Category Archives: adaptation

Adapting to the new wave of isolation by environment

Isolation by environment, not distance, explains the genetic relationship between an avian taxon among Madrean Sky Islands, according to a new study appearing in Molecular Ecology by Manthey and Moyle. The authors throw the kitchen sink of new analyses at a combination … Continue reading

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Old dogs, and ‘carnivorous’ pandas

It was a good fortnight for large mammals! Two recent studies attempt to date the emergence of modern canids, and offer insights into the gut microbiomes of giant pandas. Ancient Wolf Genome Reveals an Early Divergence of Domestic Dog Ancestors and … Continue reading

Posted in adaptation, evolution, genomics, metagenomics, microbiology, natural history, Paleogenomics, population genetics, speciation | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Sexual selection and population fitness

Sexual selection or non-random mate choice acts to ‘filter’ out less competitive/desirable phenotypes from a population. In the presence of small effect mutation loads, i.e. small fitness differences between a mutation-free population, and one with persistent deleterious mutations, sexual selection … Continue reading

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Gene flow and Population Fitness

Fitness effects of gene flow (both advantageous and deleterious) have garnered plenty of recent press and scientific exploration. At the population level, the concepts and consequences are notoriously familiar. In the context of immigration, they reduce to existing genetic variation, … Continue reading

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Sous les mers: cradles or museums of biodiversity?

While thinking about environmental genomics and writing this post on a recent article in Heredity, I interviewed Eric Pante.

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Adaptive divergence in the monkey flower

Theory suggests adaptive divergence can proceed in the face of gene flow when adaptive alleles occur in areas of the genome, such as chromosomal inversions, that are protected from recombination, which can break up beneficial allele pairings. In their recent Evolution paper, … Continue reading

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Plastic and evolved responses to host fruit in apple maggot flies

The apple maggot fly, Rhagoletis pomonella, is a prominent system for the study of sympatric speciation. Sister taxa in the R. pomonella species complex, the apple-infesting race of R. pomonella and the snowberry-infesting R. zephyria, have sympatric distributions and the fruiting time of their preferred hosts widely overlaps. … Continue reading

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d(N)eutralist < d(S)electionist Part 4

Continuing our discussion of the neutralist-selectionist debate, recent findings by Schrider et al. (2015) bring us to the topic of selective sweeps, and their genomic signatures in a population. As we have discussed in previous posts, numerous studies (since the … Continue reading

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How (not) to review papers on inclusive fitness

There are few evolutionary concepts as polarizing as Hamilton’s rule. Some researchers feel that there is no mathematical grounding for it, while others beg to differ. Yet empirical evidence in support of Hamilton’s rule is scarce (but check out this … Continue reading

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l’oliva di mare: disturbance and genetic diversity

Seagrasses are important ecosystem-engineers of coastal regions around the world. Previous work has demonstrated the correlation of high genotypic diversity with resistance (e.g., Hughes and Stachowicz 2004) and resilience (e.g., Reusch et al. 2005). In a recently accepted paper in Molecular Ecology, Jahnke, … Continue reading

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