17 Works

Data from: Epistatic interactions determine the mutational pathways and coexistence of lineages in clonal Escherichia coli populations

Ram Prasad Maharjan & Thomas Ferenci
Understanding how diversity emerges in a single niche is not fully understood. Rugged fitness landscapes and epistasis between beneficial mutations could explain coexistence amongst emerging lineages. To provide an experimental test of this notion, we investigated epistasis amongst four pleiotropic mutations in rpoS, mglD, malT and hfq present in two coexisting lineages that repeatedly fixed in experimental populations of Escherichia coli. The mutations were transferred into the ancestral background individually or in combination of double...

Data from: Anthropogenic selection enhances cancer evolution in Tasmanian devil tumours

Beata Ujvari, Anne-Maree Pearse, Kate Swift, Pamela Hodson, Bobby Hua, Stephen Pyecroft, Robyn Taylor, Rodrigo Hamede, Menna Jones, Kathy Belov, Thomas Madsen & Katherine Belov
The Tasmanian Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD) provides a unique opportunity to elucidate the long-term effects of natural and anthropogenic selection on cancer evolution. Since first observed in 1996, this transmissible cancer has caused local population declines by >90%. So far, four chromosomal DFTD variants (strains) have been described and karyotypic analyses of 253 tumours showed higher levels of tetraploidy in the oldest strain. We propose that increased ploidy in the oldest strain may have...

Data from: Dynamics of macronutrient self-medication and illness-induced anorexia in virally-infected insects

Sonia Povey, Kenneth Wilson, Sheena C. Cotter & Stephen J. Simpson
1. Some animals change their feeding behaviour when infected with parasites, seeking out substances that enhance their ability to overcome infection. This “self-medication” is typically considered to involve the consumption of toxins, minerals or secondary compounds. However, recent studies have shown that macronutrients can influence the immune response, and that pathogen-challenged individuals can self-medicate by choosing a diet rich in protein and low in carbohydrates. Infected individuals might also reduce food intake when infected (i.e....

Data from: Divergent evolutionary processes associated with colonization of offshore islands

Natália Martínková, Ross Barnett, Thomas Cucchi, Rahel Struchen, Marine Pascal, Michel Pascal, Martin C. Fischer, Thomas Higham, Selina Brace, Simon Y. W. Ho, Jean-Pierre Quéré, Paul O'Higgins, Laurent Excoffier, Gerald Heckel, A. Rus Hoelzel, Keith M. Dobney & Jeremy B. Searle
Oceanic islands have been a test ground for evolutionary theory, but here, we focus on the possibilities for evolutionary study created by offshore islands. These can be colonized through various means and by a wide range of species, including those with low dispersal capabilities. We use morphology, modern and ancient sequences of cytochrome b (cytb) and microsatellite genotypes to examine colonization history and evolutionary change associated with occupation of the Orkney archipelago by the common...

Data from: Do small swarms have an advantage when house hunting? The effect of swarm size on nest-site selection by Apis mellifera

Timothy M. Schaerf, James C. Makinson, Mary R. Myerscough & Madeleine Beekman
Reproductive swarms of honeybees are faced with the problem of finding a good site to establish a new colony. We examined the potential effects of swarm size on the quality of nest-site choice through a combination of modelling and field experiments. We used an individual-based model to examine the effects of swarm size on decision accuracy under the assumption that the number of bees actively involved in the decision-making process (scouts) is an increasing function...

Data from: Temperature-related variation in growth rate, size, maturation, and lifespan in a marine herbivorous fish over a latitudinal gradient

Elizabeth D. L. Trip, Kendall D. Clements, David Raubenheimer & J. Howard Choat
1. In ectotherms, growth rate, body size, and maturation rate co-vary with temperature, with the direction and magnitude of variation predicted by the Temperature-Size Rule (TSR). Nutritional quality or availability of food, however, may vary over latitudinal gradients, resulting in ambiguous effects on body size and maturation rate. The Temperature-Constraint Hypothesis (TCH) predicts that marine herbivorous ectotherms are nutritionally compromised at latitudes exceeding 30o. This provides an opportunity to resolve the contrasting demographic responses of...

Data from: Regulation of thermal acclimation varies between generations of the short-lived mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki) that developed in different environmental conditions

Frank Seebacher, Julian Beaman & Alexander G. Little
1. Environmental variability and perturbations can influence population persistence. It is therefore important to understand whether and how animals can compensate for environmental variability, and thereby increase resilience of natural populations. Evolutionary theory predicts that in fluctuating environments selection should favour developmental modifiers that reduce phenotypic expression of genetic variation. The expected result is that phenotypes are buffered from environmental variation across generations. 2. Our aim was to determine whether phenotypes of mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki)...

Data from: Echidna venom gland transcriptome provides insights into the evolution of monotreme venom

Emily S. W. Wong, Stewart Nichol, Wesley C. Warren, Katherine Belov & Stewart Nicol
Monotremes (echidna and platypus) are egg-laying mammals. One of their most unique characteristic is that males have venom/crural glands that are seasonally active. Male platypuses produce venom during the breeding season, delivered via spurs, to aid in competition against other males. Echidnas are not able to erect their spurs, but a milky secretion is produced by the gland during the breeding season. The function and molecular composition of echidna venom is as yet unknown. Hence,...

Data from: Sexual conflict over mating in red-sided garter snakes (Thamnophis sirtalis) as indicated by experimental manipulation of genitalia

Christopher R. Friesen, Emily J. Uhrig, Mattie K. Squire, Robert T. Mason & Patricia L. R. Brennan
Sexual conflict over mating can result in sex specific morphologies and behaviors that allow each sex to exert control over the outcome of reproduction. Genital traits, in particular, are often directly involved in conflict interactions. Via genital manipulation, we experimentally investigated whether genital traits in red-sided garter snakes influence copulation duration and formation of a copulatory plug. The hemipenes of male red-sided garter snakes have a large basal spine that inserts into the female cloaca...

Data from: The active metabolic rate predicts a male spider’s proximity to females and expected fitness

Michael M. Kasumovic & F. Seebacher
Conspicuous traits, such as weaponry and body size, are often correlated with fitness. By contrast, we understand less about how inconspicuous physiological traits affect fitness. Not only is linking physiology directly to fitness a challenge, but in addition, behavioural studies most often focus on resting or basal metabolic rates, resulting in a poor understanding of how active metabolic rates affect fitness. Here we use the golden orb-web spider (Nephila plumipes), a species for which proximity...

Data from: Integrative taxonomy resolves the cryptic and pseudo-cryptic Radula buccinifera complex (Porellales: Jungermanniopsida), including two reinstated and five new species

Matt A. M. Renner, Nicolas Devos, Jairo Patiño, Elizabeth A. Brown, Andrew Orme, Michael Elgy, Trevor Wilson, Lindsey J. Gray, Matt J. Von Konrat, Lindsey Gray, Matt Renner, Elizabeth Brown & Matt Von Konrat
Molecular data from three chloroplast markers resolve individuals attributable to Radula buccinifera in six lineages belonging to two subgenera, indicating the species is polyphyletic as currently circumscribed. All lineages are morphologically diagnosable, but one pair exhibits such morphological overlap that they can be considered cryptic. Molecular and morphological data justify the re-instatement of a broadly circumscribed ecologically variable R. strangulata, of R. mittenii, and the description of five new species. Two species Radula mittenii Steph....

Data from: Taller plants have lower rates of molecular evolution

Robert Lanfear, Simon Y. W. Ho, T. Jonathan Davies, Angela T. Moles, Lonnie Aarssen, Nathan G. Swenson, Laura Warman, Amy E. Zanne & Andrew P. Allen
Rates of molecular evolution have a central role in our understanding of many aspects of species’ biology. However, the causes of variation in rates of molecular evolution remain poorly understood, particularly in plants. Here we show that height accounts for about one-fifth of the among-lineage rate variation in the chloroplast and nuclear genomes of plants. This relationship holds across 138 families of flowering plants, and when accounting for variation in species richness, temperature, ultraviolet radiation,...

Data from: Molecular phylogenetics of squirrelfishes and soldierfishes (Teleostei:Beryciformes: Holocentridae): reconciling more than 100 years of taxonomic confusion

Alex Dornburg, Jon A. Moore, Rachel Webster, Dan L. Warren, Matthew C. Brandley, Teresa L. Iglesias, Peter C. Wainwright & Thomas J. Near
Squirrelfishes and soldierfishes (Holocentridae) are among the most conspicuous species in the nocturnal reef fish community. However, there is no clear consensus regarding their evolutionary relationships, which is reflected in a complicated taxonomic history. We collected DNA sequence data from multiple single copy nuclear genes and one mitochondrial gene sampled from over fifty percent of the recognized holocentrid species and infer the first species-level phylogeny of the Holocentridae. Our results strongly support the monophyly of...

Data from: Turtle embryos move to optimal thermal environments within the egg

Bo Zhao, Teng Li, Richard Shine, Wei-Guo Du & W.-G. Du
A recent study demonstrated that the embryos of soft-shelled turtles can reposition themselves within their eggs to exploit locally warm conditions. In the current paper, we ask whether turtle embryos actively seek out optimal thermal environments for their development, as do post-hatching individuals. Specifically, (1) do reptile embryos move away from dangerously-high temperatures, as well as towards warm temperatures? and (2) is such embryonic movement due to active thermoregulation, or (more simply) to passive embryonic...

Data from: Exercise changes behaviour

Elektra L. E. Sinclair, Carolina R. Noronha De Souza, Ashley J. W. Ward & Frank Seebacher
1. Exercise, which may be defined as bodily movement produced by the contraction of skeletal muscle and which increases energy expenditure above basal levels, is essential for fitness-related activities such as foraging, migration, and dispersal. The frequency with which individuals engage in exercise depends on a range of intrinsic and environmental factors. Exercise itself can modify behaviour by inducing endocrine changes and by a training effect that increases physiological capacities. 2. Here we test the...

Data from: Boom and bust: ancient and recent diversification in bichirs (Polypteridae: Actinopterygii), a relictual lineage of ray-finned fishes

Thomas J. Near, Alex Dornburg, Masayoshi Tokita, Dai Suzuki, Matthew C. Brandley & Matt Friedman
Understanding the history that underlies patterns of species richness across the Tree of Life requires an investigation of the mechanisms that not only generate young species-rich clades, but also those that maintain species-poor lineages over long stretches of evolutionary time. However, diversification dynamics that underlie ancient species-poor lineages are often hidden due to a lack of fossil evidence. Using information from the fossil record and time calibrated molecular phylogenies, we investigate the history of lineage...

Data from: Odour cues influence predation risk at artificial bat roosts in urban bushland

Caragh Threlfall, Bradley Law & Peter B. Banks
Odours that accumulate from roosting can attract predators and increase predation risk. Consequently, selection should favour strategies that allow prey to evade detection by predators, including changing roosts. Insectivorous bats that roost in tree hollows regularly switch roosts and roost in different sized groups: strategies that would alter the accumulation of roost odours and are hypothesized to reduce predation risk. We experimentally manipulated the amount and refresh rate of roosting odour cues at 90 artificial...

Registration Year

  • 2013

Resource Types

  • Dataset


  • University of Sydney
  • University of Tasmania
  • Yale University
  • Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • University of Adelaide
  • University of Liège
  • University of Washington
  • The University of Texas at Austin
  • University of Wollongong