Browsing by Subject "evolution"

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  • Peris Tamayo, Ana-Maria; Devineau, Olivier; Praebel, Kim; Kahilainen, Kimmo K.; ostbye, Kjartan (2020)
    Adaptive radiation is the diversification of species to different ecological niches and has repeatedly occurred in different salmonid fish of postglacial lakes. In Lake Tinnsjoen, one of the largest and deepest lakes in Norway, the salmonid fish, Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus(L.)), has likely radiated within 9,700 years after deglaciation into ecologically and genetically segregated Piscivore, Planktivore, Dwarf, and Abyssal morphs in the pelagial, littoral, shallow-moderate profundal, and deep-profundal habitats. We compared trait variation in the size of the head, the eye and olfactory organs, as well as the volumes of five brain regions of these four Arctic charr morphs. We hypothesised that specific habitat characteristics have promoted divergent body, head, and brain sizes related to utilized depth differing in environmental constraints (e.g., light, oxygen, pressure, temperature, and food quality). The most important ecomorphological variables differentiating morphs were eye area, habitat, and number of lamellae. The Abyssal morph living in the deepest areas of the lake had the smallest brain region volumes, head, and eye size. Comparing the olfactory bulb with the optic tectum in size, it was larger in the Abyssal morph than in the Piscivore morph. The Piscivore and Planktivore morphs that use more illuminated habitats have the largest optic tectum volume, followed by the Dwarf. The observed differences in body size and sensory capacities in terms of vision and olfaction in shallow and deepwater morphs likely relates to foraging and mating habitats in Lake Tinnsjoen. Further seasonal and experimental studies of brain volume in polymorphic species are needed to test the role of plasticity and adaptive evolution behind the observed differences.
  • Muona, Jyrki; Teräväinen, Marianna (2020)
  • Hiltunen, Teppo; Virta, Marko; Laine, Anna-Liisa (2017)
    The legacy of the use and misuse of antibiotics in recent decades has left us with a global public health crisis: antibiotic-resistant bacteria are on the rise, making it harder to treat infections. At the same time, evolution of antibiotic resistance is probably the best-documented case of contemporary evolution. To date, research on antibiotic resistance has largely ignored the complexity of interactions that bacteria engage in. However, in natural populations, bacteria interact with other species; for example, competition and grazing are import interactions influencing bacterial population dynamics. Furthermore, antibiotic leakage to natural environments can radically alter bacterial communities. Overall, we argue that eco-evolutionary feedback loops in microbial communities can be modified by residual antibiotics and evolution of antibiotic resistance. The aim of this review is to connect some of the well-established key concepts in evolutionary biology and recent advances in the study of eco-evolutionary dynamics to research on antibiotic resistance. We also identify some key knowledge gaps related to eco-evolutionary dynamics of antibiotic resistance, and review some of the recent technical advantages in molecular microbiology that offer new opportunities for tackling these questions. Finally, we argue that using the full potential of evolutionary theory and active communication across the different fields is needed for solving this global crisis more efficiently. This article is part of the themed issue 'Human influences on evolution, and the ecological and societal consequences'.
  • Björkholm, Susanne (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Objectives. A new theory of personality is presented. The A-TRiC is unique in having a substantive theoretical basis in human evolutionary history and the phylogenetic constraints on development of dimensional psychological traits. Trust, Reactivity (to threat) and (need for) Control are personality traits found in all social mammals. Independence affects need for social reward, Analytical Thinking affects willingness to adhere to mechanistic/reductionistic vs intuitive/holistic explanations to phenomena. Since it would be futile academic egotism to propose a new theory unless one is needed, the psychometric and theoretical problems of the mainstream Five-Factor theory are also analysed. Methods. 1027 participants (61% female; Mage 41) completed the A-TRiC questionnaire online. Internal consistencies of the traits and model fit were investigated and predictions about traits and some outcomes were tested. Results & conclusions. Internal consistency was acceptable. Central model fit indices showed acceptable to poor fit. Levels of Reactivity and Control were associated with lifetime diagnoses of depression and anxiety. Reactivity was associated with addiction. High scores in Analytical thinking were associated with male gender and a degree in natural science. Women scored higher on Control. Some conceptual confusions hindering progress in the scientific study of personality are discussed in light of the theory and its background assumptions.
