Evolution Through Genetic Exchange

Paperback | October 11, 2007

byMichael L. Arnold

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Even before the publication of Darwin's Origin of Species, the perception of evolutionary change has been a tree-like pattern of diversification - with divergent branches spreading further and further from the trunk. In the only illustration of Darwin's treatise, branches large and small neverreconnect. However, it is now evident that this view does not adequately encompass the richness of evolutionary pattern and process. Instead, the evolution of species from microbes to mammals builds like a web that crosses and re-crosses through genetic exchange, even as it grows outward from apoint of origin. Some of the avenues for genetic exchange, for example introgression through sexual recombination versus lateral gene transfer mediated by transposable elements, are based on definably different molecular mechanisms. However, even such widely different genetic processes may result insimilar effects on adaptations (either new or transferred), genome evolution, population genetics, and the evolutionary/ecological trajectory of organisms. For example, the evolution of novel adaptations (resulting from lateral gene transfer) leading to the flea-borne, deadly, causative agent ofplague from a rarely-fatal, orally-transmitted, bacterial species is quite similar to the adaptations accrued from natural hybridization between annual sunflower species resulting in the formation of several new species. Thus, more and more data indicate that evolution has resulted in lineagesconsisting of mosaics of genes derived from different ancestors. It is therefore becoming increasingly clear that the tree is an inadequate metaphor of evolutionary change. In this book, Arnold promotes the 'web-of-life' metaphor as a more appropriate representation of evolutionary change in alllifeforms.

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Even before the publication of Darwin's Origin of Species, the perception of evolutionary change has been a tree-like pattern of diversification - with divergent branches spreading further and further from the trunk. In the only illustration of Darwin's treatise, branches large and small neverreconnect. However, it is now evident that ...

Michael Arnold is an evolutionary biologist with over 90 scientific articles to his credit. He is best known for the work produced by his group on the evolutionary role of natural hybridization - particularly relating to the plant group known as the Louisiana Irises. However, he has collaborated on evolutionary biology research projec...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 9.69 × 7.44 × 0.55 inPublished:October 11, 2007Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199229031

ISBN - 13:9780199229031

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Table of Contents

Preface1. History of Investigations2. The Role of Species Concepts3. Testing the Hypothesis4. Barriers to Gene Flow5. Hybrid Fitness6. Gene Duplication7. Origin of New Evolutionary Lineages8. Implications For Endangered Taxa9. Humans and Associated Lineages10. Emergent PropertiesGlossaryReferenceIndex