351 Works

Data from: Inferring the degree of incipient speciation in secondary contact zones of closely related lineages of Palearctic green toads (Bufo viridis subgroup)

Christophe Dufresnes, Lucio Bonato, Nicola Novarini, Caroline Betto-Colliard, Nicolas Perrin & Matthias Stöck
Reproductive isolation between lineages is expected to accumulate with divergence time, but the time taken to speciate may strongly vary between different groups of organisms. In anuran amphibians, laboratory crosses can still produce viable hybrid offspring >20 My after separation, but the speed of speciation in closely related anuran lineages under natural conditions is poorly studied. Palearctic green toads (Bufo viridis subgroup) offer an excellent system to address this question, comprising several lineages that arose...

Data from: Host diet mediates a negative relationship between abundance and diversity of Drosophila gut microbiota

Berra Erkosar, Erika Yashiro, Felix Zajitschek, Urban Friberg, Alexei A. Maklakov, Jan Roelof Van Der Meer & Tadeusz J. Kawecki
Nutrient supply to ecosystems has major effects on ecological diversity, but it is unclear to what degree the shape of this relationship is general versus dependent on the specific environment or community. Although the diet composition in terms of the source or proportions of different nutrient types is known to affect gut microbiota composition, the relationship between the quantity of nutrients supplied and the abundance and diversity of the intestinal microbial community remains to be...

Data from: Chronic malnutrition favours smaller critical size for metamorphosis initiation in Drosophila melanogaster

Roshan K. Vijendravarma, Sunitha Narasimha & Tadeusz J. Kawecki
Critical size at which metamorphosis is initiated represents an important checkpoint in insect development. Here we use experimental evolution in Drosophila melanogaster to test the long-standing hypothesis that larval malnutrition should favour a smaller critical size. We report that six fly populations subject to 112 generations of laboratory natural selection on an extremely poor larval evolved an 18 % smaller critical size (compared to six unselected control populations). Thus, even though critical size is not...

Data from: Plastic and evolutionary responses of cell size and number to larval malnutrition in Drosophila melanogaster

Roshan K Vijendravarma, Sunitha Narasimha & Tadeusz J Kawecki
Both development and evolution under chronic malnutrition lead to reduced adult size in Drosophila. We studied the contribution of changes in size vs. number of epidermal cells to plastic and evolutionary reduction of wing size in response to poor larval food. We used flies from six populations selected for tolerance to larval malnutrition and from six unselected control populations, raised either under standard conditions or under larval malnutrition. In the control populations, phenotypic plasticity of...

Data from: Multiple refugia and barriers explain the phylogeography of the Valais shrew, Sorex antinorii (Mammalia: Soricomorpha)

Glenn Yannic, Loïc Pellissier, Sylvain Dubey, Rodrigo Vega, Patrick Basset, Stefano Mazzotti, Elena Pecchioli, Cristiano Vernesi, Heidi C. Hauffe, Jeremy B. Searle & Jacques Hausser
The aim of the present study was to investigate the genetic structure of the Valais shrew (Sorex antinorii) by a combined phylogeographical and landscape genetic approach, and thereby to infer the locations of glacial refugia and establish the influence of geographical barriers. We sequenced part of the mitochondrial cytochrome b (cyt b) gene of 179 individuals of S. antinorii sampled across the entire species' range. Six specimens attributed to S. arunchi were included in the...

Data from: Social structure varies with elevation in an alpine ant

Jessica Purcell, Loïc Pellissier & Michel Chapuisat
Insect societies vary greatly in social organization, yet the relative roles of ecological and genetic factors in driving this variation remain poorly understood. Identifying how social structure varies along environmental gradients can provide insights into the ecological conditions favouring alternative social organizations. Here, we investigate how queen number variation is distributed along elevation gradients within a socially polymorphic ant, the Alpine silver ant Formica selysi. We sampled low and high elevation populations in multiple Alpine...

