BMC Evolutionary Biology

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

List of Papers (Total 3,357)

Establishment of F1 hybrid mortality in real time

Background Measuring the evolutionary rate of reproductive isolation is essential to understanding how new species form. Tempo calculations typically rely on fossil records, geological events, and molecular evolution analyses. The speed at which genetically-based hybrid mortality arises, or the “incompatibility clock”, is estimated to be millions of years in various diploid ...

Habitat structure is linked to the evolution of plumage colour in female, but not male, fairy-wrens

Background Both natural and sexual selection may drive the evolution of plumage colouration in birds. This can lead to great variation in plumage not only across species, but also between sexes within species. Australasian fairy-wrens are famous for their brightly coloured males, which exhibit colours ranging from bright blue to red and black. Female plumage in fairy wrens (and in ...

Phylogeography of red muntjacs reveals three distinct mitochondrial lineages

Background The members of the genus Muntiacus are of particular interest to evolutionary biologists due to their extreme chromosomal rearrangements and the ongoing discussions about the number of living species. Red muntjacs have the largest distribution of all muntjacs and were formerly considered as one species. Karyotype differences led to the provisional split between the ...

Assessing in silico the recruitment and functional spectrum of bacterial enzymes from secondary metabolism

Background Microbes, plants, and fungi synthesize an enormous number of metabolites exhibiting rich chemical diversity. For a high-level classification, metabolism is subdivided into primary (PM) and secondary (SM) metabolism. SM products are often not essential for survival of the organism and it is generally assumed that SM enzymes stem from PM homologs. Results We wanted to ...

Resolved phylogeny and biogeography of the root pathogen Armillaria and its gasteroid relative, Guyanagaster

Background Armillaria is a globally distributed mushroom-forming genus composed primarily of plant pathogens. Species in this genus are prolific producers of rhizomorphs, or vegetative structures, which, when found, are often associated with infection. Because of their importance as plant pathogens, understanding the evolutionary origins of this genus and how it gained a worldwide ...

Mid-day siesta in natural populations of D. melanogaster from Africa exhibits an altitudinal cline and is regulated by splicing of a thermosensitive intron in the period clock gene

Background Many diurnal animals exhibit a mid-day ‘siesta’, generally thought to be an adaptive response aimed at minimizing exposure to heat on warm days, suggesting that in regions with cooler climates mid-day siestas might be a less prominent feature of animal behavior. Drosophila melanogaster exhibits thermal plasticity in its mid-day siesta that is partly governed by the ...

Cryptic diversity, geographical endemism and allopolyploidy in NE Pacific seaweeds

Background Molecular markers are revealing a much more diverse and evolutionarily complex picture of marine biodiversity than previously anticipated. Cryptic and/or endemic marine species are continually being found throughout the world oceans, predominantly in inconspicuous tropical groups but also in larger, canopy-forming taxa from well studied temperate regions. Interspecific ...

Two new genera of songbirds represent endemic radiations from the Shola Sky Islands of the Western Ghats, India

Background A long-standing view of Indian biodiversity is that while rich in species, there are few endemics or in-situ radiations within the subcontinent. One exception is the Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot, an isolated mountain range with many endemic species. Understanding the origins of the montane-restricted species is crucial to illuminate both taxonomic and environmental ...

Population genetics of mouse lemur vomeronasal receptors: current versus past selection and demographic inference

Background A major effort is underway to use population genetic approaches to identify loci involved in adaptation. One issue that has so far received limited attention is whether loci that show a phylogenetic signal of positive selection in the past also show evidence of ongoing positive selection at the population level. We address this issue using vomeronasal receptors (VRs), a ...

Phylogenomic analysis of Copepoda (Arthropoda, Crustacea) reveals unexpected similarities with earlier proposed morphological phylogenies

Background Copepods play a critical role in marine ecosystems but have been poorly investigated in phylogenetic studies. Morphological evidence supports the monophyly of copepods, whereas interordinal relationships continue to be debated. In particular, the phylogenetic position of the order Harpacticoida is still ambiguous and inconsistent among studies. Until now, a small number ...

High virulence does not necessarily impede viral adaptation to a new host: a case study using a plant RNA virus

Background Theory suggests that high virulence could hinder between-host transmission of microparasites, and that virulence therefore will evolve to lower levels. Alternatively, highly virulent microparasites could also curtail host development, thereby limiting both the host resources available to them and their own within-host effective population size. In this case, high ...

Lineage-specific duplication of amphioxus retinoic acid degrading enzymes (CYP26) resulted in sub-functionalization of patterning and homeostatic roles

Background During embryogenesis, tight regulation of retinoic acid (RA) availability is fundamental for normal development. In parallel to RA synthesis, a negative feedback loop controlled by RA catabolizing enzymes of the cytochrome P450 subfamily 26 (CYP26) is crucial. In vertebrates, the functions of the three CYP26 enzymes (CYP26A1, CYP26B1, and CYP26C1) have been well ...

Oviposition traits generate extrinsic postzygotic isolation between two pine sawfly species

Background Although empirical data indicate that ecological speciation is prevalent in nature, the relative importance of different forms of reproductive isolation and the traits generating reproductive isolation remain unclear. To address these questions, we examined a pair of ecologically divergent pine-sawfly species: while Neodiprion pinetum specializes on a thin-needled pine ...

Evolutionary history of Podarcis tiliguerta on Corsica and Sardinia

Background Podarcis tiliguerta is a wall lizard endemic to the Mediterranean islands of Corsica and Sardinia. Previous findings of high mtDNA and morphological diversity have led to the suggestion that it may represent a species complex. Here, we analysed mitochondrial and nuclear markers (mtDNA, 3110 bp; 6 nDNA loci, 3961 bp) in P. tiliguerta sampled from thirty-two localities ...

Effects of Pleistocene sea-level fluctuations on mangrove population dynamics: a lesson from Sonneratia alba

Background A large-scale systematical investigation of the influence of Pleistocene climate oscillation on mangrove population dynamics could enrich our knowledge about the evolutionary history during times of historical climate change, which in turn may provide important information for their conservation. Results In this study, phylogeography of a mangrove tree Sonneratia alba ...

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 ...