Plant and animal breeders have long used hybridization to transfer useful traits between species. But does the same process happen without human aid? In a new study in the June issue of American Naturalist, Kenneth D. Whitney (Indiana University and Rice University), Rebecca A. Randell (Indiana University), and Loren H. Rieseberg (Indiana University), explore how spontaneous hybridization – known as adaptive trait introgression – has a vital impact on adaptation and evolutionary diversification.
"The role of hybridization in adaptive evolution is contentious. While many cases of adaptive trait introgression have been proposed, the relevant traits have rarely been identified, resulting in a lack of clear examples of this process," write the authors.
The researchers examined a northern sunflower species that had captured genes from a southern sunflower species, resulting in a stabilized hybrid, Helianthus annuus texanus, able to expand southward into central and southern Texas. They then recreated the original hybridization event by manually crossing two parent species. Not only were these hybrids resistant to the insects that attack sunflowers, they also produced more seeds than the uncrossed plants.
Suzanne Wu | EurekAlert!
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An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
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Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
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Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
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Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...
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