Preprints

Filtering by Subject: Evolution

A tale of two genomes: What drives mitonuclear discordance in asexual lineages of a freshwater snail?

Maurine Neiman, Joel Sharbrough

Published: 2022-11-21
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Evolution, Life Sciences

We use genomic information to tell us stories of evolutionary origins. But what does it mean when different genomes report wildly different accounts of lineage history? This “discordance” can be a consequence of a fascinating suite of natural history and evolutionary phenomena, from the different inheritance mechanisms of nuclear vs. cytoplasmic genomes to hybridization and introgression to [...]

Misrepresenting biases in arrival: a comment on Svensson (2022)

Alejandro Cano, Alejandro Couce, Joanna Masel, et al.

Published: 2022-11-17
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Evolution, Life Sciences

The idea that adaptive change is subject to biases in variation by a "first come, first served" dynamic is not part of classic evolutionary reasoning. Yet, predictable effects of biases in the introduction of variation have been reported in models of population genetics, in laboratory evolution, and in retrospective analyses of natural adaptation. This effect of "arrival bias" has potentially [...]

Evolutionary origins of the Mesoamerican-eastern United States floristic disjunction: current status and future prospects

Gregory W Stull

Published: 2022-11-07
Subjects: Biodiversity, Biology, Botany, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Evolution, Life Sciences, Plant Sciences

Biogeographic disjunction patterns, where multiple taxonomic groups are shared between isolated geographic areas, represent excellent systems for investigating the historical assembly of modern biotas as well as fundamental biological processes such as speciation, diversification, niche evolution, and evolutionary responses to climate change. Studies on plant genera disjunct across the Northern [...]

Incompatibility and interchangeability in molecular evolution

Daniel B Sloan, Jessica M Warren, Alissa M Williams, et al.

Published: 2022-11-02
Subjects: Evolution, Life Sciences, Molecular Genetics

There is remarkable variation in the rate at which genetic incompatibilities in molecular interactions accumulate. In some cases, minor changes – even single nucleotide substitutions – create major epistatic incompatibilities when hybridization forces new variants to function in a novel genetic background from an isolated population. In other cases, genes or even entire functional pathways can be [...]

Deep reticulation: the long legacy of hybridization in vascular plant evolution

Gregory W Stull, Kasey K Pham, Pamela S Soltis, et al.

Published: 2022-10-26
Subjects: Biodiversity, Botany, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Evolution, Life Sciences, Plant Biology, Plant Sciences

Hybridization has long been recognized as a fundamental evolutionary process in plants, but our understanding of its phylogenetic distribution and biological significance across deep evolutionary scales has been largely obscure—until recently. Over the past decade, genomic and phylogenomic datasets have revealed, perhaps not surprisingly, that hybridization, often associated with polyploidy, has [...]

Best practices in designing, sequencing and identifying random DNA barcodes

Milo S. Johnson, Sandeep Venkataram, Sergey Kryazhimskiy

Published: 2022-09-28
Subjects: Bioinformatics, Biotechnology, Cell and Developmental Biology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Evolution, Life Sciences

Random DNA barcodes are a versatile tool for tracking cell lineages, with applications ranging from development to cancer to evolution. Here we review and critically evaluate barcode designs as well as methods of barcode sequencing and initial processing of barcode data. We first demonstrate how various barcode design decisions affect data quality and propose a new optimal design that balances [...]

Linking Predator Responses to Alkaloid Variability in Poison Frogs

Justin P Lawrence, Bibiana Rojas, Annelise Blanchette, et al.

Published: 2022-09-21
Subjects: Animal Sciences, Behavior and Ethology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Evolution, Life Sciences, Zoology

Many chemically-defended/aposematic species rely on diet for sequestering the toxins with which they defend themselves. This dietary acquisition can lead to variable chemical defenses across space, as the community composition of chemical sources is likely to vary across the range of (an aposematic) species. We characterized the alkaloid content of two populations of the Dyeing Poison Frog [...]

