8,279 results match your criteria Molecular ecology[Journal]


The evolution of microendemism in a reef fish (Hypoplectrus maya).

Mol Ecol 2019 Apr 24. Epub 2019 Apr 24.

GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Marine Evolutionary Ecology, Düsternbrooker Weg 20, 24105, Kiel, Germany.

Marine species tend to have extensive distributions, which are commonly attributed to the dispersal potential provided by planktonic larvae and the rarity of absolute barriers to dispersal in the ocean. Under this paradigm, the occurrence of marine microendemism without geographic isolation in species with planktonic larvae poses a dilemma. The recently described Maya hamlet (Hypoplectrus maya, Serranidae) is exactly such a case, being endemic to a 50-km segment of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System (MBRS). Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.15110DOI Listing

The return of the frogs: The importance of habitat refugia in maintaining diversity during a disease outbreak.

Mol Ecol 2019 Apr 23. Epub 2019 Apr 23.

College of Science and Engineering, James Cook University, Townsville, QLD, 4811, Australia.

Recent decades have seen the emergence and spread of numerous infectious diseases, often with severe negative consequences for wildlife populations. Nevertheless, many populations survive the initial outbreaks, and even undergo recoveries. Unfortunately, the long-term effects of these outbreaks on host population genetics are poorly understood; to increase this understanding, we examined the population genetics of two species of rainforest frogs (Litoria nannotis and Litoria serrata) that have largely recovered from a chytridiomycosis outbreak at two national parks in the Wet Tropics of northern Australia. Read More

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https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/mec.15108
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.15108DOI Listing
April 2019
1 Read

Landscape genomic signatures indicate reduced gene flow and forest-associated adaptive divergence in an endangered neotropical turtle.

Mol Ecol 2019 Apr 23. Epub 2019 Apr 23.

Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, La Kretz Center for California Conservation Science, and Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, 90095, USA.

Human-induced transformations of ecosystems usually result in fragmented populations subject to increased extinction risk. Fragmentation is also often associated with novel environmental heterogeneity, which in combination with restricted gene flow may increase the opportunity for local adaptation. To manage at-risk populations in these landscapes, it is important to understand how gene flow is changing, and how populations respond to habitat loss. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.15112DOI Listing

The number of breeders explains genetic connectivity in an endangered bird.

Mol Ecol 2019 Apr 23. Epub 2019 Apr 23.

Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 32611-0430, USA.

Connectivity is central to ecology and evolution as it focuses on the movement of individuals or genes across landscapes. Genetic connectivity approaches aim to understand gene flow but often estimate it indirectly based on metrics of genetic differentiation, which can also be affected by other evolutionary forces such as genetic drift. Gene flow and genetic drift are driven by separate ecological mechanisms with potentially differing effects on genetic differentiation and interpretations of genetic connectivity. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.15109DOI Listing

Oceanographic barriers, divergence, and admixture: Phylogeography and taxonomy of two putative subspecies of short-finned pilot whale.

Mol Ecol 2019 Apr 19. Epub 2019 Apr 19.

Southwest Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Fisheries Service, NOAA, 8901 La Jolla Shores Drive, La Jolla, CA, 92037.

Genomic phylogeography plays an important role in describing evolutionary processes and their geographic, ecological, or cultural drivers. These drivers are often poorly understood in marine environments, which have fewer obvious barriers to mixing than terrestrial environments. Taxonomic uncertainty of some taxa (e. Read More

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https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/mec.15107
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.15107DOI Listing
April 2019
1 Read

The right response at the right time: Exploring helminth immune modulation in sticklebacks by experimental co-infection.

Mol Ecol 2019 Apr 16. Epub 2019 Apr 16.

Evolutionary Ecology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Plön, Germany.

Parasites are one of the strongest selective agents in nature. They select for hosts that evolve counter-adaptive strategies to cope with infection. Helminth parasites are special because they can modulate their hosts' immune responses. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.15106DOI Listing

Expansion history and environmental suitability shape effective population size in a plant invasion.

Mol Ecol 2019 Apr 16. Epub 2019 Apr 16.

Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona, PO Box 210088, Tucson, AZ, 85721, USA.

