What we’re reading: Fish gut microbes, Denisovan origins of Tibetan altitude adaptation, and the curious costs of journal subscriptions

Konzentration auf Strand

In the journals

Bolnick, D. I., L. K. Snowberg, P. E. Hirsch, C. L. Lauber, R. Knight, J. G. Caporaso, and R. Svanbäck. 2014. Individuals’ diet diversity influences gut microbial diversity in two freshwater fish (threespine stickleback and Eurasian perch). Ecology Letters. 17:979–987. doi: 10.1111/ele.12301.

Unexpectedly, in most cases individuals with more generalised diets had less diverse microbiota than dietary specialists, in both natural and laboratory populations. This negative association between diet diversity and microbial diversity was small but significant, and most apparent after accounting for complex interactions between sex, size and diet.

Huerta-Sánchez, E., X. Jin, Z. Bianba, B. M. Peter, N. Vinckenbosch, Y. Liang, X. Yi, M. He, M. Somel, P. Ni, B. Wang, X. Ou, J. Luosang, Z. X. P. Cuo, K. Li, G. Gao, Y. Yin, W. Wang, X. Zhang, X. Xu, H. Yang, Y. Li, J. Wang, J. Wang, and R. Nielsen. 2014. Altitude adaptation in Tibetans caused by introgression of Denisovan-like DNA. Nature, doi: 10.1038/nature13408.

… the length of the haplotype, and the fact that it is not found in any other populations, makes it unlikely that the haplotype sharing between Tibetans and Denisovans was caused by incomplete ancestral lineage sorting rather thanintrogression.

In the news

“Typically ‘gene’ is misused most when followed by ‘for.'”

“Some universities are paying nearly twice what universities of seemingly similar size and research output pay for access to the very same journals.”

“[Wright] basically thought that a medium size population would have a balance of drift and selection that it would allow the population to drift away from an adaptive peak and randomly explore the adaptive landscape.”

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About Jeremy Yoder

Jeremy Yoder is a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Plant Biology at the University of Minnesota. He also blogs at Denim and Tweed and Nothing in Biology Makes Sense!, and tweets under the handle @jbyoder.
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