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"Evolutionary biology"

Chikara Furusawa, Takaaki Horinouchi, Tomoya Maeda
The emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is a serious public concern. To deal with this problem, recent advances in technology and the use of laboratory evolution experiments have provided valuable information on the phenotypic and genotypic changes that occur during the evolution of resistance. These studies have demonstrated the existence of evolutionary constraints on the development of drug-resistance, which suggests predictability in its evolution. In this review, we focus on the possibility to predict and control the evolution of antibiotic resistance, based on quantitative analysis of phenotypic and genotypic changes observed in bacterial laboratory evolution...
February 13, 2018: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
Julien Kincaid-Smith, Marion A L Picard, Céline Cosseau, Jérôme Boissier, Dany Severac, Christoph Grunau, Eve Toulza
Schistosomes are the causative agents of schistosomiasis, a Neglected Tropical Disease affecting over 230 million people worldwide. Additionally to their major impact on human health, they are also models of choice in evolutionary biology. These parasitic flatworms are unique among the common hermaphroditic trematodes as they have separate sexes. This so-called « evolutionary scandal » displays a female heterogametic genetic sex-determination system (ZZ males and ZW females), as well as a pronounced adult sexual dimorphism...
February 12, 2018: Genome Biology and Evolution
Michael Manhart, Bharat V Adkar, Eugene I Shakhnovich
Mutations in a microbial population can increase the frequency of a genotype not only by increasing its exponential growth rate, but also by decreasing its lag time or adjusting the yield (resource efficiency). The contribution of multiple life-history traits to selection is a critical question for evolutionary biology as we seek to predict the evolutionary fates of mutations. Here we use a model of microbial growth to show that there are two distinct components of selection corresponding to the growth and lag phases, while the yield modulates their relative importance...
February 14, 2018: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Yohei Koide, Atsushi Ogino, Takanori Yoshikawa, Yuki Kitashima, Nozomi Saito, Yoshitaka Kanaoka, Kazumitsu Onishi, Yoshihiro Yoshitake, Takuji Tsukiyama, Hiroki Saito, Masayoshi Teraishi, Yoshiyuki Yamagata, Aiko Uemura, Hiroki Takagi, Yoriko Hayashi, Tomoko Abe, Yoshimichi Fukuta, Yutaka Okumoto, Akira Kanazawa
Understanding the genetic basis of reproductive barriers between species has been a central issue in evolutionary biology. The S 1 locus in rice causes hybrid sterility and is a major reproductive barrier between two rice species, Oryza sativa and Oryza glaberrima The O. glaberrima -derived allele (denoted S 1 g ) on the S 1 locus causes preferential abortion of gametes with its allelic alternative (denoted S 1 s ) in S 1 g / S 1 s heterozygotes. Here, we used mutagenesis and screening of fertile hybrid plants to isolate a mutant with an allele, S 1 mut , which does not confer sterility in the S 1 mut / S 1 g and S 1 mut / S 1 s hybrids...
February 14, 2018: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
E A McKenney, K Koelle, R R Dunn, A D Yoder
Microbiologists often evaluate microbial community dynamics by formulating functional hypotheses based on ecological processes. Indeed, many of the methods and terms currently used to describe animal microbiomes derive from ecology and evolutionary biology. As our understanding of the composition and functional dynamics of "the microbiome" grows, we increasingly refer to the host as an ecosystem within which microbial processes play out. Even so, an ecosystem services framework that extends to the context of the host has thus far been lacking...
February 9, 2018: Molecular Ecology
Oscar Borrero-Lopez, Paul J Constantino, Brian R Lawn
Results are presented for wear tests on human molar enamel in silica particle mediums. Data for different particle concentrations show severe wear indicative of material removal by plasticity-induced microcrack formation, in accordance with earlier studies. The wear rates are independent of low vol% particles, consistent with theoretical models in which occlusal loads are distributed evenly over all interfacial microcontacts. However, perhaps counter-intuitively, the wear rate diminishes substantially at higher vol%...
