Ecology & Environment

Sequencing Puts Carnivore Chromosomes in Context

Studies comparing animal genomes generally focus on the DNA sequence itself. A new study by researchers at the University of California, Davis shows how the three-dimensional scaffolding of chromosomes is related across several species of carnivores, offering a new approach of “comparative scaffotyping” that could be used to identify related genes across species and place them in context. The work, published the week of Feb.

Earth BioGenome Project Begins Genome Sequencing in Earnest

A global effort to map the genomes of all plants, animals, fungi and other eukaryotic life on Earth is entering a new phase as it moves from pilot projects to full-scale production sequencing. This new phase of The Earth BioGenome Project, or EBP, is marked with a collection of papers published this week (Jan. 17) in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, describing the project’s goals, achievements to date and next steps.  

UC Davis Ecologist Awarded Packard Fellowship

University of California, Davis, evolutionary biologist Rachael Bay has been awarded a 2021 Packard Fellowship in Science and Engineering by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. The fellowship offers Bay, assistant professor in the Department of Evolution and Ecology, College of Biological Sciences, an opportunity to advance her work on the role of human action on evolutionary trajectories of species.

Migratory Birds Track Climate Across the Year

As climate change takes hold across the Americas, some areas will get wetter, and others will get hotter and drier. A new study of the yellow warbler, a widespread migratory songbird, shows that individuals have the same climatic preferences across their migratory range. The work is published Feb. 17 in Ecology Letters.

What is the Connection Between Genotype and Phenotype? Study Describes New Statistical Method to Identify Active and Inactive Genes from Transcriptomes

In a study appearing in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, UC Davis researchers present a statistical method that—by virtue of providing a mathematical description of the relevant biological and technical processes associated with transcriptomic data—allows researchers to identify the expression state of genes.

Male Size Advantage Drives Evolution of Sex Change in Reef Fish

Some species of fish, notably parrotfish and wrasses living on coral reefs, change their biological sex as they age, beginning life as females and later becoming functionally male. New work from the University of California, Davis, shows that this sequential hermaphroditism evolves when bigger males gain an advantage in reproductive success.

Bumblebees Carry Heavy Loads in Economy Mode

Bumblebees are the big lifters of the insect world, able to fly back to the hive with almost their own body weight in nectar on board. A study published Feb. 5 in Science Advances shows how they do it — and that bees can show more flexibility in behavior than you might expect from a bumbling insect.