The margins of an expanding range are predicted to be challenging environments for adaptation. Marginal populations should often experience low effective population sizes (N ) where genetic drift is high due to demographic expansion and/or census population size is low due to unfavorable environmental conditions. Nevertheless, invasive species demonstrate increasing evidence of rapid evolution and potential adaptation to novel environments encountered during colonization, calling into question whether significant reductions in N are realized during range expansions in nature. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.15104DOI Listing

Archaeal biogeography and interactions with microbial community across complex subtropical coastal waters.

Mol Ecol 2019 Apr 16. Epub 2019 Apr 16.

School of Marine Sciences, Ningbo University, Ningbo, 315211, China.

Marine archaea are crucial in biogeochemical cycles, but their horizontal spatial variability, assembly processes, and microbial associations across complex coastal waters still lack characterizations at high coverage. Using a dense sampling strategy, we investigated horizontal variability in total Archaeal, Thaumarchaeota Marine Group (MG) I, and Euryarchaeota MGII communities and associations of MGI/MGII with other microbes in surface waters with contrasting environmental characteristics across ~ 200 km by 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing. Total Archaeal communities were extremely dominated by MGI and/or MGII (98. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.15105DOI Listing

Extra-pair mating in a socially monogamous and paternal mouthbrooding cardinalfish.

Mol Ecol 2019 Apr 15. Epub 2019 Apr 15.

Marine Biology and Aquaculture, College of Science and Engineering, James Cook University, Townsville, 4811 QLD, Australia.

Many vertebrates form monogamous pairs to mate and care for their offspring. However, genetic tools have increasingly shown that many offspring arise from matings outside of the monogamous pair bond. Social monogamy is relatively common in coral reef fishes, but there have been relatively few studies that have confirmed monogamy or extra-pair reproduction, either for males or females. Read More

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https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/mec.15103
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.15103DOI Listing
April 2019
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Assessing thermal adaptation using family-based association and F -outlier tests in a threatened trout.

Mol Ecol 2019 Apr 13. Epub 2019 Apr 13.

Trout Unlimited, Science Program, Boise, ID, 83702.

Discovering genetic markers associated with phenotypic or ecological characteristics can improve our understanding of adaptation and guide conservation of key evolutionary traits. The Lahontan cutthroat trout of the northern Great Basin Desert, USA demonstrated exceptional tolerance to high temperatures in the desert lakes where it resided historically. This trait is central to a conservation hatchery effort to protect the genetic legacy of the nearly-extinct lake ecotype. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.15100DOI Listing
April 2019
6.494 Impact Factor

Parallel introgression and selection on introduced alleles in a native species.

Mol Ecol 2019 Apr 13. Epub 2019 Apr 13.

Department of Zoology and Biodiversity Research Centre, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

As humans cause the redistribution of species ranges, hybridization between previously allopatric species is on the rise. Such hybridization can have complex effects on overall fitness of native species as new allelic combinations are tested. Widespread species introductions provide a unique opportunity to study selection on introgressed alleles in independent, replicated populations. Read More

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https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/mec.15097
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.15097DOI Listing
April 2019
6 Reads

Satellite tracking of gulls and genomic characterization of fecal bacteria reveals environmentally mediated acquisition and dispersal of antimicrobial resistant Escherichia coli on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska.

Mol Ecol 2019 Apr 13. Epub 2019 Apr 13.

U.S. Geological Survey, Alaska Science Center, Anchorage, Alaska, 99508, USA.

Gulls (Larus spp.) have frequently been reported to carry Escherichia coli exhibiting antimicrobial resistance (AMR E. coli); however, the pathways governing the acquisition and dispersal of such bacteria are not well-described. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.15101DOI Listing

Divergence with gene flow is driven by local adaptation to temperature and soil phosphorus concentration in teosinte subspecies (Zea mays parviglumis and Zea mays mexicana).

Mol Ecol 2019 Apr 13. Epub 2019 Apr 13.

Departamento de Ecología Evolutiva, Instituto de Ecología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad de México, México.

Patterns of genomic divergence between hybridizing taxa can be heterogeneous along the genome. Both differential introgression and local adaptation may contribute to this pattern. Here we analysed two teosinte subspecies, Zea mays ssp. Read More

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https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/mec.15098
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.15098DOI Listing
April 2019
2 Reads

Cardinalfishes (Apogonidae) show visual system adaptations typical of nocturnally and diurnally active fish.

