Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (Proc Biol Sci )

Publisher: Royal Society (Great Britain)


Proceedings B welcomes papers of high quality in any area of biological science. As a fast track journal, Proceedings B specialises in the rapid delivery of the latest research to the scientific community, normally within three months of acceptance. It is published on the 7th and 22nd of each month. Many more good manuscripts are submitted to us, than we have space to print, and we give preference to those that present significant advances of broad interest. Submission of preliminary reports, of papers that merely confirm previous findings, and of papers that are likely to interest only small groups of specialists, is not encouraged. All papers are sent to Editorial Board members for an initial assessment of their suitability, and may be returned to authors without in-depth peer-review if this assessment makes it seem unlikely that they will be accepted.

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  • Website
    Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences website
  • Other titles
    Biology letters., Proceedings., Proceedings - Royal Society. Biological sciences, Biological sciences, Proceedings of the Royal Society of London., Proceedings of the Royal Society
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    Document, Periodical, Internet resource
  • Document type
    Internet Resource, Computer File, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publications in this journal

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    ABSTRACT: Laboratory mice are well capable of performing innate routine behaviour programmes necessary for courtship, nest-building and exploratory activities although housed for decades in animal facilities. We found that in mice inactivation of the clock gene Period1 profoundly changes innate routine behaviour programmes like those necessary for courtship, nest building, exploration and learning. These results in wild-type and Period1 mutant mice, together with earlier findings on courtship behaviour in wild-type and period-mutant Drosophila melanogaster, suggest a conserved role of Period-genes on innate routine behaviour. Additionally, both per-mutant flies and Period1-mutant mice display spatial learning and memory deficits. The profound influence of Period1 on routine behaviour programmes in mice, including female partner choice, may be independent of its function as a circadian clock gene, since Period1-deficient mice display normal circadian behaviour.
    Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 11/2014; 281(1781):20140034.
  • Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 09/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Drawing on an idea proposed by Darwin, it has recently been hypothesized that violent intergroup conflict might have played a substantial role in the evolution of human cooperativeness and altruism. The central notion of this argument, dubbed ‘parochial altruism’, is that the two genetic or cultural traits, aggressiveness against out-groups and cooperativeness towards the in-group, including self-sacrificial altruistic behaviour, might have coevolved in humans. This review assesses the explanatory power of current theories of ‘parochial altruism’. After a brief synopsis of the existing literature, two pitfalls in the interpretation of the most widely used models are discussed: potential direct benefits and high relatedness between group members implicitly induced by assumptions about conflict structure and frequency. Then, a number of simplifying assumptions made in the construction of these models are pointed out which currently limit their explanatory power. Next, relevant empirical evidence from several disciplines which could guide future theoretical extensions is reviewed. Finally, selected alternative accounts of evolutionary links between intergroup conflict and intragroup cooperation are briefly discussed which could be integrated with parochial altruism in the future.
    Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 09/2014; 281(1794):20141539.
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    ABSTRACT: Even genetically distant prokaryotes can exchange genes between them, and these horizontal gene transfer events play a central role in adaptation and evolution. While this was long thought to be restricted to prokaryotes, certain eukaryotes have acquired genes of bacterial origin. However, gene acquisitions in eukaryotes are thought to be much less important in magnitude than in prokaryotes. Here, we describe the complex evolutionary history of a bacterial catabolic gene that has been transferred repeatedly from different bacterial phyla to stramenopiles and fungi. Indeed, phylogenomic analysis pointed to multiple acquisitions of the gene in these filamentous eukaryotes-as many as 15 different events for 65 microeukaryotes. Furthermore, once transferred, this gene acquired introns and was found expressed in mRNA databases for most recipients. Our results show that effective inter-domain transfers and subsequent adaptation of a prokaryotic gene in eukaryotic cells can happen at an unprecedented magnitude.
    Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 08/2014; 281(1789).
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    ABSTRACT: Temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD) is widespread in reptiles, yet its adaptive significance and mechanisms for its maintenance remain obscure and controversial. Comparative analyses identify an ancient origin of TSD in turtles, crocodiles and tuatara, suggesting that this trait should be advantageous in order to persist. Based on this assumption, researchers primarily, and with minimal success, have employed a model to examine sex-specific variation in hatchling phenotypes and fitness generated by different incubation conditions. The unwavering focus on different incubation conditions may be misplaced at least in the many turtle species in which hatchlings overwinter in the natal nest. If overwintering temperatures differentially affect fitness of male and female hatchlings, TSD might be maintained adaptively by enabling embryos to develop as the sex best suited to those overwintering conditions. We test this novel hypothesis using the painted turtle (Chrysemys picta), a species with TSD in which eggs hatch in late summer and hatchlings remain within nests until the following spring. We used a split-clutch design to expose field-incubated hatchlings to warm and cool overwintering (autumn-winter-spring) regimes in the laboratory and measured metabolic rates, energy use, body size and mortality of male and female hatchlings. While overall mortality rates were low, males exposed to warmer overwintering regimes had significantly higher metabolic rates and used more residual yolk than females, whereas the reverse occurred in the cool temperature regime. Hatchlings from mixed-sex nests exhibited similar sex-specific trends and, crucially, they were less energy efficient and grew less than same-sex hatchlings that originated from single-sex clutches. Such sex- and incubation-specific physiological adaptation to winter temperatures may enhance fitness and even extend the northern range of many species that overwinter terrestrially.
    Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 08/2014; 281(1789).
  • Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 08/2014; 281(1789).