Data from: Inbreeding depression is high in a self-incompatible perennial herb population but absent in a self-compatible population showing mixed mating

Marie Voillemot & John R. Pannell
Background: High inbreeding depression is thought to be one of the major factors preventing evolutionary transitions in hermaphroditic plants from self-incompatibility (SI) and outcrossing toward self-compatibility (SC) and selfing. However, when selfing does evolve, inbreeding depression can be quickly purged, allowing the evolution of complete self-fertilization. In contrast, populations that show intermediate selfing rates (a mixed mating system) typically show levels of inbreeding depression similar to those in outcrossing species, suggesting that selection against inbreeding...

Data from: Major histocompatibility complex-linked social signalling affects female fertility

Dominik Burger, Selina Thomas, Helen Aepli, Margaux Dreyer, Guillaume Fabre, Eliane Marti, Harald Sieme, M. R. Robinson & Claus Wedekind
Genes of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) have been shown to influence social signalling and mate preferences in many species, including humans. First observations suggest that MHC signalling may also affect female fertility. To test this hypothesis, we exposed 191 female horses (Equus caballus) to either a MHC-similar or a MHC-dissimilar stimulus male around the time of ovulation and conception. A within-subject experimental design controlled for non-MHC linked male characteristics, and instrumental insemination with semen...

Data from: First-generation linkage map for the European tree frog (Hyla arborea) with utility in congeneric species

Christophe Dufresnes, Alan Brelsford & Nicolas Perrin
Background: Western Palearctic tree frogs (Hyla arborea group) represent a strong potential for evolutionary and conservation genetic research, so far underexploited due to limited molecular resources. New microsatellite markers have recently been developed for Hyla arborea, with high cross-species utility across the entire circum-Mediterranean radiation. Here we conduct sibship analyses to map available markers for use in future population genetic applications. Findings: We characterized eight linkage groups, including one sex-linked, all showing drastically reduced recombination...

Data from: Ecological strategies in stable and disturbed environments depend on species specialisation

Lucie Büchi & Séverine Vuilleumier
Ecological strategies are integral to understanding species survival in different environments. However, how habitat specialisation is involved in such strategies is not fully understood, particularly in heterogeneous and disturbed environments. Here, we studied the trait associations between specialisation, dispersal ability, competitiveness, reproductive investment and survival rate in a spatially explicit metacommunity model under various disturbance rates. Though no unique trait values were associated with specialisation, relationships were uncovered depending on environmental factors. We found strong...

Sexual maturity in Barn Owl (Tyto alba)

Paul Béziers & Alexandre Roulin
The age at first reproduction can significantly impact fitness. We investigated the possible source of variation in the age at first reproduction (“sexual maturity”) and its consequences for lifetime reproductive success in a wild population of barn owls. This raptor is sexually dimorphic for two melanin-based plumage traits shown to covary with sex-specific behaviour and physiology. We observed that females were sexually mature earlier than males, an effect that depended on the colour of their...

Genomic data of Columbia spotted frog (Rana luteiventris)

Hugo Cayuela, Brenna Forester & Chris Funk
In this study, we examined the potential role of thermal adaptation in clinal shifts of life history traits (i.e., lifespan, senescence rate, and recruitment) in the Columbia spotted frog (Rana luteiventris) along a broad temperature gradient in the western USA. We took advantage of extensive capture-recapture datasets of 20,033 marked individuals from eight populations surveyed annually for 14 – 18 years to examine how mean annual temperature and precipitation influenced demographic parameters (i.e., adult survival,...

High rates of evolution preceded shifts to sex-biased gene expression in Leucadendron, the most sexually dimorphic angiosperms

Mathias Scharmann, Anthony Rebelo & John Pannell
Differences between males and females are usually more subtle in dioecious plants than animals, but strong sexual dimorphism has evolved convergently in the South African Cape plant genus Leucadendron. Such sexual dimorphism in leaf size is expected largely to be due to differential gene expression between the sexes. We compared patterns of gene expression in leaves among ten Leucadendron species across the genus. Surprisingly, we found no positive association between sexual dimorphism in morphology and...

