Bram Vanthournout

Bram Vanthournout
Ghent University | UGhent · Department of Biology

About

76
Publications
6,939
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743
Citations
Citations since 2016
67 Research Items
666 Citations
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2016201720182019202020212022020406080100
2016201720182019202020212022020406080100
2016201720182019202020212022020406080100
Introduction
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Publications

Publications (76)
Article
Allomelanin is a class of nitrogen-free melanin mostly found in fungi and, like all naturally occurring melanins, is hydrophilic. Herein, we develop a facile method to modify synthetic hydrophilic allomelanin to yield hydrophobic derivatives through post-synthetic modifications. Amine-functionalized molecules of various kinds can be conjugated to a...
Preprint
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Inspired by structural colors in avian species, various synthetic strategies have been developed to produce non-iridescent, saturated colors using nanoparticle assemblies. Mixtures of nanoparticles varying in particle chemistry (or complex refractive indices) and particle size have additional emergent properties that impact the color produced. For...
Article
Bright, saturated structural colors in birds have inspired synthesis of self-assembled, disordered arrays of assembled nanoparticles with varied particle spacings and refractive indices. However, predicting colors of assembled nanoparticles, and thereby guiding their synthesis, remains challenging due to the effects of multiple scattering and stron...
Preprint
Full-text available
Bright, saturated structural colors in birds have inspired synthesis of self-assembled, disordered arrays of colloidal particles with varied particle spacings and refractive indices. However, predicting colors of assembled colloidal particles, and thereby guiding their synthesis, remains challenging due to the effects of multiple scattering and str...
Article
While the specific mechanisms of colour production in biological systems are diverse, the mechanics of colour production are straightforward and universal. Colour is produced through the selective absorption of light by pigments, the scattering of light by nanostructures or a combination of both. When Tigriopus californicus copepods were fed a caro...
Article
Melanin is a ubiquitous natural pigment that exhibits broadband absorption and high refractive index. Despite its widespread use in structural color production, how the absorbing material, melanin, affects the generated color is unknown. Using a combined molecular dynamics and finite-difference time-domain computational approach, this paper investi...
Preprint
Full-text available
Melanin is a ubiquitous natural pigment that exhibits broadband absorption and high refractive index. Despite its widespread use in structural color production, how the absorbing material, melanin, affects the generated color is unknown. Using a combined molecular dynamics and finite-difference time-domain computational approach, this paper investi...
Article
The mechanisms and evolution of metallic structural colours are of both fundamental and applied interest, yet most work in arthropods has focused on derived butterflies and beetles with distinct hues. In particular, basal hexapods—groups with many scaled, metallic representatives—are currently poorly studied and controversial, with some recent stud...
Article
Amniotic eggs are multifunctional structures that enabled early tetrapods to colonize the land millions of years ago, and are now the reproductive mode of over 70% of all terrestrial amniotes. Eggshell morphology is at the core of animal survival, mediating the interactions between embryos and their environment, and has evolved into a massive diver...
Article
The osprey (Pandion haliaetus) is a cosmopolitan and long-distant migrant, found at all thermal extremes ranging from polar to tropical climates. Since ospreys may have an unusually flexible thermal physiology due to their migration over and use of a wide range of habitats, they represent an interesting study system to explore thermoregulatory adap...
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The thermal environment can affect the evolution of morpho-behavioral adaptations of ectotherms. Heat is transferred from substrates to organisms by conduction and reflected radiation. Because brightness influences the degree of heat absorption, substrates could affect the evolution of integumentary optical properties. Here, we show that vipers (Sq...
Article
Full-text available
Recent reports suggest that next-generation hair dyes might take inspiration from the natural pigment melanin. In humans, melanin imparts color to hair and skin and acts as a natural sunscreen and radical scavenger, thereby protecting lipids and proteins from damage. The most commonly employed synthetic mimic of melanin is polydopamine, and its suc...
Article
Insect colour is extremely diverse and produced by a large number of pigmentary and nanostructural mechanisms. Considerable research has been dedicated to these optical mechanisms, with most of it focused on chromatic colours, such as blues and greens, and less on achromatic colours like white and gold. Moreover, studies on the evolution of these c...
Article
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In species with chromosomal sex determination, X chromosomes are predicted to evolve faster than autosomes because of positive selection on recessive alleles or weak purifying selection. We investigated X chromosome evolution in Stegodyphus spiders that differ in mating system, sex-ratio, and population dynamics. We assigned scaffolds to X chromoso...
Article
Sex allocation theory predicts that when sons and daughters have different reproductive values, parents should adjust offspring sex ratio towards the sex with the higher fitness return. Haplo-diploid species directly control offspring sex ratio, but species with chromosomal sex determination (CSD) were presumed to be constrained by Mendelian segreg...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The duplication of genes can occur through various mechanisms and is thought to make a major contribution to the evolutionary diversification of organisms. There is increasing evidence for a large-scale duplication of genes in some chelicerate lineages including two rounds of whole genome duplication (WGD) in horseshoe crabs. To investi...
Preprint
Full-text available
The duplication of genes can occur through various mechanisms and is thought to make a major contribution to the evolutionary diversification of organisms. There is increasing evidence for a large-scale duplication of genes in some chelicerate lineages including two rounds of whole genome duplication (WGD) in horseshoe crabs. To investigate this fu...
Article
Full-text available
Genetic conflict theory predicts strong selection for host nuclear factors suppressing endosymbiont effects on reproduction, however, evidence of these suppressors is currently scarce. This can either be caused by a low suppressor evolution rate, or if suppressors originate frequently, by rapid spread and concurrent masking of their activity by sil...
Article
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Group living carries a price: it inherently entails increased competition for resources and reproduction, and may also be associated with mating among relatives, which carries costs of inbreeding. Nonetheless, group living and sociality is found in many animals, and understanding the direct and indirect benefits of cooperation that override the inh...
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Analyses of arthropod genomes have shown that the genes in the different innate humoral immune responses are conserved. These genes encode proteins that are involved in immune signalling pathways that recognize pathogens and activate immune responses. These immune responses include phagocytosis, encapsulation of the pathogen, and production of effe...
Article
The expected strong directional selection for traits that increase a male's mating ability conflicts with the frequent observation that within species, males may show extreme variation in sexual traits. These male reproductive polymorphisms are usually attributed to direct male-male competition. It is currently unclear, however, how directional sel...
Article
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The microbial community of spiders is little known, with previous studies focussing primarily on the medical importance of spiders as vectors of pathogenic bacteria and on the screening of known cytoplasmic endosymbiont bacteria. These screening studies have been performed by means of specific primers that only amplify a selective set of endosymbio...
Article
Full-text available
Spiders are ecologically important predators with complex venom and extraordinarily tough silk that enables capture of large prey. Here we present the assembled genome of the social velvet spider and a draft assembly of the tarantula genome that represent two major taxonomic groups of spiders. The spider genomes are large with short exons and long...
Article
Full-text available
Producing equal amounts of male and female offspring has long been considered an evolutionarily stable strategy. Nevertheless, exceptions to this general rule (i.e. male and female biases) are documented in many taxa, making sex allocation an important domain in current evolutionary biology research. Pinpointing the underlying mechanism of sex rati...