Observed Divergence (observed + divergence)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Maternal genetic effects on adaptive divergence between anadromous and resident brook charr during early life history

Abstract The importance of directional selection relative to neutral evolution may be determined by comparing quantitative genetic variation in phenotype (QST) to variation at neutral molecular markers (FST). Quantitative divergence between salmonid life history types is often considerable, but ontogenetic changes in the significance of major sources of genetic variance during post-hatch development suggest that selective differentiation varies by developmental stage. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that maternal genetic differentiation between anadromous and resident brook charr (Salvelinus fontinalis Mitchill) populations for early quantitative traits (embryonic size/growth, survival, egg number and developmental time) would be greater than neutral genetic differentiation, but that the maternal genetic basis for differentiation would be higher for pre-resorption traits than post-resorption traits. Quantitative genetic divergence between anadromous (seawater migratory) and resident Laval River (Québec) brook charr based on maternal genetic variance was high (QST > 0.4) for embryonic length, yolk sac volume, embryonic growth rate and time to first response to feeding relative to neutral genetic differentiation [FST = 0.153 (0.071,0.214)], with anadromous females having positive genetic coefficients for all of the above characters. However, QST was essentially zero for all traits post-resorption of the yolk sac. Our results indicate that the observed divergence between resident and anadromous brook charr has been driven by directional selection, and may therefore be adaptive. Moreover, they provide among the first evidence that the relative importance of selective differentiation may be highly context-specific, and varies by genetic contributions to phenotype by parental sex at specific points in offspring ontogeny. This in turn suggests that interpretations of QST - FST comparisons may be improved by considering the structure of quantitative genetic architecture by age category and the sex of the parent used in estimation. [source]

Analysis of the plasticity of location of the Arg244 positive charge within the active site of the TEM-1 ,-lactamase

PROTEIN SCIENCE, Issue 10 2009
David C. Marciano
Abstract A large number of ,-lactamases have emerged that are capable of conferring bacterial resistance to ,-lactam antibiotics. Comparison of the structural and functional features of this family has refined understanding of the catalytic properties of these enzymes. An arginine residue present at position 244 in TEM-1 ,-lactamase interacts with the carboxyl group common to penicillin and cephalosporin antibiotics and thereby stabilizes both the substrate and transition state complexes. A comparison of class A ,-lactamase sequences reveals that arginine at position 244 is not conserved, although a positive charge at this structural location is conserved and is provided by an arginine at positions 220 or 276 for those enzymes lacking arginine at position 244. The plasticity of the location of positive charge in the ,-lactamase active site was experimentally investigated by relocating the arginine at position 244 in TEM-1 ,-lactamase to positions 220, 272, and 276 by site-directed mutagenesis. Kinetic analysis of the engineered ,-lactamases revealed that removal of arginine 244 by alanine mutation reduced catalytic efficiency against all substrates tested and restoration of an arginine at positions 272 or 276 partially suppresses the catalytic defect of the Arg244Ala substitution. These results suggest an evolutionary mechanism for the observed divergence of the position of positive charge in the active site of class A ,-lactamases. [source]

Morphological divergence of North-European nine-spined sticklebacks (Pungitius pungitius): signatures of parallel evolution

Parallel evolution is characterised by repeated, independent occurrences of similar phenotypes in a given habitat type, in different parts of the species distribution area. We studied body shape and body armour divergence between five marine, four lake, and ten pond populations of nine-spined sticklebacks [Pungitius pungitius (Linnaeus, 1758)] in Fennoscandia. We hypothesized that marine and lake populations (large water bodies, diverse fish fauna) would be similar, whereas sticklebacks in isolated ponds (small water bodies, simple fish fauna) would be divergent. We found that pond fish had deeper bodies, shorter caudal peduncles, and less body armour (viz. shorter/absent pelvic spines, reduced/absent pelvic girdle, and reduced number of lateral plates) than marine fish. Lake fish were intermediate, but more similar to marine than to pond fish. Results of our common garden experiment concurred with these patterns, suggesting a genetic basis for the observed divergence. We also found large variation among populations within habitat types, indicating that environmental variables other than those related to gross habitat characteristics might also influence nine-spined stickleback morphology. Apart from suggesting parallel evolution of morphological characteristics of nine-spined sticklebacks in different habitats, the results also show a number of similarities to the evolution of three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus Linnaeus, 1758) morphology. © 2010 The Linnean Society of London, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2010, 101, 403,416. [source]


EVOLUTION, Issue 2 2005
Glacomo Bernardi
Abstract With 18 closely related endemic species that radiated in a diversity of ecological niches, the California surfperches (Embiotocidae) species flock is a good candidate for the study of sympatric speciation. Resource partitioninghas been suggested as an important driving force in the radiation of the surfperch family. Within the family, two congeneric sister species, Embiotoca jacksoni and E. lateralis, are known to compete strongly for a preferred singleood resource and may be used as a model of ecological interactions for the family. Along the California coast, the distribution of the two species differs. Embiotoca jacksoni has a continuous range, whereas E. lateralis shows a disjunction with a distribution gap in the Southern California Bight. Two hypotheses may explain this disjunct distribution. Ecological competition may have displaced E. lateralis in favor of E. jacksoni. Alternatively, a common vicariant event may have separated the species into northern and southern populations, followed by secondary contactin E. jacksoni but not in E. lateralis. The two hypotheses predict different phylogeographic and demographic signatures. Using a combined phylogeographic and coalescent approach based on mitochondrial control region data, we show that vicariance can only account for a portion of the observed divergences. Our results are compatible with a significant role played by ecological competition in the southern range of the species. [source]