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    The mechanisms of epigenetic inheritance: how diverse are they?
    Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc 2018 May 22. Epub 2018 May 22.
    Department of Genetics & Biotechnology, Saint-Petersburg State University, Saint-Petersburg 199034, Russia.
    Although epigenetic inheritance (EI) is a rapidly growing field of modern biology, it still has no clear place in fundamental genetic concepts which are traditionally based on the hereditary role of DNA. Moreover, not all mechanisms of EI attract the same attention, with most studies focused on DNA methylation, histone modification, RNA interference and amyloid prionization, but relatively few considering other mechanisms such as stable inhibition of plastid translation. Herein, we discuss all known and some hypothetical mechanisms that can underlie the stable inheritance of phenotypically distinct hereditary factors that lack differences in DNA sequence. Read More

    A review of predation as a limiting factor for bird populations in mesopredator-rich landscapes: a case study of the UK.
    Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc 2018 May 22. Epub 2018 May 22.
    RSPB Centre for Conservation Science, Edinburgh, EH12 9DH, U.K.
    The impact of increasing vertebrate predator numbers on bird populations is widely debated among the general public, game managers and conservationists across Europe. However, there are few systematic reviews of whether predation limits the population sizes of European bird species. Views on the impacts of predation are particularly polarised in the UK, probably because the UK has a globally exceptional culture of intensive, high-yield gamebird management where predator removal is the norm. Read More

    Social communication in bats.
    Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc 2018 May 15. Epub 2018 May 15.
    Wildlife Research Unit, Dipartimento di Agraria, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, via Università 100, Portici NA 80055, Italy.
    Bats represent one of the most diverse mammalian orders, not only in terms of species numbers, but also in their ecology and life histories. Many species are known to use ephemeral and/or unpredictable resources that require substantial investment to find and defend, and also engage in social interactions, thus requiring significant levels of social coordination. To accomplish these tasks, bats must be able to communicate; there is now substantial evidence that demonstrates the complexity of bat communication and the varied ways in which bats solve some of the problems associated with their unique life histories. Read More

    Mechanisms underlying insect freeze tolerance.
    Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc 2018 May 10. Epub 2018 May 10.
    Department of Biology, University of Western Ontario, 1151 Richmond Street N, London, ON, N6A 5B7, Canada.
    Freeze tolerance - the ability to survive internal ice formation - has evolved repeatedly in insects, facilitating survival in environments with low temperatures and/or high risk of freezing. Surviving internal ice formation poses several challenges because freezing can cause cellular dehydration and mechanical damage, and restricts the opportunity to metabolise and respond to environmental challenges. While freeze-tolerant insects accumulate many potentially protective molecules, there is no apparent 'magic bullet' - a molecule or class of molecules that appears to be necessary or sufficient to support this cold-tolerance strategy. Read More

    The hidden half: ecology and evolution of cryptobenthic fishes on coral reefs.
    Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc 2018 May 7. Epub 2018 May 7.
    School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, and the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, 98105, U.S.A.
    Teleost fishes are the most diverse group of vertebrates on Earth. On tropical coral reefs, their species richness exceeds 6000 species; one tenth of total vertebrate biodiversity. A large proportion of this diversity is composed of cryptobenthic reef fishes (CRFs): bottom-dwelling, morphologically or behaviourally cryptic species typically less than 50 mm in length. Read More

    Assessing species saturation: conceptual and methodological challenges.
    Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc 2018 May 7. Epub 2018 May 7.
    Department of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany, University of Zurich, Zollikerstrasse 107, 8008 Zurich, Switzerland.
    Is there a maximum number of species that can coexist? Intuitively, we assume an upper limit to the number of species in a given assemblage, or that a lineage can produce, but defining and testing this limit has proven problematic. Herein, we first outline seven general challenges of studies on species saturation, most of which are independent of the actual method used to assess saturation. Among these are the challenge of defining saturation conceptually and operationally, the importance of setting an appropriate referential system, and the need to discriminate among patterns, processes and mechanisms. Read More

