Search our Database of Scientific Publications and Authors

I’m looking for a

    3630 results match your criteria BMC Evolutionary Biology [Journal]

    1 OF 73

    Evolution of CYP2J19, a gene involved in colour vision and red coloration in birds: positive selection in the face of conservation and pleiotropy.
    BMC Evol Biol 2018 02 13;18(1):22. Epub 2018 Feb 13.
    Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, CB2 3EJ, UK.
    Background: Exaggerated signals, such as brilliant colours, are usually assumed to evolve through antagonistic coevolution between senders and receivers, but the underlying genetic mechanisms are rarely known. Here we explore a recently identified "redness gene", CYP2J19, that is highly interesting in this context since it encodes a carotenoid-modifying enzyme (a C4 ketolase involved in both colour signalling and colour discrimination in the red (long wavelength) spectral region.) RESULTS: A single full-length CYP2J19 was retrieved from 43 species out of 70 avian genomes examined, representing all major avian clades. Read More

    The role of facial pattern variation for species recognition in red-fronted lemurs (Eulemur rufifrons).
    BMC Evol Biol 2018 02 13;18(1):19. Epub 2018 Feb 13.
    Behavioral Ecology & Sociobiology Unit, German Primate Center, Göttingen, Germany.
    Background: Species recognition, i.e., the ability to distinguish conspecifics from heterospecifics, plays an essential role in reproduction. Read More

    A novel short L-arginine responsive protein-coding gene (laoB) antiparallel overlapping to a CadC-like transcriptional regulator in Escherichia coli O157:H7 Sakai originated by overprinting.
    BMC Evol Biol 2018 02 12;18(1):21. Epub 2018 Feb 12.
    Chair for Microbial Ecology, Wissenschaftszentrum Weihenstephan, Technische Universität München, Weihenstephaner Berg 3, 85354, Freising, Germany.
    Background: Due to the DNA triplet code, it is possible that the sequences of two or more protein-coding genes overlap to a large degree. However, such non-trivial overlaps are usually excluded by genome annotation pipelines and, thus, only a few overlapping gene pairs have been described in bacteria. In contrast, transcriptome and translatome sequencing reveals many signals originated from the antisense strand of annotated genes, of which we analyzed an example gene pair in more detail. Read More

    Phylogeography of Eomecon chionantha in subtropical China: the dual roles of the Nanling Mountains as a glacial refugium and a dispersal corridor.
    BMC Evol Biol 2018 02 9;18(1):20. Epub 2018 Feb 9.
    Laboratory of Subtropical Biodiversity, Jiangxi Agricultural University, Nanchang, Jiangxi, 330045, China.
    Background: Mountains have not only provided refuge for species, but also offered dispersal corridors during the Neogene and Quaternary global climate changes. Compared with a plethora of studies on the refuge role of China's mountain ranges, their dispersal corridor role has received little attention in plant phylogeographic studies. Using phylogeographic data of Eomecon chionantha Hance (Papaveraceae), this study explicitly tested whether the Nanling Mountains, which spans from west to east for more than 1000 km in subtropical China, could have functioned as a dispersal corridor during the late Quaternary in addition to a glacial refugium. Read More

    The curious case of peroxiredoxin-5: what its absence in aves can tell us and how it can be used.
    BMC Evol Biol 2018 02 8;18(1):18. Epub 2018 Feb 8.
    Group of Animal Molecular and Cellular Biology, Institut des Sciences de la Vie (ISV), Université catholique de Louvain, 4-5 Place Croix du Sud, 1348, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium.
    Background: Peroxiredoxins are ubiquitous thiol-dependent peroxidases that represent a major antioxidant defense in both prokaryotic cells and eukaryotic organisms. Among the six vertebrate peroxiredoxin isoforms, peroxiredoxin-5 (PRDX5) appears to be a particular peroxiredoxin, displaying a different catalytic mechanism, as well as a wider substrate specificity and subcellular distribution. In addition, several evolutionary peculiarities, such as loss of subcellular targeting in certain species, have been reported for this enzyme. Read More

