Mike Hague and Dr. Butch Brodie Have a New Publication in the Journal "Evolution"

June 6, 2017

Mike Hague and Dr. Butch Brodie have had a paper published in the journal Evolution titled “Convergent adaptation to dangerous prey proceeds through the same first-step mutation in the garter snake Thamnophis sirtalis.” They demonstrated that two separate lineages of garter snakes independently evolved resistance to toxic newts through the same mutations to the NaV1.4 sodium channel protein. This convergence in the mutational route to toxin resistance indicates that protein evolution may be more repetitive than previously thought, particularly in closely related organisms. The two lineages of T. sirtalis probably share biases in the evolutionary process, whereby only a limited set of mutations can confer toxin resistance to NaV1.4 without disrupting the protein’s important function as a voltage-gated sodium channel.

The full paper can be found here: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/evo.13244/full