249 Works

Data from: Modular tagging of amplicons using a single PCR for high-throughput sequencing

Laurence J. Clarke, Paul Czechowski, Julien Soubrier, Mark I. Stevens & Alan Cooper
High-throughput sequencing (HTS) of PCR amplicons is becoming the method of choice to sequence one or several targeted loci for phylogenetic and DNA barcoding studies. Although the development of HTS has allowed rapid generation of massive amounts of DNA sequence data, preparing amplicons for HTS remains a rate-limiting step. For example, HTS platforms require platform-specific adapter sequences to be present at the 5′ and 3′ end of the DNA fragment to be sequenced. In addition,...

Data from: Morphological differentiation correlates with ecological but not genetic divergence in a Gehyra gecko.

Mark Sistrom, Danielle L. Edwards, Mark Hutchinson & Stephen Donnellan
Body size affects life history, the ecological niche of an organism and its interactions with other organisms. Resultantly, marked differences in body size between related organisms are often an indication of a species boundary. This is particularly evident in the Gehyra variegata species complex of geckos, which displays differential body sizes between genetically divergent species, but high levels of intra-specific morphological conservatism. We report on a Gehyra population that displays extraordinary body size differentiation in...

Data from: Antibody selection and amino acid reversions

Jack Da Silva
Pathogens adapt to antibody surveillance through amino acid replacements in targeted protein regions, or epitopes, that interfere with antibody binding. However, such escape mutations may exact a fitness cost due to impaired protein function. Here, it is hypothesised that the recurring generation of specific neutralising antibodies to an epitope region as it evolves in response to antibody selection will cause amino acid reversions by releasing early escape mutations from immune selection. The plausibility of this...

Data from: Environmental metabarcodes for insects: in silico PCR reveals potential for taxonomic bias

Laurence J. Clarke, Julien Soubrier, Laura S. Weyrich & Alan Cooper
Studies of insect assemblages are suited to the simultaneous DNA-based identification of multiple taxa known as metabarcoding. To obtain accurate estimates of diversity, metabarcoding markers ideally possess appropriate taxonomic coverage to avoid PCR-amplification bias, as well as sufficient sequence divergence to resolve species. We used in silico PCR to compare the taxonomic coverage and resolution of newly designed insect metabarcodes (targeting 16S) with that of existing markers (16S and COI) and then compared their efficiency...

Data from: Molecular patterns of introgression in a classic hybrid zone between the Australian tree frogs, Litoria ewingii and L. paraewingi: Evidence of a tension zone

Katie L. Smith, Joshua M. Hale, Michael R. Kearney, Jeremy J. Austin & Jane Melville
Hybrid zones provide a rare opportunity to explore the processes involved in reproductive isolation and speciation. The southern hybrid zone between the southeastern Australian tree frogs Litoria ewingii and L. paraewingi has been comprehensively studied over the last 40 years, primarily using reproductive compatibility experiments and male advertisement calls. We used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and eight nuclear microsatellite markers to characterize this hybrid zone along a historically studied transect and to test various dispersal-dependent and...

Data from: The impact of anchored phylogenomics and taxon sampling on phylogenetic inference in narrow-mouthed frogs (Anura, Microhylidae)

Pedro L. V. Peloso, Darrel R. Frost, Stephen J. Richards, Miguel T. Rodrigues, Stephen Donnellan, Masafumi Matsui, Cristopher J. Raxworthy, S. D. Biju, Emily Moriarty Lemmon, Ward C. Wheeler, Alan R. Lemmon, Pedro L.V. Peloso & S.D. Biju
Despite considerable progress in unravelling the phylogenetic relationships of microhylid frogs, relationships among subfamilies remain largely unstable and many genera are not demonstrably monophyletic. Here, we used five alternative combinations of DNA sequence data (ranging from seven loci for 48 taxa to up to 73 loci for as many as 142 taxa) generated using the anchored phylogenomics sequencing method (66 loci, derived from conserved genome regions, for 48 taxa) and Sanger sequencing (seven loci for...

Data from: Reintroduction of locally extinct vertebrates impacts arid soil fungal communities

Laurence J. Clarke, Laura S. Weyrich & Alan Cooper
Introduced species have contributed to extinction of native vertebrates in many parts of the world. Changes to vertebrate assemblages are also likely to alter microbial communities through coextinction of some taxa and the introduction of others. Many attempts to restore degraded habitats involve removal of exotic vertebrates (livestock and feral animals) and reintroduction of locally extinct species, but the impact of such reintroductions on microbial communities is largely unknown. We used high-throughput DNA sequencing of...

