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Concepts of adaptation and natural selection

Required Readings: “The industrial melanism mutation in British peppered moths is a transposable element” 2016, Nature, 534, pp102-105. Hoekstra HE, Krenz JG, Nachman MW. ‘Local adaptation in the rock pocket mouse (Chaetodipus intermedius): natural selection and phylogenetic history of populations’. Heredity. 2005, 94: 217–228. Task- LITERATURE ANALYSIS

1. Write one paragraph that explains how the concepts of adaptation and natural selection apply to the pocket mouse and peppered moth studies. Refer to Evolution 101 for background information about these concepts. (3 marks)

2. For Figures 1 and 3, answer the following questions:The specific hypothesis being tested, or specific question being asked in the experiment represented here is: What data was used to generate this figure? (For example: What was measured? What is being compared? What has been analysed? What observations have been made? What are the controls?) Overall, what we learn from this figure is… The following two issues are of concern to me: (these can be things you don’t understand, criticisms of the method, questions for the authors, or anything else that comes to mind). Explain your concerns – you must give reasons why you have chosen these issues – and then write each of your two issues as a question.

3. Examine your four questions arising from Figures 1 and 3 and use one of them to suggest an avenue of further study that would extend the findings of this paper. State your idea as a hypothesis and explain why you think it is significant.

4. Explain the aim of Figure 2 in non-technical language. What data has been used to generate this figure? What is the main conclusion? What uncertainty is associated with this result? Explain the time gap between the appearance of the mutation, as indicated in Figure 2, and the first sighting of dark coloured moths.

5. Although both the pocket mouse and the peppered moth have adapted to a changing environment with a change of colour, the molecular mechanisms and population histories are quite different. Briefly describe some of the differences.

6. Find the peppered moth paper on Google Scholar. Click on the “cited by” link to see all papers that have cited the peppered moth paper since it was published. By looking at the titles only, do you think there have been any significant developments in the study of the peppered moth since 2016? Explain how you have come to this conclusion. From the list, identify one review paper and one that describes new data. List the full reference for each.

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