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7 juillet 2017

Global dosage compensation is ubiquitous in Lepidoptera, but counteracted by the masculinization of the Z chromosome [Molecular Biology & Evolution]

Keywords : sex chromosome evolution, sex-biased gene expression, faster-Z, tissue-specific expression, gonads, female-heterogamety

While chromosome-wide dosage compensation of the X chromosome has been found in many species, studies in ZW clades have indicated that compensation of the Z is more localized and/or incomplete. In the ZW Lepidoptera, some species show complete compensation of the Z chromosome, while others lack full equalization, but what drives these inconsistencies is unclear. Here, we compare patterns of male and female gene expression on the Z chromosome of two closely related butterfly species, Papilio xuthus and Papilio machaon, and in multiple tissues of two moths species, Plodia interpunctella and Bombyx mori, which were previously found to differ in the extent to which they equalize Z-linked gene expression between the sexes(...)

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7 juillet 2017

Skin microbiota in frogs from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest : Species, forest type, and potential against pathogens [PLOS One]

Subject Areas : forests, amphibians, microbiome, bacteria, frogs, bacterial pathogens, fungal pathogens, sequence databases

The cutaneous microbiota of amphibians can be defined as a biological component of protection, since it can be composed of bacteria that produce antimicrobial compounds. Several factors influence skin microbial structure and it is possible that environmental variations are among one of these factors, perhaps through physical-chemical variations in the skin. This community, therefore, is likely modified in habitats in which some ecophysiological parameters are altered, as in fragmented forests. Our research goal was to compare the skin bacterial community of four anuran species of the Atlantic Forest of Brazil in landscapes from two different environments : continuous forest and fragmented forest.(...)

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5 juillet 2017

Constraining the timing of whole genome duplication in plant evolutionary history [Proceedings of the Royal Society B - Biological Sciences]

Whole genome duplication (WGD) has occurred in many lineages within the tree of life and is invariably invoked as causal to evolutionary innovation, increased diversity, and extinction resistance. Testing such hypotheses is problematic, not least since the timing of WGD events has proven hard to constrain. Here we show that WGD events can be dated through molecular clock analysis of concatenated gene families, calibrated using fossil evidence for the ages of species divergences that bracket WGD events. (...)

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5 juillet 2017

The role of environmental filtering in the functional structure of fish communities in tropical wetlands [Ecology of Freshwater Fish]

Keywords : assembly rules, community ecology, functional dispersion, functional diversity, null model

Understanding the mechanisms that structure communities has been a major challenge in ecological theory. In wetlands with a clear seasonal hydroperiod (wet and dry seasons), such as Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve (SKBR), Mexico, fish communities experience successive habitat contraction/expansion, with a high mortality rate during the dry season. In this study, we tested the role of environmental filtering in structuring fish communities along an environmental gradient in permanent pools, during three consecutive stages of the dry season.(...)

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4 juillet 2017

Environmental diversity constrains learning in Drosophila melanogaster [Ecological Entomology]

Keywords : biodiversity, Drosophila, flower constancy, learning, mixed crop, proactive interference

1. Much is known about how enriched environmental diversity affects ability to learn across the months and years that are the developmental periods of large animals.
2. Less is known about how diversity impacts learning across the minutes and hours during which sensory environments of small foraging animals such as insects may vary dramatically.
3. This study shows that Drosophila melanogaster exposed to a diversity of odour–taste associations over a few minutes subsequently learn standard associative learning tasks poorly.
4. This effect is robust to variation in odours used in all parts of experiments.
5. Findings may have an impact on at least three major research areas in ecology : the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning ; the evolution of floral constancy in pollinators ; and the pest-protective effects of mixed species crops.

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