Data from: Genetic parentage analysis confirms a polygynandrous breeding system in the European grayling (Thymallus thymallus)

Peter Jørgen Haddeland, Claudia Junge, Dimitar Serbezov & Leif Asbjørn Vøllestad
Knowing the breeding system of a species is important in order to understand individual variation in reproductive success. Large variation in reproductive success and thus reproductive skew strongly impacts on the effective number of breeders and thus the long-term effective population size (Ne). Fishes, in particular species belonging to the salmonid family, exhibit a wide diversity of breeding systems. In general, however, breeding systems are rarely studied in detail in the wild. Here we examine...

Data from: Climate impacts on trans-ocean dispersal and habitat in gray whales from the Pleistocene to 2100

S. Elizabeth Alter, Matthias Meyer, Klaas Post, Paul Czechowski, Peter Gravlund, Cork Gaines, Howard C. Rosenbaum, Kristin Kaschner, Samuel T. Turvey, Johannes Van Der Plicht, Beth Shapiro & Michael Hofreiter
Arctic animals face dramatic habitat alteration due to ongoing climate change. Understanding how such species have responded to past glacial cycles can help us forecast their response to today's changing climate. Gray whales are among those marine species likely to be strongly affected by Arctic climate change, but a thorough analysis of past climate impacts on this species has been complicated by lack of information about an extinct population in the Atlantic. While little is...

Data from: Conservatism and novelty in the genetic architecture of adaptation in Heliconius butterflies

Bárbara Huber, Annabel Whibley, Yann Le Poul, Nicolas Navarro, Arnaud Martin, Simon Baxter, Abhijeet Shah, Benoît Gilles, Thierry Wirth, W. Owen McMillan & Mathieu Joron
Understanding the genetic architecture of adaptive traits has been at the centre of modern evolutionary biology since Fisher; however, evaluating how the genetic architecture of ecologically important traits influences their diversification has been hampered by the scarcity of empirical data. Now, high-throughput genomics facilitates the detailed exploration of variation in the genome-to-phenotype map among closely related taxa. Here, we investigate the evolution of wing pattern diversity in Heliconius, a clade of neotropical butterflies that have...

Data from: Molecular phylogeny and phylogeography of the Australian freshwater fish genus Galaxiella, with an emphasis on dwarf Galaxias (G. pusilla)

Peter J. Unmack, Justin C. Bagley, Mark Adams, Michael P. Hammer & Jerald B. Johnson
The freshwater fauna of Southern Australia is primarily restricted to the southwestern and southeastern corners of the continent, and is separated by a large, arid region that is inhospitable to this biota. This geographic phenomenon has attracted considerable interest from biogeographers looking to explain evolutionary diversification in this region. Here, we employed phylogenetic and phylogeographic approaches to evaluate the effect of this barrier on a group of four galaxiid fish species (Galaxiella) endemic to temperate...

Data from: Perched at the mito-nuclear crossroads: divergent mitochondrial lineages correlate with environment in the face of ongoing nuclear gene flow in an Australian bird

Alexandra Pavlova, J. Nevil Amos, Leo Joseph, Kate Loynes, Jeremy J. Austin, J. Scott Keogh, Graham N. Stone, James Allan Nicholls & Paul Sunnucks
Relationships among multi-locus genetic variation, geography and environment can reveal how evolutionary processes affect genomes. We examined the evolution of an Australian bird, the eastern yellow robin Eopsaltria australis, using mitochondrial (mtDNA) and nuclear (nDNA) genetic markers, and bioclimatic variables. In southeastern Australia, two divergent mtDNA lineages occur east and west of the Great Dividing Range, perpendicular to latitudinal nDNA structure. We evaluated alternative scenarios to explain this striking discordance in landscape genetic patterning. Stochastic...

Data from: Did post-glacial sea-level changes initiate the evolutionary divergence of a Tasmanian endemic raptor from its mainland relative?

