What we're reading (and watching)

Books! 12/12/2010
In the journals
From a couple of our contributors: Gilbert, K. J., Andrew, R. L., Bock, D. G., Franklin, M. T., Moore, B., Kane, N. C., Rennison, D. J., et al. 2012. Recommendations for utilizing and reporting population genetic analyses: the reproducibility of genetic clustering using the program STRUCTURE. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2012.05754.x

We find that reproducing STRUCTURE results can be difficult despite the straightfor- ward requirements of the program. Our results indicate that 30% of analyses were unable to reproduce the same number of population clusters.

Lihoreau, M., Raine, N. E., Reynolds, A. M., Stelzer, R. J., Lim, K. S., Smith, A. D., Osborne, J. L., et al. 2012. Radar Tracking and Motion-Sensitive Cameras on Flowers Reveal the Development of Pollinator Multi-Destination Routes over Large Spatial Scales. (T. Collett, Ed.)PLoS Biology 10(9):e1001392. 10.1371/journal.pbio.1001392

Central place foragers, such as pollinating bees, typically develop circuits (traplines) to visit multiple foraging sites in a manner that minimizes overall travel distance. Despite being taxonomically widespread, these routing behaviours remain poorly understood due to the difficulty of tracking the foraging history of animals in the wild. Here we examine how bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) develop and optimise traplines over large spatial scales by setting up an array of five artificial flowers arranged in a regular pentagon (50 m side length) and fitted with motion-sensitive video cameras to determine the sequence of visitation.

Huang, W., Richards, S., Carbone, M. a., Zhu, D., Anholt, R. R. H., Ayroles, J. F., Duncan, L., et al. 2012. Epistasis dominates the genetic architecture of Drosophila quantitative traits. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 109(39). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1213423109

Here, we compared the genetic architecture of three Drosophila life history traits in the sequenced inbred lines of the Drosophila melanogaster Genetic Reference Panel (DGRP) and a large outbred, advanced intercross population derived from 40 DGRP lines (Flyland). We assessed allele frequency changes between pools of individuals at the extremes of the distribution for each trait in the Flyland pop- ulation by deep DNA sequencing. The genetic architecture of all traits was highly polygenic in both analyses. Surprisingly, none of the SNPs associated with the traits in Flyland replicated in the DGRP and vice versa. However, the majority of these SNPs participated in at least one epistatic interaction in the DGRP.

In the blogosphere
Oh, dear gods. NSF funding rates could go from miniscule to infinitesimal if Congress doesn’t do something about the scheduled budgetpocalypse.
This YouTube clip is titled, simply and appropriately, David Attenborough being awesome.

About Jeremy Yoder

Jeremy B. Yoder is an Associate Professor of Biology at California State University Northridge, studying the evolution and coevolution of interacting species, especially mutualists. He is a collaborator with the Joshua Tree Genome Project and the Queer in STEM study of LGBTQ experiences in scientific careers. He has written for the website of Scientific American, the LA Review of Books, the Chronicle of Higher Education, The Awl, and Slate.
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