What we're reading: diverged damselflies, climate-adapted Arabidopsis, and the phylogeny of Little Red Riding Hood

Reading a book
In the journals
Sánchez-Guillén RA, A Córdoba-Aguilar, A Cordero-Rivera, M Wellenreuther. 2013. Genetic divergence predicts reproductive isolation in damselflies. Journal of Evolutionary Biology. doi: 10.1111/jeb.12274.

Our results indicate a positive and strong correlation between reproductive isolation and genetic distance using both mitochondrial and nuclear genes cytochrome oxidase II … Hybridization thresholds range from −0.43 to 1.78% for COII and −0.052–0.71% for 18S–28S, and both F1-hybrids and backcrosses were detected in wild populations of two pairs of Ischnura species with overlapping thresholds. Our study suggests that threshold values are suitable to identify species prone to hybridization and that positive isolation–divergence relationships are taxonomically widespread.

Fischer MC, C Rellstab, A Tedder, S Zoller, F Gugerli, KK Shimizu, R Holderegger, A Widmer. 2013. Population genomic footprints of selection and associations with climate in natural populations of Arabidopsis halleri from the Alps. Molecular Ecology. 22:5594-5607. doi: 10.1111/mec.12521.

Using a pooled population sequencing (Pool-Seq) approach, we discovered more than two million SNPs in five natural populations and identified highly differentiated genomic regions and SNPs using FST-based analyses. We tested only the most strongly differentiated SNPs for associations with a nonredundant set of environmental factors using partial Mantel tests to identify topo-climatic factors that may underlie the observed footprints of selection.

In the news
SWIRL—statistics with interactive R learning—promises to teach statistics, and R coding, from within the R terminal.
There’s now an ArXive for biology—bioRXiv.
Phylogenetic methods find the grandmother of “Little Red Riding Hood”—the story, not the character.

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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