Tetsu Yatsuyanagi, Takashi Kanbe, Kazuya Fujii, Shouko Inoue, Hitoshi Araki
Phylogeography bears an important part in ecology and evolution. However, current phylogeographic studies are largely constrained by limited numbers of individual samples. Using an environmental DNA (eDNA) assay for phylogeographic analyses, this study provides detailed information regarding the history of Siberian stone loach Barbatula toni, a primary freshwater fish across the whole range of Hokkaido, Japan. Based on an eDNA metabarcoding on 293 river water samples, we detected eDNA from B. toni in 189 rivers...
April 1, 2024: Molecular Ecology
(no author information available yet)
Retraction: Stuckert, A. M. M., Chouteau, M., McClure, M., LaPolice, T. M., Linderoth, T., Nielsen, R., Summers, K., MacManes, M. D. (2021). The genomics of mimicry: Gene expression throughout development provides insights into convergent and divergent phenotypes in a Müllerian mimicry system. Molecular Ecology, 30: 4039-4061. The above article, published online on 19 June 2021 in Wiley Online Library (, has been retracted by agreement between the authors, the journal Editor in Chief, Loren Rieseberg and John Wiley and Sons Ltd...
April 1, 2024: Molecular Ecology
Ivan Pokrovac, Nicolas Rohner, Željka Pezer
Copy number variation is a common contributor to phenotypic diversity, yet its involvement in ecological adaptation is not easily discerned. Instances of parallelly evolving populations of the same species in a similar environment marked by strong selective pressures present opportunities to study the role of copy number variants (CNVs) in adaptation. By identifying CNVs that repeatedly occur in multiple populations of the derived ecotype and are not (or are rarely) present in the populations of the ancestral ecotype, the association of such CNVs with adaptation to the novel environment can be inferred...
March 31, 2024: Molecular Ecology
E Gering, M Johnsson, D Theunissen, M L Martin Cerezo, A Steep, T Getty, R Henriksen, D Wright
Recent work indicates that feralisation is not a simple reversal of domestication, and therefore raises questions about the predictability of evolution across replicated feral populations. In the present study we compare genes and traits of two independently established feral populations of chickens (Gallus gallus) that inhabit archipelagos within the Pacific and Atlantic regions to test for evolutionary parallelism and/or divergence. We find that feral populations from each region are genetically closer to one another than other domestic breeds, despite their geographical isolation and divergent colonisation histories...
March 30, 2024: Molecular Ecology
Anna M Hewett, Susan E Johnston, Alison Morris, Sean Morris, Josephine M Pemberton
Inbreeding depression is of major concern in declining populations, but relatively little is known about its genetic architecture in wild populations, such as the degree to which it is composed of large or small effect loci and their distribution throughout the genome. Here, we combine fitness and genomic data from a wild population of red deer to investigate the genomic distribution of inbreeding effects. Based on the runs of homozygosity (ROH)-based inbreeding coefficient, FROH , we use chromosome-specific inbreeding coefficients (FROHChr ) to explore whether the effect of inbreeding varies between chromosomes...
March 28, 2024: Molecular Ecology
Eleanor C Sheppard, Claudia A Martin, Claire Armstrong, Catalina González-Quevedo, Juan Carlos Illera, Alexander Suh, Lewis G Spurgin, David S Richardson
Patterns of pathogen prevalence are, at least partially, the result of coevolutionary host-pathogen interactions. Thus, exploring the distribution of host genetic variation in relation to infection by a pathogen within and across populations can provide important insights into mechanisms of host defence and adaptation. Here, we use a landscape genomics approach (Bayenv) in conjunction with genome-wide data (ddRADseq) to test for associations between avian malaria (Plasmodium) prevalence and host genetic variation across 13 populations of the island endemic Berthelot's pipit (Anthus berthelotii)...
March 27, 2024: Molecular Ecology
Rodgee Mae Guden, Annelies Haegeman, Tom Ruttink, Tom Moens, Sofie Derycke
Marine sediments cover 70% of the Earth's surface, and harbour diverse bacterial communities critical for marine biogeochemical processes, which affect climate change, biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Nematodes, the most abundant and species-rich metazoan organisms in marine sediments, in turn, affect benthic bacterial communities and bacterial-mediated ecological processes, but the underlying mechanisms by which they affect biogeochemical cycles remain poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate using a metatranscriptomic approach that nematodes alter the taxonomic and functional profiles of benthic bacterial communities...