  • Li, Jing; Xiong, Yacen; Li, Yi; Ye, Shiqi; Yin, Qi; Gao, Siqi; Yang, Dong; Yang, Mei; Palva, E. Tapio; Deng, Xianbao (2019)
    The WRKY family is one of the largest transcription factor (TF) families in plants and plays central roles in modulating plant stress responses and developmental processes, as well as secondary metabolic regulations. Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) is an aquatic crop that has significant food, ornamental and pharmacological values. Here, we performed an overview analysis of WRKY TF family members in lotus, and studied their functions in environmental adaptation and regulation of lotus benzylisoquinoline alkaloid (BIA) biosynthesis. A total of 65 WRKY genes were identified in the lotus genome and they were well clustered in a similar pattern with their Arabidopsis homologs in seven groups (designated I, IIa-IIe, and III), although no lotus WRKY was clustered in the group IIIa. Most lotus WRKYs were functionally paired, which was attributed to the recently occurred whole genome duplication in lotus. In addition, lotus WRKYs were regulated dramatically by salicilic acid (SA), jasmonic acid (JA), and submergence treatments, and two lotus WRKYs, NnWRKY40a and NnWRKY40b, were significantly induced by JA and promoted lotus BIA biosynthesis through activating BIA biosynthetic genes. The investigation of WRKY TFs for this basal eudicot reveals new insights into the evolution of the WRKY family, and provides fundamental information for their functional studies and lotus breeding.
  • Iho, Satu (2010)
    This thesis studies the evolution of conditional cooperation in a population where social norms are present. The model of Spichtig and Traxler (2007) is based in a public good setting where the members can choose to cooperate, contribute to the public good and adhere to the social norm or free-ride, not contribute towards the public good and thus break the social norm. Norm breaking sanctions imposed on any individual who chooses to behave in the latter manner. The exact degree of these norm sanctions on an individual's utility is determined by her individual norm sensitivity level, due to which some agents with a high norm sensitivity experience a higher utility loss from the norm sanctions in comparison with agents a lower degree of norm sensitivity. The model predicts for the population to evolve towards two equilibrium states which are characterised by a differing fraction of free-riders of the entire population. Two distinct models on learning are used to analyse further the learning mechanisms that might take place in such a population on an individual level. The model of Ellison and Fudenberg (1993) and the model of Banerjee and Fudenberg (2004) are similar in that they study a learning process of an individual in terms of new technology adoption. The former concentrates on horizontal learning which takes place within one generation and is based on mere observational clues whereas the latter analyses vertical learning taking place between generations and is based on more comlex word-of-mouth clues that are exchanged between members in the population and new entrants. Both of these models thereby us external clues as the means of learning of agents but differ in terms of what kind of learning is studied, intra-generational or inter-generational. The circumstances in and assumptions under which learning takes place in these two models are found to fit the model of the evolution of cooperation rather well and they could predict the learning mechanisms of this model in an individual level rather well.
  • Annila, Arto; Salthe, Stanley (2010)
  • Ostrander, E.A.; Lohi, H.; Dog10K Consortium (2019)
    Dogs are the most phenotypically diverse mammalian species, and they possess more known heritable disorders than any other non-human mammal. Efforts to catalog and characterize genetic variation across well-chosen populations of canines are necessary to advance our understanding of their evolutionary history and genetic architecture. To date, no organized effort has been undertaken to sequence the world's canid populations. The Dog10K Consortium (http://www.dog10kgenomes.org) is an international collaboration of researchers from across the globe who will generate 20× whole genomes from 10 000 canids in 5 years. This effort will capture the genetic diversity that underlies the phenotypic and geographical variability of modern canids worldwide. Breeds, village dogs, niche populations and extended pedigrees are currently being sequenced, and de novo assemblies of multiple canids are being constructed. This unprecedented dataset will address the genetic underpinnings of domestication, breed formation, aging, behavior and morphological variation. More generally, this effort will advance our understanding of human and canine health. © 2019 The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of China Science Publishing & Media Ltd.