January 31, 2018: Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials
Juan Manuel Arjona-Lopez, Paul Telengech, Atif Jamal, Sakae Hisano, Hideki Kondo, Mery Dafny Yelin, María Isabel Arjona-Girona, Satoko Kanematsu, Carlos Lopez-Herrera, Nobuhiro Suzuki
To reveal mycovirus diversity, we conducted a search of as-yet-unexplored Mediterranean isolates of the phytopathogenic ascomycete Rosellinia necatrix for virus infections. Of seventy-nine, eleven fungal isolates tested RNA virus-positive, with many showing coinfections, indicating a virus incidence of 14%, which is slightly lower than that (approximately 20%) previously reported for extensive surveys of over 1000 Japanese R. necatrix isolates. All viral sequences were fully or partially characterized by Sanger and next-generation sequencing...
February 6, 2018: Environmental Microbiology
Helder Gomes Rodrigues, Raphaël Cornette, Julien Clavel, Guillermo Cassini, Bhart-Anjan S Bhullar, Marcos Fernández-Monescillo, Karen Moreno, Anthony Herrel, Guillaume Billet
Understanding the mechanisms responsible for phenotypic diversification, and the associated underlying constraints and ecological factors represents a central issue in evolutionary biology. Mammals present a wide variety of sizes and shapes, and are characterized by a high number of morphological convergences that are hypothesized to reflect similar environmental pressures. Extinct South American notoungulates evolved in isolation from northern mammalian faunas in highly disparate environments. They present a wide array of skeletal phenotypes and convergences, such as ever-growing dentition...
January 2018: Royal Society Open Science
Josep Sardanyés, Regina Martínez, Carles Simó
Global and local bifurcations are extremely important since they govern the transitions between different qualitative regimes in dynamical systems. These transitions or tipping points, which are ubiquitous in nature, can be smooth or catastrophic. Smooth transitions involve a continuous change in the steady state of the system until the bifurcation value is crossed, giving place to a second-order phase transition. Catastrophic transitions involve a discontinuity of the steady state at the bifurcation value, giving place to first-order phase transitions...
January 2018: Royal Society Open Science
Camila Silva Gonçalves, Andrea Rodrigues Ávila, Wanderley de Souza, Maria Cristina M Motta, Danielle Pereira Cavalcanti
BACKGROUND: Trypanosoma cruzi uses several strategies to survive in different hosts. A key step in the life-cycle of this parasite is metacyclogenesis, which involves various morphological, biochemical, and genetic changes that induce the differentiation of non-pathogenic epimastigotes into pathogenic metacyclic trypomastigotes. During metacyclogenesis, T. cruzi displays distinct morphologies and ultrastructural features, which have not been fully characterized. RESULTS: We performed a temporal description of metacyclogenesis using different microscopy techniques that resulted in the identification of three intermediate forms of T...
February 6, 2018: Parasites & Vectors
Adam Maxwell Sparks, Daniel M T Fessler, Kai Qin Chan, Ashwini Ashokkumar, Colin Holbrook
The emotion disgust motivates costly behavioral strategies that mitigate against potentially larger costs associated with pathogens, sexual behavior, and moral transgressions. Because disgust thereby regulates exposure to harm, it is by definition a mechanism for calibrating decision making under risk. Understanding this illuminates two features of the demographic distribution of this emotion. First, this approach predicts and explains sex differences in disgust. Greater female disgust propensity is often reported and discussed in the literature, but, to date, conclusions have been based on informal comparisons across a small number of studies, while existing functionalist explanations are at best incomplete...
February 1, 2018: Emotion
Erika H Siegel, Molly K Sands, Wim Van den Noortgate, Paul Condon, Yale Chang, Jennifer Dy, Karen S Quigley, Lisa Feldman Barrett
The classical view of emotion hypothesizes that certain emotion categories have a specific autonomic nervous system (ANS) "fingerprint" that is distinct from other categories. Substantial ANS variation within a category is presumed to be epiphenomenal. The theory of constructed emotion hypothesizes that an emotion category is a population of context-specific, highly variable instances that need not share an ANS fingerprint. Instead, ANS variation within a category is a meaningful part of the nature of emotion...
February 1, 2018: Psychological Bulletin
Diego Darriba, Tomáš Flouri, Alexandros Stamatakis
With Next Generation Sequencing data being routinely used, evolutionary biology is transforming into a computational science. Thus, researchers have to rely on a growing number of increasingly complex software. All widely used core tools in the field have grown considerably, in terms of the number of features as well as lines of code and consequently, also with respect to software complexity. A topic that has received little attention is the software engineering quality of widely used core analysis tools. Software developers appear to rarely assess the quality of their code, and this can have potential negative consequences for end-users...
