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Welcome to EvolNews.org!

EvolNews.org is a site geared toward sharing new and interesting research in Evolutionary Biology with other researchers and with anyone interested. Face it, you're a busy researcher- and you probably find all fields of Evolutionary Biology interesting, but you barely have time to keep current with the research in your own sub-discipline. Well, this web site is designed to give a brief summary of the latest breaking news in evolutionary research that occurs in peer-reviewed journals, and provide you with handy-dandy links to the articles. There is also the ability to start discussions by posting replies to the articles, but that is for the readership to decide. We are always open to suggestions to improve the website, including adding new topic areas and features, as it's all fairly uncomplicated with the wonderful software PHP-Nuke. What this site will not support is teleological debates, creationism/evolution debates, etc.- although they can be presented as articles and comments if published elsewhere. This site is also not to be used as a clearinghouse for unpublished research (i.e. unpublished-research.com), but other than that, we're wide open! We plan to include specialty sections, like the history of evoutionary science, and we strongly encourage using the site for graduate, undergraduate, and departmental reading groups! If you're not sure how to go about it, just email me at evolnews@evolnews.org. Oh- and sign up for an account too- you can do cool stuff like get a Table Of Contents in your email, change your interface to suit you, and post replies.

Vertebrate Evolution Cichlid Evolution

Joyce et al. discuss the radiation of cichlids. In particular, they have identified an extant radiation that came from an extinct pleistocene lake. They discuss some of the theories surrounding the incredible diversity of cichlids. In particular, they explore hybridization as a possible cause of increased molecular diversity leading to speciation. Nature
Posted by erin on Thursday, May 05 @ 13:30:25 EDT (137 reads)
(comments? | Score: 0)
Evolutionary Genetics Understanding adaptive evolution

In Nature Genetics, an empirical test of Gillespie's mutational landscape model for the adaptation of DNA sequences is reported by Rokyta et al., with commentary by Bull & Otto. Their test, carried out in a single-stranded DNA bacteriophage, provided results consistent with Orr's predictions based on Gillespie's model. This research has practical applications relevant to understanding and predicting the evolution of drug resistance in pathogens.

An empirical test of the mutational landscape model of adaptation using a single-stranded DNA virus. Rokyta et al.

News and Views: The first steps in adaptive evolution. Bull & Otto.
Posted by Chris on Monday, April 25 @ 12:28:05 EDT (115 reads)
(comments? | Score: 0)
Paleontology Therapods and egg laying behavior

In this week's Science Seto et al. describe a new fossil- with eggs intact. The fossil and eggs are complete enough to show that this therapod had two oviducts side by side, like the crocodillians, but multiple ovipositions were responsible for the formation of an entire clutch. In addition, the fossil mother and nest provide evidence that mom laid her clutch from the center of the nest. Very cool. Check it out.
Posted by lex on Thursday, April 14 @ 16:36:49 EDT (152 reads)
(comments? | Score: 5)
Insect Evolution Numts in Coleoptera

Priscila writes "In an article in the last issue of Molecular Biology and Evolution (22, 4, April 2005), Pons & Vogler describe, for the first time, numts (nuclear copies of mitochondrial DNA) in the Coleoptera. In the paper, entitled “Complex Pattern of Coalescence and Fast Evolution of a Mitochondrial rRNA Pseudogene in a Recent Radiation of Tiger Beetles” the authors examine rates of evolution, polymorphism across populations, phylogenetic origins and other molecular evolutionary aspects of the discovered numt."
Posted by evoladmin on Wednesday, April 13 @ 19:52:01 EDT (125 reads)
(comments? | Score: 0)
Insect Evolution Ant-plant conflicts and a novel case of castration parasitism in myrmecophyte

Joe or Jane Smoe writes "L. Gaume, M. Zacharias and R.M. Borges report in the March issue of Evolutionary Ecology Research a novel case of castration parasitism involving the ants Crematogaster dohrni and its host plant, Humboldtia brunonis. The authors investigate the potential conflicts in the mutualistic ant-plant community, and find that Crematogaster dohrni decreases the fitness of its host plant by castrating its flower buds, even though it defends the host plant against herbivores. Although the host plant successfully uses several strategies to defend its reproductive organs against other ants, they're not effective against this ant species. The authors show that the presence of the ants discourage the pollinators of this plant. A possible explanation of the castration behaviour of the ants is that it encourages the host plant's allocation to growth, which is more beneficial to the ants.

I think it's a very interesting paper, with many details about the characteristics of these ant-plant relationships.

The complete reference of the article:

L. Gaume, M. Zacharias and R.M. Borges.
Ant–plant conflicts and a novel case of castration parasitism in a myrmecophyte. Evolutionary Ecology Research 2005 7 (3): 435–452

The article can be found here.
Posted by evoladmin on Monday, April 11 @ 15:06:40 EDT (123 reads)
(comments? | Score: 0)
Microbial Evolution Genetic determinant responsible for transmissibility of TSWV virus found

kmagori writes "S-H. Sin, B.C. McNulty, G.G. Kennedy and J. W. Moyer reported in the April 5 issue of PNAS, that they have located a determinant of thrips transmissibility in the genome of the Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus (TSWV). This virus is a member of the Bunyaviridae family, and is exclusively transmitted through thrips. The authors determined by a reassortment-based viral genetic system, that one of the three single-stranded RNA molecules, designated M (medium) RNA, which codes for a putative cell-to-cell movement protein (NSm) and the precursor of surface glycoproteins on the envelope (Gn/Gc), is responsible for the transmissibility of the virus in thrips. They found a non-synonymous mutation in the Gn/Gc ORF of the M RNA which resulted in the loss of thrips transmissibility without inhibition of the virion assembly. This finding has possibly great potential in controling this economically significant virus.

