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Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

Understanding Biodiversity: The Importance Of Sexual Dimorphism In The Micro- And Macroevolution Of Hummingbirds, Chelsea Marie Berns Jan 2013

Understanding Biodiversity: The Importance Of Sexual Dimorphism In The Micro- And Macroevolution Of Hummingbirds, Chelsea Marie Berns

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

ABSTRACT

For centuries, biologists have asked "why are there so many species, and why do we see such magnificent biological diversity?" This dissertation addresses this question by examining sexual size and shape dimorphism hummingbird bills at both a micro and macroevolutionary scale. Specifically, I quantify sexual size and shape dimorphism of bill morphology of 269 species of hummingbirds and begin with a species-level study to find that community structure might be a driving factor in the evolution of sexual size dimorphism in 2 sister species of hummingbirds, and the presence of sexual shape dimorphism in one of those species.

I ...


Structure, Dynamics, And Evolution Of The Intrinsically Disordered P53 Transactivation Domain, Wade Michael Borcherds Jan 2013

Structure, Dynamics, And Evolution Of The Intrinsically Disordered P53 Transactivation Domain, Wade Michael Borcherds

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

in numerous disease states, including cancers and neurodegenerative diseases. All proteins are dynamic in nature, occupying a range of conformational flexibilities. This inherent flexibility is required for their function, with ordered proteins and IDPs representing the least flexible, and most flexible, respectively. As such IDPs possess little to no stable tertiary or secondary structure, they instead form broad ensembles of heterogeneous structures, which fluctuate over multiple time scales. Although IDPs often lack stable secondary structure they can assume a more stable structure in the presence of their binding partners in a coupled folding binding reaction.

The phenomenon of the dynamic ...


Complete Genome Sequences And Phylogeny Of West Nile Virus Isolates From Southeastern United States, 2003-2012, Crystal Wedin Jan 2013

Complete Genome Sequences And Phylogeny Of West Nile Virus Isolates From Southeastern United States, 2003-2012, Crystal Wedin

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The study of the evolution and phylogeny of West Nile virus (WNV) has been an important area of research since the introduction of WNV in 1999. However, genome sequencing of isolates from the Southeastern part of the United States has been somewhat limited. To determine how WNV has evolved at a more localized level, ten isolates from Florida and Georgia from 2003-2012 were completely sequenced using Illumina's next-generation technology. In addition, a phylogenetic comparison of both the complete genome and select partial genomes was completed to ensure consistency among the results. This study further demonstrated the dominance of the ...


Investigating The Evolution Of Cytochromes P450 Involved In Ga Biosynthesis, Sibongile Mafu Jan 2013

Investigating The Evolution Of Cytochromes P450 Involved In Ga Biosynthesis, Sibongile Mafu

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Vascular plants invariably contain a class II diterpene cyclase (EC 5.5.1.x), as an ent-copalyl diphosphate synthase is required for gibberellin phytohormone biosynthesis. This has provided the basis for evolution of a functionally diverse enzymatic family. A bifunctional diterpene synthase was characterized from the lycophyte Selaginella moellendorffii . The structure of its product, labda-7,13E-dien-15-ol, demonstrates that this enzyme catalyzes a novel class II diterpene cyclization reaction, and clarifies the biosynthetic origins of the family of derived natural products.

All higher plants contain kaurene oxidases (KO), which are multifunctional cytochromes P450 that catalyze oxidation at the C4α methyl, converting ...