Paul Jay, Thomas G Aubier, Mathieu Joron
Supergenes are genetic architectures resulting in the segregation of alternative combinations of alleles underlying complex phenotypes. The co-segregation of alleles at linked loci is often facilitated by polymorphic chromosomal rearrangements suppressing recombination locally. Supergenes are involved in many complex polymorphisms, including sexual, colour or behavioural polymorphisms in numerous plants, fungi, mammals, fish, and insects. Despite a long history of empirical and theoretical research, the formation of supergenes remains poorly understood...
February 28, 2024: Molecular Ecology
Gordon P Smith, Hamutahl Cohen, Jocelyn F Zorn, Quinn S McFrederick, Lauren C Ponisio
Variation in how individuals interact with food resources can directly impact, and be affected by, their microbial interactions due to the potential for transmission. The degree to which this transmission occurs, however, may depend on the structure of forager networks, which determine the community-scale transmission opportunities. In particular, how the community-scale opportunity for transfer balances individual-scale barriers to transmission is unclear. Examining the bee-flower and bee-microbial interactions of over 1000 individual bees, we tested (1) the degree to which individual floral visits predicted microbiome composition and (2) whether plant-bee networks with increased opportunity for microbial transmission homogenized the microbiomes of bees within that network...
February 27, 2024: Molecular Ecology
Anna Runemark, Emily C Moore, Erica L Larson
Gene expression has a key role in reproductive isolation, and studies of hybrid gene expression have identified mechanisms causing hybrid sterility. Here, we review the evidence for altered gene expression following hybridization and outline the mechanisms shown to contribute to altered gene expression in hybrids. Transgressive gene expression, transcending that of both parental species, is pervasive in early generation sterile hybrids, but also frequently observed in viable, fertile hybrids. We highlight studies showing that hybridization can result in transgressive gene expression, also in established hybrid lineages or species...
February 27, 2024: Molecular Ecology
Dilan Saatoglu, Sarah L Lundregan, Evelyn Fetterplace, Debora Goedert, Arild Husby, Alina K Niskanen, Stefanie Muff, Henrik Jensen
Dispersal affects evolutionary processes by changing population size and genetic composition, influencing the viability and persistence of populations. Investigating which mechanisms underlie variation in dispersal phenotypes and whether populations harbour adaptive potential for dispersal is crucial to understanding the eco-evolutionary dynamics of this important trait. Here, we investigate the genetic architecture of dispersal among successfully recruited individuals in an insular metapopulation of house sparrows...
February 23, 2024: Molecular Ecology
Emily Roycroft, Fred Ford, Till Ramm, Rhiannon Schembri, William G Breed, Phoebe A Burns, Kevin C Rowe, Craig Moritz
Phylogeographic studies of continental clades, especially when combined with palaeoclimate modelling, provide powerful insight into how environment drives speciation across climatic contexts. Australia, a continent characterized by disparate modern biomes and dynamic climate change, provides diverse opportunity to reconstruct the impact of past and present environments on diversification. Here, we use genomic-scale data (1310 exons and whole mitogenomes from 111 samples) to investigate Pleistocene diversification, cryptic diversity, and secondary contact in the Australian delicate mice (Hydromyini: Pseudomys), a recent radiation spanning almost all Australian environments...
February 22, 2024: Molecular Ecology
Antoine Fraimout, Frédéric Guillaume, Zitong Li, Mikko J Sillanpää, Pasi Rastas, Juha Merilä
Additive and dominance genetic variances underlying the expression of quantitative traits are important quantities for predicting short-term responses to selection, but they are notoriously challenging to estimate in most non-model wild populations. Specifically, large-sized or panmictic populations may be characterized by low variance in genetic relatedness among individuals which, in turn, can prevent accurate estimation of quantitative genetic parameters. We used estimates of genome-wide identity-by-descent (IBD) sharing from autosomal SNP loci to estimate quantitative genetic parameters for ecologically important traits in nine-spined sticklebacks (Pungitius pungitius) from a large, outbred population...
