Synonymous variation was long thought to be neutral (invisible to selection), but in the 50 years since we first began understanding the genetic code, this view has undergone a dramatic shift. A new book on the impact of synonymous mutations (Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms: Human variation and a coming revolution in biology and medicine) includes our... Continue Reading →
The results of our field study of the impact of different Methylobacterium strains on their host rice landraces (traditionally cultivated rice varieties from Manipur) are out! We find that strains show host-specific effects (beneficial or deleterious). Though the mechanisms remain unclear still, it is clear that there is enormous potential to use beneficial host-bacterial interactions for... Continue Reading →
Bacteria have remarkably diverse base composition in their genomes, with many well studied cases of rapid GC reduction associated with obligate symbiosis and genome streamlining in poor environments. But we don't really understand how GC content generally changes in evolutionary time. To find out, Saurabh tested different evolutionary models of change in GC content in... Continue Reading →
In the second installment of our series of reviews on the lab's favourite papers, Shubha Govindarajan writes about a classic paper that gave a new perspective on individual variation and tradeoffs. Read on! Fig 1 from van Noordwijk & de Jong 1986, American Naturalist Acquisition and Allocation of Resources: Their Influence on Variation in Life... Continue Reading →
Our paper reporting the impact of selection bias in mutation accumulation (MA) experiments is now published! A few years ago, Mrudula had tested the effect of single mutations accumulated in MA experiments (see Sane et al 2018, Evolution), finding that a surprisingly large fraction were beneficial. In the new paper, mathematician Lindi Wahl uses simulations... Continue Reading →
The Indian National Young Academy of Science (INYAS) conducted a survey of ~800 young scientists establishing an independent research career in India. The report and associated recommendations will hopefully guide positive change. Read the full report here.
Arun's paper reporting the detailed costs and benefits of evolved immune priming is now published! In an exciting earlier study, we had found that flour beetles exposed to the pathogen Bacillus thuringiensis adapted rapidly via the evolution of either immune priming or pathogen resistance. The new work – led by Arun (now at Edinburgh University)... Continue Reading →