Mechanisms of adaptive evolution in wild animals and plants

Adaptation can increase the efficiency in obtaining or using basic resources such as air, light, water and food, allow to withstand certain difficult physical conditions, such as low or high temperatures

by Lorenzo Ciotti
SHARE
Mechanisms of adaptive evolution in wild animals and plants

Adaptation can increase the efficiency in obtaining or using basic resources such as air, light, water and food, allow to withstand certain difficult physical conditions, such as low or high temperatures, and the absence of light or increase the ability to defend oneself from a predator.

Adaptation refers to the modifications of an anatomical structure, a physiological process or a behavioral trait of an organism that has evolved over a certain period of time as an effect of natural selection, in such a way as to increase the reproductive success of that organism.

In biology it refers to the ability of living organisms to change their metabolic, physiological and behavioral processes, allowing them to adapt to the conditions of the environment in which they live. The study Molecular mechanisms of adaptive evolution in wild animals and plants, published in the Science China.

Life sciences, told: "Wild animals and plants have developed a variety of adaptive traits driven by adaptive evolution, an important strategy for species survival and persistence. Uncovering the molecular mechanisms of adaptive evolution is the key to understanding species diversification, phenotypic convergence, and inter-species interaction.

As the genome sequences of more and more non-model organisms are becoming available, the focus of studies on molecular mechanisms of adaptive evolution has shifted from the candidate gene method to genetic mapping based on genome-wide scanning.In this study, we reviewed the latest research advances in wild animals and plants, focusing on adaptive traits, convergent evolution, and coevolution.

Firstly, we focused on the adaptive evolution of morphological, behavioral, and physiological traits.Secondly, we reviewed the phenotypic convergences of life history traits and responding to environmental pressures, and the underlying molecular convergence mechanisms.

Thirdly, we summarized the advances of coevolution, including the four main types: mutualism, parasitism, predation and competition. Overall, these latest advances greatly increase our understanding of the underlying molecular mechanisms for diverse adaptive traits and species interaction, demonstrating that the development of evolutionary biology has been greatly accelerated by multi-omics technologies.

Finally, we highlighted the emerging trends and future prospects around the above three aspects of adaptive evolution."