Preprints

Filtering by Subject: Evolution

Ancestral state reconstruction of phenotypic characters

Liam J. Revell

Published: 2024-07-09
Subjects: Evolution

Ancestral state reconstruction is a phylogenetic comparative method that involves estimating the unknown trait values of hypothetical ancestral taxa at internal nodes of a phylogenetic tree. Ancestral state reconstruction has long been, and continues to remain, among the most popular analyses in phylogenetic comparative research. In this review, I illustrate the theory and practice of ancestral [...]

Social ageing varies within a population of bottlenose whales

Sam Froman Walmsley, Laura J Feyrer, Claire Girard, et al.

Published: 2024-07-08
Subjects: Behavior and Ethology, Evolution, Other Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

How social behaviour changes as individuals age has important consequences for the health and function of both human and non-human societies. However, the extent of inter-individual variation in social ageing has been underappreciated, especially in natural populations of animals. Here, we leverage a photo-identification dataset spanning 35 years to examine social ageing in an Endangered [...]

Navigating phylogenetic conflict and evolutionary inference in plants with target capture data

Elizabeth M Joyce, Alexander N Schmidt-Lebuhn, Harvey K Orel, et al.

Published: 2024-05-27
Subjects: Bioinformatics, Biology, Botany, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Evolution, Life Sciences, Plant Sciences, Research Methods in Life Sciences

Target capture has quickly become a preferred approach for plant systematic and evolutionary research, marking a step-change in the generation of data for phylogenetic inference. While this advancement has facilitated the resolution of many phylogenetic relationships, phylogenetic conflict continues to be reported, and often attributed to genome duplication, reticulation, deep coalescence or [...]

Is the audience gender-blind? Smaller audience in female talks highlights prestige differences in academia

Júlia Rodrigues Barreto, Isabella Romitelli, Pamela Cristina Santana, et al.

Published: 2024-05-27
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Environmental Sciences, Evolution, Gender Equity in Education, Higher Education, Inequality and Stratification, Other Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Psychological Phenomena and Processes

Although diverse perspectives are fundamental for fostering and advancing science, power relations have limited the development, propagation of ideas, and recognition of minority groups in academia. Gender bias is one of the most well-documented processes, leading women to drop out of their academic careers due to fewer opportunities and lower prestige. Using long-term data (2008-2019) on talks [...]

A Gene-Culture Co-Evolutionary Perspective on the Puzzle of Human Twinship

Augusto Dalla Ragione, Cody Ross, Daniel Redhead

Published: 2024-05-20
Subjects: Biological and Physical Anthropology, Evolution, Maternal and Child Health, Population Biology, Social and Cultural Anthropology

Natural selection should favor litter sizes that optimize trade-offs between brood-size and offspring viability. Across the primate order, modal litter size is one, suggesting a deep history of selection favoring minimal litters. Humans, however---despite having the longest juvenile period and slowest life-history of all primates---still produce twin-births at appreciable rates, even though such [...]

Hijackers, hitchhikers, or co-drivers? The mysteries of microbial mobilizable genetic elements

Eduardo Rocha, Jorge Moura de Sousa, Manuel Ares Arroyo, et al.

Published: 2024-04-26
Subjects: Bacteriology, Evolution, Genetics, Life Sciences, Molecular Biology

Mobile genetic elements shape microbial gene repertoires and population dynamics, but their mechanisms of horizontal transmission are often unknown. Recent results reveal that many, possibly most, bacterial mobile genetic elements require helper elements to transfer between (or within) genomes. We refer to these non-autonomous, albeit mobile, elements as Hitcher Genetic Elements (hitchers or [...]

Addictive manipulation: a perspective on the role of reproductive parasitism in the evolution of bacteria-eukaryote symbioses

Michele Castelli, Tiago Nardi, Michele Giovannini, et al.

Published: 2024-04-23
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Evolution, Other Microbiology

Wolbachia bacteria encompass noteworthy reproductive manipulators of their arthropod hosts. which influence host reproduction to favour their own transmission, also exploiting toxin-antitoxin systems. Recently, multiple other bacterial symbionts of arthropods have been shown to display comparable manipulative capabilities. Here we wonder whether such phenomena are truly restricted to arthropod [...]