    Protein evolution depends on multiple distinct population size parameters.
    BMC Evol Biol 2018 02 8;18(1):17. Epub 2018 Feb 8.
    Department of Biology and Center for Computational Genetics and Genomics, Temple University, Philadelphia, 19121, USA.
    That population size affects the fate of new mutations arising in genomes, modulating both how frequently they arise and how efficiently natural selection is able to filter them, is well established. It is therefore clear that these distinct roles for population size that characterize different processes should affect the evolution of proteins and need to be carefully defined. Empirical evidence is consistent with a role for demography in influencing protein evolution, supporting the idea that functional constraints alone do not determine the composition of coding sequences. Read More

    Macroevolutionary diversification with limited niche disparity in a species-rich lineage of cold-climate lizards.
    BMC Evol Biol 2018 02 6;18(1):16. Epub 2018 Feb 6.
    Laboratory of Evolutionary Ecology of Adaptations, School of Life Sciences, University of Lincoln, Brayford Campus, Lincoln, Lincolnshire, LN6 7DL, UK.
    Background: Life diversifies via adaptive radiation when natural selection drives the evolution of ecologically distinct species mediated by their access to novel niche space, or via non-adaptive radiation when new species diversify while retaining ancestral niches. However, while cases of adaptive radiation are widely documented, examples of non-adaptively radiating lineages remain rarely observed. A prolific cold-climate lizard radiation from South America (Phymaturus), sister to a hyper-diverse adaptive radiation (Liolaemus), has extensively diversified phylogenetically and geographically, but with exceptionally minimal ecological and life-history diversification. Read More

    Ongoing niche differentiation under high gene flow in a polymorphic brackish water threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) population.
    BMC Evol Biol 2018 02 5;18(1):14. Epub 2018 Feb 5.
    Department of Biosciences, Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis (CEES), University of Oslo, Po. Box 1066, Blindern, N-0316, Oslo, Norway.
    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; δN, δC, and parasites (Theristina gasterostei, Trematoda spp. Read More

    Phylogenomics of a rapid radiation: the Australian rainbow skinks.
    BMC Evol Biol 2018 02 5;18(1):15. Epub 2018 Feb 5.
    Research School of Biology and Centre for Biodiversity Analysis, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.
    Background: The application of target capture with next-generation sequencing now enables phylogenomic analyses of rapidly radiating clades of species. But such analyses are complicated by extensive incomplete lineage sorting, demanding the use of methods that consider this process explicitly, such as the multispecies coalescent (MSC) model. However, the MSC makes strong assumptions about divergence history and population structure, and when using the full Bayesian implementation, current computational limits mean that relatively few loci and samples can be analysed for even modest sized radiations. Read More

    Breeding consequences of flavivirus infection in the collared flycatcher.
    BMC Evol Biol 2018 02 5;18(1):13. Epub 2018 Feb 5.
    Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology, Zoonosis Science Center, Uppsala University, Box 582, SE-751 23, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Background: The breeding consequences of virus infections have rarely been studied in avian natural breeding populations. In this paper we investigated the links between humoral immunity following a natural flavivirus infection and reproduction in a wild bird population of collared flycatcher (Ficedula albicollis). We analyzed plasma from 744 birds for antibodies and correlated these results to a number of reproductive components. Read More

    Wnt signaling and polarity in freshwater sponges.
    BMC Evol Biol 2018 02 2;18(1):12. Epub 2018 Feb 2.
    Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada.
    Background: The Wnt signaling pathway is uniquely metazoan and used in many processes during development, including the formation of polarity and body axes. In sponges, one of the earliest diverging animal groups, Wnt pathway genes have diverse expression patterns in different groups including along the anterior-posterior axis of two sponge larvae, and in the osculum and ostia of others. We studied the function of Wnt signaling and body polarity formation through expression, knockdown, and larval manipulation in several freshwater sponge species. Read More

    MPBoot: fast phylogenetic maximum parsimony tree inference and bootstrap approximation.
    BMC Evol Biol 2018 02 2;18(1):11. Epub 2018 Feb 2.
    Center for Integrative Bioinformatics Vienna, Max F. Perutz Laboratories, University of Vienna, Medical University Vienna, Campus Vienna Biocenter 5, A-1030, Vienna, Austria.
    Background: The nonparametric bootstrap is widely used to measure the branch support of phylogenetic trees. However, bootstrapping is computationally expensive and remains a bottleneck in phylogenetic analyses. Recently, an ultrafast bootstrap approximation (UFBoot) approach was proposed for maximum likelihood analyses. Read More

