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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2014-02-27
    Description: Sex-biased genes are genes with a preferential or specific expression in one sex and tend to show an accelerated rate of evolution in animals. Various hypotheses—which are not mutually exclusive—have been put forth to explain observed patterns of rapid evolution. One possible explanation is positive selection, but this has been shown only in few animal species and mostly for male-specific genes. Here, we present a large-scale study that investigates evolutionary patterns of sex-biased genes in the predominantly self-fertilizing plant Arabidopsis thaliana . Unlike most animal species, A. thaliana does not possess sex chromosomes, its flowers develop both male and female sexual organs, and it is characterized by low outcrossing rates. Using cell-specific gene expression data, we identified genes whose expression is enriched in comparison with all other tissues in the male and female gametes (sperm, egg, and central cell), as well as in synergids, pollen, and pollen tubes, which also play an important role in reproduction. Genes specifically expressed in gametes and synergids show higher rates of protein evolution compared with the genome-wide average and no evidence for positive selection. In contrast, pollen- and pollen tube-specific genes not only have lower rates of protein evolution but also exhibit a higher proportion of adaptive amino acid substitutions. We show that this is the result of increased levels of purifying and positive selection among genes with pollen- and pollen tube-specific expression. The increased proportion of adaptive substitutions cannot be explained by the fact that pollen- and pollen tube-expressed genes are enriched in segmental duplications, are on average older, or have a larger effective population size. Our observations are consistent with prezygotic sexual selection as a result of interactions during pollination and pollen tube growth such as pollen tube competition.
    Print ISSN: 0737-4038
    Electronic ISSN: 1537-1719
    Topics: Biology
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2014-03-19
    Description: We assessed evidence for a contextual effect of positive intergroup contact, whereby the effect of intergroup contact between social contexts (the between-level effect) on outgroup prejudice is greater than the effect of individual-level contact within contexts (the within-level effect). Across seven large-scale surveys (five cross-sectional and two longitudinal), using multilevel...
    Print ISSN: 0027-8424
    Electronic ISSN: 1091-6490
    Topics: Biology , Medicine , Natural Sciences in General
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2013-02-06
    Description: The transcriptome and proteome of Arabidopsis thaliana are reduced in nitrogen content when compared with other taxa, which may result from ecological nitrogen limitation. We hypothesized that if the A. thaliana transcriptome is selected for a low nitrogen content, nitrogen-reducing derived alleles of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) should segregate at higher frequencies than nitrogen-increasing alleles. This pattern should be stronger in populations with a larger effective population size ( N e ) if natural selection is more efficient in large than in small populations. We analyzed variation in the nitrogen content in the transcriptome of 80 natural accessions of A. thaliana . In contrast to our expectations, derived alleles increase the nitrogen content in all accessions, and there is a positive correlation between nitrogen difference and derived allele frequency, which is strongest with nonsynonymous SNPs (nsSNPs). Also, there is a positive correlation between nitrogen difference and N e that was mainly caused by nsSNPs. These observations led us to reject the hypothesis that the transcriptome of A. thaliana is currently under selection to reduce nitrogen content. Instead, we show that a change in nitrogen content is a side effect of interacting evolutionary factors that influence base composition and include mutational bias, purifying selection of functionally deleterious alleles, and GC-biased gene conversion. We provide strong evidence that GC-biased gene conversion may play an important role for base composition in the highly selfing plant A. thaliana .
    Print ISSN: 0737-4038
    Electronic ISSN: 1537-1719
    Topics: Biology
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2011-10-05
    Description: Author(s): S. Schmid, K. D. Jensen, K. H. Nielsen, and A. Boisen [Phys. Rev. B 84, 165307] Published Tue Oct 04, 2011
    Keywords: Semiconductors II: surfaces, interfaces, microstructures, and related topics
    Print ISSN: 1098-0121
    Electronic ISSN: 1095-3795
    Topics: Physics
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