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Neutral and adaptive explanations for an association between caste-biased gene expression and rate of sequence evolution.

Author:
  • Heikki Helanterä
  • Tobias Uller
Publishing year: 2014
Language: English
Pages: 1-297
Publication/Series: Frontiers in Genetics
Volume: 5
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Frontiers

Abstract english

The castes of social insects provide outstanding opportunities to address the causes and consequences of evolution of discrete phenotypes, i.e., polymorphisms. Here we focus on recently described patterns of a positive association between the degree of caste-specific gene expression and the rate of sequence evolution. We outline how neutral and adaptive evolution can cause genes that are morph-biased in their expression profiles to exhibit historical signatures of faster or slower sequence evolution compared to unbiased genes. We conclude that evaluation of different hypotheses will benefit from (i) reconstruction of the phylogenetic origin of biased expression and changes in rates of sequence evolution, and (ii) replicated data on gene expression variation within versus between morphs. Although the data are limited at present, we suggest that the observed phylogenetic and intra-population variation in gene expression lends support to the hypothesis that the association between caste-biased expression and rate of sequence evolution largely is a result of neutral processes.

Keywords

  • Biological Sciences

Other

Published
  • ISSN: 1664-8021
Tobias Uller
E-mail: tobias.uller [at] biol.lu.se

Professor

Evolutionary ecology

+46 46 222 30 94

E-C256

Sölvegatan 37, Lund

50

Research group

Experimental Evolution, Ecology & Behaviour

Projects

Doctoral students and postdocs

I am currently about to move to Lund from University of Oxford. For details about DPhil students and postdocs in my previous research group based at the Edward Grey Institute, please click here

Downloads & links

CV (pdf; 241 kB)