    Evolutionary fates of universal stress protein paralogs in Platyhelminthes.
    BMC Evol Biol 2018 02 1;18(1):10. Epub 2018 Feb 1.
    Centro de Biotecnologia, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil.
    Background: Universal stress proteins (USPs) are present in all domains of life. Their expression is upregulated in response to a large variety of stress conditions. The functional diversity found in this protein family, paired with the sequence degeneration of the characteristic ATP-binding motif, suggests a complex evolutionary pattern for the paralogous USP-encoding genes. Read More

    Allele phasing is critical to revealing a shared allopolyploid origin of Medicago arborea and M. strasseri (Fabaceae).
    BMC Evol Biol 2018 01 27;18(1). Epub 2018 Jan 27.
    Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Box 461, 40530, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Background: Whole genome duplication plays a central role in plant evolution. There are two main classes of polyploid formation: autopolyploids which arise within one species by doubling of similar homologous genomes; in contrast, allopolyploidy (hybrid polyploidy) arise via hybridization and subsequent doubling of nonhomologous (homoeologous) genomes. The distinction between polyploid origins can be made using gene phylogenies, if alleles from each genome can be correctly retrieved. Read More

    The pivotal role of aristaless in development and evolution of diverse antennal morphologies in moths and butterflies.
    BMC Evol Biol 2018 01 25;18(1). Epub 2018 Jan 25.
    Department of Integrated Biosciences, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Kashiwa, Chiba, 277-8562, Japan.
    Background: Antennae are multi-segmented appendages and main odor-sensing organs in insects. In Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies), antennal morphologies have diversified according to their ecological requirements. While diurnal butterflies have simple, rod-shaped antennae, nocturnal moths have antennae with protrusions or lateral branches on each antennal segment for high-sensitive pheromone detection. Read More

    Genome-wide protein phylogenies for four African cichlid species.
    BMC Evol Biol 2018 01 8;18(1). Epub 2018 Jan 8.
    Department of Biological Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology, 950 Atlantic Dr., Atlanta, GA, 30332, USA.
    Background: The thousands of species of closely related cichlid fishes in the great lakes of East Africa are a powerful model for understanding speciation and the genetic basis of trait variation. Recently, the genomes of five species of African cichlids representing five distinct lineages were sequenced and used to predict protein products at a genome-wide level. Here we characterize the evolutionary relationship of each cichlid protein to previously sequenced animal species. Read More

    Widespread signatures of selection for secreted peptidases in a fungal plant pathogen.
    BMC Evol Biol 2018 01 24;18(1). Epub 2018 Jan 24.
    Plant Pathology, Institute of Integrative Biology, ETH Zurich, Universitätstrasse 2, -8092, Zurich, CH, Switzerland.
    Background: Fungal plant pathogens secrete a large arsenal of hydrolytic enzymes during the course of infection, including peptidases. Secreted peptidases have been extensively studied for their role as effectors. In this study, we combined transcriptomics, comparative genomics and evolutionary analyses to investigate all 39 secreted peptidases in the fungal wheat pathogen Zymoseptoria tritici and its close relatives Z. Read More

    HERV-W group evolutionary history in non-human primates: characterization of ERV-W orthologs in Catarrhini and related ERV groups in Platyrrhini.
    BMC Evol Biol 2018 01 19;18(1). Epub 2018 Jan 19.
    Department of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy.
    Background: The genomes of all vertebrates harbor remnants of ancient retroviral infections, having affected the germ line cells during the last 100 million years. These sequences, named Endogenous Retroviruses (ERVs), have been transmitted to the offspring in a Mendelian way, being relatively stable components of the host genome even long after their exogenous counterparts went extinct. Among human ERVs (HERVs), the HERV-W group is of particular interest for our physiology and pathology. Read More

    Population size may shape the accumulation of functional mutations following domestication.
    BMC Evol Biol 2018 01 19;18(1). Epub 2018 Jan 19.
    Key Lab of Agricultural Animal Genetics and Breeding, Ministry of Education, College of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, 430070, People's Republic of China.
    Background: Population genetics theory predicts an important role of differences in the effective population size (N) among species on shaping the accumulation of functional mutations by regulating the selection efficiency. However, this correlation has never been tested in domesticated animals.

