Vera B Kaiser

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Using standard phylogenetic methods, it can be hard to resolve the order in which speciation events took place when new lineages evolved in the distant past and within a short time frame. As an example, phylogenies of galliform birds (including well-known species such as chicken, turkey, and quail) usually show low bootstrap support values at short internal(More)
Reduced rates of genetic recombination are often associated with reduced genetic variability and levels of adaptation. Several different evolutionary processes, collectively known as Hill-Robertson (HR) effects, have been proposed as causes of these correlates of recombination. Here, we use DNA sequence polymorphism and divergence data from the noncrossing(More)
Sex chromosomes originate from autosomes. The accumulation of sexually antagonistic mutations on protosex chromosomes selects for a loss of recombination and sets in motion the evolutionary processes generating heteromorphic sex chromosomes. Recombination suppression and differentiation are generally viewed as the default path of sex chromosome evolution,(More)
Analyzing regions of the Drosophila genome that have low levels of genetic recombination helps us understand the prevalence of sexual reproduction. Here, we show that genetic variability in these regions can be explained by interference among strongly deleterious mutations and that selection becomes progressively less effective in influencing the behaviour(More)
The plant Silene latifolia has separate sexes and sex chromosomes, and is of interest for studying the early stages of sex chromosome evolution, especially the evolution of non-recombining regions on the Y chromosome. Hitch-hiking processes associated with ongoing genetic degeneration of the non-recombining Y chromosome are predicted to reduce Y-linked(More)
Transcription activator–like (TAL) effector proteins derived from Xanthomonas species have emerged as versatile scaffolds for engineering DNA-binding proteins of user-defined specificity and functionality. Here we describe a rapid, simple, ligation-independent cloning (LIC) technique for synthesis of TAL effector genes. Our approach is based on a library of(More)
Sex chromosomes have many unusual features relative to autosomes. Y (or W) chromosomes lack genetic recombination, are male- (female-) limited, and show an abundance of genetically inert heterochromatic DNA but contain few functional genes. X (or Z) chromosomes also show sex-biased transmission (i.e., X chromosomes show female-biased and Z-chromosomes show(More)
Sex chromosomes originated from autosomes but have evolved a highly specialized chromatin structure. Drosophila Y chromosomes are composed entirely of silent heterochromatin, while male X chromosomes have highly accessible chromatin and are hypertranscribed as a result of dosage compensation. Here, we dissect the molecular mechanisms and functional(More)
The sex chromosomes of the plant species Silene latifolia (white campion) are very young (only 5-10 My old), and all 11 X-linked genes so far described have Y-linked homologues. Theory predicts that X chromosomes should accumulate a nonrandom set of genes. However, little is known about the importance of gene movements between the X and the autosomes in(More)
Since its formation about 1.75 million years ago, the Drosophila miranda neo-Y chromosome has undergone a rapid process of degeneration, having lost approximately half of the genes that it originally contained. Using estimates of mutation rates and selection coefficients for loss-of-function mutations, we show that the high rate of accumulation of these(More)