What we're reading: QTLs of pine growth, climate-niche evolution, and the shape of Twitter conversations

In the journals
Li Z., H.R. Hällingback, S. Abrahamsson, A Fries, B.A. Gull, M.J. Sillanpää and M.R. García-Gil. 2014. Functional multi-locus QTL mapping of temporal trends in Scots pine wood traits. G3: Genes | Genomes | Genetics. doi: 10.1534/g3.114.014068.

Two multi-locus functional QTL analysis approaches were proposed and their performances were compared on trait datasets comprising 2 – 9 timepoints, 91 – 455 individual tree measurements and genotype datasets of amplified length polymorphisms (AFLP) and single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers.

Lawson A.M. and J.T. Weir. 2014. Latitudinal gradients in climatic-niche evolution accelerate trait evolution at high latitudes. Ecology Letters. 17: 1427–1436. doi: 10.1111/ele.12346.

We then tested whether divergence of the climatic-niche was associated with evolution in traits important in ecological differentiation (body mass) and reproductive isolation (song), and found that climatic divergence is associated with faster rates in both measures.

In the news
“If a topic is political, it is common to see two separate, polarized crowds [of Twitter users] take shape. They form two distinct discussion groups that mostly do not interact with each other. … The participants within each separate group commonly mention very different collections of website URLs and use distinct hashtags and words.”

About Jeremy Yoder

Jeremy B. Yoder is an Associate 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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