The battle between the sexes

A new study published in Evolution Letters has shown that female fruits flies can alter their reproductive behaviour to exert control over paternity success of different males. Lead author Dr Meghan Laturney tells us more. Sexual relationships can be very complicated. Part of this complexity is born out of the fact that sexual reproduction, like … Continue reading The battle between the sexes

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The conflict beneath your feet: tradeoffs between attracting beneficial microbes and repelling parasites in the plant root microbiome

A guest author blog by Dr Corlett Wolfe Wood Nearly all organisms rely on other species to perform crucial physiological functions, from digesting food to fighting disease. Beneficial microbes in our own gut, for example, are an essential component of digestive health. Such cooperative interactions between species, known as mutualisms, are evolutionarily ancient and are … Continue reading The conflict beneath your feet: tradeoffs between attracting beneficial microbes and repelling parasites in the plant root microbiome

How evolution helps us manage antibiotic resistance

Invited author blog by Rees Kassen It will come as no surprise to most readers of this blog that antimicrobial resistance, or AMR for short, is a major global health challenge. Every year since 2013 there have been global warnings – from the World Economic Forum, the World Health Organization, and the United Nations General … Continue reading How evolution helps us manage antibiotic resistance

Different different but same: Parallel evolution of gene expression in Caribbean Pupfishes

Guest author post: Joe McGirr tells Evolution Letters how two very different Cyprinodon pupfish species have a surprising amount in common. The phrase “Same same but different” is something you might hear while backpacking across southeast Asia. For example, a couple of summers ago I found myself in a small shop in Bangkok haggling for … Continue reading Different different but same: Parallel evolution of gene expression in Caribbean Pupfishes

Evolution on islands

A new study published in Evolution Letters has revealed how natural selection and genetic drift shape variation in genomic and phenotypic traits in island populations. The study identified genes that could be influencing variation in beak length and malaria infection rates in populations of Berthelot's pipit Anthus berthelotii, a small passerine bird that is found across … Continue reading Evolution on islands

Chemical control of sperm success by female mussels

A fascinating study, published in Evolution Letters, has provided new insight into the subtle ways that females can influence paternity. The work was carried out on a species of mussel (Mytilus galloprovincialis), which releases its eggs and sperm into the ocean, resulting in sperm from lots of different males competing for fertilisation. The research found … Continue reading Chemical control of sperm success by female mussels

Twisted sex overcomes barriers to gene flow in mirror image snails

A new study in Evolution Letters has shown that two types of snails are the same species, despite previously being considered distinct because their shells coil in the opposite direction. Not only are the snails genetically similar, but surprisingly, they are able to have sex despite their physical differences. Here Dr Angus Davison, one of … Continue reading Twisted sex overcomes barriers to gene flow in mirror image snails

Cheats never prosper – social policing maintains honesty in cooperative fish

What prevents animals from lying to each other? Can cheats ever prosper? A study published in Evolution Letters has provided new insight into the evolution of honest signals in cooperative Princess of Burundi cichlid fish, demonstrating that the reliability of communication between individuals is maintained by social policing. We asked Hugo Gante, a researcher at … Continue reading Cheats never prosper – social policing maintains honesty in cooperative fish

Genomic adaptation to life in extreme environments

Dr Domino Joyce explains what her team's new research tells us about how animals adapt to challenging environments - and how quickly it can happen. As we explore more of the earth’s extreme environments, we learn more about how organisms have adapted to life there. Many deep sea creatures have become familiar such as the … Continue reading Genomic adaptation to life in extreme environments