Mol Ecol 2019 Apr 12. Epub 2019 Apr 12.

Queensland Brain Institute, The University of Queensland, Sensory Neurobiology Group, Brisbane, QLD, 4072, Australia.

Animal visual systems adapt to environmental light on various timescales. In scotopic conditions, evolutionary time-scale adaptations include spectral tuning to a narrower light spectrum, loss (or inactivation) of visual genes, and pure-rod or rod-dominated retinas. Some fishes inhabiting shallow coral reefs may show activity during the day and at night. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.15102DOI Listing
April 2019
1 Read

Non-fertilizing sperm in Lepidoptera show little evidence for recurrent positive selection.

Mol Ecol 2019 Apr 11. Epub 2019 Apr 11.

University of Kansas, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

Sperm are among the most variable cells in nature. Some of this variation results from non-adaptive errors in spermatogenesis, but many species consistently produce multiple sperm morphs, the adaptive significance of which remains unknown. Here, we investigate the evolution of dimorphic sperm in Lepidoptera, the butterflies and moths. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.15096DOI Listing
April 2019
3 Reads

Importance of plant- and microbe-driven metabolic pathways for plant defence.

Authors:
Anna M O'Brien

Mol Ecol 2019 Apr 10. Epub 2019 Apr 10.

Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Expression of plant phenotypes can depend on both plant genomes and interactions between plants and the microbes living in, on and near their roots. We understand a growing number of the mechanistic links between plant genotypes and phenotypes, such as defence against herbivory (see brief review in Hubbard et al., ), yet the links between root microbiomes and the comprehensive swathe of plant phenotypes they affect (Friesen et al. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.15059DOI Listing

Breaking down barriers in morning glories.

Mol Ecol 2019 Apr 9. Epub 2019 Apr 9.

Institute of Science and Technology Austria, Klosterneuburg, Austria.

One of the most striking and consistent results in speciation genomics is the heterogeneous divergence observed across the genomes of closely related species. This pattern was initially attributed to different levels of gene exchange-with divergence preserved at loci generating a barrier to gene flow but homogenized at unlinked neutral loci. Although there is evidence to support this model, it is now recognized that interpreting patterns of divergence across genomes is not so straightforward. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.15048DOI Listing

Gene copy number variations as signatures of adaptive evolution in the parthenogenetic, plant-parasitic nematode Meloidogyne incognita.

Mol Ecol 2019 Apr 9. Epub 2019 Apr 9.

INRA, Université Côte d'Azur, CNRS, ISA, France.

Adaptation to changing environmental conditions represents a challenge to parthenogenetic organisms and until now, how phenotypic variants are generated in clones in response to the selection pressure of their environment remains poorly known. The obligatory parthenogenetic root-knot nematode species Meloidogyne incognita has a worldwide distribution and is the most devastating plant-parasitic nematode. Despite its asexual reproduction, this species exhibits an unexpected capacity of adaptation to environmental constraints, e. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.15095DOI Listing
April 2019
1 Read

Dynamics of genomic change during evolutionary rescue in the seed beetle Callosobruchus maculatus.

Mol Ecol 2019 Apr 8. Epub 2019 Apr 8.

Department of Biology, Utah State University, Logan, UT, 84322, USA.

Rapid adaptation can prevent extinction when populations are exposed to extremely marginal or stressful environments. Factors that affect the likelihood of evolutionary rescue from extinction have been identified, but much less is known about the evolutionary dynamics (e.g. Read More

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https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/mec.15085
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.15085DOI Listing
April 2019
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Avian host composition, local speciation, and dispersal drive the regional assembly of avian malaria parasites in South American birds.

Mol Ecol 2019 Apr 8. Epub 2019 Apr 8.

Department of Biology, Rhodes College, Memphis, TN, 38112, USA.