    Results: Here, we synthesized 62 whole genome data in eight domesticated species (cat, dog, pig, goat, sheep, chicken, cattle and horse) and compared domesticates with their wild (or ancient) relatives. Read More

    Population structure of Venturia inaequalis, a causal agent of apple scab, in response to heterogeneous apple tree cultivation.
    BMC Evol Biol 2018 01 19;18(1). Epub 2018 Jan 19.
    Department of Phytopathology, Research Institute of Horticulture, Konstytucji 3 Maja 1/3, 96-100, Skierniewice, Poland.
    Background: Tracking newly emergent virulent populations in agroecosystems provides an opportunity to increase our understanding of the co-evolution dynamics of pathogens and their hosts. On the one hand host plants exert selective pressure on pathogen populations, thus dividing them into subpopulations of different virulence, while on the other hand they create an opportunity for secondary contact between the two divergent populations on one tree. The main objectives of the study were to explore whether the previously reported structure between two Venturia inaequalis population types, virulent or avirulent towards Malus x domestica cultivars carrying Rvi6 gene, is maintained or broken several years after the first emergence of new virulent strains in Poland, and to investigate the relationship between 'new' and 'native' populations derived from the same commercial orchards. Read More

    The evolutionary process of mammalian sex determination genes focusing on marsupial SRYs.
    BMC Evol Biol 2018 01 16;18(1). Epub 2018 Jan 16.
    Department of Evolutionary Study of Biosystems, SOKENDAI (The Graduate University for Advanced Studies), Hayama, Japan.
    Background: Maleness in mammals is genetically determined by the Y chromosome. On the Y chromosome SRY is known as the mammalian male-determining gene. Both placental mammals (Eutheria) and marsupial mammals (Metatheria) have SRY genes. Read More

    Uncovering the evolutionary history of neo-XY sex chromosomes in the grasshopper Ronderosia bergii (Orthoptera, Melanoplinae) through satellite DNA analysis.
    BMC Evol Biol 2018 01 8;18(1). Epub 2018 Jan 8.
    Departamento de Biologia, UNESP - Univ Estadual Paulista, Instituto de Biociências/IB, Rio Claro, São Paulo, 13506-900, Brazil.
    Background: Neo-sex chromosome systems arose independently multiple times in evolution, presenting the remarkable characteristic of repetitive DNAs accumulation. Among grasshoppers, occurrence of neo-XY was repeatedly noticed in Melanoplinae. Here we analyzed the most abundant tandem repeats of R. Read More

    Biodiversity of the microbial mat of the Garga hot spring.
    BMC Evol Biol 2017 12 28;17(Suppl 2):254. Epub 2017 Dec 28.
    Federal Research Center Institute of Cytology and Genetics, the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Novosibirsk, Russia.
    Background: Microbial mats are a good model system for ecological and evolutionary analysis of microbial communities. There are more than 20 alkaline hot springs on the banks of the Barguzin river inflows. Water temperature reaches 75 °C and pH is usually 8. Read More

    A database of human genes and a gene network involved in response to tick-borne encephalitis virus infection.
    BMC Evol Biol 2017 12 28;17(Suppl 2):259. Epub 2017 Dec 28.
    Laboratory of Infectious Disease Genomics, The Federal Research Center Institute of Cytology and Genetics of Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Novosibirsk, 630090, Russia.
    Background: Tick-borne encephalitis is caused by the neurotropic, positive-sense RNA virus, tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV). TBEV infection can lead to a variety of clinical manifestations ranging from slight fever to severe neurological illness. Very little is known about genetic factors predisposing to severe forms of disease caused by TBEV. Read More

