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Hyperacidic and hypersaline ponds at the geothermal field of Dallol, Danakil Depression, Afar region, Ethiopia. Despite the presence of diverse extremophilic archaea nearby, this polyextreme environment is too severe for life to thrive. Therefore, the presence of liquid water at the surface of a planet does not necessarily imply habitability.
The existence of trade-offs between traits under selection is a fundamental concept in evolutionary biology. Analysis of a densely sampled collection of adaptive mutations in yeast reveals that no single mutation can allow it to overcome detected trade-offs between key traits under selection.
The pools of the geothermal Dallol Dome and surrounding area (in the Danakil Depression of Ethiopia) are an extreme example of complex brines: many lack evidence of life, but others are habitats for archaea and other extremophiles, prompting questions about the biophysical limits for microbial function.
Phylogenetic analysis reveals that the managed bee Megachile rotundata lacks the specific P450 enzymes that confer tolerance to some insecticides in other bee species, rendering M. rotundata substantially more sensitive to these insecticides in acute contact assays.
Using a conceptual framework known as the integrative hypothesis of specialization, the authors suggest that phylogenetic constraints separate species into different layers and shape the modules of a Neotropical network composed of the frugivorous and nectarivorous interactions between bats and plants.
Analysing changes in grasslands and savannahs following agricultural abandonment, the authors show that even after more than 90 years, plant diversity and productivity recovered by only 73% and 53%, respectively.
Evolutionary theory predicts that trade-offs between traits are pervasive, yet they are rarely observed in experimental evolution. Dense sampling and precise measuring of performance of adaptive mutations in evolving yeast shows that while many such mutations result in modest improvements in multiple traits, the totality of the data reveals the existence of trade-offs even during initial adaptation.
An interdisciplinary investigation of the Dallol polyextreme environment reveals two physicochemical barriers to life in the presence of surface liquid water: high chaotropicity–low water activity and hyperacidity–salt combinations.
Genomic analysis of Saccharomyces hybrids shows complex hybridization in strains used in beer fermentation and genetic changes associated with adaptation to cold temperature and the crisp flavour of lager beer.
This study presents a method to identify divergent gene regulation between archaic hominin and anatomically modern human sequences, and shows differences in gene regulatory architecture between the two groups.