eLife publishes research spanning adaptation, morphology, bioinformatics and comparative genomics. Decisions are made by journal editors who are active researchers in the fields of genomics and/or evolutionary biology.
The foundations of genomic complexity in multicellular animals have deep roots in their unicellular prehistory, both in terms of innovations in gene content, as well as the evolutionary dynamics of genome architecture.
Allele-specific expression due to genetic differences, X-chromosome inactivation or genomic imprinting, varies dynamically throughout development, and may be explained by allele-specific differences in stability or the actions of tissue-specific enhancers.
Interspecies comparison of transcription factor occupancy during embryogenesis reveals potential co-operative relationships between factors and uncovers the inherent plasticity of developmental enhancers to overcome divergence in transcription factor occupancy.
Despite billions of years of divergence, a majority of prokaryotic genes can functionally replace their essential eukaryotic counterparts, revealing broad preservation of ancestral functions and identifying heme biosynthesis as a near-universally swappable pathway.