Data on range-wide breeding habitat use of the critically endangered Yellow-breasted Bunting Emberiza aureola after population collapse

Wieland Heim, Ilka Beermann, Alexander Thomas, Marc Bastardot, Nyambayar Batbayar, Batmunkh Davaasuren, Yury Gerasimov, Makoto Hasebe, Gleb Nakul, Jugdernamjil Nergui, Pavel Ktitorov & Olga Kulikova
The population of the Yellow-breasted Bunting Emberiza aureola, a formerly widely distributed and abundant songbird of northern Eurasia, suffered a catastrophic decline and a strong range contraction between 1980 and 2013. There is evidence that the decline was driven by illegal trapping during migration, but potential contributions of other factors to the decline, such as land-use change, have not yet been evaluated. Before effects of land-use change can be evaluated, a basic understanding of the...

Environmental variation in sex ratios and sexual dimorphism in three wind-pollinated dioecious plant species

Sarah Bürli, John R. Pannell & Jeanne Tonnabel
Variation in plant sex ratios is often attributable to sex-specific mortality in heterogeneous environments that differentially limit male and female plant reproduction. Yet sexual dimorphism and plastic responses to environmental heterogeneity are common and may co-vary with variation in sex ratios. Here, we show that the sex ratio and the degree of sexual dimorphism for a number of plant traits varied along climatic and elevation gradients in three wind-pollinated dioecious species, Rumex lunaria, Urtica dioica...

Density-dependent selection and the maintenance of colour polymorphism in barn owls

Thomas Kvalnes, Bernt-Erik Sæther, Steinar Engen & Alexandre Roulin
The capacity of natural selection to generate adaptive changes is according to the Fundamental Theorem of Natural Selection proportional to the additive genetic variance in fitness. In spite of its importance for development of new adaptations to a changing environment, processes affecting the magnitude of the genetic variance in fitness-related traits are poorly understood. Here we show that the red-white colour polymorphism in female barn owls is subject to density-dependent selection at the phenotypic and...

Data from: Baseline and stress-induced corticosterone levels are heritable and genetically correlated in a barn owl population

Paul Béziers, Luis M. San José Garcia, Bettina Almasi, Lukas Jenni & Alexandre Roulin
The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is responsible for the regulation of corticosterone, a hormone that is essential in the mediation of energy allocation and physiological stress. As a continuous source of challenge and stress for organisms, the environment has promoted the evolution of physiological adaptations and led to a great variation in corticosterone profiles within or among individuals, populations and species. In order to evolve via natural selection, corticosterone levels do not only depend on the...

Data from: Stable eusociality via maternal manipulation when resistance is costless

Mauricio González-Forero
In many eusocial species, queens use pheromones to influence offspring to express worker phenotypes. While evidence suggests that queen pheromones are honest signals of the queen's reproductive health, here I show that queen's honest signaling can result from ancestral maternal manipulation. I develop a mathematical model to study the coevolution of maternal manipulation, offspring resistance to manipulation, and maternal resource allocation. I assume that (1) maternal manipulation causes offspring to be workers against offspring's interests;...

Data from: Fossils matter: improved estimates of divergence times in Pinus reveal older diversification

Bianca Saladin, Andrew B. Leslie, Rafael O. Wueest, Glenn Litsios, Elena Conti, Nicolas Salamin & Niklaus E. Zimmermann
Background: The taxonomy of pines (genus Pinus) is widely accepted and a robust gene tree based on entire plastome sequences exists. However, there is a large discrepancy in estimated divergence times of major pine clades among existing studies, mainly due to differences in fossil placement and dating methods used. We currently lack a dated molecular phylogeny that makes use of the rich pine fossil record, and this study is the first to estimate the divergence...

What are the most crucial soil variables for predicting the distribution of mountain plant species? a comprehensive study in the Swiss Alps

Aline Buri, Stéphanie Grand, Erika Yashiro, Thierry Adatte, Jorge E. Spangenberg, Eric Pinto-Figueroa, Eric Verrecchia & Antoine Guisan
Aim: To investigate the potential of a large range of soil variables to improve topo-climatic models of plant species distributions in a temperate mountain region encompassing complex relief. Location: The western Swiss Alps. Methods: Fitting topo-climatic models for >60 plant species across >250 sites with and without added soil predictor variables (>30). Testing included: (i) which soil variables improve plant species distribution models; (ii) whether an optimal subset of soil variables can improve models for...