Identifying the ecological factors that shape parasite distributions remains a central goal in disease ecology. These factors include dispersal capability, environmental filters, and geographic distance. Using 520 haemosporidian parasite genetic lineages recovered from 7,534 birds sampled across tropical and temperate South America we tested 1) the latitudinal diversity gradient hypothesis and 2) the distance-decay relationship (decreasing proportion of shared species between communities with increasing geographic distance) for this host-parasite system. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.15094DOI Listing

Standing genomic variation within coding and regulatory regions contributes to the adaptive capacity to climate in a foundation tree species.

Mol Ecol 2019 Apr 5. Epub 2019 Apr 5.

Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, Western Sydney University Hawkesbury Campus, Locked Bag 1797, Penrith, NSW, 2751, Australia.

Global climate is rapidly changing and the ability for tree species to adapt is dependent on standing genomic variation; however the distribution and abundance of functional and adaptive variants are poorly understood in natural systems. We test key hypotheses regarding the genetics of adaptive variation in a foundation tree: genomic variation is associated with climate and genomic variation is more likely to be associated with temperature than precipitation or aridity. To test these hypotheses, we used 9,593 independent, genomic single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from 270 individuals sampled from Corymbia calophylla's entire distribution in southwestern Western Australia, spanning orthogonal temperature and precipitation gradients. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.15092DOI Listing
April 2019
1 Read

ddRAD-seq data reveal significant genome-wide population structure and divergent genomic regions that distinguish the mallard and close relatives in North America.

Mol Ecol 2019 Apr 3. Epub 2019 Apr 3.

Department of Biological Sciences, Wright State University, 3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy, Dayton, OH, 45435, USA.

Recently evolved species typically share genetic variation across their genomes due to incomplete lineage sorting and/or ongoing gene flow. Given only subtle allele frequency differences at most loci and the expectation that divergent selection may affect only a tiny fraction of the genome, distinguishing closely related species based on multi-locus data requires substantial genomic coverage. In this study, we used ddRAD-seq to sample the genomes of five recently diverged, New World "mallards" (Anas spp. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.15091DOI Listing
April 2019
2 Reads

Heat-stress induced flowering can be a potential adaptive response to ocean warming for the iconic seagrass Posidonia oceanica.

Mol Ecol 2019 Apr 2. Epub 2019 Apr 2.

Integrative Marine Ecology, Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn, Villa Comunale, 80121, Napoli, Italy.

The Mediterranean Sea is particularly vulnerable to warming and the abrupt declines experienced by the endemic Posidonia oceanica populations after recent heatwaves have forecasted severe consequences for the ecological functions and socio-economical services this habitat forming species provides. Nevertheless, this highly clonal and long-lived species could be more resilient to warming than commonly thought since heat-sensitive plants massively bloomed after a simulated heatwave, which provides the species with an opportunity to adapt to climate change. Taking advantage of this unexpected plant response, we investigated for the first time the molecular and physiological mechanisms involved in seagrass flowering through the transcriptomic analysis of bloomed plants. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.15089DOI Listing
April 2019
1 Read

Time series are critical to understand microbial plankton diversity and ecology.

Mol Ecol 2019 Mar;28(5):920-922

Ecologie Systématique Evolution, CNRS, Université Paris-Sud, Université Paris-Saclay, AgroParisTech, Orsay, France.

How diverse are marine planktonic protist communities? How much seasonality do they exhibit? For a very long time, these two old and challenging questions in the field of plankton ecology could be addressed only for large-size protist species, based on cell counting under the microscope. The recent application of molecular techniques, notably massive marker-gene amplicon sequencing approaches (metabarcoding), has allowed investigating with unprecedented level of resolution the small-sized (<20 µm) planktonic eukaryotes too. An amazing diversity of these tiny organisms has been unveiled but details about their temporal dynamics remain much more elusive. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.15015DOI Listing
March 2019
2 Reads

Multi-tasking as an ancient skill: When one gene does many things well.

Authors:
Kathleen Donohue

Mol Ecol 2019 Mar;28(5):917-919

Department of Biology, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina.

Multi-tasking is in our DNA. Many genes perform more than one function, and the question is how well it can do them all. Pleiotropy is frequently considered to be an adaptive constraint that prevents optimal phenotypes from evolving because of antagonistic indirect selection acting on genetically correlated traits. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.15003DOI Listing
March 2019
1 Read

Spatiotemporally explicit demographic modelling supports a joint effect of historical barriers to dispersal and contemporary landscape composition on structuring genomic variation in a red-listed grasshopper.