    Evolution of blue-flowered species of genus Linum based on high-throughput sequencing of ribosomal RNA genes.
    BMC Evol Biol 2017 12 28;17(Suppl 2):253. Epub 2017 Dec 28.
    Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia.
    Background: The species relationships within the genus Linum have already been studied several times by means of different molecular and phylogenetic approaches. Nevertheless, a number of ambiguities in phylogeny of Linum still remain unresolved. In particular, the species relationships within the sections Stellerolinum and Dasylinum need further clarification. Read More

    De novo assembling and primary analysis of genome and transcriptome of gray whale Eschrichtius robustus.
    BMC Evol Biol 2017 12 28;17(Suppl 2):258. Epub 2017 Dec 28.
    Center for Data-Intensive Biomedicine and Biotechnology, Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, Moscow, 143026, Russia.
    Background: Gray whale, Eschrichtius robustus (E. robustus), is a single member of the family Eschrichtiidae, which is considered to be the most primitive in the class Cetacea. Gray whale is often described as a "living fossil". Read More

    Various Wolbachia genotypes differently influence host Drosophila dopamine metabolism and survival under heat stress conditions.
    BMC Evol Biol 2017 12 28;17(Suppl 2):252. Epub 2017 Dec 28.
    The Institute of Cytology and Genetics of SB RAS, Novosibirsk, 630090, Russia.
    Background: One of the most widespread prokaryotic symbionts of invertebrates is the intracellular bacteria of Wolbachia genus which can be found in about 50% of insect species. Wolbachia causes both parasitic and mutualistic effects on its host that include manipulating the host reproductive systems in order to increase their transmission through the female germline, and increasing the host fitness. One of the mechanisms, promoting adaptation in biological organisms, is a non-specific neuroendocrine stress reaction. Read More

    Resource competition promotes tumour expansion in experimentally evolved cancer.
    BMC Evol Biol 2017 12 27;17(1):268. Epub 2017 Dec 27.
    School of Biological Sciences, University of Reading, Whiteknights, Reading, RG6 6AH, UK.
    Background: Tumour progression involves a series of phenotypic changes to cancer cells, each of which presents therapeutic targets. Here, using techniques adapted from microbial experimental evolution, we investigate the evolution of tumour spreading - a precursor for metastasis and tissue invasion - in environments with varied resource supply. Evolutionary theory predicts that competition for resources within a population will select for individuals to move away from a natal site (i. Read More

    The molecular evolutionary dynamics of oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) genes in Hymenoptera.
    BMC Evol Biol 2017 12 28;17(1):269. Epub 2017 Dec 28.
    Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Food Nutrition and Human Health, China Agricultural University, Beijing, 100193, China.
    Background: The primary energy-producing pathway in eukaryotic cells, the oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) system, comprises proteins encoded by both mitochondrial and nuclear genes. To maintain the function of the OXPHOS system, the pattern of substitutions in mitochondrial and nuclear genes may not be completely independent. It has been suggested that slightly deleterious substitutions in mitochondrial genes are compensated by substitutions in the interacting nuclear genes due to positive selection. Read More

    When honesty and cheating pay off: the evolution of honest and dishonest equilibria in a conventional signalling game.
    BMC Evol Biol 2017 12 28;17(1):270. Epub 2017 Dec 28.
    MTA TK "Lendület" Research Center for Educational and Network Studies (RECENS), Tóth Kálmán u. 4, Budapest, H-1097, Hungary.
    Background: The reliability of signals is a key issue in the study of animal communication. Both empirical work and theoretical models show that communication need not be entirely honest, and thus signals can be deceitful. Aggressive communication appears to be a prime candidate for such deceitful communication, because bluffing has been described in several species. Read More

    Origins and biogeography of the Anolis crassulus subgroup (Squamata: Dactyloidae) in the highlands of Nuclear Central America.
    BMC Evol Biol 2017 12 21;17(1):267. Epub 2017 Dec 21.
    Department of Biology, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, PA, 15705-1081, USA.
    Background: Recent studies have begun to reveal the complex evolutionary and biogeographic histories of mainland anoles in Central America, but the origins and relationships of many taxa remain poorly understood. One such group is the Anolis (Norops) crassulus species subgroup, which contains ten morphologically similar highland taxa, the majority of which have restricted distributions. The nominal taxon A. Read More

