In a paper published in Nature Communications, Christoph Adami, professor of microbiology and molecular genetics, and graduate student Thomas LaBar have provided a look at how certain species survive by evolving a greater ability to weed out harmful mutations -- a new concept called 'drift robustness.'
Interactions between species play a key role in shaping biodiversity. A team of researchers including members of UZH has now shown that the coevolution of species that are embedded in complex networks of interactions is not only influenced directly by their partners but also indirectly by other species. This slows down the ability of complex communities to adapt to environmental change. Rapid climate changes are therefore likely to increase species' risk of becoming extinct.
For her Ph.D., Viglietti studied the fossil-rich sediments present in the Karoo, deposited during the tectonic events that created the Gondwanides, and found that the vertebrate animals in the area started to either go extinct or become less common much earlier than what was previously thought.
Coevolution, which occurs when species interact and adapt to each other, is often studied in the context of pair-wise interactions between mutually beneficial symbiotic partners. But many species have mutualistic interactions with multiple partners, leading to complex networks of interacting species. In a new study, a group of ecologists and evolutionary biologists from five universities has attempted to understand how species coevolve within large webs of mutualistic species.
The brain circuitry that controls innate, or instinctive, behaviors such as mating and fighting was thought to be genetically hardwired. Not so, neuroscientists now say.
New study finds 'messy' microscopic structures on petals of some flowers manipulate light to produce a blue colour effect that is easily seen by bee pollinators. Researchers say these petal grooves evolved independently multiple times across flowering plants, but produce the same result: a floral halo of blue-to-ultraviolet light.
Duplications of large segments of noncoding DNA in the human genome may have contributed to the emergence of differences between humans and nonhuman primates, according to results presented at the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) 2017 Annual Meeting in Orlando, Fla. Identifying these duplications, which include regulatory sequences, and their effect on traits and behavior may help scientists explain genetic contributions to human disease.
Certain species of catfish are covered with bony plates bristling with thin teeth. These teeth are used for defense and seduce the females. Researchers at UNIGE wanted to understand how these teeth capable of regeneration can develop outside of the mouth. They discovered that the extra-oral teeth always grow on a bone, even in the absence of a bony plate. This suggests a role for bone in the induction of dental tissue.
Researchers Japan have retrieved original pigment, beta-keratin and muscle proteins from a 54-million-year-old sea turtle hatchling. The work adds to the growing body of evidence supporting persistence of original molecules over millions of years and also provides direct evidence that a pigment-based survival trait common to modern sea turtles evolved at least 54 million years ago.
Scientists from the University of Plymouth and the Institute of Evolutionary Biology in Barcelona have used cutting edge DNA technology to demonstrate that one of Europe's top freshwater predators is actually two species rather than one.