Bri writes:

Hi Dr. Elde. Thanks so much for doing TWiEVO. As a biochemistry postdoc I find it really fascinating. I have been meaning to write for a while because one thing I think about a lot when listening is whether the DN/DS ratio is missing important evolutionary changes that affect gene expression, etc. And how do evolutionary biologists investigate that? I got up the courage to write when I came across this article and I was wondering if you could maybe discuss it in an upcoming episode? Thanks for considering it and thanks for the informative podcasts. 

Bri Bibel

Postdoctoral Scholar

Danica Fujimori Lab


Callum writes:

Dear Nels and Vincent,

Big fan of the show! I’m a PhD student who is studying (and has typically considered) evolution in animals, and so find TWIEvo’s consideration in microbes valuable for diversifying how I think about the evolutionary process.

I just wanted to suggest some content for the show – a preprint lead by Ben Moran coming out of Molly Schumer’s group at Stanford, to continue on your interest in speciation and reproductive incompatibility:

A lethal genetic incompatibility between naturally hybridizing species in mitochondrial complex I

Moran et al. bioRxiv

This preprint tells an incredible story – it identifies specific genes likely interacting to reduce hybrid fitness in naturally hybridising organisms, making it ecologically/evolutionarily relevant, rather than just randomly hybridising organisms in the lab. They then go on to test what life stage those are acting, what mechanism they may be acting through, and the evolutionary history of those genes. There has been interest in the past decade that mitochondria may commonly play a key role in reproductive isolation for several reasons detailed in the preprint, and in my mind this work is a convincing proof of concept that speciation researchers in all eukaryotic taxa should be paying attention to.

Molly Schumer, the senior author on the paper, is a great presenter and I’m sure would be a fantastic guest for the show if you could manage to get her on!

Keep up the great podcasting!