Gee Research Blog
Synthetic Biology and Conservation
Mon, 07 Jul 2014 16:20:18 +0000
Synthetic biology, a hybrid between Engineering and Biology, is an emerging field of research promising to change the way we think about manufacturing, medicine, food production, and even conservation and sustainability. A review paper released this month in Oryx, authored by Dr Kent Redford, Professor William Adams, Dr Rob Carlson, Bertina Ceccarelli and CBER’s Professor [...]Read more...
Measure Twice, Cut Once: Quantifying Biases in Sexual Selection Studies
Wed, 25 Jun 2014 10:44:30 +0000
Bateman’s principles are conceptually quite simple, but form the basis of our understanding of sexual selection across the animal kingdom. First proposed in 1948, Bateman’s three principles posit that sexual selection is more intense in males than in females for three reasons: 1) males show more variability in the number of mates they have (mating [...]Read more...
Technology for Nature?
Mon, 16 Jun 2014 13:23:54 +0000
Many of our greatest technological advances have tended to mark disaster for nature. Cars guzzle fossil fuels and contribute to global warming; industrialised farming practices cause habitat loss and pollution; computers and mobile phones require harmful mining procedures to harvest rare metals. But increasingly, ecologists and conservation biologists are asking whether we can use technology [...]Read more...
Nice Flies Don’t Finish Last: Meiotic Drive and Sexual Selection in Stalk-Eyed Flies
Thu, 12 Jun 2014 15:54:47 +0000
While it might seem as though our genes are all working together for our own good, some of them are actually rather selfish. Scientists have known about ‘selfish genetic elements’ for nearly a century, but research to understand their behaviour and effects is ongoing. Recent research in GEE reveals how sexually selected traits are signalling [...]Read more...
Finding a Place to Call Home: Translocation and the Plight of the Hihi
Fri, 16 May 2014 13:13:56 +0000
Climate change alters how climate is distributed both geographically and temporally. Over the coming decades, for species sensitive to climatic variables, it may become a case of ‘relocate or die’ – those species that are not able to shift their populations from old, unsuitable habitat into newly emerging suitable habitat, in line with climate change, [...]Read more...
16 April 2013
GEE/CEE Seminar on mitochondria, hybrid breakdown and the origin of species
"Consequences of rapid mtDNA evolution: compensatory coadaptation, hybrid breakdown and speciation"
Ron Burton, Professor of Marine Biology, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego
Date & Time:
||Wednesday, 17 April at 5pm|
|Venue:||Medical Sciences AV Hill Lecture Theatre (map)|
|Host:||Nick Lane (Ext 31385)|
Despite its small size and limited gene content, the rapid evolution of the mitochondrial genome (mtDNA) has significant implications for the evolution of animal populations. Aerobic metabolism requires all 13 of the mtDNA-encoded proteins in addition to >70 nuclear proteins. In addition, ~100 additional nuclear proteins are required for the transcription and translation of the mtDNA and must be imported into the mitochondria. Consequently, there are many interactions between mtDNA and nucDNA that favor extensive intergenomic coadaptation. When genetically divergent populations hybridize, coadaptation can be disrupted and lead to mitochondrial dysfunction and reduced fitness (hybrid breakdown). Interpopulation crosses between populations of the copepod Tigriopus californicus provide a good example of this scenario, as hybrid breakdown is due, in large measure, to intergenomic interactions affecting mitochondrial function (manifested in reduced ATP production and increased oxidative damage). Recent work using transcriptomic analyses of both hybrid breakdown and population adaptation to thermal stress in Tigriopus will also be briefly discussed.
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