Birds, butterflies, and snakes have a genetic war between the sexes that influences the way they evolve, according to a new theory published in the April 7 issue of the journal Science.
"Genetic conflict is of great interest in evolutionary biology," explained first author Paige M. Miller. Miller is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology (EEMB) at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
The recent publication of the chicken genome has sparked new interest in ZW species, explained William R. Rice, co-author and professor in the Department of EEMB at UC Santa Barbara.
Chickens serve as model organisms in many areas of research. Unlike mammals, the females are heterozygous; they have two different sex chromosomes, Z and W. In the human female, the sex chromosomes are XX; they are homozygous. Butterflies, birds and snakes are ZW species.
The authors explain that maternal-effect genes are those that are expressed in the mother, are packaged in the egg, and influence the development of offspring.
"We think that the maternal-effect genes are a new arena for conflict in ZW species," said Rice. "The mathematical models support this conclusion. ’Son killers’ are predicted to accumulate on the W chromosome and ’daughter killers’ to accumulate on the Z."
The scientists explain that the sexually antagonistic maternal-effect genes in ZW species lead to an evolutionary arms race.
They state that maternal-effect conflict is increased in ZW species (compared with XY species) because the W, unlike the Y in humans, is expressed in both sexes through the maternal transmission to the egg.
A precedent for another type of sexual conflict is seen in the genetic battle that occurs in the placenta of most mammals and in the endosperm of plants.
Gail Gallessich | EurekAlert!
Cloud Formation: How Feldspar Acts as Ice Nucleus
09.12.2016 | Karlsruher Institut für Technologie
Closing the carbon loop
08.12.2016 | University of Pittsburgh
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
08.12.2016 | Life Sciences
08.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy
08.12.2016 | Materials Sciences