Jennifer A. Brisson

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Phylogenetic relationships among frogs of the genus Rana from western North America are investigated using 2013 aligned bases of mitochondrial DNA sequence from the genes encoding ND1 (subunit one of NADH dehydrogenase), tRNA(Ile), tRNA(Gln), tRNA(Met), ND2, tRNA(Trp), tRNA(Ala), tRNA(Asn), tRNA(Cys), tRNA(Tyr), and COI (subunit I of cytochrome c oxidase),(More)
Many species of insects display dispersing and nondispersing morphs. Among these, aphids are one of the best examples of taxa that have evolved specialized morphs for dispersal versus reproduction. The dispersing morphs typically possess a full set of wings as well as a sensory and reproductive physiology that is adapted to flight and reproducing in a new(More)
Methylation of cytosine is one of the main epigenetic mechanisms involved in controlling gene expression. Here we show that the pea aphid (Acyrthosiphon pisum) genome possesses homologues to all the DNA methyltransferases found in vertebrates, and that 0.69% (+/-0.25%) of all cytosines are methylated. Identified methylation sites are predominantly(More)
DNA methylation is a fundamental epigenetic mark known to have wide-ranging effects on gene regulation in a variety of animal taxa. Comparative genomic analyses can help elucidate the function of DNA methylation by identifying conserved features of methylated genes and other genomic regions. In this study, we used computational approaches to distinguish(More)
Humans affect biodiversity at the genetic, species, community, and ecosystem levels. This impact on genetic diversity is critical, because genetic diversity is the raw material of evolutionary change, including adaptation and speciation. Two forces affecting genetic variation are genetic drift (which decreases genetic variation within but increases genetic(More)
Aphids exhibit unique attributes, such as polyphenisms and specialized cells to house endosymbionts, that make them an interesting system for studies at the interface of ecology, evolution and development. Here we present a comprehensive characterization of the developmental genes in the pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum, and compare our results to other(More)
Phenotypic variability is the engine that drives future diversification with the expectation that polymorphic ancestors give rise to descendants harboring a subset of the ancestral variation. Here we examine evolutionary transitions from polymorphism to monomorphism in a visually striking New World radiation of fruit flies, the Drosophila cardini group.(More)
Drosophila polymorpha is a widespread species that exhibits abdominal pigmentation variation throughout its range. To gain insight into this variation we combined phenotypic and genotypic data to test a series of nested hypotheses. First, we tested the null hypothesis that geographic variation in pigmentation is due to neutral factors. We used nested clade(More)
Both genetic and environmental factors underlie phenotypic variation. While research at the interface of evolutionary and developmental biology has made excellent advances in understanding the contribution of genes to morphology, less well understood is the manner in which environmental cues are incorporated during development to influence the phenotype.(More)
Sex combs reduced (Scr), a Hox gene located in the Antennapedia complex of Drosophila melanogaster, is required for the proper development of the labial and first thoracic segments. The Tribolium castaneum genetically defined locus Cephalothorax (Cx) is a candidate Scr ortholog based on the location of Cx in the beetle Homeotic complex and mutant effects on(More)