    Spores and soil from six sides: interdisciplinarity and the environmental biology of anthrax (Bacillus anthracis).
    Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc 2018 May 6. Epub 2018 May 6.
    Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis (CEES), Department of Biosciences, University of Oslo, PO Box 1066 Blindern, N-0316, Oslo, Norway.
    Environmentally transmitted diseases are comparatively poorly understood and managed, and their ecology is particularly understudied. Here we identify challenges of studying environmental transmission and persistence with a six-sided interdisciplinary review of the biology of anthrax (Bacillus anthracis). Anthrax is a zoonotic disease capable of maintaining infectious spore banks in soil for decades (or even potentially centuries), and the mechanisms of its environmental persistence have been the topic of significant research and controversy. Read More

    Substrate receptors of proteasomes.
    Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc 2018 May 6. Epub 2018 May 6.
    State Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience & Learning and Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Cell Proliferation & Regulation Biology, College of Life Sciences, Beijing Normal University, 19 Xinjiekouwai Avenue, Beijing, 100875, China.
    Proteasomes are responsible for the turnover of most cellular proteins, and thus are critical to almost all cellular activities. A substrate entering the proteasome must first bind to a substrate receptor. Substrate receptors can be classified as ubiquitin receptors and non-ubiquitin receptors. Read More

    Production and preservation of resins - past and present.
    Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc 2018 May 4. Epub 2018 May 4.
    Department of Geobiology, University of Göttingen, 37077 Göttingen, Germany.
    Amber is fossilised plant resin. It can be used to provide insights into the terrestrial conditions at the time the original resin was exuded. Amber research thus can inform many aspects of palaeontology, from the recovery and description of enclosed fossil organisms (biological inclusions) to attempts at reconstruction of past climates and environments. Read More

    Application of the microbial community coalescence concept to riverine networks.
    Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc 2018 Apr 26. Epub 2018 Apr 26.
    Plant Ecology, Institut für Biologie, Freie Universität Berlin, D-14195 Berlin, Germany.
    Flows of water, soil, litter, and anthropogenic materials in and around rivers lead to the mixing of their resident microbial communities and subsequently to a resultant community distinct from its precursors. Consideration of these events through a new conceptual lens, namely, community coalescence, could provide a means of integrating physical, environmental, and ecological mechanisms to predict microbial community assembly patterns better in these habitats. Here, we review field studies of microbial communities in riverine habitats where environmental mixing regularly occurs, interpret some of these studies within the community coalescence framework and posit novel hypotheses and insights that may be gained in riverine microbial ecology through the application of this concept. Read More

    Why do some animals mate with one partner rather than many? A review of causes and consequences of monogamy.
    Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc 2018 Apr 23. Epub 2018 Apr 23.
    Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Box 463, SE-405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Why do some animals mate with one partner rather than many? Here, I investigate factors related to (i) spatial constraints (habitat limitation, mate availability), (ii) time constraints (breeding synchrony, length of breeding season), (iii) need for parental care, and (iv) genetic compatibility, to see what support can be found in different taxa regarding the importance of these factors in explaining the occurrence of monogamy, whether shown by one sex (monogyny or monandry) or by both sexes (mutual monogamy). Focusing on reproductive rather than social monogamy whenever possible, I review the empirical literature for birds, mammals and fishes, with occasional examples from other taxa. Each of these factors can explain mating patterns in some taxa, but not in all. Read More

    Complex multicellularity in fungi: evolutionary convergence, single origin, or both?
    Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc 2018 Apr 19. Epub 2018 Apr 19.
    Synthetic and Systems Biology Unit, Institute of Biochemistry, BRC-HAS, 62 Temesvári krt, 6726, Szeged, Hungary.
    Complex multicellularity represents the most advanced level of biological organization and it has evolved only a few times: in metazoans, green plants, brown and red algae and fungi. Compared to other lineages, the evolution of multicellularity in fungi follows different principles; both simple and complex multicellularity evolved via unique mechanisms not found in other lineages. Herein we review ecological, palaeontological, developmental and genomic aspects of complex multicellularity in fungi and discuss general principles of the evolution of complex multicellularity in light of its fungal manifestations. Read More

    Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in the context of epidermal growth factor receptor inhibition in non-small-cell lung cancer.
    Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc 2018 Apr 19. Epub 2018 Apr 19.
    Department of Medical Oncology, Istituto Scientifico Romagnolo per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori (IRST) IRCCS, Via P. Maroncelli 40, 47014, Meldola, Italy.
    The identification of oncogenic driver mutations in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has led to the development of targeted drugs. Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) directed against the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) target lung tumours bearing EGFR-activating mutations. This new therapeutic strategy has greatly improved tumour response rates. Read More

    From humans to hydra: patterns of cancer across the tree of life.
    Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc 2018 Apr 16. Epub 2018 Apr 16.
    Integrative Genomics of Ageing Group, Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease, University of Liverpool, William Henry Duncan Building, Room 281, 6 West Derby Street, Liverpool, L7 8TX, U.K.
    Cancer is a disease of multicellularity; it originates when cells become dysregulated due to mutations and grow out of control, invading other tissues and provoking discomfort, disability, and eventually death. Human life expectancy has greatly increased in the last two centuries, and consequently so has the incidence of cancer. However, how cancer patterns in humans compare to those of other species remains largely unknown. Read More

    The role of defensive symbionts in host-parasite coevolution.
    Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc 2018 Apr 16. Epub 2018 Apr 16.
    Department of Biology, University of Victoria, 3800 Finnerty Road, Victoria, BC, V8P 5C2, Canada.
    Understanding the coevolution of hosts and parasites is a long-standing goal of evolutionary biology. There is a well-developed theoretical framework to describe the evolution of host-parasite interactions under the assumption of direct, two-species interactions, which can result in arms race dynamics or sustained genotype fluctuations driven by negative frequency dependence (Red Queen dynamics). However, many hosts rely on symbionts for defence against parasites. Read More

    The diverse origins of circulating cell-free DNA in the human body: a critical re-evaluation of the literature.
    Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc 2018 Apr 14. Epub 2018 Apr 14.
    Human Metabolomics, Biochemistry Division, Hoffman Street, North-West University, Private bag X6001 Potchefstroom, 2520, South Africa.
    Since the detection of cell-free DNA (cfDNA) in human plasma in 1948, it has been investigated as a non-invasive screening tool for many diseases, especially solid tumours and foetal genetic abnormalities. However, to date our lack of knowledge regarding the origin and purpose of cfDNA in a physiological environment has limited its use to more obvious diagnostics, neglecting, for example, its potential utility in the identification of predisposition to disease, earlier detection of cancers, and lifestyle-induced epigenetic changes. Moreover, the concept or mechanism of cfDNA could also have potential therapeutic uses such as in immuno- or gene therapy. Read More

    Salinity tolerances and use of saline environments by freshwater turtles: implications of sea level rise.
    Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc 2018 Mar 25. Epub 2018 Mar 25.
    Department of Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology, University of California, Davis, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616, USA.
    The projected rise in global mean sea levels places many freshwater turtle species at risk of saltwater intrusion into freshwater habitats. Freshwater turtles are disproportionately more threatened than other taxa; thus, understanding the role of salinity in determining their contemporary distribution and evolution should be a research priority. Freshwater turtles are a slowly evolving lineage; however, they can adapt physiologically or behaviourally to various levels of salinity and, therefore, temporarily occur in marine or brackish environments. Read More

    No effects without causes: the Iron Dysregulation and Dormant Microbes hypothesis for chronic, inflammatory diseases.
    Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc 2018 Mar 25. Epub 2018 Mar 25.
    Department of Physiological Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch Private Bag X1, Matieland, 7602, South Africa.
    Since the successful conquest of many acute, communicable (infectious) diseases through the use of vaccines and antibiotics, the currently most prevalent diseases are chronic and progressive in nature, and are all accompanied by inflammation. These diseases include neurodegenerative (e.g. Read More