Christopher P. Burridge, William E. Brown, Jessica Wadley, Danielle L. Nankervis, Lindi Olivier, Michael G. Gardner, Cindy Hull, Robert Barbour & Jeremy J. Austin
Populations on continental islands are often distinguishable from mainland conspecifics with respect to body size, appearance, behaviour, or life history, and this is often congruent with genetic patterns. It is commonly assumed that such differences developed following the complete isolation of populations by sea level rise following the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). However, population divergence may pre-date the LGM, or marine dispersal and colonisation of islands may have occurred more recently; in both cases, populations...

Data from: Silent oceans: ocean acidification impoverishes natural soundscapes by altering sound production of the world’s noisiest marine invertebrate

Tullio Rossi, Sean D. Connell & Ivan Nagelkerken
Soundscapes are multidimensional spaces that carry meaningful information for many species about the location and quality of nearby and distant resources. Because soundscapes are the sum of the acoustic signals produced by individual organisms and their interactions, they can be used as a proxy for the condition of whole ecosystems and their occupants. Ocean acidification resulting from anthropogenic CO2 emissions is known to have profound effects on marine life. However, despite the increasingly recognised ecological...

Data from: Where did all the trees come from? A novel multispecies approach reveals the impacts of biogeographical history and functional diversity on rain forest assembly

Maurizio Rossetto, Hannah McPherson, Juelian Siow, Robert Kooyman, Marlien Van Der Merwe & Peter D. Wilson
Aim: We take advantage of next generation sequencing-based technology to assess how landscape-level dynamics, biogeographical history and functional factors shape the distribution of genetic diversity in rain forest trees. To achieve this, we explore chloroplast genomic diversity and divergence patterns across multiple, co-distributed species from three major centres of rain forest diversity. Location: Subtropical rain forests in south-eastern Australia: Nightcap–Border Ranges, Dorrigo and Washpool. Methods: We assembled chloroplast genomic data from whole-genome shotgun libraries for...

Data from: Salinity tolerance loci revealed in rice using high-throughput non-invasive phenotyping

Nadia Al-Tamimi, Chris Brien, Helena Oakey, Bettina Berger, Stephanie Saade, Yung Shwen Ho, Sandra M. Schmöckel, Mark Tester & Sónia Negrão
High-throughput phenotyping produces multiple measurements over time, which require new methods of analyses that are flexible in their quantification of plant growth and transpiration, yet are computationally economic. Here we develop such analyses and apply this to a rice population genotyped with a 700k SNP high-density array. Two rice diversity panels, indica and aus, containing a total of 553 genotypes, are phenotyped in waterlogged conditions. Using cubic smoothing splines to estimate plant growth and transpiration,...

Data from: Detecting selection on temporal and spatial scales: a genomic time-series assessment of selective responses to devil facial tumor disease

Anna Brüniche-Olsen, Jeremy J. Austin, Menna E. Jones, Barbara R. Holland & Christopher P. Burridge
Detecting loci under selection is an important task in evolutionary biology. In conservation genetics detecting selection is key to investigating adaptation to the spread of infectious disease. Loci under selection can be detected on a spatial scale, accounting for differences in demographic history among populations, or on a temporal scale, tracing changes in allele frequencies over time. Here we use these two approaches to investigate selective responses to the spread of an infectious cancer—devil facial...

Data from: Ancient mitochondrial DNA reveals convergent evolution of giant short-faced bears (Tremarctinae) in North and South America

Kieren J. Mitchell, Sarah C. Bray, Pere Bover, Leopoldo Soibelzon, Blaine W. Schubert, Francisco Prevosti, Alfredo Prieto, Fabiana Martin, Jeremy J. Austin & Alan Cooper
The Tremarctinae are a subfamily of bears endemic to the New World, including two of the largest terrestrial mammalian carnivores that have ever lived: the giant, short-faced bears Arctodus simus from North America and Arctotherium angustidens from South America (greater than or equal to 1000 kg). Arctotherium angustidens became extinct during the Early Pleistocene, whereas Arctodus simus went extinct at the very end of the Pleistocene. The only living tremarctine is the spectacled bear (Tremarctos...

