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Background. A large multigene family of NOD-like receptor (NLR) molecules have been described in mammals and implicated in immunity and apoptosis. Little information, however, exists concerning this gene family in non-mammalian taxa. This current study, therefore, provides an in-depth investigation of this gene family in lower vertebrates including extensive phylogenetic comparison of zebrafish NLRs with orthologs in tetrapods, and analysis of their tissue-specific expression. Results. Three distinct NLR subfamilies were identified by mining genome databases of various non-mammalian vertebrates; the first subfamily (NLR-A) resembles mammalian NODs, the second (NLR-B) resembles mammalian NALPs, while the third (NLR-C)...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: BMC Evolutionary Biology
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Background. The Hawaiian honeycreepers (Drepanidinae) are one of the best-known examples of an adaptive radiation, but their persistence today is threatened by the introduction of exotic pathogens and their vector, the mosquito Culex quinquefasciatus. Historically, species such as the amakihi (Hemignathus virens), the apapane (Himatione sanguinea), and the iiwi (Vestiaria coccinea) were found from the coastal lowlands to the high elevation forests, but by the late 1800's they had become extremely rare in habitats below 900 m. Recently, however, populations of amakihi and apapane have been observed in low elevation habitats. We used twelve polymorphic microsatellite loci to investigate patterns of genetic structure,...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: BMC Evolutionary Biology
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Background: Deep-sea hydrothermal vent animals occupy patchy and ephemeral habitats supported by chemosynthetic primary production. Volcanic and tectonic activities controlling the turnover of these habitats contribute to demographic instability that erodes genetic variation within and among colonies of these animals. We examined DNA sequences from one mitochondrial and three nuclear gene loci to assess genetic diversity in the siboglinid tubeworm, Riftia pachyptila, a widely distributed constituent of vents along the East Pacific Rise and Galpagos Rift. Results: Genetic differentiation (FST) among populations increased with geographical distances, as expected under a linear stepping-stone model of dispersal. Low...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: BMC Evolutionary Biology
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Conserving genetic diversity and local adaptations are management priorities for wild populations of exploited species, which increasingly are subject to climate change, habitat loss, and pollution. These constitute growing concerns for the walleye Sander vitreus, an ecologically and economically valuable North American temperate fish with large Laurentian Great Lakes' fisheries. This study compares genetic diversity and divergence patterns across its widespread native range using mitochondrial (mt) DNA control region sequences and nine nuclear DNA microsatellite (μsat) loci, examining historic and contemporary influences. We analyze the genetic and morphological characters of a putative endemic variant– “blue pike”...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: BMC Evolutionary Biology
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Background. Evidence of multiple genetic criteria of mate choice is accumulating in numerous taxa. In many species, females have been shown to pair with genetically dissimilar mates or with extra-pair partners that are more genetically compatible than their social mates, thereby increasing their offsprings' heterozygosity which often correlates with offspring fitness. While most studies have focused on genetically promiscuous species, few studies have addressed genetically monogamous species, in which mate choice tends to be mutual. Results. Here, we used microsatellite markers to assess individual global heterozygosity and genetic similarity of pairs in a socially and genetically monogamous seabird, the black-legged...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: BMC Evolutionary Biology
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Background Sirenia (manatees, dugongs and Stellar's sea cow) have no evolutionary relationship with other marine mammals, despite similarities in adaptations and body shape. Recent phylogenomic results place Sirenia in Afrotheria and with elephants and rock hyraxes in Paenungulata. Sirenia and Hyracoidea are the two afrotherian orders as yet unstudied by comparative molecular cytogenetics. Here we report on the chromosome painting of the Florida manatee. Results The human autosomal and X chromosome paints delimited a total of 44 homologous segments in the manatee genome. The synteny of nine of the 22 human autosomal chromosomes (4, 5, 6, 9, 11, 14, 17, 18 and 20) and the X chromosome were found intact in the manatee....
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: BMC Evolutionary Biology
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BackgroundAdaptive radiation involving a colonizing phenotype that rapidly evolves into at least one other ecological variant, or ecotype, has been observed in a variety of freshwater fishes in post-glacial environments. However, few studies consider how phenotypic traits vary with regard to neutral genetic partitioning along ecological gradients. Here, we present the first detailed investigation of lake trout Salvelinus namaycushthat considers variation as a cline rather than discriminatory among ecotypes. Genetic and phenotypic traits organized along common ecological gradients of water depth and geographic distance provide important insights into diversification processes in a lake with high levels of human disturbance...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: BMC Evolutionary Biology
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Background. A Baltic population of Atlantic sturgeon was founded ???1,200 years ago by migrants from North America, but after centuries of persistence, the population was extirpated in the 1960s, mainly as a result of over-harvest and habitat alterations. As there are four genetically distinct groups of Atlantic sturgeon inhabiting North American rivers today, we investigated the genetic provenance of the historic Baltic population by ancient DNA analyses using mitochondrial and nuclear markers. Results. The phylogeographic signal obtained from multilocus microsatellite DNA genotypes and mitochondrial DNA control region haplotypes, when compared to existing baseline datasets from extant populations, allowed for...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: BMC Evolutionary Biology
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Background Phenotypic and molecular genetic data often provide conflicting patterns of intraspecific relationships confounding phylogenetic inference, particularly among birds where a variety of environmental factors may influence plumage characters. Among diurnal raptors, the taxonomic relationship of Buteo jamaicensis harlani to other B. jamaicensis subspecies has been long debated because of the polytypic nature of the plumage characteristics used in subspecies or species designations. Results To address the evolutionary relationships within this group, we used data from 17 nuclear microsatellite loci, 430 base pairs of the mitochondrial control region, and 829 base pairs of the melanocortin 1 receptor (Mc1r)...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: BMC Evolutionary Biology