    Population and evolutionary dynamics in spatially structured seasonally varying environments.
    Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc 2018 Mar 25. Epub 2018 Mar 25.
    Department of Biology, University of York, Heslington, York, YO10 5DD, U.K.
    Increasingly imperative objectives in ecology are to understand and forecast population dynamic and evolutionary responses to seasonal environmental variation and change. Such population and evolutionary dynamics result from immediate and lagged responses of all key life-history traits, and resulting demographic rates that affect population growth rate, to seasonal environmental conditions and population density. However, existing population dynamic and eco-evolutionary theory and models have not yet fully encompassed within-individual and among-individual variation, covariation, structure and heterogeneity, and ongoing evolution, in a critical life-history trait that allows individuals to respond to seasonal environmental conditions: seasonal migration. Read More

    The evolution of individuality revisited.
    Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc 2018 Mar 25. Epub 2018 Mar 25.
    Department of Biological Sciences, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL 60115, U.S.A.
    Evolutionary theory is formulated in terms of individuals that carry heritable information and are subject to selective pressures. However, individuality itself is a trait that had to evolve - an individual is not an indivisible entity, but a result of evolutionary processes that necessarily begin at the lower level of hierarchical organisation. Traditional approaches to biological individuality focus on cooperation and relatedness within a group, division of labour, policing mechanisms and strong selection at the higher level. Read More

    The anatomical components of the cardiac outflow tract of chondrichthyans and actinopterygians.
    Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc 2018 Mar 25. Epub 2018 Mar 25.
    Departamento de Biología Animal, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Málaga, Campus de Teatinos s/n, 29071, Málaga, Spain.
    The outflow tract of the fish heart is the segment interposed between the ventricle and the ventral aorta. It holds the valves that prevent blood backflow from the gill vasculature to the ventricle. The anatomical composition, histological structure and evolutionary changes in the fish cardiac outflow tract have been under discussion for nearly two centuries and are still subject to debate. Read More

    Chicken or egg? Outcomes of experimental manipulations of maternally transmitted hormones depend on administration method - a meta-analysis.
    Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc 2018 Mar 24. Epub 2018 Mar 24.
    Institute of Environmental Sciences, Jagiellonian University, Gronostajowa 7, 30-387, Kraków, Poland.
    Steroid hormones are important mediators of prenatal maternal effects in animals. Despite a growing number of studies involving experimental manipulation of these hormones, little is known about the impact of methodological differences among experiments on the final results expressed as offspring traits. Using a meta-analytical approach and a representative sample of experimental studies performed on birds, we tested the effect of two types of direct hormonal manipulations: manipulation of females (either by implantation of hormone pellets or injection of hormonal solutions) and manipulation of eggs by injection. Read More

    Linking the fine-scale social environment to mating decisions: a future direction for the study of extra-pair paternity.
    Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc 2018 Mar 13. Epub 2018 Mar 13.
    Department of Collective Behaviour, Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, Universitätsstrasse 10, 78457 Konstanz, Germany.
    Variation in extra-pair paternity (EPP) among individuals of the same population could result from stochastic demography or from individual differences in mating strategies. Although the adaptive value of EPP has been widely studied, much less is known about the characteristics of the social environment that drive the observed patterns of EPP. Here, we demonstrate how concepts and well-developed tools for the study of social behaviour (such as social network analysis) can enhance the study of extra-pair mating decisions (focussing in particular on avian mating systems). Read More

    The changing role of ornamental horticulture in alien plant invasions.
    Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc 2018 Mar 5. Epub 2018 Mar 5.
    Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience, Coventry University, Ryton Gardens, Coventry, CV8 3LG, U.K.
    The number of alien plants escaping from cultivation into native ecosystems is increasing steadily. We provide an overview of the historical, contemporary and potential future roles of ornamental horticulture in plant invasions. We show that currently at least 75% and 93% of the global naturalised alien flora is grown in domestic and botanical gardens, respectively. Read More