February 21, 2024: Molecular Ecology
Yann Bourgeois, Ben H Warren, Steve Augiron
Anthropogenic impact is causing the decline of a large proportion of species worldwide and reduces their genetic diversity. Island species typically have smaller ranges than continental species. As a consequence, island species are particularly liable to undergo population bottlenecks, giving rise to conservation challenges such as inbreeding and unmasking of deleterious genetic load. Such challenges call for more detailed assessments of the genetic make-up of threatened island populations. The Mascarene islands (Indian Ocean) present many prime examples, being unusual in having been pristine until first human arrival ~400 years ago, following which anthropogenic pressure was unusually intense...
February 19, 2024: Molecular Ecology
E Lafuente, D Duneau, P Beldade
Seasonal differences in insect pigmentation are attributed to the influence of ambient temperature on pigmentation development. This thermal plasticity is adaptive and heritable, and thereby capable of evolving. However, the specific genes contributing to the variation in plasticity that can drive its evolution remain largely unknown. To address this, we analysed pigmentation and pigmentation plasticity in Drosophila melanogaster. We measured two components of pigmentation in the thorax and abdomen: overall darkness and the proportion of length covered by darker pattern elements (a trident in the thorax and bands in the abdomen) in females from two developmental temperatures (17 or 28°C) and 191 genotypes...
February 16, 2024: Molecular Ecology
Ada Jimenez-Gonzalez, Federico Ansaloni, Constance Nebendahl, Ghazal Alavioon, David Murray, Weronika Robak, Remo Sanges, Ferenc Müller, Simone Immler
Dietary restriction in the form of fasting is a putative key to a healthier and longer life, but these benefits may come at a trade-off with reproductive fitness and may affect the following generation(s). The potential inter- and transgenerational effects of long-term fasting and starvation are particularly poorly understood in vertebrates when they originate from the paternal line. We utilised the externally fertilising zebrafish amenable to a split-egg clutch design to explore the male-specific effects of fasting/starvation on fertility and fitness of offspring independently of maternal contribution...
February 15, 2024: Molecular Ecology
Jonas Bylemans, Lucas Marques da Cunha, Sonia Sarmiento Cabello, David Nusbaumer, Anshu Uppal, Claus Wedekind
Inbreeding depression, that is, the reduction of health and vigour in individuals with high inbreeding coefficients, is expected to increase with environmental, social, or physiological stress. It has therefore been predicted that sexual selection and the associated stress usually lead to higher inbreeding depression in males than in females. However, sex-specific differences in life history may reverse that pattern during certain developmental stages. In some salmonids, for example, female juveniles start developing their gonads earlier than males who instead grow faster...
February 15, 2024: Molecular Ecology
Stefanie J Siller Wilks, Britt J Heidinger, David F Westneat, Joseph Solomon, Dustin R Rubenstein
The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis coordinates an organism's response to environmental stress. The responsiveness and sensitivity of an offspring's stress response may be shaped not only by stressors encountered in their early post-natal environment but also by stressors in their parent's environment. Yet, few studies have considered how stressors encountered in both of these early life environments may function together to impact the developing HPA axis. Here, we manipulated stressors in the parental and post-natal environments in a population of house sparrows (Passer domesticus) to assess their impact on changes in DNA methylation (and corresponding gene expression) in a suite of genes within the HPA axis...
February 11, 2024: Molecular Ecology
V V Robin
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
February 10, 2024: Molecular Ecology
Aurel Holzschuh, Yalemwork Ewnetu, Lise Carlier, Anita Lerch, Inna Gerlovina, Sarah Cate Baker, Delenasaw Yewhalaw, Werissaw Haileselassie, Nega Berhane, Wossenseged Lemma, Cristian Koepfli
Malaria cases are frequently recorded in the Ethiopian highlands even at altitudes above 2000 m. The epidemiology of malaria in the Ethiopian highlands, and, in particular, the role of importation by human migration from the highly endemic lowlands is not well understood. We sequenced 187 Plasmodium falciparum samples from two sites in the Ethiopian highlands, Gondar (n = 159) and Ziway (n = 28), using a multiplexed droplet digital PCR (ddPCR)-based amplicon sequencing method targeting 35 microhaplotypes and drug resistance loci...