The complete reference of the article is here:
Sang-Hoon Sin, Brian C. McNulty, George G. Kennedy, and James W. Moyer:
Viral genetic determinants for thrips transmission
of Tomato spotted wilt virus
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,
2005, 102 (14): 5168-5173

The article can be reached here
Posted by lex on Friday, April 08 @ 14:30:28 EDT (114 reads)
(comments? | Score: 0)
Molecular Evolution Support for recombination in mitochondrial DNA in Buthid scorpions

Evidence is mounting that, at least in some species, mitochondrial DNA may undergo recombination. Previous phylogeographic studies of some Buthid scorpions based on mtDNA sequences hinted that mitochondrial recombination may be occurring in this group. Interesting cytological evidence in this family involving the fusion of mitchondria during spermatogenesis provided a possible mechanism. Now, Gantenbein et al. show (in FirstCite Early Online Publishing in the Proceedings of the Royal Society) that linkage disequilibrium between polymorphic sites in Buthid mtDNA is negatively correlated with physical distance, supporting the idea that mitochondria recombine in these scorpions.
Posted by Chris on Thursday, April 07 @ 23:50:43 EDT (179 reads)
(Read More... | 1 comment | Score: 0)
Taxonomy New Survey- Barcode Yourself

Ladies and gentlemen...vote! Is the barcoding project a good idea, is it an old idea in new clothing, or is this just not going to work if you are at all concerned about algorithmic limits, differences in variation due to inequivelencies in taxanomic rank....
Posted by evoladmin on Thursday, April 07 @ 19:28:10 EDT (191 reads)
(Read More... | 1 comment | Score: 0)
Taxonomy Still on DNA barcoding

Priscila writes "In the latest issue of Journal of Heredity (96, 3, May 2005), Lambert et al. present a rather enthusiastic take on the controversial topic of DNA barcoding. The article, entitled “Is a Large-Scale DNA-Based Inventory of Ancient Life Possible?” was based on a presentation given at the symposium "Genomes and Evolution 2004," cosponsored by the American Genetic Association and International Society of Molecular Biology and Evolution, at the Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA, USA, June 17–20, 2004."
Posted by lex on Thursday, April 07 @ 17:27:03 EDT (118 reads)
(comments? | Score: 0)
Evolutionary Genetics Soft inheritance and environmentally alterable genetic effects

kmagori writes "The March issue of Evolutionary Ecology Research contains an article by R. Gorelick on a parent-offspring linear regression model that includes soft inheritance of environmentally alterable additive genetic effects. It is an extension of the classical quantitative genetic models to include effects of the environment of the parents on the phenotype of the offspring. The authors claims that although such effects are not abundant, they might be significant as an additional source of additive genetic variance, as a source of non-linear reaction norms and phenotypic plasticity.

This is another slightly controversial paper I would be interested in your comments from the community. Although the methods used and the reasoning seem to be alright in the article, somehow I got an awkward flashback of Lamarckian evolutionary theory while reading it. Also, it contains a pretty simplistic analogy that compares DNA and epigenetic signals to electrical copper wires and insulations.

The complete reference of the article is:
R. Gorelick. Environmentally alterable additive genetic effects. Evolutionary Ecology Research 2005 7 (3): 371–379

The complete article can be found here "
Posted by sue on Thursday, April 07 @ 12:56:14 EDT (120 reads)
(comments? | Score: 0)
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DNA Barcoding!
Way to go! A useful handy i.d.!
umm...don't we already make molecular phylogenies?
so much for intro taxonomy courses.


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Old Articles
Thursday, April 07
· TTX resistance in garter snake-newt system
· DNA barcoding
Wednesday, April 06
· Recombination hotspots compared between human and chimp
· Non-adaptive plasticity retained in Macoma balthica clams
· Special Am Nat issue on Sexual Conflict
Tuesday, April 05
· Evolutionary origins of snake venom
· Evidence for Insect Pollination in Early Cycads
Monday, April 04
· ESEB 2005
· New Digger
Friday, April 01
· NC State Paleontologist Discovers Soft Tissue in Dinosaur Bone
· Intron gain and loss in fungi
Thursday, March 31
· The signature of domestication, case studies in Maize and Rice
· Digit homology supports evolutionary link between birds and theropods
· Mutation and Repair
· Empiricism mimics theory in adaptive evolution
· A sexual demonstration of evolution
· Avoidance of exon skipping in mRNA editing
Wednesday, March 30
· Evidence of a new form of non-Mendelian inhertance in Arabidopsis
Tuesday, March 29
· Meta-analysis proves heterozygosity lower in threaten species
· Placement in protein networks may influence evolutionary constraint
· Theory predicts evolutionary style for 5' UTRs
Monday, March 28
· Microsatellites embedded in ESTs mirror adaptive evolution
Tuesday, March 22
· Prophecy of the pet store turtle
Sunday, March 20
· The Secretion of Molecular Oxygen From Fish
· New Phytologist and EcoDevo
Saturday, March 19
· Evolution X

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