    Function and underlying mechanisms of seasonal colour moulting in mammals and birds: what keeps them changing in a warming world?
    Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc 2018 Mar 5. Epub 2018 Mar 5.
    Wildlife Biology Program and Office of Research and Creative Scholarship, University of Montana, Missoula, MT, 59812, USA.
    Animals that occupy temperate and polar regions have specialized traits that help them survive in harsh, highly seasonal environments. One particularly important adaptation is seasonal coat colour (SCC) moulting. Over 20 species of birds and mammals distributed across the northern hemisphere undergo complete, biannual colour change from brown in the summer to completely white in the winter. Read More

    Degradation for better survival? Role of ubiquitination in epithelial morphogenesis.
    Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc 2018 Mar 1. Epub 2018 Mar 1.
    Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Macau, Avenida da Universidade, Taipa, Macau 999078, China.
    As a prevalent post-translational modification, ubiquitination is essential for many developmental processes. Once covalently attached to the small and conserved polypeptide ubiquitin (Ub), a substrate protein can be directed to perform specific biological functions via its Ub-modified form. Three sequential catalytic reactions contribute to this process, among which E3 ligases serve to identify target substrates and promote the activated Ub to conjugate to substrate proteins. Read More

    The stepwise development of the lamprey visual system and its evolutionary implications.
    Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc 2018 Feb 28. Epub 2018 Feb 28.
    Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, SE-171 77, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Lampreys, which represent the oldest group of living vertebrates (cyclostomes), show unique eye development. The lamprey larva has only eyespot-like immature eyes beneath a non-transparent skin, whereas after metamorphosis, the adult has well-developed image-forming camera eyes. To establish a functional visual system, well-organised visual centres as well as motor components (e. Read More

    Colony formation in the cyanobacterium Microcystis.
    Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc 2018 Feb 22. Epub 2018 Feb 22.
    Centre of Ecology and Hydrology, Bailrigg, Lancaster, LA1 4AP, U.K.
    Morphological evolution from a unicellular to multicellular state provides greater opportunities for organisms to attain larger and more complex living forms. As the most common freshwater cyanobacterial genus, Microcystis is a unicellular microorganism, with high phenotypic plasticity, which forms colonies and blooms in lakes and reservoirs worldwide. We conducted a systematic review of field studies from the 1990s to 2017 where Microcystis was dominant. Read More

    Integrins promote axonal regeneration after injury of the nervous system.
    Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc 2018 Feb 15. Epub 2018 Feb 15.
    John van Geest Centre for Brain Repair, Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, CB2 0PY, U.K.
    Integrins are cell surface receptors that form the link between extracellular matrix molecules of the cell environment and internal cell signalling and the cytoskeleton. They are involved in several processes, e.g. Read More

    Evolution and development of scyphozoan jellyfish.
    Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc 2018 May 14;93(2):1228-1250. Epub 2018 Feb 14.
    Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution - Biology, Mailstop 33, 45 Water Street, Woods Hole, MA 01543, U.S.A.
    Scyphozoan jellyfish, or scyphomedusae, are conspicuous members of many ocean ecosystems, and have large impacts on human health and industry. Most scyphomedusae are the final stage in a complex life cycle that also includes two intermediate stages: the larval planula and benthic polyp. In species with all three life-cycle stages, the metamorphosis of a polyp into a juvenile scyphomedusa (ephyra) is termed strobilation, and polyps can produce one ephyra (termed monodisc strobilation) or many ephyrae (termed polydisc strobilation). Read More

    Behavioural mating displays depend on mitochondrial function: a potential mechanism for linking behaviour to individual condition.
    Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc 2018 Feb 13. Epub 2018 Feb 13.
    Department of Biological Sciences, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849, U.S.A.
    Males of many animal species court females using complex behavioural displays that are challenging to produce, and some of these displays have been shown to be associated with aspects of male quality. However, the mechanisms by which behavioural displays are linked to individual condition remain uncertain. Herein, we illustrate fundamental mechanistic connections between mitochondrial function and neurogenesis, energy production, and a variety of pathways that underlie the ability of an individual to perform complex behaviours. Read More