Mol Ecol 2019 Apr 2. Epub 2019 Apr 2.

Department of Integrative Ecology, Estación Biológica de Doñana - EBD - (CSIC), Avda. Américo Vespucio 26, E-41092, Seville, Spain.

Inferring the processes underlying spatial patterns of genomic variation is fundamental to understand how organisms interact with landscape heterogeneity and to identify the factors determining species distributional shifts. Here, we employ genomic data (ddRADSeq) to test biologically-informed models representing historical and contemporary demographic scenarios of population connectivity for the Iberian cross-backed grasshopper Dociostaurus hispanicus, a species with a narrow distribution that currently forms highly fragmented populations. All models incorporated biological aspects of the focal taxon that could hypothetically impact its geographical patterns of genomic variation, including (a) spatial configuration of impassable barriers to dispersal defined by topographic landscapes not occupied by the species, (b) distributional shifts resulted from the interaction between the species bioclimatic envelope and Pleistocene glacial cycles, and (c) contemporary distribution of suitable habitats after extensive land clearing for agriculture. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.15086DOI Listing
April 2019
1 Read

Dietary partitioning promotes the coexistence of planktivorous species on coral reefs.

Mol Ecol 2019 Apr 1. Epub 2019 Apr 1.

Coastal Research Center, Marine Science Institute, University of California Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA, 93106, USA.

Theories involving niche diversification to explain high levels of tropical diversity propose that species are more likely to co-occur if they partition at least one dimension of their ecological niche space. Yet, numerous species appear to have widely overlapping niches based upon broad categorizations of resource use or functional traits. In particular, the extent to which food partitioning contributes to species coexistence in hyperdiverse tropical ecosystems remains unresolved. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.15090DOI Listing

Major shifts in gut microbiota during development and its relationship to growth in ostriches.

Mol Ecol 2019 Mar 27. Epub 2019 Mar 27.

Department of Biology, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.

The development of gut microbiota during ontogeny in vertebrates is emerging as an important process influencing physiology, immunity, and fitness. However, there is little knowledge of how bacteria colonise the juvenile gut, how this is influenced by changes in the diversity of gut bacteria, and to what extent this influences host fitness, particularly in non-model organisms. Here we used 16S rRNA gene sequencing to describe the successional development of the faecal microbiome in ostriches (Struthio camelus, n = 66) over the first three months of life and its relationship to growth. Read More

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https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/mec.15087
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.15087DOI Listing
March 2019
2 Reads

A gene for resistance to the Varroa mite (Acari) in honey bee (Apis mellifera) pupae.

Mol Ecol 2019 Mar 27. Epub 2019 Mar 27.

Molecular Ecology, Institute of Biology/Zoology, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle (Saale), Germany.

Social insect colonies possess a range of defences which protect them against highly-virulent parasites and colony collapse. The host-parasite interaction between honey bees (Apis mellifera) and the mite Varroa destructor is unusual, as honey bee colonies are relatively poorly-defended against this parasite. The interaction has existed since the mid-20 Century, when Varroa switched host to parasitise A. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.15080DOI Listing

A process of convergent amplification and tissue-specific expression dominate the evolution of toxin and toxin-like genes in sea anemones.

Mol Ecol 2019 Mar 26. Epub 2019 Mar 26.

School of Earth, Environmental and Biological Sciences, Science and Engineering Faculty, Queensland University of Technology.

Members of phylum Cnidaria are an ancient group of venomous animals and rely on a number of specialised tissues to produce toxins in order to fulfil a range of ecological roles including prey capture, defence against predators, digestion, and aggressive encounters. However, limited comprehensive analyses of the evolution and expression of toxin genes currently exists for cnidarian species. In this study, we use genomic and transcriptomic sequencing data to examine gene copy number variation and selective pressure on toxin gene families in phylum Cnidaria. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.15084DOI Listing

Parallel signatures of selection at genomic islands of divergence and the MHC in ecotypes of sockeye salmon across Alaska.

Mol Ecol 2019 Mar 26. Epub 2019 Mar 26.

