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Elucidating genetic mechanisms of adaptation is a goal of central importance in evolutionary biology, yet few empirical studies have succeeded in documenting causal links between molecular variation and organismal fitness in natural populations. Here we report a population genetic analysis of a two-locus alpha-globin polymorphism that underlies(More)
Mitochondrial processes influence a broad spectrum of physiological and developmental events in higher eukaryotes, and their aberrant function can lead to several familiar disease phenotypes in mammals. In plants, mitochondrial genes directly influence pollen development and the occurrence of male sterility in natural plant populations. Likewise, in animal(More)
The Arabidopsis homolog of trithorax, ATX1, regulates numerous functions in Arabidopsis beyond the homeotic genes. Here, we identified genome-wide targets of ATX1 and showed that ATX1 is a receptor for a lipid messenger, phosphatidylinositol 5-phosphate, PI5P. PI5P negatively affects ATX1 activity, suggesting a regulatory pathway connecting lipid-signaling(More)
The functional divergence of duplicated genes is thought to play an important role in the evolution of new developmental and physiological pathways, but the role of positive selection in driving this process remains controversial. The objective of this study was to test whether amino acid differences among triplicated alpha-globin paralogs of the Norway rat(More)
Adaptive modifications of heteromeric proteins may involve genetically based changes in single subunit polypeptides or parallel changes in multiple genes that encode distinct, interacting subunits. Here we investigate these possibilities by conducting a combined evolutionary and functional analysis of duplicated globin genes in natural populations of deer(More)
In high-altitude vertebrates, adaptive changes in blood-O(2) affinity may be mediated by modifications of hemoglobin (Hb) structure that affect intrinsic O(2) affinity and/or responsiveness to allosteric effectors that modulate Hb-O(2) affinity. This mode of genotypic specialization is considered typical of mammalian species that are high-altitude natives.(More)
Epistatic interactions between mutant sites in the same protein can exert a strong influence on pathways of molecular evolution. We performed protein engineering experiments that revealed pervasive epistasis among segregating amino acid variants that contribute to adaptive functional variation in deer mouse hemoglobin (Hb). Amino acid mutations increased or(More)
Phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PEPC) is a "multifaceted," allosteric enzyme involved in C4 acid metabolism in green plants/microalgae and prokaryotes. Before the elucidation of the three-dimensional structures of maize C4 leaf and Escherichia coli PEPC, our truncation analysis of the sorghum C4 homologue revealed important roles for the enzyme's(More)
BACKGROUND Elevated blood O(2) affinity enhances survival at low O(2) pressures, and is perhaps the best known and most broadly accepted evolutionary adjustment of terrestrial vertebrates to environmental hypoxia. This phenotype arises by increasing the intrinsic O(2) affinity of the hemoglobin (Hb) molecule, by decreasing the intracellular concentration of(More)
Evidence from a number of vertebrate taxa suggests that modifications of hemoglobin (Hb) function may often play a key role in mediating an adaptive response to high altitude hypoxia. The respiratory functions of Hb are a product of the protein's intrinsic O(2)-binding affinity and its interactions with allosteric effectors such as protons, chloride ions,(More)