    Amyloids of multiple species: are they helpful in survival?
    Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc 2018 Feb 13. Epub 2018 Feb 13.
    Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology Unit, Indian Institute of Technology Jodhpur, Rajasthan 342011, India.
    Amyloids are primarily known for their roles in neurodegenerative disorders, as well as in systemic diseases like diabetes. Evolutionary forces tend to maintain a healthy set of heritable characteristics, while eliminating toxic or unfavourable elements; but amyloids seem to represent an exception to this fundamental concept. In addition to their presence in mammals, amyloids also persist in the proteome of many lower organisms that may be linked with possible roles in survival, which are still unexplored. Read More

    The role of mate-choice copying in speciation and hybridization.
    Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc 2018 May 8;93(2):1304-1322. Epub 2018 Feb 8.
    Department of Biology, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK, 73019, U.S.A.
    Mate-choice copying, a social, non-genetic mechanism of mate choice, occurs when an individual (typically a female) copies the mate choice of other individuals via a process of social learning. Over the past 20 years, mate-choice copying has consistently been shown to affect mate choice in several species, by altering the genetically based expression of mating preferences. This behaviour has been claimed by several authors to have a significant role in evolution. Read More

    Epigenetics and the maintenance of developmental plasticity: extending the signalling theory framework.
    Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc 2018 Jan 21. Epub 2018 Jan 21.
    Department of Integrative Biology, Michigan State University, 288 Farm Lane, East Lansing, MI, 48824, U.S.A.
    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. Read More

    Phytoplankton defence mechanisms: traits and trade-offs.
    Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc 2018 May 21;93(2):1269-1303. Epub 2018 Jan 21.
    Centre for Ocean Life, Technical University of Denmark, DTU Aqua, Kemitorvet B201, Kongens Lyngby, DK-2800, Denmark.
    In aquatic ecosystems, unicellular algae form the basis of the food webs. Theoretical and experimental studies have demonstrated that one of the mechanisms that maintain high diversity of phytoplankton is through predation and the consequent evolution of defence mechanisms. Proposed defence mechanisms in phytoplankton are diverse and include physiological (e. Read More

    Building a new research framework for social evolution: intralocus caste antagonism.
    Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc 2018 May 16;93(2):1251-1268. Epub 2018 Jan 16.
    College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, Penryn, Cornwall, TR10 9FE, UK.
    The breeding and non-breeding 'castes' of eusocial insects provide a striking example of role-specific selection, where each caste maximises fitness through different morphological, behavioural and physiological trait values. Typically, queens are long-lived egg-layers, while workers are short-lived, largely sterile foragers. Remarkably, the two castes are nevertheless produced by the same genome. Read More

    The inositol pyrophosphate pathway in health and diseases.
    Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc 2018 May 27;93(2):1203-1227. Epub 2017 Dec 27.
    Department of Pharmacology and Physiology, Saint Louis University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, MO 63104, U.S.A.
    Inositol pyrophosphates (IPPs) are present in organisms ranging from plants, slime moulds and fungi to mammals. Distinct classes of kinases generate different forms of energetic diphosphate-containing IPPs from inositol phosphates (IPs). Conversely, polyphosphate phosphohydrolase enzymes dephosphorylate IPPs to regenerate the respective IPs. Read More

    Do reef corals age?
    Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc 2018 May 28;93(2):1192-1202. Epub 2017 Dec 28.
    Institute for Ageing, Campus for Ageing and Vitality, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne NE4 5PL, U.K.
    Hydra is emerging as a model organism for studies of ageing in early metazoan animals, but reef corals offer an equally ancient evolutionary perspective as well as several advantages, not least being the hard exoskeleton which provides a rich fossil record as well as a record of growth and means of ageing of individual coral polyps. Reef corals are also widely regarded as potentially immortal at the level of the asexual lineage and are assumed not to undergo an intrinsic ageing process. However, putative molecular indicators of ageing have recently been detected in reef corals. Read More