Data from: Visualizing mineralization processes and fossil anatomy using synchronous synchrotron X-ray fluorescence and X-ray diffraction mapping

Pierre Gueriau, Solenn Réguer, Nicolas Leclercq, Camila Cupello, Paulo M. Brito, Clément Jauvion, Séverin Morel, Sylvain Charbonnier, Dominique Thiaudière & Cristian Mocuta
Fossils, including those that occasionally preserve decay-prone soft-tissues, are mostly made of minerals. Accessing their chemical composition provides unique insight into their past biology and/or the mechanisms by which they preserve, leading to a series of developments in chemical and elemental imaging. However, the mineral composition of fossils, particularly where soft-tissues are preserved, is often only inferred indirectly from elemental data, while X-ray diffraction that specifically provides phase identification received little attention. Here, we show...

Data from: A new Devonian euthycarcinoid evidences the use of different respiratory strategies during the marine-to-terrestrial transition in the myriapod lineage

Pierre Gueriau, James C. Lamsdell, Roy A. Wogelius, Phillip L. Manning, Victoria M. Egerton, Uwe Bergmann, Loïc Bertrand & Julien Denayer
Myriapods were, together with arachnids, the earliest animals to occupy terrestrial ecosystems, by at least the Silurian. The origin of myriapods and their land colonization have long remained puzzling until euthycarcinoids, an extinct group of aquatic arthropods considered amphibious, were shown to be stem group myriapods, extending the lineage to the Cambrian and evidencing a marine-to-terrestrial transition. Although possible respiratory structures comparable to the air-breathing tracheal system of myriapods are visible in several euthycarcinoids, little...

Data from: Scale-dependent adaptive evolution and morphological convergence to climatic niche in Californian eriogonoids (Polygonaceae)

Anna Kostikova, Nicolas Salamin, Peter B. Pearman, Glenn Litsios, Sarah Burgy & Laura Milani
Aim: Macroevolutionary patterns and processes change substantially depending on levels of taxonomic and ecological organization, and the resolution of environmental and spatial variability. In comparative methods, the resolution of environmental and spatial variability often defines the number of selective regimes used to test whether phenotypic characteristics are adaptively correlated with the environment. Here, we examine how investigator choice of the number of selective regimes, determined by varying the resolution of among-species variability in the species...

Data from: Sex differentiation in grayling (Salmonidae) goes through an all-male stage and is delayed in genetic males who instead grow faster

Diane Maitre, Oliver M. Selmoni, Anshu Uppal, Lucas Marques Da Cunha, Laetitia G. E. Wilkins, Julien Roux, Kenyon B. Mobley, Isabelle Castro, Susanne Knörr, Marc Robinson-Rechavi & Claus Wedekind
Fish populations can be threatened by distorted sex ratios that arise during sex differentiation. Here we describe sex differentiation in a wild grayling (Thymallus thymallus) population that suffers from distorted sex ratios. We verified that sex determination is linked to the sex determining locus (sdY) of salmonids. This allowed us to study sex-specific gene expression and gonadal development. Sex-specific gene expression could be observed during embryogenesis and was strong around hatching. About half of the...

Data from: Convergent evolution of social hybridogenesis in Messor harvester ants

Jonathan Romiguier, Axel Fournier, Sze Huei Yek & Laurent Keller
Sexual reproduction generally requires no more than two partners. Here, we show convergent evolution of social hybridogenesis, a reproductive system requiring three reproductive partners in harvester ants. In this unorthodox reproductive system, two distinct genetic lineages live in sympatry and queens have to mate with males of their own lineage to produce queens along with males of the alternative lineage to produce workers. Using a large transcriptomic data set of nine species, we show that...

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