  • Schirmer, T.; Abergel, A.; Verstraete, L.; Ysard, N.; Juvela, M.; Jones, A. P.; Habart, E. (2020)
    Context. Micro-physical processes on interstellar dust surfaces are tightly connected to dust properties (i.e. dust composition, size, and shape) and play a key role in numerous phenomena in the interstellar medium (ISM). The large disparity in physical conditions (i.e. density and gas temperature) in the ISM triggers an evolution of dust properties. The analysis of how dust evolves with the physical conditions is a stepping stone towards a more thorough understanding of interstellar dust.Aims. We highlight dust evolution in the Horsehead nebula photon-dominated region.Methods. We used Spitzer/IRAC (3.6, 4.5, 5.8 and 8 mu m) and Spitzer/MIPS (24 mu m) together with Herschel/PACS (70 and 160 mu m) and Herschel/SPIRE (250, 350 and 500 mu m) to map the spatial distribution of dust in the Horsehead nebula over the entire emission spectral range. We modelled dust emission and scattering using the THEMIS interstellar dust model together with the 3D radiative transfer code SOC.Results. We find that the nano-grain dust-to-gas ratio in the irradiated outer part of the Horsehead is 6-10 times lower than in the diffuse ISM. The minimum size of these grains is 2-2.25 times larger than in the diffuse ISM, and the power-law exponent of their size distribution is 1.1-1.4 times lower than in the diffuse ISM. In the denser part of the Horsehead nebula, it is necessary to use evolved grains (i.e. aggregates, with or without an ice mantle).Conclusions. It is not possible to explain the observations using grains from the diffuse medium. We therefore propose the following scenario to explain our results. In the outer part of the Horsehead nebula, all the nano-grain have not yet had time to re-form completely through photo-fragmentation of aggregates and the smallest of the nano-grain that are sensitive to the radiation field are photo-destroyed. In the inner part of the Horsehead nebula, grains most likely consist of multi-compositional mantled aggregates.
  • Meric, Guillaume; Miragaia, Maria; de Been, Mark; Yahara, Koji; Pascoe, Ben; Mageiros, Leonardos; Mikhail, Jane; Harris, Llinos G.; Wilkinson, Thomas S.; Rolo, Joana; Lamble, Sarah; Bray, James E.; Jolley, Keith A.; Hanage, William P.; Bowden, Rory; Maiden, Martin C. J.; Mack, Dietrich; de Lencastre, Herminia; Feil, Edward J.; Corander, Jukka; Sheppard, Samuel K. (2015)
    The opportunistic pathogens Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis represent major causes of severe nosocomial infection, and are associated with high levels of mortality and morbidity worldwide. These species are both common commensals on the human skin and in the nasal pharynx, but are genetically distinct, differing at 24% average nucleotide divergence in 1,478 core genes. To better understand the genome dynamics of these ecologically similar staphylococcal species, we carried out a comparative analysis of 324 S. aureus and S. epidermidis genomes, including 83 novel S. epidermidis sequences. A reference pan-genome approach and whole genome multilocus-sequence typing revealed that around half of the genome was shared between the species. Based on a BratNextGen analysis, homologous recombination was found to have impacted on 40% of the core genes in S. epidermidis, but on only 24% of the core genes in S. aureus. Homologous recombination between the species is rare, with a maximum of nine gene alleles shared between any two S. epidermidis and S. aureus isolates. In contrast, there was considerable interspecies admixture of mobile elements, in particular genes associated with the SaPIn1 pathogenicity island, metal detoxification, and the methicillin-resistance island SCCmec. Our data and analysis provide a context for considering the nature of recombinational boundaries between S. aureus and S. epidermidis and, the selective forces that influence realized recombination between these species.
  • Zhao, Yafei; Zhang, Teng; Broholm, Suvi K.; Tähtiharju, Sari; Mouhu, Katriina; Albert, Victor A; Teeri, Teemu H.; Elomaa, Paula (2016)
    The evolutionary success of Asteraceae, the largest family of flowering plants, has been attributed to the unique inflorescence architecture of the family, which superficially resembles an individual flower. Here, we show that Asteraceae inflorescences (flower heads, or capitula) resemble solitary flowers not only morphologically but also at the molecular level. By conducting functional analyses for orthologs of the flower meristem identity genes LEAFY (LFY) and UNUSUAL FLORAL ORGANS (UFO) in Gerbera hybrida, we show that GhUFO is the master regulator of flower meristem identity, while GhLFY has evolved a novel, homeotic function during the evolution of head-like inflorescences. Resembling LFY expression in a single flower meristem, uniform expression of GhLFY in the inflorescence meristem defines the capitulum as a determinate structure that can assume floral fate upon ectopic GhUFO expression. We also show that GhLFY uniquely regulates the ontogeny of outer, expanded ray flowers but not inner, compact disc flowers, indicating that the distinction of different flower types in Asteraceae is connected with their independent evolutionary origins from separate branching systems.