    Parental investment matters for maternal and offspring immune defense in the mouthbrooding cichlid Astatotilapia burtoni.
    BMC Evol Biol 2017 Dec 20;17(1):264. Epub 2017 Dec 20.
    Evolutionary Ecology of Marine Fishes, GEOMAR - Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research, Kiel, Germany.
    Background: Parental care, while increasing parental fitness through offspring survival, also bears cost to the care-giving parent. Consequentially, trade offs between parental care and other vitally important traits, such as the immune system seem evident. In co-occurring phases of parental care and immunological challenges negative consequences through a resource allocation trade off on both the parental and the offspring conditions can be predicted. Read More

    The absence of reproductive isolation between non-sister and deeply diverged mitochondrial lineages of the black-throated tit (Aegithalos concinnus) revealed by a multilocus genetic analysis in a contact zone.
    BMC Evol Biol 2017 Dec 20;17(1):266. Epub 2017 Dec 20.
    Key Laboratory of Zoological Systematics and Evolution, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beichen Xi Road 1, Beijing, 100101, China.
    Background: A deep divergence of mitochondrial DNA is common in species delimitated by morphological traits. Several hypotheses can explain such variations, such as cryptic species, introgression, allopatric divergence and ancestral lineage. The black-throated tit harbors several deeply divergent mitochondrial lineages. Read More

    Mandibulate convergence in an armoured Cambrian stem chelicerate.
    BMC Evol Biol 2017 Dec 21;17(1):261. Epub 2017 Dec 21.
    Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, M5S3B2, Canada.
    Background: Chelicerata represents a vast clade of mostly predatory arthropods united by a distinctive body plan throughout the Phanerozoic. Their origins, however, with respect to both their ancestral morphological features and their related ecologies, are still poorly understood. In particular, it remains unclear whether their major diagnostic characters were acquired early on, and their anatomical organization rapidly constrained, or if they emerged from a stem lineage encompassing an array of structural variations, based on a more labile "panchelicerate" body plan. Read More

    Patterns of genetic variation among geographic and host-plant associated populations of the peach fruit moth Carposina sasakii (Lepidoptera: Carposinidae).
    BMC Evol Biol 2017 Dec 20;17(1):265. Epub 2017 Dec 20.
    Institute of Plant and Environmental Protection, Beijing Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences, 9 Shuguanghuayuan Middle Road, Haidian District, Beijing, 100097, China.
    Background: Populations of herbivorous insects may become genetically differentiated because of local adaptation to different hosts and climates as well as historical processes, and further genetic divergence may occur following the development of reproductive isolation among populations. Here we investigate the population genetic structure of the orchard pest peach fruit moth (PFM) Carposina sasakii (Lepidoptera: Carposinidae) in China, which shows distinct biological differences when characterized from different host plants. Genetic diversity and genetic structure were assessed among populations from seven plant hosts and nine regions using 19 microsatellite loci and a mitochondrial sequence. Read More

    Rooting phylogenetic trees under the coalescent model using site pattern probabilities.
    BMC Evol Biol 2017 Dec 19;17(1):263. Epub 2017 Dec 19.
    Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology, The Ohio State University, 318 W. 12th Avenue, Columbus, 43210, OH, USA.
    Background: Phylogenetic tree inference is a fundamental tool to estimate ancestor-descendant relationships among different species. In phylogenetic studies, identification of the root - the most recent common ancestor of all sampled organisms - is essential for complete understanding of the evolutionary relationships. Rooted trees benefit most downstream application of phylogenies such as species classification or study of adaptation. Read More

    From ground pools to treeholes: convergent evolution of habitat and phenotype in Aedes mosquitoes.
    BMC Evol Biol 2017 Dec 19;17(1):262. Epub 2017 Dec 19.
    Biology Department, Clark University, 950 Main Street, Worcester, MA, 01610, USA.
    Background: Invasive mosquito species are responsible for millions of vector-borne disease cases annually. The global invasive success of Aedes mosquitoes such as Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus has relied on the human transport of immature stages in container habitats. However, despite the importance of these mosquitoes and this ecological specialization to their widespread dispersal, evolution of habitat specialization in this group has remained largely unstudied. Read More

