Population structure of Primula fasciculata

Paper by Ren et al on “Population Genetic Structure and Demographic History of Primula fasciculata in Southwest China” published in Frontiers in Plant Sciences.

Abstract: Understanding the factors that drive the genetic structure of a species and its responses to past climatic changes is an important first step in modern population management. The response to the last glacial maximum (LGM) has been well studied, however, the effect of previous glaciation periods on plant demographic history is still not well studied. Here we investigated the population structure and demographic history of Primula fasciculata that widely occurs in the Hengduan Mountains and Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. We obtained genomic data for 234 samples of the species using restriction site-associated DNA (RAD) sequencing and combined approximate Bayesian computation (ABC) and species distribution modeling (SDM) to evaluate the effects of multiple glaciation periods by testing several population divergence models and demographic scenarios. The analyses of population structure showed that P. fasciculata displays a striking population structure with six groups that could be identified genetically. Our ABC modeling suggested that the current groups diverged from ancestral populations located in the eastern Hengduan Mountains after the largest glaciation occurred in the region (~ 0.8–0.5 million years ago), which is consistent with the result of SDMs. Each current group has survived in different glacial refugia during the LGM and experienced expansions and/or bottlenecks since their divergence during or across the following Quaternary glacial cycles. Our study demonstrates the usefulness of population genomics for evaluating the effects of past climatic changes in alpine plant species with shallow population structure.

Paper on coevolution database

Paper by Meyer et al on “?CoevDB: a database of intramolecular coevolution among protein-coding genes of the bony vertebrates” in Nucleic Acid Research.

Abstract: The study of molecular coevolution, due to its potential to identify gene regions under functional or structural constraints, has recently been subject to numerous scientific inquiries. Particular efforts have been conducted to develop methods predicting the presence of coevolution in molecular sequences. Among these methods, a few aim to model the underlying evolutionary process of coevolution, which enable to differentiate the shared history of genes to coevolution and thus improve their accuracy. However, the usage of such methods remains sparse due to their expensive computational cost and the lack of resources alleviating this issue. Here we present CoevDB (http://phylodb.unil.ch/CoevDB), a database containing the result of a large-scale analysis of intramolecular coevolution of 8201 protein-coding genes of bony vertebrates. The web interface of CoevDB gives access to the results to 800 millions of statistical tests corresponding to all the pairs of sites analyzed. Several type of queries enable users to explore the database by either targeting specific genes or by discovering genes having promising estimations of coevolution.