Tag Archives: Evolution

Genomic signatures of ancient rendezvous and separation in elephant evolution

Evidence from various levels of the tree of life is showing that we’ve been picturing ancient encounters between related species all wrong and admixture events are probably more common than expected. Even rendezvous among primates, caniforms, and majestic proboscideans often … Continue reading

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Posted in conservation, evolution, genomics, hybridization, natural history, Paleogenomics, phylogeography | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

When less might be more: The evolution of reduced genomes

The advent of affordable genome sequencing has provided us with a wealth of data. Researchers have sequenced everything from Escherichia coli (4.6 Mbp genome size), to sea urchins (810 Mbp), chimpanzees (3.3 Gbp), and humans (3.2 Gbp). Then there are the … Continue reading

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Posted in adaptation, Coevolution, evolution, genomics, microbiology, population genetics, selection | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Shared patterns of genomic diversity across populations of distantly related taxa

Genomic diversity is shaped by the complex interplay between the effects of genetic drift and natural selection among populations. Several of these effects, especially those of linked selection at neutral sites, adaptive introgression, and barriers to migration (often called “genomic … Continue reading

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Posted in adaptation, bioinformatics, birds, evolution, genomics, population genetics, selection | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hybridization and adaptive radiations

As an iconic system in evolutionary biology, I’ve always been interested in African cichlids and the origins of their diversity1. These cichlids represent an adaptive radiation; they’ve evolved rapidly from a single origin to exploit and speciate into open niches … Continue reading

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Artificial connectivity … have we overlooked the native range?

Invasive species are problematic throughout the world’s ecosystems, down even to their very name which incites heated debates. Every month, studies are published that describe the genetic structure and gene flow of non-native species in their introduced ranges. Often, these … Continue reading

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Humans, selection, evolution and ecological timescales … a potent cocktail

It’s been awhile since I last was able to write for TME. But, finally, I’ve stolen away some time to write about a recent study in Ecology Letters that I couldn’t put down once I started reading it. Yes, it’s about mating … Continue reading

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Conifer convergence

Convergent local adaptation is typically studied within a species or between closely related species. In these cases, it is perhaps not unexpected to observe parallel evolution due to common genetic variation, constraints, etc. Convergence between species is somewhat less studied, … Continue reading

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Posted in adaptation, association genetics, genomics, plants, selection, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

It’s not the size that counts: teeny tiny SAR11 bacteria play a big role in our oceans

Microbes account for a huge chunk of the diversity on this planet, are essential in all sorts of biogeochemical processes, and we are still figuring out how everything is related. Teeny tiny bacterial cells are abundant both on land as … Continue reading

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Divergence and Linked Background Selection

We have widely discussed the reduction in neutral diversity due to demography and linked selection effects (e.g. selective sweeps and hitchhiking, or background selection) in several previous posts (e.g see here, here, and here). However, how linked selection affects neutral divergence … Continue reading

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Posted in evolution, genomics, methods, selection, speciation, theory | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Microbes can rapidly evolve host-protective traits

One of the coolest studies I’ve come across so far this year is the fascinating story about microbe-mediated protection in worms by Kayla King et al. The bacterium Enterococcus faecalis normally causes mild disease in worms (Caenorhabditis elegans). After a week … Continue reading

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Posted in evolution, microbiology, mutation | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment