SMBE 2017

This week the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution is meeting in Austin, Texas. Our senior editor Vera Domingues is there, so please find her to chat about Nature Ecology & Evolution. Here is a collection of content from the journal that we hope will be of interest to those attending the conference and those who wish they were there.

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Phylogenetic rooting using minimal ancestor deviation

Contentious relationships in phylogenomic studies can be driven by a handful of genes

Genome-wide interrogation advances resolution of recalcitrant groups in the tree of life

Phylogenomics: Constrained gene tree inference

Population genetics

The palaeogenetics of cat dispersal in the ancient world

Dietary adaptation of FADS genes in Europe varied across time and geography

Population genetics: The deep roots of non-Africans


Genome of the pitcher plant Cephalotus reveals genetic changes associated with carnivory

Genome evolution: Shellfish genes

Adaptation to deep-sea chemosynthetic environments as revealed by mussel genomes

Scallop genome provides insights into evolution of bilaterian karyotype and development

More protist genomes needed

Genome evolution

A radical form of genetic novelty

Young genes are highly disordered as predicted by the preadaptation hypothesis of de novo gene birth

Random sequences are an abundant source of bioactive RNAs or peptides

Diminishing-returns epistasis decreases adaptability along an evolutionary trajectory

The evolutionary origin of plant and animal microRNAs

The evolution and population diversity of human-specific segmental duplications

The genomic landscape of evolutionary convergence in mammals, birds and reptiles

Antagonistic pleiotropy and mutation accumulation influence human senescence and disease

Widespread maintenance of genome heterozygosity in Schmidtea mediterranea


Genetic divergence of early song discrimination between two young songbird species

Transitions between phases of genomic differentiation during stick-insect speciation

Ecological and evolutionary genetics

Young inversion with multiple linked QTLs under selection in a hybrid zone

Contrasting effects of environment and genetics generate a continuum of parallel evolution

Complex modular architecture around a simple toolkit of wing pattern genes

Experimental test and refutation of a classic case of molecular adaptation in Drosophila melanogaster

The transcriptional architecture of phenotypic dimorphism

An invasive social insect overcomes genetic load at the sex locus

Gene expression plasticity as a mechanism of coral adaptation to a variable environment

Microbial evolution

Antibiotic resistance: Evolution without trade-offs

The unconstrained evolution of fast and efficient antibiotic-resistant bacterial genomes

Multicopy plasmids potentiate the evolution of antibiotic resistance in bacteria

Coupling phenotypic persistence to DNA damage increases genetic diversity in severe stress

Predicting evolution

Protein evolution

A thousand empirical adaptive landscapes and their navigability

Optimization of lag phase shapes the evolution of a bacterial enzyme

Patrick Goymer

Chief Editor, Nature Ecology & Evolution

Patrick joined Nature Publishing Group in 2005 as an Assistant Editor at Nature Reviews Genetics and Nature Reviews Cancer. In 2008 he moved to Nature, where he served as Senior Editor covering ecology and evolution, before becoming Chief Editor of Nature Ecology & Evolution in 2016. He has handled primary manuscripts and review articles across the entire breadth of ecology and evolution, as well as advising and writing for other sections of Nature. Patrick has a degree in genetics from the University of Cambridge, did his DPhil in experimental evolution at the University of Oxford, and did postdoctoral work on evolutionary and ecological genetics at University College London in association with Imperial College London at Silwood Park.