Category Archives: adaptation

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

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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 , , | 3 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

What’s more isolating—environmental distance or … plain old distance?

We molecular ecologists spend a lot of time thinking about how we can differentiate the effects of natural selection acting on populations in different environments—local adaptation—from the simple isolating effects of, well, being in different places—isolation-by-distance. There’s a considerable literature … Continue reading

Posted in adaptation, population genetics | 1 Comment

The “sieve” of selection—and of scientific discovery

One of the many fundamental insights to come out of the early days of population genetics in the first decades of the 20th Century was J.B.S. Haldane’s discovery that, when it comes to natural selection, population size matters. As Haldane … Continue reading

Posted in adaptation, population genetics | 2 Comments

On “triangulation” in genome scans

Guest contributor K.E. Lotterhos is a marine biologist at Wake Forest University, who studies evolutionary responses to fishing and climate change. You can find her on Twitter under then handle @dr_k_lo. A major goal of evolutionary biology is to understand the genetic … Continue reading

Posted in adaptation, association genetics, genomics, methods, population genetics, quantitative genetics | 2 Comments

Caught in the act: how drug-resistance mutations sweep through populations of HIV

The following guest post by Meredith L. Carpenter is cross-posted from the CEHG blog at Stanford, and it describes recent work by Pleuni Pennings, who was featured in last week’s interview. Enjoy! It has been over 30 years since the … Continue reading

Posted in adaptation, medicine, population genetics | 2 Comments

People behind the Science: Dr. Pleuni Pennings

For the first Molecular Ecologist Q&A feature of 2014, I’m excited to present Dr. Pleuni Pennings. Dr. Pennings is a postdoc with Dmitri Petrov at Standord University, where she’s studying the evolution of drug resistance in HIV. In addition to … Continue reading

Posted in adaptation, interview | Tagged | 3 Comments

Molecular ecology views: Metapopulation dynamics from lab flasks to tidal pools

Our co-blogger Peter Fields is joining the lab of Dieter Ebert at the University of Basel this fall, and he sent along these photos of the Ebert group’s long-term work on the metapopulation dynamics of parasite infection in Daphina water … Continue reading

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