What we’re reading

Books

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.”

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About Jeremy Yoder

Jeremy Yoder is an Assistant Professor of Biology at California State University, Northridge. He also blogs at Denim and Tweed, and tweets under the handle @jbyoder.
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