    A new species of Xenoturbella from the western Pacific Ocean and the evolution of Xenoturbella.
    BMC Evol Biol 2017 Dec 18;17(1):245. Epub 2017 Dec 18.
    Misaki Marine Biological Station, The University of Tokyo, 1024 Koajiro, Misaki, Miura, Kanagawa, 238-0225, Japan.
    Background: Xenoturbella is a group of marine benthic animals lacking an anus and a centralized nervous system. Molecular phylogenetic analyses group the animal together with the Acoelomorpha, forming the Xenacoelomorpha. This group has been suggested to be either a sister group to the Nephrozoa or a deuterostome, and therefore it may provide important insights into origins of bilaterian traits such as an anus, the nephron, feeding larvae and centralized nervous systems. Read More

    Origin and cross-century dynamics of an avian hybrid zone.
    BMC Evol Biol 2017 Dec 15;17(1):257. Epub 2017 Dec 15.
    Laboratorio de Biología Evolutiva de Vertebrados, Departamento de Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad de Los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia.
    Background: Characterizations of the dynamics of hybrid zones in space and time can give insights about traits and processes important in population divergence and speciation. We characterized a hybrid zone between tanagers in the genus Ramphocelus (Aves, Thraupidae) located in southwestern Colombia. We evaluated whether this hybrid zone originated as a result of secondary contact or of primary differentiation, and described its dynamics across time using spatial analyses of molecular, morphological, and coloration data in combination with paleodistribution modeling. Read More

    The function and evolutionary significance of a triplicated Na,K-ATPase gene in a toxin-specialized insect.
    BMC Evol Biol 2017 Dec 15;17(1):256. Epub 2017 Dec 15.
    Universität Hamburg, Biozentrum Grindel, Zoologisches Institut, Martin-Luther-King Pl. 3, 20146, Hamburg, Germany.
    Background: The Na,K-ATPase is a vital animal cell-membrane protein that maintains the cell's resting potential, among other functions. Cardenolides, a group of potent plant toxins, bind to and inhibit this pump. The gene encoding the α-subunit of the pump has undergone duplication events in some insect species known to feed on plants containing cardenolides. Read More

    Diversification of defensins and NLRs in Arabidopsis species by different evolutionary mechanisms.
    BMC Evol Biol 2017 Dec 15;17(1):255. Epub 2017 Dec 15.
    Cell Biology and Plant Biochemistry, Biochemie-Zentrum Regensburg, University of Regensburg, Universitätstraße 31, 93053, Regensburg, Germany.
    Background: Genes encoding proteins underlying host-pathogen co-evolution and which are selected for new resistance specificities frequently are under positive selection, a process that maintains diversity. Here, we tested the contribution of natural selection, recombination and transcriptional divergence to the evolutionary diversification of the plant defensins superfamily in three Arabidopsis species. The intracellular NOD-like receptor (NLR) family was used for comparison because positive selection has been well documented in its members. Read More

    Musculoskeletal networks reveal topological disparity in mammalian neck evolution.
    BMC Evol Biol 2017 Dec 13;17(1):251. Epub 2017 Dec 13.
    Department of Human Evolution, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany.
    Background: The increase in locomotor and metabolic performance during mammalian evolution was accompanied by the limitation of the number of cervical vertebrae to only seven. In turn, nuchal muscles underwent a reorganization while forelimb muscles expanded into the neck region. As variation in the cervical spine is low, the variation in the arrangement of the neck muscles and their attachment sites (i. Read More

    Insights into the evolution, biogeography and natural history of the acorn ants, genus Temnothorax Mayr (hymenoptera: Formicidae).
    BMC Evol Biol 2017 Dec 13;17(1):250. Epub 2017 Dec 13.
    Department of Entomology & Nematology, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA, 95616, USA.
    Background: Temnothorax (Formicidae: Myrmicinae) is a diverse genus of ants found in a broad spectrum of ecosystems across the northern hemisphere. These diminutive ants have long served as models for social insect behavior, leading to discoveries about social learning and inspiring hypotheses about the process of speciation and the evolution of social parasitism. This genus is highly morphologically and behaviorally diverse, and this has caused a great deal of taxonomic confusion in recent years. Read More

