What we’re reading: Genetics of ecological speciation and translating plant genetics to the farm

plants

In the journals

Arnegard M.E., M.D. McGee, B. Matthews, K.B. Marchinko, G.L. Conte, S. Kabir, N. Bedford, S. Bergek, Y.F. Chan, F.C. Jones, D.M. Kingsley, C.L. Peichel, D. Schluter. 2014. Genetics of ecological divergence during speciation. Nature doi: 10.1038/nature13301.

Here we investigate the genetic architecture of niche differentiation in a sympatric species pair of threespine stickleback fish by mapping the environment-dependent effects of phenotypic traits on hybrid feeding and performance under semi-natural conditions.

Ronald P.C. 2014. Lab to farm: Applying research on plant genetics and genomics to crop improvement. PLoS Biology 12(6): e1001878. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1001878.

In this Essay, I describe how basic research advances have been translated into crop improvement, explore some lessons learned, and discuss the potential for current and future contribution of plant genetic improvement technologies to continue to enhance food security and agricultural sustainability.

In the news

“Everyone is, to some degree, winging it. Your career decisions may be as much serendipity as serious long term planning.”

“In our study, a low-frequency variant in HNF1A — present in 2 percent of type 2 diabetes cases and 0.4 percent of healthy controls — quintupled risk of type 2 diabetes, the largest effect ever observed for a type 2 diabetes variant found in more than 0.1 percent of the population.”

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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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