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Genetics Society of America's GENETICS journal highlights for May 2013

. Yang, F. Jay, S. K. Kim, E. Y. Durand, L. S. Stevison, C. Gignoux, A. Woerner, M. F. Hammer, and M. Slatkin
Neanderthals occupied most of Europe and parts of Western Asia from 30-300 thousand years ago, and coexisted with modern humans during part of that time. These authors found that modern day East Asians contain on average more Neanderthal DNA than do modern day Europeans. They also show that the East African Maasai contain some Neanderthal ancestry, probably due to recent back-migration of modern humans into Africa.

Genetics of Complex Traits
Genetic dissection of a major anthocyanin QTL contributing to pollinator-mediated reproductive isolation between sister species of Mimulus, pp. 255-263
Y.-W. Yuan, J. M. Sagawa, R. C. Young, B. J. Christensen, and H. D. Bradshaw Jr.
What underlies prezygotic barriers that lead to reproductive isolation, and ultimately, to speciation? The bumblebee-pollinated Mimulus lewisii and hummingbird-pollinated M. cardinalis are a classic example of pollinator-mediated prezygotic reproductive isolation. These investigators identified an anthocyanin pigment regulatory gene causing a flower color difference that contributes to pollinator preference for each species. This gene is likely to play a role in flower color variation in many other plants.

Cellular Genetics
The nuclear Argonaute NRDE-3 contributes to transitive RNAi in Caenorhabditis elegans, pp. 117-131
J. J. Zhuang, S. A. Banse, and C. P. Hunter
RNA interference (RNAi) was initially perceived as a cytoplasmic gene silencing process, but genes important for RNAi in C. elegans were found to operate in the nucleus. This article describes unexpected features of one such gene underlying a nuclear RNAi defective (nrde) mutant, which emphasizes the importance of nuclear events during RNAi silencing, especially for transitive RNAia mechanism central to RNAi amplification.


Contact: Phyllis Edelman
Genetics Society of America

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