Category Archives: speciation

And who made your beer?

In the spirit of it being almost Friday, and while we’re on the topic of your favorite beverages – perhaps wine puts you to sleep, couldn’t care less where it came from, but prefer the bitterness of lager beers at your … Continue reading

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Posted in adaptation, evolution, genomics, natural history, next generation sequencing, phylogenetics, population genetics, selection, speciation, yeast | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Selection scans, and the genomics of adaptive/maladaptive introgression

Natural selection, and the adaptive evolution of hybrid reproductive incompatibilities post divergence are known to be major drivers of speciation. At the phenotype level, these manifest as fitness differences between introgressing populations. At the genomic level, speciation “genes” or “islands” … Continue reading

Posted in adaptation, Coevolution, evolution, genomics, Molecular Ecology, the journal, mutation, natural history, population genetics, selection, speciation, theory | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Butterfly Effect

This might just take the prize for the ‘spiciest’ story in molecular co-evolution for 2015, yet. While a lot of the press coverage sounds like caterpillar thanksgiving, the science behind this study stands for the almost incredible power of molecular phylogenetics … Continue reading

Posted in adaptation, evolution, genomics, natural history, population genetics, selection, speciation, transcriptomics | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

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

The diversity hiding in lizard blood

  Pathogens have got this reproduction thing figured out. Clone yourself and grow populations quickly? Sure. Occasionally reproduce sexually? Absolutely. The have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too reproductive modes among biological lineages that are capable of both sexual and asexual reproduction throw a mighty wrench … Continue reading

Posted in evolution, speciation, species delimitation | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Rooting eukaryotes in the Arctic Ocean

While the general consensus has centered around the evolution of eukaryotes within the TACK superphylum of Archaea (Thaum-, Aigar-, Cren-, and Kor-archaeota), considerable controversy yet remains with (a) the rooting of the eukaryote common ancestor, and (b) ‘missing’ links in … 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

Posted in adaptation, evolution, genomics, natural history, population genetics, selection, speciation, theory | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Extinct and extant Equus genomes reveal speciation with gene flow despite chromosome number variation

In their recent PNAS paper*, Hákon et al. generate full genome sequence data for each living species of asses and zebras, thus completing the set of genomes available for all extant species in the genus Equus (genomes for the donkey and … Continue reading

Posted in genomics, speciation | 1 Comment

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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Haploid-diploidy, a (brief?) history

Haploid-diploid life cycles are not only good exercise for the brain, but they’re also fantastic study systems to investigate a myriad of questions. Yet, the majority of molecular studies have focused on the diploid-dominated life cycles of animal and plant … Continue reading

Posted in DNA barcoding, domestication, evolution, genomics, haploid-diploid, natural history, population genetics, selection, speciation | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment