Adaptive Differences (adaptive + difference)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Adaptive differences in gene expression associated with heavy metal tolerance in the soil arthropod Orchesella cincta

Abstract Field-selected tolerance to heavy metals has been reported for Orchesella cincta (Arthropoda: Collembola) populations occurring at metal-contaminated mining sites. This tolerance correlated with heritable increase in metal excretion efficiency, less pronounced cadmium (Cd)-induced growth reduction and overexpression of the metallothionein gene. We applied transcriptomics to determine differential gene expression caused by this abiotic stress in reference and Cd-tolerant populations. Many cDNAs responded to Cd exposure in the reference population. Significantly fewer clones were Cd responsive in tolerant animals. Analysis of variance revealed transcripts that interact between Cd exposure and population. Hierarchical cluster analysis of these clones identified two major groups. The first one contained cDNAs that were up-regulated by Cd in the reference culture but non-responsive or down-regulated in tolerant animals. This cluster was also characterized by elevated constitutive expression in the tolerant population. Gene ontology analysis revealed that these cDNAs were involved in structural integrity of the cuticle, anti-microbial defence, calcium channel-blocking, sulphur assimilation and chromatin remodelling. The second group consisted of cDNAs down-regulated in reference animals but not responding or slightly up-regulated in tolerant animals. Their functions involved carbohydrate metabolic processes, Ca2+ -dependent stress signalling, redox state, proteolysis and digestion. The reference population showed a strong signature of stress-induced genome-wide perturbation of gene expression, whereas the tolerant animals maintained normal gene expression upon Cd exposure. We confirmed the micro-evolutionary processes occurring in soil arthropod populations and suggest a major contribution of gene regulation to the evolution of a stress-adapted phenotype. [source]

Genetic basis of differential opsin gene expression in cichlid fishes

Abstract Visual sensitivity can be tuned by differential expression of opsin genes. Among African cichlid fishes, seven cone opsin genes are expressed in different combinations to produce diverse visual sensitivities. To determine the genetic architecture controlling these adaptive differences, we analysed genetic crosses between species expressing different complements of opsin genes. Quantitative genetic analyses suggest that expression is controlled by only a few loci with correlations among some genes. Genetic mapping identifies clear evidence of trans-acting factors in two chromosomal regions that contribute to differences in opsin expression as well as one cis-regulatory region. Therefore, both cis and trans regulation are important. The simple genetic architecture suggested by these results may explain why opsin gene expression is evolutionarily labile, and why similar patterns of expression have evolved repeatedly in different lineages. [source]

Conservation goals and fisheries management units for Atlantic salmon in the Baltic Sea area

M-L. Koljonen
The effective application of genetic information in fisheries management strategies implies political goal setting taking both conservation and fisheries management into account. The concept of sustainable use as set out by the Convention on Biological Diversity offers a valuable starting point in this respect, since the criterion for it is defined as the maintenance of genetic diversity within each species. However, strategic decisions are also needed on the practical level, where the actual genetic information can be taken into account. Genetic factors, such as glacial differentiation, the postglacial genetic structure of populations, gene flow levels and the probability of the existence of adaptive differences, have an effect on the formation of conservation and management units and on the long-term strategy for the sustainable use of aspecies. The Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) in the Baltic Sea area is treated here as an example of a complicated management problem with a highly hierarchical genetic structure associated with marked loss of naturally reproductive stocks, extensive hatchery production and an effective international offshore fishery. The implications of genetic factors for the conservation and management strategy of the Baltic salmon is discussed in the light of the goals set by the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks Agreement, the Habitats Directive of the European Union and the International Baltic Sea Fishery Commission. [source]

Local selection and population structure in a deep-sea fish, the roundnose grenadier (Coryphaenoides rupestris)

Abstract Local populations within a species can become isolated by stochastic or adaptive processes, though it is most commonly the former that we quantify. Using presumably neutral markers we can assess the time-dependent process of genetic drift, and thereby quantify patterns of differentiation in support of the effective management of diversity. However, adaptive differences can be overlooked in these studies, and these are the very characteristics that we hope to conserve by managing neutral diversity. In this study, we used 16 hypothetically neutral microsatellite markers to investigate the genetic structure of the roundnose grenadier in the North Atlantic. We found that one locus was a clear outlier under directional selection, with FST values much greater than at the remaining loci. Differentiation between populations at this locus was related to depth, suggesting directional selection, presumably acting on a linked locus. Considering only the loci identified as neutral, there remained significant population structure over the region of the North Atlantic studied. In addition to a weak pattern of isolation by distance, we identified a putative barrier to gene flow between sample sites either side of the Charlie-Gibbs Fracture Zone, which marks the location where the sub-polar front crosses the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. This may reflect a boundary across which larvae are differentially distributed in separate current systems to some extent, promoting differentiation by drift. Structure due to both drift and apparent selection should be considered in management policy. [source]

The shape of the early hominin proximal femur

Elizabeth H. Harmon
Abstract Postcranial skeletal variation among Plio-Pleistocene hominins has implications for taxonomy and locomotor adaptation. Although sample size constraints make interspecific comparisons difficult, postcranial differences between Australopithecus afarensis and Australopithecus africanus have been reported (McHenry and Berger: J Hum Evol 35 1998 1,22; Richmond et al.: J Hum Evol 43 [2002] 529,548; Green et al.: J Hum Evol 52 2007 187,200). Additional evidence indicates that the early members of the genus Homo show morphology like recent humans (e.g., Walker and Leakey: The Nariokotome Homo erectus skeleton. Cambridge: Harvard, 1993). Using a larger fossil sample than previous studies and novel methods, the early hominin proximal femur is newly examined to determine whether new data alter the current view of femoral evolution and inform the issue of interspecific morphological variation among australopiths. Two- and three-dimensional data are collected from large samples of recent humans, Pan, Gorilla, and Pongo and original fossil femora of Australopithecus, Paranthropus, and femora of African fossil Homo. The size-adjusted shape data are analyzed using principal components, thin plate spline analysis, and canonical variate analysis to assess shape variation. The results indicate that femora of fossil Homo are most similar to modern humans but share a low neck-shaft angle (NSA) with australopiths. Australopiths as a group have ape-like greater trochanter morphology. A. afarensis differs from P. robustus and A. africanus in attributes of the neck and NSA. However, interspecific femoral variation is low and australopiths are generally morphologically similar. Although the differences are not dramatic, when considered in combination with other postcranial evidence, the adaptive differences among australopiths in craniodental morphology may have parallels in the postcranium. Am J Phys Anthropol, 2009. 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

Empirical tests for ecological exchangeability

Russell B. Rader
The concept of ecological exchangeability, together with genetic exchangeability, is central to both the Cohesion Species Concept as well as to some definitions of Evolutionarily Significant Units. While there are well-established criteria for measuring genetic exchangeability, the concept of ecological exchangeability has generated considerable confusion. We describe a procedure that uses the complementary strengths, while recognising the limitations, of both molecular genetic data and ecological experiments to determine the ecological exchangeability of local populations within a species. This is the first synthesis of a combined approach (experiments and genetics) and the first explicit discussion of testing ecological exchangeability. Although it would be ideal to find functional genes that interact to influence quantitative traits resulting in ecological differences (e.g. growth, size, fecundity), we suggest that our current knowledge of functional markers is too limited for most species to use them to differentiate adaptively different local populations. Thus, we argue that ecological experiments using whole organisms combined with neutral markers that indicate evolutionary divergence, provide the strongest case for detecting adaptive differences among local populations. Both genetic divergence and ecological experiments provide the best information for infering ecological exchangeability. This procedure can be used to decide which local populations should be preserved to maintain intraspecific variation and to determine which populations would enhance captive-breeding programs, augment endangered local populations and could best be used to re-introduce native species into historically occupied areas. [source]

Speciation and the neutral theory of biodiversity

BIOESSAYS, Issue 7 2010
Modes of speciation affect patterns of biodiversity in neutral communities.
Abstract The neutral theory of biodiversity purports that patterns in the distribution and abundance of species do not depend on adaptive differences between species (i.e. niche differentiation) but solely on random fluctuations in population size ("ecological drift"), along with dispersal and speciation. In this framework, the ultimate driver of biodiversity is speciation. However, the original neutral theory made strongly simplifying assumptions about the mechanisms of speciation, which has led to some clearly unrealistic predictions. In response, several recent studies have combined neutral community models with more elaborate speciation models. These efforts have alleviated some of the problems of the earlier approaches, while confirming the general ability of neutral theory to predict empirical patterns of biodiversity. However, the models also show that the mode of speciation can have a strong impact on relative species abundances. Future work should compare these results to diversity patterns arising from non-neutral modes of speciation, such as adaptive radiations. [source]