The evolution of eusociality: Kin selection theory, division of labour models, and evo-devo explanations

Jan Kreider, Ido Pen

Published: 2022-09-12
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Evolution, Life Sciences

The evolution of eusociality has long been recognized as an evolutionary paradox. We identify three different but complementary approaches to the study of the evolution of eusociality. Kin selection models explain why individuals can evolve to have distinct reproductive or non-reproductive roles. Division of labour models elucidate how specialisation can emerge and evolve. Conceptual models from [...]

The role of hybrid seed inviability in angiosperm speciation

Jenn Coughlan

Published: 2022-09-03
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Evolution, Life Sciences

Understanding which reproductive barriers contribute to speciation is essential to understanding the diversity of life on earth. Several contemporary examples of strong hybrid seed inviability (HSI) between recently diverged species suggest that HSI may play a fundamental role in plant speciation. Yet, a broader synthesis of HSI is needed to clarify its role in diversification. Here, I review the [...]

Unraveling the environment-phenotype-genotype nexus: examples, lessons and prospects from bird plumage colors

Rafael S Marcondes

Published: 2022-09-01
Subjects: Biology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Evolution, Life Sciences

Connecting adaptive phenotypic variation to both its genetic and ecological bases is one of the central goals of evolutionary biology. Birds, due to their ease of study and solid base of existing knowledge, present an ideal clade in which to advance that goal. Bird color traits in particular have a long tradition of being at the forefront of conceptual advances in evolutionary biology. Combined [...]

Conservation Mitonuclear Replacement: Facilitated mitochondrial adaptation for a changing world

Erik Nelson Kortadler Iverson

Published: 2022-08-24
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Evolution, Life Sciences

Most species will not be able to migrate fast enough to cope with climate change, nor evolve quickly enough with current levels of genetic variation. Exacerbating the problem are anthropogenic influences on adaptive potential, including the prevention of gene flow through habitat fragmentation and the erosion of genetic diversity in small, bottlenecked populations. Facilitated adaptation, or [...]

The Darwinian Core of Evolutionary Theory and the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis: Similarities and Differences

T. N. C. Vidya, Sutirth Dey, N. G. Prasad, et al.

Published: 2022-08-14
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Evolution, Life Sciences

In this paper, we evaluate debates surrounding calls for an Extended Evolutionary Synthesis in light of the Darwinian core of evolutionary theory, which was somewhat broader than the Modern Synthesis. We suggest that Darwin’s nuanced operationalization of natural selection rested upon two innovations: the atomization of individuals into trait-variants, and a reconceptualization of heredity in [...]

Experimental validation of transposable element insertions using the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)

Miriam Merenciano, Marta Coronado-Zamora, Josefa Gonzalez

Published: 2022-07-30
Subjects: Biology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Evolution, Life Sciences

Transposable elements (TEs), also known as transposons, are repetitive DNA sequences, present in virtually all organisms, that can move from one genomic position to another. TEs can be a source of mutations with important consequences for organisms. Despite their interest, its repetitive nature has made their study very challenging. However, the emergence of new sequencing technologies that allow [...]

European light skin may have evolved as an adaptation to the Neolithic sedentary lifestyle

Manuel Ferrando-Bernal

Published: 2022-07-28
Subjects: Bioinformatics, Biology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Evolution, Life Sciences, Population Biology

Light skin facilitates the penetration of ultraviolet light (UV) radiation through the skin, increasing the synthesis of vitamin D that in turn stimulates bone formation. It has been suggested that light skin appeared in the ancestors of modern Europeans as an adaptation to the conditions of low UV radiation in high latitudes; however, paleogenetic studies have recently shown it did not evolve [...]

Shared neural transcriptomic patterns underlie the repeated evolution of mutualistic cleaning behavior in Labridae wrasses

Rebecca Young, Chelsea Weitekamp, Zegni Triki, et al.

Published: 2022-07-25
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Evolution, Life Sciences

Despite the remarkable diversity of life forms on earth, evolutionary biologists have discovered numerous instances where even distantly related species share astonishing similarities in how they behave, look, and function. Given the importance of happenstance in evolution (e.g., random mutations, genetic drift, environmental stochasticity), it is often assumed that the mechanisms underlying such [...]

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