School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, University of Washington, 1122 NE Boat Street, Box 355020, Seattle, WA, 98195-5020, USA.

Understanding the genetic mechanisms that facilitate adaptive radiation is an important component of evolutionary biology. Here, we genotyped 82 neutral SNPs, seven SNPs in islands of divergence identified in a previous study (island SNPs), and a region of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) in 32 populations of sockeye salmon to investigate whether conserved genes and genomic regions are involved in adaptive radiation. Populations representing three ecotypes were sampled from seven drainages with differing habitats and colonization histories spanning a range of 2,000 km. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.15082DOI Listing

Heritable variation in bleaching responses and its functional genomic basis in reef-building corals (Orbicella faveolata).

Mol Ecol 2019 Mar 26. Epub 2019 Mar 26.

Department of Integrative Biology, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR.

Reef-building corals are highly sensitive to rising ocean temperatures, and substantial adaptation will be required for corals and the ecosystems they support to persist in changing ocean conditions. Genetic variation that might support adaptive responses has been measured in larval stages of some corals, but these estimates remain unavailable for adult corals and the functional basis of this variation remains unclear. In this study, we focused on the potential for adaptation in Orbicella faveolata, a dominant reef-builder in the Caribbean. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.15081DOI Listing

Population assignment reveals low migratory connectivity in a weakly structured songbird.

Mol Ecol 2019 Mar 26. Epub 2019 Mar 26.

Center for Environmental Studies, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, 23284, USA.

Understanding migratory connectivity is essential for determining the drivers behind population dynamics and for implementing effective conservation strategies for migratory species. Genetic markers provide a means to describe migratory connectivity, however they can be uninformative for species with weak population genetic structure, which has limited their application. Here, we demonstrated a genomic approach to describing migratory connectivity in the prothonotary warbler, Protonotaria citrea, a Neotropical songbird of conservation concern. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.15083DOI Listing

Tandem-Running and Scouting Behavior are Characterized by Up-Regulation of Learning and Memory Formation Genes within the Ant Brain.

Mol Ecol 2019 Mar 23. Epub 2019 Mar 23.

Institute of Organismic and Molecular Evolution, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Johannes von Müller Weg 6, Mainz, 55128, Germany.

Tandem-running is a recruitment behavior in ants that has been described as a form of teaching, where spatial information possessed by a leader is conveyed to following nestmates. Within Temnothorax ants, tandem-running is used within a variety of contexts, from foraging and nest relocation to - in the case of slavemaking species - slave raiding. Here, we elucidate the transcriptomic basis of scouting, tandem-leading, and tandem-following behaviors across two species with divergent lifestyles: the slavemaking Temnothorax americanus and its primary, non-parasitic host T. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.15079DOI Listing
March 2019
2 Reads

Sex allocation plasticity on a transcriptome scale: socially-sensitive gene expression in a simultaneous hermaphrodite.

Mol Ecol 2019 Mar 19. Epub 2019 Mar 19.

Evolutionary Biology, Bielefeld University, Germany.

Phenotypic plasticity can enable organisms to produce optimal phenotypes in multiple environments. A crucial life history trait that is often highly plastic is sex allocation, which in simultaneous hermaphrodites describes the relative investment into the male versus female sex functions. Theory predicts - and morphological evidence supports - that greater investment into the male function is favoured with increasing group size, due to the increasing importance of sperm competition for male reproductive success. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.15077DOI Listing

Genomic changes underlying host specialization in the bee gut symbiont Lactobacillus Firm5.

Mol Ecol 2019 Mar 13. Epub 2019 Mar 13.

Department of Fundamental Microbiology, University of Lausanne, 1015, Lausanne, Switzerland.

Bacteria that engage in longstanding associations with particular hosts are expected to evolve host-specific adaptations that limit their capacity to thrive in other environments. Consistent with this, many gut symbionts seem to have a limited host range, based on community profiling and phylogenomics. However, few studies have experimentally investigated host specialization of gut symbionts and underlying mechanisms have largely remained elusive. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.15075DOI Listing

Drift happens: Molecular genetic diversity and differentiation among populations of jewelweed (Impatiens capensis Meerb.) reflect fragmentation of floodplain forests.

