The ecological pressures that bacteria face can be hard to determine, however selection leaves clear signatures within the genome. In our recent preprint, spearheaded by Dr. Brian Arnold, we look at patterns of linkage to nominate the selective pressures faced by the recombining bacterial pathogen Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Clear signatures emerge, suggestive of a large role of adaptive interspecies admixture and/or balancing selection (perhaps due to the existence of distinct ecological niches or colonization sites) in shaping population level diversity in this species. Congratulations to all involved!
See our preprint here: https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/634147v1
Our study, lead by Dr. Genevieve M. Kozak, was recently published as a preprint on bioRxiv. Congratulations to all involved! This work highlights that the genetic basis of complex traits like seasonal timing and resultant ecological speciation, can be controlled by a relatively simple genetic basis. Here, we find that two genes involved in the circadian clock pathway underlie this trait in the European Corn Borer moth, a major agricultural pest of corn in North America and Europe. Ultimately, describing the genetic basis of seasonality may help us better predict the extinction or survival outcomes due to climate change for particular species, and also gain a better understanding of range expansions in insect systems.
See our preprint here: https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/633362v1