  • Gonda, Maria Abigel; Herczeg, Gabor; Merilä, Juha (2013)
  • Snellman, Kaisa (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2000)
    Working Papers
    The purpose of this study was to deepen the understanding of market segmentation theory by studying the evolution of the concept and by identifying the antecedents and consequences of the theory. The research method was influenced by content analysis and meta-analysis. The evolution of market segmentation theory was studied as a reflection of evolution of marketing theory. According to this study, the theory of market segmentation has its roots in microeconomics and it has been influenced by different disciplines, such as motivation research and buyer behaviour theory. Furthermore, this study suggests that the evolution of market segmentation theory can be divided into four major eras: the era of foundations, development and blossoming, stillness and stagnation, and the era of re-emergence. Market segmentation theory emerged in the mid-1950’s and flourished during the period between mid-1950’s and the late 1970’s. During the 1980’s the theory lost its interest in the scientific community and no significant contributions were made. Now, towards the dawn of the new millennium, new approaches have emerged and market segmentation has gained new attention.
  • Macrì, Simone; Di-Poï, Nicolas (2020)
    Despite a remarkable conservation of architecture and function, the cerebellum of vertebrates shows extensive variation in morphology, size, and foliation pattern. These features make this brain subdivision a powerful model to investigate the evolutionary developmental mechanisms underlying neuroanatomical complexity both within and between anamniote and amniote species. Here, we fill a major evolutionary gap by characterizing the developing cerebellum in two non-avian reptile species—bearded dragon lizard and African house snake—representative of extreme cerebellar morphologies and neuronal arrangement patterns found in squamates. Our data suggest that developmental strategies regarded as exclusive hallmark of birds and mammals, including transit amplification in an external granule layer (EGL) and Sonic hedgehog expression by underlying Purkinje cells (PCs), contribute to squamate cerebellogenesis independently from foliation pattern. Furthermore, direct comparison of our models suggests the key importance of spatiotemporal patterning and dynamic interaction between granule cells and PCs in defining cortical organization. Especially, the observed heterochronic shifts in early cerebellogenesis events, including upper rhombic lip progenitor activity and EGL maintenance, are strongly expected to affect the dynamics of molecular interaction between neuronal cell types in snakes. Altogether, these findings help clarifying some of the morphogenetic and molecular underpinnings of amniote cerebellar corticogenesis, but also suggest new potential molecular mechanisms underlying cerebellar complexity in squamates. Furthermore, squamate models analyzed here are revealed as key animal models to further understand mechanisms of brain organization.
  • Pimentel, Andre C.; Beraldo, Camila S.; Cogni, Rodrigo (2021)
    Host shifts, when a cross-species transmission of a pathogen can lead to successful infections, are the main cause of emerging infectious diseases, such as COVID-19. A complex challenge faced by the scientific community is to address the factors that determine whether the cross-species transmissions will result in spillover or sustained onwards infections. Here we review recent literature and present a perspective on current approaches we are using to understand the mechanisms underlying host shifts. We highlight the usefulness of the interactions between Drosophila species and viruses as an ideal study model. Additionally, we discuss how cross-infection experiments - when pathogens from a natural reservoir are intentionally injected in novel host species-can test the effect cross-species transmissions may have on the fitness of virus and host, and how the host phylogeny may influence this response. We also discuss experiments evaluating how cooccurrence with other viruses or the presence of the endosymbiont bacteria Wolbachia may affect the performance of new viruses in a novel host. Finally, we discuss the need of surveys of virus diversity in natural populations using next-generation sequencing technologies. In the long term, these approaches can contribute to a better understanding of the basic biology of host shifts.