Mol Ecol 2019 Mar 9. Epub 2019 Mar 9.

Department of Botany, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 430 Lincoln Drive, Madison, WI, 53706.

Landscape features often shape patterns of gene flow and genetic differentiation in plant species. Populations that are small and isolated enough also become subject to genetic drift. We examined patterns of gene flow and differentiation among 12 floodplain populations of the selfing annual jewelweed (Impatiens capensis Meerb. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.15072DOI Listing

Fur seal microbiota are shaped by the social and physical environment, show mother-offspring similarities and are associated with host genetic quality.

Mol Ecol 2019 Mar 8. Epub 2019 Mar 8.

Department of Animal Behaviour, Bielefeld University, Postfach, 100131, 33615, Bielefeld, Germany.

Despite an increasing appreciation of the importance of host-microbe interactions in ecological and evolutionary processes, the factors shaping microbial communities in wild populations remain poorly understood. We therefore exploited a natural experiment provided by two adjacent Antarctic fur seal (Arctocephalus gazella) colonies of high and low social density and combined 16S rRNA metabarcoding with microsatellite profiling of mother-offspring pairs to investigate environmental and genetic influences on skin microbial communities. Seal-associated bacterial communities differed profoundly between the two colonies, despite the host populations themselves being genetically undifferentiated. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.15070DOI Listing

Unraveling the invasion history of the Asian tiger mosquito in Europe.

Mol Ecol 2019 Mar 8. Epub 2019 Mar 8.

Université Grenoble Alpes, CNRS, LECA, F-38000, Grenoble, France.

Multiple introductions are key features for establishment and persistence of introduced species. However, little is known about the contribution of genetic admixture to the invasive potential of populations. To address this issue, we studied the recent invasion of the Asian tiger mosquito in Europe. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.15071DOI Listing
March 2019
5 Reads

Caste- and pesticide-specific effects of neonicotinoid pesticide exposure on gene expression in bumblebees.

Mol Ecol 2019 Mar 6. Epub 2019 Mar 6.

School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK.

Social bees are important insect pollinators of wildflowers and agricultural crops, making their reported declines a global concern. A major factor implicated in these declines is the widespread use of neonicotinoid pesticides. Indeed, recent research has demonstrated that exposure to low doses of these neurotoxic pesticides impairs bee behaviours important for colony function and survival. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.15047DOI Listing
March 2019
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Climate-change, extinction, and Sky Island biogeography in a montane lizard.

Mol Ecol 2019 Mar 7. Epub 2019 Mar 7.

CyVerse, Bio5 Institute, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, 85721, USA.

Around the world, many species are confined to "Sky Islands," with different populations in isolated patches of montane habitat. How does this pattern arise? One scenario is that montane species were widespread in lowlands when climates were cooler, and were isolated by local extinction caused by warming conditions. This scenario implies that many montane species may be highly susceptible to anthropogenic warming. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.15073DOI Listing
March 2019
21 Reads

Going beyond SNPs: The role of structural genomic variants in adaptive evolution and species diversification.

Mol Ecol 2019 Mar;28(6):1203-1209

Institut de Biologie Intégrative et des Systèmes (IBIS), Université Laval, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.15066DOI Listing

Evolutionary genomics of gypsy moth populations sampled along a latitudinal gradient.

Mol Ecol 2019 Mar 4. Epub 2019 Mar 4.

Department of Biology, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, 23284.

The European gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar L.) was first introduced to Massachusetts in 1869 and within 150 years has spread throughout eastern North America. This large-scale invasion across a heterogeneous landscape allows examination of the genetic signatures of adaptation potentially associated with rapid geographic spread. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.15069DOI Listing

Delineation of ecologically distinct units of marine Bacteroidetes in the Northwestern Mediterranean Sea.

Mol Ecol 2019 Mar 4. Epub 2019 Mar 4.

Department of Marine Biology and Oceanography, Institut de Ciències del Mar (CSIC), 08003, Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain.