    Bayesian molecular dating: opening up the black box.
    Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc 2018 May 15;93(2):1165-1191. Epub 2017 Dec 15.
    School of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia.
    Molecular dating analyses allow evolutionary timescales to be estimated from genetic data, offering an unprecedented capacity for investigating the evolutionary past of all species. These methods require us to make assumptions about the relationship between genetic change and evolutionary time, often referred to as a 'molecular clock'. Although initially regarded with scepticism, molecular dating has now been adopted in many areas of biology. Read More

    Biology and pathological implications of brown adipose tissue: promises and caveats for the control of obesity and its associated complications.
    Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc 2018 May 11;93(2):1145-1164. Epub 2017 Dec 11.
    Department of Nutrition, Diabetes and Metabolism, School of Medicine, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Marcoleta 367, Santiago, 8330024, Chile.
    The discovery of metabolically active brown adipose tissue (BAT) in adult humans has fuelled the research of diverse aspects of this previously neglected tissue. BAT is solely present in mammals and its clearest physiological role is non-shivering thermogenesis, owing to the capacity of brown adipocytes to dissipate metabolic energy as heat. Recently, a number of other possible functions have been proposed, including direct regulation of glucose and lipid homeostasis and the secretion of a number of factors with diverse regulatory actions. Read More

    Global grass (Poaceae) success underpinned by traits facilitating colonization, persistence and habitat transformation.
    Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc 2018 May 12;93(2):1125-1144. Epub 2017 Dec 12.
    Centre for Invasion Biology, Department of Botany and Zoology, Stellenbosch University, Matieland, 7602, South Africa.
    Poaceae (the grasses) is arguably the most successful plant family, in terms of its global occurrence in (almost) all ecosystems with angiosperms, its ecological dominance in many ecosystems, and high species richness. We suggest that the success of grasses is best understood in context of their capacity to colonize, persist, and transform environments (the "Viking syndrome"). This results from combining effective long-distance dispersal, efficacious establishment biology, ecological flexibility, resilience to disturbance and the capacity to modify environments by changing the nature of fire and mammalian herbivory. Read More

    Intergenerational effects of nutrition on immunity: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
    Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc 2018 May 27;93(2):1108-1124. Epub 2017 Nov 27.
    The University of Sydney, Charles Perkins Centre, NSW, 2006, Australia.
    Diet and immunity are both highly complex processes through which organisms interact with their environment and adapt to variable conditions. Parents that are able to transmit information to their offspring about prevailing environmental conditions have a selective advantage by 'priming' the physiology of their offspring. We used a meta-analytic approach to test the effect of parental diet on offspring immune responses. Read More

    A conceptual framework for understanding the perspectives on the causes of the science-practice gap in ecology and conservation.
    Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc 2018 May 20;93(2):1032-1055. Epub 2017 Nov 20.
    National Institute of Science and Technology in Interdisciplinary and Transdisciplinary Studies in Ecology and Evolution (IN-TREE), Universidade Federal da Bahia, Rua Barão do Geremoabo, s/n, Campus de Ondina/UFBA, CEP 40170-290, Salvador, Brazil.
    Applying scientific knowledge to confront societal challenges is a difficult task, an issue known as the science-practice gap. In Ecology and Conservation, scientific evidence has been seldom used directly to support decision-making, despite calls for an increasing role of ecological science in developing solutions for a sustainable future. To date, multiple causes of the science-practice gap and diverse approaches to link science and practice in Ecology and Conservation have been proposed. Read More

