The February Issue of Evolutionary Applications has been published online. This issue features an image of a lone grizzly bear in Alberta, Canada, which relates to a study by Shafer and colleagues linking the genotype, ecotype, and phenotype in grizzly bears (Ursus arctos). Toward this end, this issue also launches a new series of research highlights that will offer brief synopses of new work with direct relevance to readers of Evolutionary Applications from across other journals with the aim of exploring the breadth of potential applications of evolutionary theory from across fields and disciplines. The Editor-in-Chief Louis Bernatchez has highlighted the following articles as of particular interest:
Genomic selection for recovery of original genetic background from hybrids of endangered and common breeds by Carmen Amador, Ben J. Hayes and Hans D. Daetwyler
Summary: The authors present two genomic selection strategies, employing genome-wide DNA markers, to recover the genomic content of the original endangered population from admixtures. They also compare the efficiency of both strategies using empirical 50K SNP array data from sheep breeds.
Anthropogenic selection enhances cancer evolution in Tasmanian devil tumours by Beata Ujvari, Anne-Maree Pearse, Kate Swift, Pamela Hodson, Bobby Hua, Stephen Pyecroft, Robyn Taylor, Rodrigo Hamede, Menna Jones, Katherine Belov and Thomas Madsen
Summary: The Tasmanian Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD) provides a unique opportunity to study cancer evolution in vivo. Since it was first observed in 1996, this transmissible cancer has caused local population declines by 90%. In this study the authors focus on the evolutionary response of DFTD to a disease suppression trial. The results reveal that DFTD has the capacity to rapidly respond to novel human-induced selective regimes and that disease eradication may result in novel tumour adaptations.
Linking genotype, ecotype, and phenotype in an intensively managed large carnivore by Aaron B. A. Shafer, Scott E. Nielsen, Joseph M. Northrup and Gordon B. Stenhouse
Summary: In this study, integrated GPS habitat use data and genetic profiling were used to determine the influence of habitat and genetics on fitness proxies (mass, length, and body condition) in a threatened population of grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) in Alberta, Canada. The authors found that homozygosity had a positive effect on fitness these proxies, which may be indicative of outbreeding depression unintentionally caused by massive translocations of bears over large geographic distances.
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