What we're reading


As we head into the weekend, here’s a few things we’ve found that might be worth your screen time.
In the journals
Draghi, J. a & Whitlock, M.C. 2012. Phenotypic plasticity facilitates mutational variance, genetic variance, and evolvability along the major axis of environmental variation. Evolution 66: 2891–902. doi: 10.1111/j.1558-5646.2012.01649.x.

Phenotypic plasticity tends to lead to populations with greater mutational variance, greater standing genetic variance, and, when the optimal phenotypes of two traits vary in concert, greater mutational and genetic correlations. However, plastic populations do not tend to respond much more rapidly to selection than do populations evolved in a static environment.

Scanlan, P.D., Hall, a R., Burlinson, P., Preston, G. & Buckling, A. 2012. No effect of host-parasite co-evolution on host range expansion. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 26: 205–209. doi: 10.1111/jeb.12021.

Although all co-evolved phage had a greater host range than the ancestral phage and could differentially infect co-evolved variants of P. fluorescens SBW25, none could infect any of the alternative P. fluorescens strains. Thus, parasite generalism at one genetic scale does not appear to affect generalism at other scales, suggesting funda- mental genetic constraints on parasite adaptation for this virus.

In the blogosphere
From the 2012 edition of the University of British Columbia Zoology Huts Skit, the inevitable academic parody of “Call Me Maybe.”

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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