Testosterone relaxes genetic constraints between the sexes

A new study published in Evolution Letters has shown that testosterone shapes the underlying genetic parameters determining how populations respond to selection. Authors Tyler Wittman and Robert Cox tell us more. In many species, females and males look strikingly different. This phenomenon of sexual dimorphism is quite common, but it is puzzling when you consider … Continue reading Testosterone relaxes genetic constraints between the sexes

How the sexes are more different than we thought

A new study published in Evolution Letters has revealed widespread and unexpected differences in gene expression architecture between the sexes. Author Dr Wouter van der Bijl summarises the findings and tells us how the study came to be. The perfect male mouse and the perfect female mouse are not the same. The sexes need to … Continue reading How the sexes are more different than we thought

Larger cells have relatively smaller nuclei across the Tree of Life

A new study published in Evolution Letters finally puts paid to a long-held belief that the ratio between nucleus size and cell size is approximately constant. Although recently it has been recognised that nucleus size and cell size are not inexorably bound, the idea of a constant nucleus to cell size (NS:CS) ratio – the … Continue reading Larger cells have relatively smaller nuclei across the Tree of Life

Can we pin the fluffy tails of our pet dogs on neural crest cells?

Domesticated animals share similar features, such as floppy ears, curly tails, and smaller brains. A new study published in Evolution Letters challenges the most popular explanation for how these features arose. Lead author Dr Laura Wilson tells us more. Charles Darwin was first to notice that different domestic animals share similar characteristics despite not being … Continue reading Can we pin the fluffy tails of our pet dogs on neural crest cells?

The price of reproduction – from the male perspective

A new study published in Evolution Letters demonstrates that males incur greater costs from investing in pre-copulatory reproductive traits, like courtship behaviour, than in post-copulatory traits, like sperm production. Lead author Meng-Han Chung tells us more. “Why do animals age?” is a long-standing question in life-history, and theories suggest that it is about energy allocation. … Continue reading The price of reproduction – from the male perspective

Competition drives flower colour evolution in a biodiversity hotspot

The findings of a new study published in Evolution Letters help explain the coexistence of many closely related flowering plant species, in one of the most diverse temperate ecosystems in the world. Lead author Dr Alex Skeels tells us more. Flowers are some of the most beautiful and fascinating structures in nature and most people … Continue reading Competition drives flower colour evolution in a biodiversity hotspot

The Mother’s Curse: Insight into the Effects of Maternal Mitochondrial Inheritance

A new study published in Evolution Letters provides support for the ‘Mother’s Curse’ hypothesis in a more generalisable way than previously demonstrated. Lorcan Carnegie, who is an author on the paper, gives us an overview of the findings. Mitochondria are organelles that drive the production of cellular energy and metabolic substances in many forms of life. Crucially, … Continue reading The Mother’s Curse: Insight into the Effects of Maternal Mitochondrial Inheritance

Does genetic diversity protect host populations from parasites?

Yes, according to a new study in Evolution Letters, though the results of its meta-analyses find substantial variation in the degree to which genetic diversity reduces parasitism in host populations. Dr. Amanda Kyle Gibson explains. Whether we be clinicians, agricultural scientists, epidemiologists, or evolutionary biologists, a shared question among researchers of infectious diseases is: why is … Continue reading Does genetic diversity protect host populations from parasites?