Data from: An assessment of ancient DNA preservation in Holocene-Pleistocene fossil bone excavated from the world heritage Naracoorte Caves, South Australia

Alicia Grealy, Amy Macken, Morten E. Allentoft, Nicolas J. Rawlence, Elizabeth Reed & Michael Bunce
Although there is a long history of research into the fossil deposits of the Naracoorte Caves (South Australia), ancient DNA (aDNA) has not been integrated into any palaeontological study from this World Heritage site. Here, we provide the first evidence of aDNA preservation in Holocene- and Pleistocene-aged fossil bone from a deposit inside Robertson Cave. Using a combination of metabarcoding and shotgun next-generation sequencing approaches, we demonstrate that aDNA from diverse taxa can be retrieved...

Data from: Combined DNA, toxicological and heavy metal analyses provides an auditing toolkit to improve pharmacovigilance of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).

Megan L. Coghlan, Garth Maker, Elly Crighton, James Haile, Dáithí C. Murray, Nicole E. White, Roger W. Byard, Matthew I. Bellgard, Ian Mullaney, Robert Trengove, Richard J. N. Allcock, Christine Nash, Claire Hoban, Kevin Jarrett, Ross Edwards, Ian F. Musgrave & Michael Bunce
Globally, there has been an increase in the use of herbal remedies including traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). There is a perception that products are natural, safe and effectively regulated, however, regulatory agencies are hampered by a lack of a toolkit to audit ingredient lists, adulterants and constituent active compounds. Here, for the first time, a multidisciplinary approach to assessing the molecular content of 26 TCMs is described. Next generation DNA sequencing is combined with toxicological...

Data from: Thermal constraints on microhabitat selection and mating opportunities

Pablo Munguia, Patricia R. Y. Backwell, M. Zachary Darnell & Patricia R.Y. Backwell
Hot tropical environments constrain ectotherm mating opportunities when mate selection occurs on the surface. Thus, microhabitats and refugia can become a qualitative trait in mate selection. In fiddler crabs, the enlarged claw of males can act as a heat sink, which becomes advantageous when surface temperatures reach 50 °C during the day and crabs are actively seeking to mate. Uca mjoebergi females prefer male burrows found in the shade; therefore, we investigated the thermal constraints...

Data from: Hill-Robertson interference maintained by red queen dynamics favours the evolution of sex

Jack Da Silva & James D. Galbraith
Although it is well established theoretically that selective interference among mutations (Hill-Robertson interference) favours meiotic recombination, genome-wide mean rates of mutation and strengths of selection appear too low to support this as the mechanism favouring recombination in nature. A possible solution to this discrepancy between theory and observation is that selection is at least intermittently very strong due to the antagonistic coevolution between a host and its parasites. The Red Queen theory posits that such...

Data from: Intrinsic factors drive spatial genetic variation in a highly vagile species, the wedge-tailed eagle (Aquila audax), in Tasmania

Christopher P. Kozakiewicz, Scott Carver, Jeremy J. Austin, Jill M. Shephard & Christopher P. Burridge
Knowledge of dispersal in a species, both its quantity and the factors influencing it, are crucial for our understanding of ecology and evolution, and for species conservation. Here we quantified and formally assessed the potential contribution of extrinsic factors on individual dispersal in the threatened Tasmanian population of wedge-tailed eagle, Aquila audax. As successful breeding by these individuals appears strongly related to habitat, we tested the effect of landscape around sampling sites on genetic diversity...

Data from: Dodging silver bullets: good CRISPR gene-drive design is critical for eradicating exotic vertebrates

Thomas A. A. Prowse, Phillip Cassey, Joshua V. Ross, Chandran Pfitzner, Talia A. Wittmann & Paul Thomas
Self-replicating gene drives that can spread deleterious alleles through animal populations have been promoted as a much needed but controversial ‘silver bullet’ for controlling invasive alien species. Homing-based drives comprise an endonuclease and a guide RNA that are replicated during meiosis via homologous recombination. However, their efficacy for controlling wild populations is threatened by inherent polymorphic resistance and the creation of resistance alleles via non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ) mediated DNA repair. We used stochastic individual-based models...

Data from: Trophic specialisation drives morphological evolution in sea snakes

Emma Sherratt, Arne R. Rasmussen & Kate L. Sanders
Viviparous sea snakes are the most rapidly speciating reptiles known, yet the ecological factors underlying this radiation are poorly understood. Here, we reconstructed dated trees for 75% of sea snake species and quantified body shape (forebody relative to hindbody girth), maximum body length and trophic diversity to examine how dietary specialisation has influenced morphological diversification in this rapid radiation. We show that sea snake body shape and size are strongly correlated with the proportion of...

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