March 27, 2024: Molecular Ecology
Xingyue Ren, Junjie Zhao, Juntao Hu
Climate change is intensifying the frequency and severity of extreme temperatures. Understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying the ability to cope with acute thermal stress is key for predicting species' responses to extreme temperature events. While many studies have focused on the individual roles of gene expression, post-transcriptional processes and epigenetic modifications in response to acute thermal stress, the relative contribution of these molecular mechanisms remains unclear. The wide range of thermal limits of western mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis) provides an opportunity to explore this interplay...
March 26, 2024: Molecular Ecology
M S Pankey, D J Gochfeld, M Gastaldi, K J Macartney, A Clayshulte Abraham, M Slattery, M P Lesser
Fundamental to holobiont biology is recognising how variation in microbial composition and function relates to host phenotypic variation. Sponges often exhibit considerable phenotypic plasticity and also harbour dense microbial communities that function to protect and nourish hosts. One of the most prominent sponge genera on Caribbean coral reefs is Agelas. Using a comprehensive set of morphological (growth form, spicule), chemical and molecular data on 13 recognised species of Agelas in the Caribbean basin, we were able to define only five species (=clades) and found that many morphospecies designations were incongruent with phylogenomic and population genetic analyses...
March 26, 2024: Molecular Ecology
L C Bonzi, J M Donelson, R K Spinks, P L Munday, T Ravasi, C Schunter
The environment experienced by one generation has the potential to affect the subsequent one through non-genetic inheritance of parental effects. Since both mothers and fathers can influence their offspring, questions arise regarding how the maternal, paternal and offspring experiences integrate into the resulting phenotype. We aimed to disentangle the maternal and paternal contributions to transgenerational thermal acclimation in a reef fish, Acanthochromis polyacanthus, by exposing two generations to elevated temperature (+1...
March 23, 2024: Molecular Ecology
Nitin Ravikanthachari, Rachel A Steward, Carol L Boggs
Understanding the evolutionary processes that influence fitness is critical to predicting species' responses to selection. Interactions among evolutionary processes including gene flow, drift and the strength of selection can lead to either local adaptation or maladaptation, especially in heterogenous landscapes. Populations experiencing novel environments or resources are ideal for understanding the mechanisms underlying adaptation or maladaptation, specifically in locally co-evolved interactions. We used the interaction between a native herbivore that oviposits on a patchily distributed introduced plant that in turn causes significant mortality to the larvae to test for signatures of local adaptation in areas where the two co-occurred...
March 21, 2024: Molecular Ecology
Peri E Bolton, T Brandt Ryder, Roslyn Dakin, Jennifer L Houtz, Ignacio T Moore, Christopher N Balakrishnan, Brent M Horton
The neurogenomic mechanisms mediating male-male reproductive cooperative behaviours remain unknown. We leveraged extensive transcriptomic and behavioural data on a neotropical bird species (Pipra filicauda) that performs cooperative courtship displays to understand these mechanisms. In this species, the cooperative display is modulated by testosterone, which promotes cooperation in non-territorial birds, but suppresses cooperation in territory holders. We sought to understand the neurogenomic underpinnings of three related traits: social status, cooperative display behaviour and testosterone phenotype...
March 21, 2024: Molecular Ecology
Mei Huang, Jian-Yu Meng, Xue Tang, Long-Long Shan, Chang-Li Yang, Chang-Yu Zhang
Ostrinia furnacalis is a disreputable herbivorous pest that poses a serious threat to corn crops. Phototaxis in nocturnal moths plays a crucial role in pest prediction and control. Insect opsins are the main component of insect visual system. However, the inherent molecular relationship between phototactic behaviour and vision of insects remains a mystery. Herein, three opsin genes were identified and cloned from O. furnacalis (OfLW, OfBL, and OfUV). Bioinformatics analysis revealed that all opsin genes had visual pigment (opsin) retinal binding sites and seven transmembrane domains...
March 20, 2024: Molecular Ecology
Luis P da Silva, Vanessa A Mata, Pedro B Lopes, Catarina J Pinho, Catia Chaves, Edna Correia, Joana Pinto, Ruben H Heleno, Sergio Timoteo, Pedro Beja
Agriculture is vital for supporting human populations, but its intensification often leads to landscape homogenization and a decline in non-provisioning ecosystem services. Ecological intensification and multifunctional landscapes are suggested as nature-based alternatives to intensive agriculture, using ecological processes like natural pest regulation to maximize food production. Birds are recognized for their role in increasing crop yields by consuming invertebrate pests in several agroecosystems. However, the understanding of how bird species, their traits and agricultural land cover influence the structure of bird-pest interactions remains limited...