January 29, 2018: Molecular Biology and Evolution
Brian Villmoare
The history of the discovery of early fossils attributed to the genus Homo has been contentious, with scholars disagreeing over the generic assignment of fossils proposed as members of our genus. In this manuscript I review the history of discovery and debate over early Homo and evaluate the various taxonomic hypotheses for the genus. To get a sense of how hominin taxonomy compares to taxonomic practice outside paleoanthropology, I compare the diversity of Homo to genera in other vertebrate clades. Finally, I propose a taxonomic model that hews closely to current models for hominin phylogeny and is consistent with taxonomic practice across evolutionary biology...
January 2018: American Journal of Physical Anthropology
Jonathan Rolland, Daniele Silvestro, Dolph Schluter, Antoine Guisan, Olivier Broennimann, Nicolas Salamin
Understanding the mechanisms by which the abiotic and biotic requirements of species, or ecological niches, change over time is a central issue in evolutionary biology. Niche evolution is poorly understood at both the macroecological and macroevolutionary scales, as niches can shift over short periods of time but appear to change more slowly over longer timescales. Although reconstructing past niches has always been a major concern for palaeontologists and evolutionary biologists, only a few recent studies have successfully determined the factors that affect niche evolution...
January 29, 2018: Nature Ecology & Evolution
Christoph Oberprieler, Claudia Zimmer, Manuela Bog
Adaptation of morphological, physiological, or life-history traits of a plant species to heterogeneous habitats through the process of natural selection is a paramount process in evolutionary biology. We have used a population genomic approach to disentangle selection-based and demography-based variation in morphological and life-history traits in the crucifer Diplotaxis harra (Forssk.) Boiss. (Brassicaceae) encountered in populations along aridity gradients in S Tunisia. We have genotyped 182 individuals from 12 populations of the species ranging from coastal to semidesert habitats using amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) fingerprinting and assessed a range of morphological and life-history traits from their progeny cultivated under common-garden conditions...
January 2018: Ecology and Evolution
Julio V Schneider, Renate Rabenstein, Jens Wesenberg, Karsten Wesche, Georg Zizka, Jörg Habersetzer
Background: Leaf venation traits are important for many research fields such as systematics and evolutionary biology, plant physiology, climate change, and paleoecology. In spite of an increasing demand for vein trait data, studies are often still data-limited because the development of methods that allow rapid generation of large sets of vein data has lagged behind. Recently, non-destructive X-ray technology has proven useful as an alternative to traditional slow and destructive chemical-based methods...
2018: Plant Methods
Pierre de Villemereuil
A consequence of the assumptions of the infinitesimal model, one of the most important theoretical foundations of quantitative genetics, is that phenotypic traits are predicted to be most often normally distributed (so-called Gaussian traits). But phenotypic traits, especially those interesting for evolutionary biology, might be shaped according to very diverse distributions. Here, I show how quantitative genetics tools have been extended to account for a wider diversity of phenotypic traits using first the threshold model and then more recently using generalized linear mixed models...
January 24, 2018: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Thomas M Pettengill, Sinéad M Crotty, Christine Angelini, Mark D Bertness
Natural history gave birth to ecology and evolutionary biology, but today its importance is sometimes marginalized. Natural history provides context for ecological research, a concept that we illustrate using a consumer-driven vegetation die-off case study. For three decades, local predator depletion promoted the formation of high-density crab (Sesarma reticulatum) grazing and burrowing fronts, resulting in the spread of vegetation die-off through southern New England and Long Island marshes. We review results from a decade of research on this phenomenon and synthesize these findings with new field surveys, experiments, and historical reconstructions to test the hypothesis that the locations and processes of vegetation die-off and recovery are spatially predictable...
January 22, 2018: Oecologia
Zachary M Laubach, Wei Perng, Dana C Dolinoy, Christopher D Faulk, Kay E Holekamp, Thomas Getty
Developmental plasticity, a phenomenon of importance in both evolutionary biology and human studies of the developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD), enables organisms to respond to their environment based on previous experience without changes to the underlying nucleotide sequence. Although such phenotypic responses should theoretically improve an organism's fitness and performance in its future environment, this is not always the case. Herein, we first discuss epigenetics as an adaptive mechanism of developmental plasticity and use signaling theory to provide an evolutionary context for DOHaD phenomena within a generation...
January 21, 2018: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
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