What types of genes and mutations underlie the striking anatomical differences found in wild species? New genetic research shows that wild stickleback fish evolve major changes in their defensive armor using the vertebrate homologs of the famous Hox genes of Drosophila. Four-winged fruit flies have been described as "hopeless monsters" that would never survive outside the laboratory. However, sticklebacks with different bony spine patterns are thriving under a full range of fitness constraints in natural environments, providing a striking example of how wild vertebrate species evolve new body structures through repeated regulatory mutations in key developmental control genes.
To dissect natural genetic variation in crops facilitates molecular breeding. To date, most published causal variants underlying phenotypic diversity are involved in either gene expression or protein sequence polymorphisms. Natural variation at post-transcriptional level remains elusive in plants.
Multiple anthropogenic pressures can occur simultaneously, which is caused for concern because multifaceted pressures could lead to dramatic declines in ecosystem functions. Can biodiversity help to buffer the negative effects of the co-occurrence of multiple pressures? Read this report for details.
Evolution of olfactory perception is often thought to arise through protein changes in odorant receptors that alter the molecules that they bind. We found that adaptive evolution in olfactory perception also arises through coexpressed receptors that change in copy number and protein sequence.
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