    Identification of de novo germline mutations and causal genes for sporadic diseases using trio-based whole-exome/genome sequencing.
    Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc 2018 May 20;93(2):1014-1031. Epub 2017 Nov 20.
    Institute of Genomic Medicine, Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, 325000, China.
    Whole-genome or whole-exome sequencing (WGS/WES) of the affected proband together with normal parents (trio) is commonly adopted to identify de novo germline mutations (DNMs) underlying sporadic cases of various genetic disorders. However, our current knowledge of the occurrence and functional effects of DNMs remains limited and accurately identifying the disease-causing DNM from a group of irrelevant DNMs is complicated. Herein, we provide a general-purpose discussion of important issues related to pathogenic gene identification based on trio-based WGS/WES data. Read More

    Reconstructing pectoral appendicular muscle anatomy in fossil fish and tetrapods over the fins-to-limbs transition.
    Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc 2018 May 10;93(2):1077-1107. Epub 2017 Nov 10.
    Museum of Comparative Zoology and Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, 26 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
    The question of how tetrapod limbs evolved from fins is one of the great puzzles of evolutionary biology. While palaeontologists, developmental biologists, and geneticists have made great strides in explaining the origin and early evolution of limb skeletal structures, that of the muscles remains largely unknown. The main reason is the lack of consensus about appendicular muscle homology between the closest living relatives of early tetrapods: lobe-finned fish and crown tetrapods. Read More

    Tick attachment cement - reviewing the mysteries of a biological skin plug system.
    Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc 2018 May 8;93(2):1056-1076. Epub 2017 Nov 8.
    Department of Trauma Surgery, Austrian Cluster for Tissue Regeneration, Medical University of Vienna, Währinger Gürtel 18-20, A-1090, Vienna, Austria.
    The majority of ticks in the family Ixodidae secrete a substance anchoring their mouthparts to the host skin. This substance is termed cement. It has adhesive properties and seals the lesion during feeding. Read More

    Scaling biodiversity responses to hydrological regimes.
    Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc 2018 May 8;93(2):971-995. Epub 2017 Nov 8.
    Division of Biology, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, U.S.A.
    Of all ecosystems, freshwaters support the most dynamic and highly concentrated biodiversity on Earth. These attributes of freshwater biodiversity along with increasing demand for water mean that these systems serve as significant models to understand drivers of global biodiversity change. Freshwater biodiversity changes are often attributed to hydrological alteration by water-resource development and climate change owing to the role of the hydrological regime of rivers, wetlands and floodplains affecting patterns of biodiversity. Read More

    Towards an eco-phylogenetic framework for infectious disease ecology.
    Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc 2018 May 8;93(2):950-970. Epub 2017 Nov 8.
    Department of Veterinary Population Medicine, University of Minnesota, St Paul, MN, 55108, U.S.A.
    Identifying patterns and drivers of infectious disease dynamics across multiple scales is a fundamental challenge for modern science. There is growing awareness that it is necessary to incorporate multi-host and/or multi-parasite interactions to understand and predict current and future disease threats better, and new tools are needed to help address this task. Eco-phylogenetics (phylogenetic community ecology) provides one avenue for exploring multi-host multi-parasite systems, yet the incorporation of eco-phylogenetic concepts and methods into studies of host pathogen dynamics has lagged behind. Read More

    The function and mechanism of vocal accommodation in humans and other primates.
    Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc 2018 May 7;93(2):996-1013. Epub 2017 Nov 7.
    Department of Anthropology, University of Zurich, 8057, Zürich, Switzerland.
    The study of non-human animals, in particular primates, can provide essential insights into language evolution. A critical element of language is vocal production learning, i.e. Read More

    Ediacaran developmental biology.
    Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc 2018 May 3;93(2):914-932. Epub 2017 Nov 3.
    School of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol, Life Sciences Building, 24 Tyndall Avenue, Bristol, BS8 1TQ, U.K.
    Rocks of the Ediacaran System (635-541 Ma) preserve fossil evidence of some of the earliest complex macroscopic organisms, many of which have been interpreted as animals. However, the unusual morphologies of some of these organisms have made it difficult to resolve their biological relationships to modern metazoan groups. Alternative competing phylogenetic interpretations have been proposed for Ediacaran taxa, including algae, fungi, lichens, rhizoid protists, and even an extinct higher-order group (Vendobionta). Read More

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