March 20, 2024: Molecular Ecology
Sien Audoor, Gust Bilcke, Katerina Pargana, Darja Belišová, Sander Thierens, Michiel Van Bel, Lieven Sterck, Nadine Rijsdijk, Rossella Annunziata, Maria Immacolata Ferrante, Klaas Vandepoele, Wim Vyverman
Sexual reproduction is a major driver of adaptation and speciation in eukaryotes. In diatoms, siliceous microalgae with a unique cell size reduction-restitution life cycle and among the world's most prolific primary producers, sex also acts as the main mechanism for cell size restoration through the formation of an expanding auxospore. However, the molecular regulators of the different stages of sexual reproduction and size restoration are poorly explored. Here, we combined RNA sequencing with the assembly of a 55 Mbp reference genome for Cylindrotheca closterium to identify patterns of gene expression during different stages of sexual reproduction...
March 20, 2024: Molecular Ecology
Jie Chen, Ziying Guan, Lina Sun, Xinlin Fan, Desen Wang, Xiaoqiang Yu, Lihua Lyu, Guojun Qi
The N6 -methyladenosine (m6 A) modification of RNA has been reported to remodel gene expression in response to environmental conditions; however, the biological role of m6 A in social insects remains largely unknown. In this study, we explored the role of m6 A in the division of labour by worker ants (Solenopsis invicta). We first determined the presence of m6 A in RNAs from the brains of worker ants and found that m6 A methylation dynamics differed between foragers and nurses. Depletion of m6 A methyltransferase or chemical suppression of m6 A methylation in foragers resulted in a shift to 'nurse-like' behaviours...
March 19, 2024: Molecular Ecology
Max R Brown, Richard J Abbott, Alex D Twyford
Natural hybridisation is now recognised as pervasive in its occurrence across the Tree of Life. Resurgent interest in natural hybridisation fuelled by developments in genomics has led to an improved understanding of the genetic factors that promote or prevent species cross-mating. Despite this body of work overturning many widely held assumptions about the genetic barriers to hybridisation, it is still widely thought that ploidy differences between species will be an absolute barrier to hybridisation and introgression...
March 19, 2024: Molecular Ecology
Paul A Maier, Amy G Vandergast, Andrew J Bohonak
Genomes are heterogeneous during the early stages of speciation, with small 'islands' of DNA appearing to reflect strong adaptive differences, surrounded by vast seas of relative homogeneity. As species diverge, secondary contact zones between them can act as an interface and selectively filter through advantageous alleles of hybrid origin. Such introgression is another important adaptive process, one that allows beneficial mosaics of recombinant DNA ('rivers') to flow from one species into another. Although genomic islands of divergence appear to be associated with reproductive isolation, and genomic rivers form by adaptive introgression, it is unknown whether islands and rivers tend to be the same or different loci...
March 15, 2024: Molecular Ecology
Hannah E Aichelman, Alexa K Huzar, Daniel M Wuitchik, Kathryn F Atherton, Rachel M Wright, Groves Dixon, E Schlatter, Nicole Haftel, Sarah W Davies
Increasing ocean temperatures are causing dysbiosis between coral hosts and their symbionts. Previous work suggests that coral host gene expression responds more strongly to environmental stress compared to their intracellular symbionts; however, the causes and consequences of this phenomenon remain untested. We hypothesized that symbionts are less responsive because hosts modulate symbiont environments to buffer stress. To test this hypothesis, we leveraged the facultative symbiosis between the scleractinian coral Oculina arbuscula and its symbiont Breviolum psygmophilum to characterize gene expression responses of both symbiotic partners in and ex hospite under thermal challenges...
March 15, 2024: Molecular Ecology
Logan M Maxwell, Jonathan D Clark, Jennifer Walsh, Meaghan Conway, Brian J Olsen, Adrienne I Kovach
Eco-phylogeographic approaches to comparative population genetic analyses allow for the inclusion of intrinsic influences as drivers of intraspecific genetic structure. This insight into microevolutionary processes, including changes within a species or lineage, provides better mechanistic understanding of species-specific interactions and enables predictions of evolutionary responses to environmental change. In this study, we used single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) identified from reduced representation sequencing to compare neutral population structure, isolation by distance (IBD), genetic diversity and effective population size (Ne ) across three closely related and co-distributed saltmarsh sparrow species differing along a specialization gradient-Nelson's (Ammospiza nelsoni subvirgata), saltmarsh (A...
March 13, 2024: Molecular Ecology
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