Bacteroidetes is one of the dominant phyla of ocean bacterioplankton, yet its diversity and population structure is poorly understood. To advance in the delineation of ecologically meaningful units within this group, we constructed near full-length 16S rRNA gene clone libraries from contrasting marine environments in the NW Mediterranean. Based on phylogeny and the associated ecological variables (depth and season), 24 different Bacteroidetes clades were delineated. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.15068DOI Listing

UNVEILing connections between genotype, phenotype, and fitness in natural populations.

Mol Ecol 2019 Mar 4. Epub 2019 Mar 4.

Division of Biological Sciences, University of Montana, 32 Campus Dr HS 104, Missoula, MT, 59812.

Understanding the links between genetic variation and fitness in natural populations is a central goal of evolutionary genetics. This monumental task spans the fields of classical and molecular genetics, population genetics, biochemistry, physiology, developmental biology, and ecology. Advances to our molecular and developmental toolkits are facilitating integrative approaches across these traditionally separate fields, providing a more complete picture of the genotype-phenotype map in natural and non-model systems. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.15067DOI Listing

Chromosome polymorphisms track trans-Atlantic divergence and secondary contact in Atlantic salmon.

Mol Ecol 2019 Mar 2. Epub 2019 Mar 2.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Centre, 80 E White Hills Rd, St. John's, Newfoundland, A1C 5X1, Canada.

Pleistocene glaciations drove repeated range contractions and expansions shaping contemporary intraspecific diversity. Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) in the western and eastern Atlantic diverged >600,000 YBP, with the two lineages isolated in different southern refugia during glacial maxima, driving trans-Atlantic genomic and karyotypic divergence. Here, we investigate genomic consequences of glacial isolation and trans-Atlantic secondary contact using 108,870 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) genotyped in 80 North American and European populations. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.15065DOI Listing

Convergence, constraint and the potential for mutualism between ants and gut microbes.

Mol Ecol 2019 Feb;28(4):699-702

Department of Biology, Program in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology, University of Nevada, Reno, Nevada.

Ants are a hugely diverse family of eusocial insects that dominate terrestrial ecosystems all over the planet. Did mutualistic gut microbes help ants to achieve their diversity and ecological dominance? Initial studies suggested the potential for widespread convergence in ant gut bacterial communities based on dietary niche, but it now seems possible that dedicated bacterial symbionts are restricted to a minority of ant lineages (Russell et al., ). Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.14998DOI Listing
February 2019

Invasive invertebrates associated with highly duplicated gene content.

Mol Ecol 2019 Feb 27. Epub 2019 Feb 27.

Graduate School of Life Sciences, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan.

Invasion of alien species has led to serious problems, including the destruction of native ecosystems. In general, invasive species adapt to new environments rapidly, suggesting that they have high genetic diversity that can directly influence environmental adaptability. However, it is not known how genomic architecture causes genetic diversity that leads to invasiveness. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.15019DOI Listing
February 2019
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Changes in gene DNA methylation and expression networks accompany caste specialization and age-related physiological changes in a social insect.

Mol Ecol 2019 Feb 27. Epub 2019 Feb 27.

Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, 1919-1 Tancha Onna-son, Kunigami-gun Okinawa, 904-0412, Japan.

Social insects provide systems for studying epigenetic regulation of phenotypes, particularly with respect to differentiation of reproductive and worker castes, which typically arise from a common genetic background. The role of gene expression in caste specialization has been extensively studied, but the role of DNA methylation remains controversial. Here, we perform well-replicated, integrated analyses of DNA methylation and gene expression in brains of an ant (Formica exsecta) with distinct female castes using traditional approaches (tests of differential methylation) combined with a novel approach (analysis of co-expression and co-methylation networks). Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.15062DOI Listing
February 2019

Disease management at the wildlife-livestock interface: using whole-genome sequencing to study the role of elk in Mycobacterium bovis transmission in Michigan, USA.

Mol Ecol 2019 Feb 26. Epub 2019 Feb 26.

Boyd Orr Centre for Population and Ecosystem Health, Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK.

The role of wildlife in the persistence and spread of livestock diseases is difficult to quantify and control. These difficulties are exacerbated when several wildlife species are potentially involved. Bovine tuberculosis (bTB), caused by Mycobacterium bovis, has experienced an ecological shift in Michigan, with spillover from cattle leading to an endemically infected white-tailed deer (deer) population. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.15061DOI Listing
February 2019
1 Read