Ecology
Mitzy Pepper, David G Hamilton, Thomas Merkling, Nina Svedin, Bori Cser, Renee A Catullo, Sarah R Pryke, J Scott Keogh
The spectacular threat display of the savannah specialist Australo-Papuan frilled lizards has made them one of the world's most iconic reptiles. They are increasingly used as a model system for research in evolutionary biology and ecology but little is known of their population structure. Their distribution across northern Australia and southern New Guinea also provides an opportunity to examine biogeographic patterns as they relate to the large-scale movement of savannah habitat during the Plio/Pleistocene and the associated increase in aridity...
September 21, 2016: Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Philippe Gambette, Leo van Iersel, Steven Kelk, Fabio Pardi, Celine Scornavacca
Phylogenetic networks are increasingly used in evolutionary biology to represent the history of species that have undergone reticulate events such as horizontal gene transfer, hybrid speciation and recombination. One of the most fundamental questions that arise in this context is whether the evolution of a gene with one copy in all species can be explained by a given network. In mathematical terms, this is often translated in the following way: is a given phylogenetic tree contained in a given phylogenetic network? Recently this tree containment problem has been widely investigated from a computational perspective, but most studies have only focused on the topology of the phylogenies, ignoring a piece of information that, in the case of phylogenetic trees, is routinely inferred by evolutionary analyses: branch lengths...
September 2016: Bulletin of Mathematical Biology
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