What we’re reading: Sexual selection and fish placentas, SNPs versus observational pedigrees, and the stupidest statement ever on replication

Reading

In the journals

Pollux BJA, RW Meredith, MS Springer, DN Reznick. 2014. The evolution of the placenta drives a shift in sexual selection in livebearing fish. Nature. doi: 10.1038/nature13451.

We show that post-zygotic maternal provisioning by means of a placenta is associated with the absence of bright coloration, courtship behaviour and exaggerated ornamental display traits in males. Furthermore, we found that males of placental species have smaller bodies and longer genitalia, which facilitate sneak or coercive mating and, hence, circumvents female choice.

Bérénos C, PA Ellis, JG Pilkington, and JM Pemberton. 2014. Estimating quantitative genetic parameters in wild populations: a comparison of pedigree and genomic approaches. Molecular Ecology, 23: 3434–3451. doi: 10.1111/mec.12827.

We found that the heritability captured by SNP markers asymptoted at about half the SNPs available, suggesting that denser marker panels are not necessarily required for precise and unbiased heritability estimates. Finally, we present guidelines for the use of genomic relatedness in future quantitative genetics studies in natural populations.

In the news

“Whether they mean to or not, authors and editors of failed replications are publicly impugning the scientific integrity of their colleagues.”

“Trying to prevent anyone from replicating your work, however, IS a knock on integrity. On the scientific integrity of that person who does not wish anyone to try to replicate his or her work, that is.”

“We are pleased to report that Molecular Ecology is now the first journal to surpass 1000 data packages in Dryad!”

“It’s okay to be competitive. It’s okay to strive to be the leader. But don’t define your success that way or you will undoubtedly spend more time chasing windmills than developing your career.”

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About Jeremy Yoder

Jeremy Yoder is an Assistant Professor of Biology at California State University, Northridge. He also blogs at Denim and Tweed, and tweets under the handle @jbyoder.

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