February 9, 2024: Molecular Ecology
Elizabeth N Rudzki, Nicholas D Antonson, Todd M Jones, Wendy M Schelsky, Brian K Trevelline, Mark E Hauber, Kevin D Kohl
The role of species interactions, as well as genetic and environmental factors, all likely contribute to the composition and structure of the gut microbiome; however, disentangling these independent factors under field conditions represents a challenge for a functional understanding of gut microbial ecology. Avian brood parasites provide unique opportunities to investigate these questions, as brood parasitism results in parasite and host nestlings being raised in the same nest, by the same parents. Here we utilized obligate brood parasite brown-headed cowbird nestlings (BHCO; Molothrus ater) raised by several different host passerine species to better understand, via 16S rRNA sequencing, the microbial ecology of brood parasitism...
February 7, 2024: Molecular Ecology
Francisco Pisciottano, María Clara Campos, Clementina Penna, Carlos David Bruque, Toni Gabaldón, Patricia Saragüeta
The absence of robust interspecific isolation barriers among pantherines, including the iconic South American jaguar (Panthera onca), led us to study molecular evolution of typically rapidly evolving reproductive proteins within this subfamily and related groups. In this study, we delved into the evolutionary forces acting on the zona pellucida (ZP) gamete interaction protein family and the sperm-oocyte fusion protein pair IZUMO1-JUNO across the Carnivora order, distinguishing between Caniformia and Feliformia suborders and anticipating few significant diversifying changes in the Pantherinae subfamily...
February 6, 2024: Molecular Ecology
Silu Wang
In this issue of Molecular Ecology, Salter et al. (2023) discovered that the Cuban Northern Bobwhite subspecies, Colinus virginianus cubanensis (Gould, 1850), is an ancient hybrid population formed due to historical hybridization potentially brought by waves of historical human migration. This study revealed a complex mixture of gene flow from distinct spatiotemporal origins underlying a seemingly semi-independent evolutionary trajectory. Hybridization can be more common and complex than we thought...
February 2, 2024: Molecular Ecology
Rachael W Herman, Gemma Clucas, Jane Younger, John Bates, Bryce Robinson, Sushma Reddy, Julia Stepanuk, Katie O'Brien, Krishna Veeramah, Heather J Lynch
Many species are shifting their ranges in response to climate-driven environmental changes, particularly in high-latitude regions. However, the patterns of dispersal and colonization during range shifting events are not always clear. Understanding how populations are connected through space and time can reveal how species navigate a changing environment. Here, we present a fine-scale population genomics study of gentoo penguins (Pygoscelis papua), a presumed site-faithful colonial nesting species that has increased in population size and expanded its range south along the Western Antarctic Peninsula...
February 1, 2024: Molecular Ecology
(no author information available yet)
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
January 31, 2024: Molecular Ecology
Anna Miltiadous, Damien L Callahan, Antoine M Dujon, Katherine L Buchanan, Lee A Rollins
Avian embryos develop in an egg composition which reflects both maternal condition and the recent environment of their mother. In birds, yolk corticosterone (CORT) influences development by impacting pre- and postnatal growth, as well as nestling stress responses and development. One possible mechanism through which maternal CORT may affect offspring development is via changes to offspring DNA methylation. We sought to investigate this, for the first time in birds, by quantifying the impact of manipulations to maternal CORT on offspring DNA methylation...
January 30, 2024: Molecular Ecology
Eva Moracho, Etienne K Klein, Sylvie Oddou-Muratorio, Arndt Hampe, Pedro Jordano
Understanding how spatial patterns of mating and gene flow respond to habitat loss and geographical isolation is a crucial aspect of forest fragmentation genetics. Naturally fragmented riparian tree populations exhibit unique characteristics that significantly influence these patterns. In this study, we investigate mating patterns, pollen-mediated gene flow, and genetic diversity in relict populations of Frangula alnus in southern Spain by testing specific hypotheses related to the riparian habitat. We employ a novel approach that combines paternity analysis, particularly suited for small and isolated populations, with complex network theory and Bayesian models to predict mating likelihood among tree pairs...
January 30, 2024: Molecular Ecology
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