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Genetics Society of America's Genetics journal highlights for March 2013
Date:3/5/2013

bility. This article reports a structural and functional analysis of an S haplotype belonging to the one group of A. thaliana S haplotypes that had remained largely uncharacterized. The results reveal the various ways the S locus was inactivated during or after the multiple independent switches to self-fertility that occurred in A. thaliana.

Population and Evolutionary Genetics:
Detecting signatures of selection through haplotype differentiation among hierarchically structured populations, pp. 929-941
Mara Ins Fariello, Simon Boitard, Hugo Naya, Magali SanCristobal, and Bertrand Servin

One strategy to identify genes underlying traits influenced by adaptation is to look for genomic regions with outstanding differences between populations, typically using the FST statistic. But FST accounts neither for relatedness between populations nor for correlation between neighboring loci. These authors present a new approach that incorporates both features and show it provides increased power to detect selection events. Their approach promises a better understanding of the genetic mechanisms underlying adaptation.

Genome Integrity and Transmission:
Mutations to the piRNA pathway component aubergine enhance meiotic drive of segregation distorter in Drosophila melanogaster, pp. 771-784
Selena L. Gell and Robert A. Reenan

How Segregation Distorter (SD) in Drosophila melanogaster violates Mendel's laws by enhancing its own transmission in meiosis remains a mystery, despite 60 years of study. Gell and Reenan discovered a novel role for the Piwi-interacting RNA (piRNA) pathway in this phenomenon. The fact that defects in the piRNA pathway, which is thought to defend against transposon invasion of the germline, enhances segregation distortion of SD suggests that the piRNA pathway also suppresses this unusual selfish genetic element.

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Contact: Phyllis Edelman
pedelman@genetics-gsa.org
301-634-7302
Genetics Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

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