BMC Evolutionary Biology

http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2148

List of Papers (Total 3,342)

Quantifying predictors for the spatial diffusion of avian influenza virus in China

Background Avian influenza virus (AIV) causes both severe outbreaks and endemic disease among poultry and has caused sporadic human infections in Asia, furthermore the routes of transmission in avian species between geographic regions can be numerous and complex. Using nucleotide sequences from the internal protein coding segments of AIV, we performed a Bayesian phylogeographic ...

Genetic mechanisms of bone digestion and nutrient absorption in the bone-eating worm Osedax japonicus inferred from transcriptome and gene expression analyses

Background Bone-eating worms of the genus Osedax (Annelida, Siboglinidae) have adapted to whale fall environments by acquiring a novel characteristic called the root, which branches and penetrates into sunken bones. The worms lack a digestive tract and mouth opening, and it has been suggested that Osedax degrade vertebrate bones and uptake nutrients through acidification and ...

A genome-wide scan for genes under balancing selection in Drosophila melanogaster

Background In the history of population genetics balancing selection has been considered as an important evolutionary force, yet until today little is known about its abundance and its effect on patterns of genetic diversity. Several well-known examples of balancing selection have been reported from humans, mice, plants, and parasites. However, only very few systematic studies have ...

Evolution of the angiopoietin-like gene family in teleosts and their role in skin regeneration

Background The skin in vertebrates is a protective barrier and damage is rapidly repaired to re-establish barrier function and maintain internal homeostasis. The angiopoietin-like (ANGPTL) proteins are a family of eight secreted glycoproteins with an important role in skin repair and angiogenesis in humans. In other vertebrates their existence and role in skin remains largely ...

Widespread introgression in deep-sea hydrothermal vent mussels

Background The analysis of hybrid zones is crucial for gaining a mechanistic understanding of the process of speciation and the maintenance of species boundaries. Hybrid zones have been studied intensively in terrestrial and shallow-water ecosystems, but very little is known about their occurrence in deep-sea environments. Here we used diagnostic, single nucleotide polymorphisms in ...

Phylogenetic analysis of ionotropic L-glutamate receptor genes in the Bilateria, with special notes on Aplysia californica

Background The neurotransmitter L-Glutamate (L-Glu) acting at ionotropic L-Glu receptors (iGluR) conveys fast excitatory signal transmission in the nervous systems of all animals. iGluR-dependent neurotransmission is a key component of the synaptic plasticity that underlies learning and memory. During learning, two subtypes of iGluR, α-Amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic ...

The measure of success: geographic isolation promotes diversification in Pachydactylus geckos

Background Geckos of the genus Pachydactylus and their close relatives comprise the most species-rich clade of lizards in sub-Saharan Africa. Many explanations have been offered to explain species richness patterns of clades. In the Pachydactylus group, one possible explanation is a history of diversification via geographic isolation. If geographic isolation has played a key role ...

Structure and evolution of the filaggrin gene repeated region in primates

Background The evolutionary dynamics of repeat sequences is quite complex, with some duplicates never having differentiated from each other. Two models can explain the complex evolutionary process for repeated genes—concerted and birth-and-death, of which the latter is driven by duplications maintained by selection. Copy number variations caused by random duplications and losses in ...

You are what you eat: diet shapes body composition, personality and behavioural stability

Background Behavioural phenotypes vary within and among individuals. While early-life experiences have repeatedly been proposed to underpin interactions between these two hierarchical levels, the environmental factors causing such effects remain under-studied. We tested whether an individual’s diet affected both its body composition, average behaviour (thereby causing ...

Quantifying camouflage: how to predict detectability from appearance

Background Quantifying the conspicuousness of objects against particular backgrounds is key to understanding the evolution and adaptive value of animal coloration, and in designing effective camouflage. Quantifying detectability can reveal how colour patterns affect survival, how animals’ appearances influence habitat preferences, and how receiver visual systems work. Advances in ...

Evidence for genetic variation in Natterer’s bats (Myotis nattereri) across three regions in Germany but no evidence for co-variation with their associated astroviruses

Background As bats have recently been described to harbor many different viruses, several studies have investigated the genetic co-variation between viruses and different bat species. However, little is known about the genetic co-variation of viruses and different populations of the same bat species, although such information is needed for an understanding of virus transmission ...

A combination of long term fragmentation and glacial persistence drove the evolutionary history of the Italian wall lizard Podarcis siculus

Background The current distribution of genetic diversity is the result of a vast array of microevolutionary processes, including short-term demographic and ecological mechanisms and long-term allopatric isolation in response to Quaternary climatic fluctuations. We investigated past processes that drove the population differentiation and spatial genetic distribution of the Italian ...

Horizontal gene transfer drives the evolution of Rh50 permeases in prokaryotes

Background Rh50 proteins belong to the family of ammonia permeases together with their Amt/MEP homologs. Ammonia permeases increase the permeability of NH 3 /NH 4 + across cell membranes and are believed to be involved in excretion of toxic ammonia and in the maintenance of pH homeostasis. RH50 genes are widespread in eukaryotes but absent in land plants and fungi, and remarkably ...