    Daily activity patterns influence retinal morphology, signatures of selection, and spectral tuning of opsin genes in colubrid snakes.
    BMC Evol Biol 2017 Dec 11;17(1):249. Epub 2017 Dec 11.
    Departamento de Psicologia Experimental, Instituto de Psicologia, Universidade de São Paulo, Av. Professor Mello Moraes 1721 Bloco A Sala D9 - Butantã, São Paulo, SP, CEP 05508-030, Brazil.
    Background: Morphological divergences of snake retinal structure point to complex evolutionary processes and adaptations. The Colubridae family has a remarkable variety of retinal structure that can range from all-cone and all-rod to duplex (cone/rod) retinas. To explore whether nocturnal versus diurnal activity is responsible for constraints on molecular evolution and plays a role in visual opsin spectral tuning of colubrids, we carried out molecular evolution analyses of the visual opsin genes LWS, RH1, and SWS1 from 17 species and performed morphological analyses. Read More

    Rates of morphological evolution, asymmetry and morphological integration of shell shape in scallops.
    BMC Evol Biol 2017 Dec 8;17(1):248. Epub 2017 Dec 8.
    Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, 50011, USA.
    Background: Rates of morphological evolution vary across different taxonomic groups, and this has been proposed as one of the main drivers for the great diversity of organisms on Earth. Of the extrinsic factors pertaining to this variation, ecological hypotheses feature prominently in observed differences in phenotypic evolutionary rates across lineages. But complex organisms are inherently modular, comprising distinct body parts that can be differentially affected by external selective pressures. Read More

    The role of isolation on contrasting phylogeographic patterns in two cave crustaceans.
    BMC Evol Biol 2017 Dec 7;17(1):247. Epub 2017 Dec 7.
    Department of Biological Sciences, Florida International University - Biscayne Bay Campus, 3000 NE 151 St., North Miami, FL, 33181, USA.
    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. The present project aims to examine the phylogeographic patterns exhibited by two sympatric species of surface and cave-dwelling peracarid crustaceans (Asellus aquaticus and Niphargus hrabei), and in doing so elucidate the possible roles of isolation and exaptation in the colonisation and successful adaptation to the cave environment. Read More

    Historical isolation and contemporary gene flow drive population diversity of the brown alga Sargassum thunbergii along the coast of China.
    BMC Evol Biol 2017 Dec 7;17(1):246. Epub 2017 Dec 7.
    Key Laboratory of Experimental Marine Biology, Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao, 266071, China.
    Background: Long-term survival in isolated marginal seas of the China coast during the late Pleistocene ice ages is widely believed to be an important historical factor contributing to population genetic structure in coastal marine species. Whether or not contemporary factors (e.g. Read More

    Ice age unfrozen: severe effect of the last interglacial, not glacial, climate change on East Asian avifauna.
    BMC Evol Biol 2017 Dec 6;17(1):244. Epub 2017 Dec 6.
    Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 32 Jiaochang Donglu Rd., Kunming, Yunnan, China.
    Background: The glacial-interglacial cycles in the Pleistocene caused repeated range expansion and contraction of species in several regions in the world. However, it remains uncertain whether such climate oscillations had similar impact on East Asian biota, despite its widely recognized importance in global biodiversity. Here we use both molecular and ecological niche profiles on 11 East Asian avian species with various elevational ranges to reveal their response to the late Pleistocene climate changes. Read More

    Evolution of cytokinesis-related protein localization during the emergence of multicellularity in volvocine green algae.
    BMC Evol Biol 2017 Dec 6;17(1):243. Epub 2017 Dec 6.
    Department of Biological Sciences, Graduate School of Science, University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, 113-0033, Japan.
    Background: The volvocine lineage, containing unicellular Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and differentiated multicellular Volvox carteri, is a powerful model for comparative studies aiming at understanding emergence of multicellularity. Tetrabaena socialis is the simplest multicellular volvocine alga and belongs to the family Tetrabaenaceae that is sister to more complex multicellular volvocine families, Goniaceae and Volvocaceae. Thus, T. Read More

    1 OF 73