What we're reading: A single gene for Batesian mimicry, the genetics of interspecies incompatibility, and further debate over data sharing

book reading
In the journals
Kunte K., W. Zhang, A. Tenger-Trolander, D. H. Palmer, A. Martin, R. D. Reed, S. P. Mullen, and M. R. Kronforst. 2014. doublesex is a mimicry supergene. Nature. doi: 10.1038/nature13112.

Using an integrative approach combining genetic and association mapping, transcriptome and genome sequencing, and gene expression analyses, we show that a single gene, doublesex, controls supergene mimicry in Papilio polytes.

(See also commentary by David Loehlin and Sean Carroll.)
Fraïsse C., J. A. D. Elderfield, and J. J. Welch. 2014. The genetics of speciation: are complex incompatibilities easier to evolve? J. Evolutionary Biology. doi: 10.1111/jeb.12339.

Experimental crosses show that such Dobzhansky–Muller incompatibilities (DMIs) are often complex (involving alleles at three or more loci) and asymmetrical (such that reciprocal introgressions have very different effects on fitness). One possible explanation is that asymmetrical and complex DMIs are ‘easier to evolve’, because they block fewer of the possible evolutionary paths between the parental genotypes.

In the news
“I’d like to think that people want to work with me because of what I can bring to the table other than my data, but I’m not keen on testing that working hypothesis.”
“So I say suck it up, share the data behind the paper, manage your data well, and let’s all get on with our lives.”
“Ask anyone in academics whether you’d rather have 6 citations from awesome papers or 6 awesome papers and 100% of them will take the papers.”
“This is an R wrapper to the NOAA climate data API.”
“I would like to place a vertical bar next to all the tips descended for a node that I specify [on my phylogeny]. How do I do this?”

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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