Evolution and maintenance of mtDNA gene content across eukaryotes

Shibani Veeraragavan, Maria Johansen, Iain Johnston

Published: 2024-04-22
Subjects: Evolution, Genetics, Genomics

Across eukaryotes, most genes required for mitochondrial function have been transferred to, or otherwise acquired by, the nucleus. Encoding genes in the nucleus has many advantages. So why do mitochondria retain any genes at all? Why does the set of mtDNA genes vary so much across different species? And how do species maintain functionality in the mtDNA genes they do retain? In this review we [...]

The nitroplast and its relatives support a universal model of features predicting gene retention in endosymbiont and organelle genomes

Iain Johnston

Published: 2024-04-22
Subjects: Evolution, Genomics

Endosymbiotic relationships have shaped eukaryotic life. As endosymbionts coevolve with their host, towards full integration as organelles, their genomes tend to shrink, with genes being completely lost or transferred to the host nucleus. Modern endosymbionts and organelles show diverse patterns of gene retention, and why some genes and not others are retained in these genomes is not fully [...]

The global protected area network does not harbor genetically diverse populations

Chloé Schmidt, Eleana Karachaliou, Amy Vandergast, et al.

Published: 2024-04-12
Subjects: Biodiversity, Evolution, Life Sciences

Global biodiversity conservation targets include expanding protected areas and maintaining genetic diversity within species by 2030. However, the extent to which existing protected areas capture genetic diversity within species is unclear. We examined this question using a global sample of nuclear population-level genetic data comprising georeferenced genotypes from 2,513 local populations, [...]

Why there are so many definitions of fitness in models

Daniel Jefferson Smith, Guilhem Doulcier, Pierrick Bourrat, et al.

Published: 2024-04-11
Subjects: Biology, Computational Biology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Evolution, Genetics, Genetics and Genomics, Life Sciences, Population Biology

“Fitness” quantifies the ability to survive and reproduce, but is operationalized in many different ways. Generally, short-term fitness (e.g., expected number of surviving offspring) is assigned to genotypes or phenotypes, and used to non-trivially derive longer-term operationalizations of fitness (e.g. fixation probability or sojourn time), providing insight as to which organismal [...]

Temperature drives the divergent evolution of male harm to females

Claudia Londoño-Nieto, Michael Butler, Roberto García-Roa, et al.

Published: 2024-03-12
Subjects: Behavior and Ethology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Evolution

Strong sexual selection promotes population viability and evolvability, but sexual conflict can offset such benefits. Male harm adaptations leading to pre-copulatory (i.e. harassment) and/or copulatory (i.e. traumatic insemination) harm to females are taxonomically widespread, depress population growth, and can affect the dynamics of adaptation and evolutionary rescue, but we largely ignore what [...]

How bottlenecks shape adaptive potential: from theory and microbiology to conservation biology

Jasmine Gamblin, Loïc Marrec, Laure Olazcuaga

Published: 2024-02-01
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Evolution, Life Sciences

Wild populations frequently undergo demographic changes that can destabilize their persistence and, thus, the equilibrium of ecosystems. For instance, habitat loss due to human activities leads to a drastic population size reduction, a process called a bottleneck. By reducing genetic diversity, a bottleneck may prevent a population from adapting to subsequent environmental changes. In the context [...]

Adult telomere length is positively correlated with survival and lifetime reproductive success in a wild passerine

Heung Ying Janet Chik, Maria-Elena Mannarelli, Natalie dos Remedios, et al.

Published: 2024-02-01
Subjects: Evolution

Explaining variation in individual fitness is a key goal in evolutionary biology. Recently, telomeres, repeating DNA sequences capping the ends of chromosomes, have gained attention as a biomarker for body state, individual quality, and ageing. However, existing research has provided mixed evidence for whether telomere length correlates with fitness components, including survival and reproductive [...]

The genetic basis of a regionally isolated sexual dimorphism involves cortex

Kalle Tunström, Ramprasad neethiraj, Naomi L.P. Keehnen, et al.

Published: 2024-01-29
Subjects: Biology, Evolution, Genetics and Genomics, Other Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Population Biology

Sexual dimorphisms represent a source of phenotypic variation and result from differences in how natural and sexual selection act on males and females within a species. Identifying the genetic basis of dimorphism can be challenging, especially once it is fixed within a species. However, studying polymorphisms, even when fixed within a population, can provide insights into the genetic basis of [...]

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