  • Kiviluoma, Tomi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Education research has for decades acknowledged that prior knowledge is a strong predictor of academic success. This idea is largely based on constructivist theory of learning which postulates that all learning occurs by actively building on existing knowledge. When this prior knowledge conflicts with the normative scientific understanding, students are dealing with incompatible knowledge structures, or misconceptions. Misconceptions need to be revised and sometimes even replaced through a learning process called conceptual change. Research shows that the level of prior knowledge can determine students’ academic success and performance. Undergraduate biology students enrol to university with diverse levels of prior knowledge and concepts regarding topics such as photosynthesis, cellular respiration, primary production in ecosystems, and Darwinian evolution. These topics present challenges for learning because of their complexity. At the same time, a robust understanding of them is essential. These topics are at the heart of mitigating and resolving the climate crisis and other global natural threats. This study explored the level of prior knowledge and the nature of misconceptions held by undergraduate biology students at the beginning of their academic degree in fall of 2019, and further sought to describe how their conceptual understanding developed during the first academic year. Students (N = 41) completed a questionnaire consisting of eight open-ended questions that were designed to assess declarative knowledge of facts and meaning, and procedural integration and application of knowledge. This pre-test measurement was conducted in September 2019. In the post-test measurement, the same questionnaire was repeated a year later. The data were analysed with a mixed methods approach where the answers were quantitatively scored as well as qualitatively analysed for misconceptions. The qualitative content analysis of the answers relied both on existing literature and on the content of the answers themselves. Results showed that the students’ prior knowledge was relatively poor in the beginning of their studies. Most students performed well in tasks measuring knowledge of facts and meaning but struggled in tasks measuring integration and application of knowledge. During the first academic year, the students’ understanding generally improved as demonstrated by the improvement in mean scores of the tasks. Misconceptions were robust and pervasive. The most pervasive misconceptions reflected difficulties in understanding emergent properties and processes. Misconceptions related to the process of Darwinian evolution became more prominent in the post-test. Persistent misconceptions became integrated with the new conceptual frameworks that the students acquired during the first academic year. If students held no misconceptions in the post-test, they performed significantly better in both tests than those with misconceptions. During this first academic year learning seemed to be mainly additive as conceptual change turned out to be rare. The need for more encompassing biology teaching at least in the University of Helsinki became evident. Introductory courses should acknowledge the large degree of variation in students’ prior knowledge and assess the most common and serious misconceptions even over course theme disciplines to ensure more equal learning outcomes.
  • Ling, Jiaxin; Smura, Teemu; Lundström, Jan O.; Pettersson, John H-O; Sironen, Tarja; Vapalahti, Olli; Lundkvist, Åke; Hesson, Jenny C. (2019)
    Bird-hosted viruses have the potential to be transported over large areas of the world and to be transmitted in distant geographical regions. Sindbis virus (SINV) is a mosquito-borne alphavirus that is locally amplified in a bird-mosquito enzootic cycle and distributed all over the Old World and Australia/Oceania. Sindbis virus genotype I (SINV-I) is the cause of disease outbreaks in humans in South Africa as well as in northern Europe. To trace the evolutionary history and potential strain-disease association of SINV-I, we sequenced 36 complete genomes isolated from field material in Europe, as well as in Africa and the Middle East, collected over 58 years. These were analyzed together with 30 additional published whole SINV-I genomes using Bayesian analysis. Our results suggested that SINV-I was introduced only once to northern Europe from central Africa, in the 1920s. After its first introduction to Sweden, it spread east and southward on two separate occasions in the 1960s and 1970s. Another introduction from central Africa to southern/central Europe seems to have occurred, and where these two introductions meet, one recombination event was detected in central Europe. In addition, another recombinant strain was found in central Africa, where the most divergent SINV-I strains also originated. IMPORTANCE This study shows that only a single introduction of SINV into a new geographical area is required for spread and establishment, provided that the requisite vector(s) and reservoir(s) of epizootological and epidemiological importance are present. Furthermore, we present the first report of recombination between two strains of SINV in nature. Our study increases the knowledge on new introductions and dispersal of arboviruses in general and of SINV in particular.
  • Ihanus, Juhani (Gaudeamus, 2020)