Assessing segmental versus non-segmental features in the ventral nervous system of onychophorans (velvet worms)

Background Due to their phylogenetic position as one of the closest arthropod relatives, studies of the organisation of the nervous system in onychophorans play a key role for understanding the evolution of body segmentation in arthropods. Previous studies revealed that, in contrast to the arthropods, segmentally repeated ganglia are not present within the onychophoran ventral ...

Asymmetry and integration of cellular morphology in Micrasterias compereana

Background Unicellular green algae of the genus Micrasterias (Desmidiales) have complex cells with multiple lobes and indentations, and therefore, they are considered model organisms for research on plant cell morphogenesis and variation. Micrasterias cells have a typical biradial symmetric arrangement and multiple terminal lobules. They are composed of two semicells that can be ...

Monoplacophoran mitochondrial genomes: convergent gene arrangements and little phylogenetic signal

Background Although recent studies have greatly advanced understanding of deep molluscan phylogeny, placement of some taxa remains uncertain as different datasets support competing class-relationships. Traditionally, morphologists have placed Monoplacophora, a group of morphologically simple, limpet-like molluscs as sister group to all other conchiferans (shelled molluscs other ...

Origin and diversification of Lake Ohrid’s endemic acroloxid limpets: the role of geography and ecology

Background Ancient Lake Ohrid, located on the Albania-Macedonia border, is the most biodiverse freshwater lake in Europe. However, the processes that gave rise to its extraordinary endemic biodiversity, particularly in the species-rich gastropods, are still poorly understood. A suitable model taxon to study speciation processes in Lake Ohrid is the pulmonate snail genus Acroloxus, ...

Variation in cyanogenic compounds concentration within a Heliconius butterfly community: does mimicry explain everything?

Background Aposematic species advertise their unpalatability using warning signals such as striking coloration. Given that predators need to sample aposematic prey to learn that they are unprofitable, prey with similar warning signals share the cost of predator learning. This reduction in predation risk drives evolutionary convergence of warning signals among chemically defended ...

Are aphid parasitoids locally adapted to the prevalence of defensive symbionts in their hosts?

Background Insect parasitoids are under strong selection to overcome their hosts’ defences. In aphids, resistance to parasitoids is largely determined by the presence or absence of protective endosymbionts such as Hamiltonella defensa. Hence, parasitoids may become locally adapted to the prevalence of this endosymbiont in their host populations. To address this, we collected ...

Several steps of lateral gene transfer followed by events of ‘birth-and-death’ evolution shaped a fungal sorbicillinoid biosynthetic gene cluster

Background Sorbicillinoids are a family of complex cyclic polyketides produced by only a small number of distantly related ascomycete fungi such as Trichoderma (Sordariomycetes) and Penicillium (Eurotiomycetes). In T. reesei, they are synthesized by a gene cluster consisting of eight genes including two polyketide synthases (PKS). To reconstruct the evolutionary origin of this gene ...

Assessing the effects of hybridization and precipitation on invasive weed demography using strength of selection on vital rates

Background As global climate change transforms average temperature and rainfall, species distributions may meet, increasing the potential for hybridization and altering individual fitness and population growth. Altered rainfall specifically may shift the strength and direction of selection, also manipulating population trajectories. Here, we investigated the role of interspecific ...

Voyage of discovery? A comment on Koch et al. “A voyage to Terra Australis: human-mediated dispersal of cats”

The origins of feral cats in Australia may be understood with the help of molecular studies, but it is important that hypotheses be tested with appropriate sampling and methodology. We point out several shortcomings in the analysis by Koch et al. (BMC Evol Biol 15:262, 2015; A voyage to Terra Australis: human-mediated dispersal of cats. Dryad Digital Repository, 2015), present a ...

Comparative phylogeography in the Atlantic forest and Brazilian savannas: pleistocene fluctuations and dispersal shape spatial patterns in two bumblebees

Background Bombus morio and B. pauloensis are sympatric widespread bumblebee species that occupy two major Brazilian biomes, the Atlantic forest and the savannas of the Cerrado. Differences in dispersion capacity, which is greater in B. morio, likely influence their phylogeographic patterns. This study asks which processes best explain the patterns of genetic variation observed in ...

Range-wide genetic structure and demographic history in the bat ectoparasite Cimex adjunctus

Background Evolutionary histories of parasite and host populations are intimately linked such that their spatial genetic structures may be correlated. While these processes have been relatively well studied in specialist parasites and their hosts, less is known about the ecological and evolutionary consequences of relationships between generalist ectoparasites and their hosts. The ...

The psoriasis-associated deletion of late cornified envelope genes LCE3B and LCE3C has been maintained under balancing selection since Human Denisovan divergence

Background A common, 32kb deletion of LCE3B and LCE3C genes is strongly associated with psoriasis. We recently found that this deletion is ancient, predating Human-Denisovan divergence. However, it was not clear why negative selection has not removed this deletion from the population. Results Here, we show that the haplotype block that harbors the deletion (i) retains high allele ...