What we're reading: Caribbean admixture and the genetics of fruit fly pigmentation

Bookshelf
In the journals
Moreno-Estrada, A., Gravel, S., Zakharia, F., Mccauley, J.L., Jake, K., Gignoux, C.R., et al. n.d. Reconstructing the population genetic history of the Caribbean. arXive: 1306.0558.

Based on demographic models, we reconstruct the complex population history of the Caribbean since the onset of continental admixture. We find that insular populations are best modeled as mixtures absorbing two pulses of African migrants, coinciding with early and maximum activity stages of the transatlantic slave trade.

Bastide, H., Betancourt, A., Nolte, V., Tobler, R., Stöbe, P., Futschik, A., et al. 2013. A genome-wide, fine-scale map of natural pigmentation variation in Drosophila melanogaster. PLoS Genetics 9: e1003534. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1003534.

We conducted the first genome-wide scan for polymorphism associated with pigmentation variation in a large natural sample of D. melanogaster, and found SNPs near two genes, tan and bric-a`-brac 1, affecting the trait. The SNPs associated with pigmentation variation in these genes appear to act by affecting the regulation of the pigmenta- tion genes, rather than their protein coding sequence.

About Jeremy Yoder

Jeremy B. Yoder is an Assistant 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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