Evolutionary Biology

Evolutionary Biology

eLife publishes research spanning behavior, morphology, evolution of developmental processes, palaeontology, experimental evolution and evolutionary theory. Learn more about what we publish and sign up for the latest research.
Illustration by Davide Bonazzi

Latest articles

    1. Evolutionary Biology
    2. Neuroscience

    Quantitative uniqueness of human brain evolution revealed through phylogenetic comparative analysis

    Ian F Miller et al.
    The exceptionally large size of the human brain is the result of accelerating evolution towards larger brains in hominins, but is not the product of neocortical expansion.
    1. Evolutionary Biology
    2. Microbiology and Infectious Disease

    The presence and absence of periplasmic rings in bacterial flagellar motors correlates with stator type

    Mohammed Kaplan et al.
    A correlation between the periplasmic embellishment of the flagellar motor and its stator system type is described, motors with dual H+-dependent stator systems have one periplasmic ring formed by MotY.
    1. Ecology
    2. Evolutionary Biology

    Quorums enable optimal pooling of independent judgements in biological systems

    James AR Marshall et al.
    Consideration of signal detection theory shows how decision ecology relates to optimal collective decisions, helping explain the prevalence of quorum-sensing in even the simplest collective systems, such as bacterial communities.
    1. Biochemistry and Chemical Biology
    2. Evolutionary Biology

    Cryptic genetic variation shapes the adaptive evolutionary potential of enzymes

    Florian Baier et al.
    Genetic change among enzyme orthologous with similar phenotypic properties can cause substantial differences in evolutionary response to a new enzyme function in terms of their molecular and fitness outcomes.
    1. Ecology
    2. Evolutionary Biology

    Emergence of trait variability through the lens of nitrogen assimilation in Prochlorococcus

    Paul M Berube et al.
    In the context of an organism's ecology, physiology, and macroevolutionary history, inheritance and gene loss can yield emergent patterns of trait variability that give the appearance of gene acquisition.
    1. Evolutionary Biology

    Expansion of the fatty acyl reductase gene family shaped pheromone communication in Hymenoptera

    Michal Tupec et al.
    A fatty acyl reductase gene family expansion in the Hymenoptera crown group led to recruitment of novel pheromone-biosynthetic enzymes and is linked to evolution of pheromone marking behavior.
    1. Ecology
    2. Evolutionary Biology

    Molecular basis of wax-based color change and UV reflection in dragonflies

    Ryo Futahashi et al.
    UV-reflective dragonfly wax is shown to consist of very long-chain methyl ketones and aldehydes, and a synthetic dragonfly wax spontaneously forms light-scattering fine structures with strong UV reflection.
    1. Evolutionary Biology
    2. Structural Biology and Molecular Biophysics

    Evolutionary pathways of repeat protein topology in bacterial outer membrane proteins

    Meghan Whitney Franklin et al.
    There is a strand-based evolutionary mechanism for the diversification of outer membrane proteins, which has implications for how repeat proteins are created and for how outer membrane proteins fold.
    1. Evolutionary Biology
    2. Structural Biology and Molecular Biophysics

    Protein Evolution: Building bigger beta-barrels

    Vikas Nanda
    The range of barrel-shaped proteins found in the outer membrane of certain bacteria evolved through multiple pathways.
    Insight
    Available as:
    • HTML
    • PDF
    1. Evolutionary Biology
    2. Genetics and Genomics

    Immune genes are hotspots of shared positive selection across birds and mammals

    Allison J Shultz, Timothy B Sackton
    Pathogens, particularly viruses, target the same genes over deep evolutionary time, resulting in shared signatures of positive selection and transcriptional responses at the same genes.

Senior editors

  1. Ian Baldwin
    Ian Baldwin
    Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, Germany
  2. Diethard Tautz
    Max-Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Germany
  3. Patricia Wittkopp
    University of Michigan, United States
  4. See more editors