Category Archives: population genetics

haploidy, diploidy, polyploidy … not a problem

Investigating pairwise relatedness is fundamental to the characterization of the mating system and inferring genetic structure. If no pedigree exists, then relatedness is estimated from genetic markers (e.g., microsatellite loci) using method-of-moment or maximum-likelihood methods. However, not all individuals in … Continue reading

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Posted in natural history, pedigree, population genetics, software, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

C.L. Gloger’s favorite owl

Biologists love clines. We’ve been mentally masticating on clines for decades. Clines in body size. Clines in color. Clines in heart size! Clines that go in circles! Recognizing clinal patterns in phenotypes or genotypes is fun, but discovering the mechanisms behind … Continue reading

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Exotic gene flow surveillance

Exotic forest plantations often cover large areas and, as such, may contribute female gametes, male gametes and/or zygotes to native stands. In seed plants, these three components of exotic gene flow have not been distinguished, though they will have different … Continue reading

Posted in conservation, Molecular Ecology, the journal, population genetics, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Evolution of Recombination

In a recent publication, Lesecque et al (2014). provide key evidence that fills in some of the blanks to an age old question – how do recombination hotspots evolve? Their analyses of major PRDM9 (a polymorphic zinc finger protein with … Continue reading

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Isolation by environment explains why the grass isn’t always greener

Ever since Sewall Wright introduced isolation by distance in 1943, the interplay between genetic differentiation and geographic distance has been a foundational, sometimes frustrating, aspect of population genetics studies. But distance isn’t just distance. The walk to my car isn’t any longer when … Continue reading

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Geophylogeny plots in R for Dummies

Amid basting my tofurky, here’s a follow-up to my previous post on quick-fix overlays of admixture plots on geographical maps in R. I recently discovered a wonderful R package called “phytools” from Liam Revell, which makes really neat phylogenetic trees (with … Continue reading

Posted in howto, phylogenetics, population genetics, R, software, STRUCTURE | Tagged , | 1 Comment

The latest gadget for the molecular ecologist’s toolkit

Designing a sampling scheme to collect an organism of interest for a population genetic/genomic study can be fraught with difficulty. How best to sample? Randomly? Or, along a grid? How many individuals to sample? Thirty? Or, perhaps, the sample size … Continue reading

Posted in genomics, methods, Molecular Ecology, the journal, natural history, pedigree, population genetics, software | 1 Comment

#EntSoc14, a quick review

I have had a wonderful time at my first big bug conference – the annual meeting of the Entomological Society of America, at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland. Amid secretive (or not so secretive) break-out sessions to Voodoo Doughnuts, … Continue reading

Posted in conferences, genomics, phylogenetics, population genetics | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Here, kitty, kitty. The cat genome sheds light on feline evolution and domestication

Although this kitten looks fierce, Montague et al. recently uncovered the genes responsible for the taming of the house cat, Felis silvestris catus, which coincided with the development of agriculture about 10,00 years ago. Grain crops attracted rodents into human … Continue reading

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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