Category Archives: adaptation

From cats to rats: two studies on domestication and tameness

Anyone who has ever read Charles Darwin is acutely aware of his fascination with domestication – particularly how he fancied fancy pigeons. Darwin drew on his domestication obsession while writing his book, The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication, … Continue reading

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Posted in adaptation, association genetics, domestication, genomics, methods, next generation sequencing, phylogenetics, quantitative genetics | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The forest resounding at rare intervals with the note of … reproductive isolation

Hybrid zones are often used as a window with which to gaze upon the evolutionary process (Barton and Hewitt 1989). With the advent of genomic tools, it is possible to detect the genomic signatures and the architecture underlying reproductive isolation. In … Continue reading

Posted in adaptation, conservation, genomics, next generation sequencing, population genetics, speciation | 1 Comment

Different genetic paths lead to the same phenotypic destination

Male field crickets (Teleogryllus oceanicus) on the Hawaiian archipelago sing to attract mates using acoustic structures on their wings. While singing makes the ladies swoon, it also gives away the male cricket’s location, making it vulnerable to fatal attacks by … Continue reading

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Highlights from the 2014 Ecological Genomics Symposium

Ecological genomics is a rapidly growing field that aims to understand the genetic mechanisms responsible for the adaptive responses of organisms to their environment. I’m jumping into this area of research as a postdoc in the Kelly Lab at Louisiana … Continue reading

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Fishing for genetic signals of adaptation

One of the biggest promises of modern DNA sequencing methods is the ability to track the adaptation of living populations at a fine genetic scale, in essentially real time. It’s already been done in a number of experimental evolution systems: … Continue reading

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You can evolve there from here. And from here. And here …

If evolutionary history somehow reverted back to the “warm little pond” in which life began, and started over from almost-scratch, would the re-diversification of life end up, four billion years later, pretty much as we see it today? I think … Continue reading

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Selection keeps an extra-close eye on multi-functional genes

Genes that have roles in multiple traits—pleiotropic genes—have long been thought to be under stronger selection as a result of those multiple functions. The basic logic is that, when a gene produces a protein that has a lot of different … Continue reading

Posted in adaptation, genomics, quantitative genetics | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Scanning the genome for local adaptation

One of the most obvious and important applications of evolutionary genetics is in figuring out whether natural biological communities are going to be able to adapt to global climate change. The projected rate of climate change over then next century … Continue reading

Posted in adaptation, association genetics, genomics, next generation sequencing | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Identifying and quantifying fitness effects across loci

The following guest post by Ethan Jewett is cross-posted from the is cross-posted from the CEHG blog at Stanford. Enjoy! The degree to which similarities and differences among species are the result of natural selection, rather than genetic drift, is … Continue reading

Posted in adaptation, genomics, population genetics, theory | 1 Comment

The broom of the system: Tracking soft selective sweeps in bacteria colonizing the gut

A growing body of population genetic evidence suggests that adaptive evolutionary change often proceeds via soft selective sweeps, in which beneficial mutations on multiple genetic backgrounds—and potentially at multiple loci—all increase in frequency, but none achieve fixation. This process has … Continue reading

Posted in adaptation, microbiology, population genetics | Tagged , , | 1 Comment