Trends in Genetics
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von Baer's law for the ages: lost and found principles of developmental evolution.
I argue that, 185 years after von Baer's law was first formulated, its main concepts after proper refurbishing remain surprisingly relevant in revealing the fundamentals of the evolution-development connection, and suggest that their explanation should become the focus of renewed research. Copyrigh...
Many ways to die, one way to arrive: how selection acts through pregnancy.
We examine how metabolic imbalances, infectious diseases, oxygen deficiency, and nutrient levels in pregnancy can exert selective pressures on women and their unborn offspring. Numerous candidate genes under selection are being revealed by next-generation sequencing, providing the opportunity to stu...
Gene dosage effects: nonlinearities, genetic interactions, and dosage compensation.
We focus on several mechanisms that mediate gene dosage effects and analyze biochemical interactions among multiple gene products that are sources of nonlinear relations connecting genotypes and phenotypes. We also explore potential mechanisms that compensate for gene dosage effects. Understanding t...
A population genetics view of animal domestication.
We review recent theoretical advances and present a perspective that underscores the crucial role that population admixture has played in influencing the genomes of domestic animals over the past 10000 years. We then discuss novel approaches to generating and analysing genetic data, emphasising the...
The heterogeneous evolution of multidrug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
We review recent findings on how bacterial factors, such as persistence, hypermutation, the complex interrelation between drug resistance and fitness, compensatory evolution, and epistasis affect the evolution of multidrug resistance in M. tuberculosis. Improved knowledge of these factors will help...
Causes and consequences of ribonucleotide incorporation into nuclear DNA.
Intuitively one would not expect that ribonucleotides are incorporated into nuclear DNA beyond their role in priming Okazaki fragments, nor that such incorporation would be functional. However, several recent studies have shown that not only are ribonucleotides present in the nuclear DNA, but that t...
The genetic history of Europeans.
The evolutionary history of modern humans is characterized by numerous migrations driven by environmental change, population pressures, and cultural innovations. In Europe, the events most widely considered to have had a major impact on patterns of genetic diversity are the initial c...
The impact of endosymbionts on the evolution of host sex-determination mechanisms.
We discuss a fundamental biological process of eukaryotes influenced by bacterial endosymbionts: the mechanisms of sex determination. Because they are maternally inherited, several endosymbionts of arthropods, known as reproductive parasites, have developed strategies to convert non-transmitting mal...
Tandem repeat polymorphisms: modulators of disease susceptibility and candidates for 'missing heritability'.
A problem of 'missing heritability' has been identified following recent genome-wide association (GWA) studies of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with complex diseases. Current GWA studies fail to detect key sources of genetic variation, particularly tandem-repeat polymorphisms (TR...
Instability and chromatin structure of expanded trinucleotide repeats.
We propose that the unusual chromatin structure of expanded repeats directly impacts their instability. We discuss several potential models for how this might occur, including a role for DNA repair-dependent epigenetic reprogramming in increasing repeat instability, and the capacity of epigenetic ma...