Radka Reifova (Storchova)

Radka Reifova (Storchova)
Charles University in Prague | CUNI · Department of Zoology (PF)

Researcher

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34
Publications
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886
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Publications

Publications (34)
Article
Hybrid sterility is a common postzygotic reproductive isolation mechanism that appears in the early stages of speciation of various organisms. Mus musculus musculus and Mus musculus domesticus represent two recently separated mouse subspecies particularly suitable for genetic studies of hybrid sterility. Here we show that the introgression of Chr X...
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Consomic (chromosome substitution) strains (CSs) represent the most recent addition to the mouse genetic resources aimed to genetically analyze complex trait loci (QTLs). In this study, we report the development of a set of 28 mouse intersubspecific CSs. In each CS, we replaced a single chromosome of the C57BL/6J (B6) inbred strain (mostly Mus m. d...
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Several lines of evidence suggest that the X chromosome of various animal species has an unusual complement of genes with sex-biased or sex-specific expression. However, the study of the X chromosome gene content in different organisms provided conflicting results. The most striking contrast concerns the male-biased genes, which were reported to be...
Article
Several lines of evidence suggest that the X chromosome plays a large role in intrinsic postzygotic isolation. The role of the Z chromosome in speciation is much less understood. To explore the role of the Z chromosome in reproductive isolation, we studied nucleotide variation in two closely related bird species, the Thrush Nightingale (Luscinia lu...
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Ecological character displacement is a process of phenotypic differentiation of sympatric populations caused by interspecific competition. Such differentiation could facilitate speciation by enhancing reproductive isolation between incipient species, although empirical evidence for it at early stages of divergence when gene flow still occurs betwee...
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Germline-restricted chromosomes (GRCs) are accessory chromosomes that occur only in germ cells. They are eliminated from somatic cells through programmed DNA elimination during embryo development. GRCs have been observed in several unrelated animal taxa and show peculiar modes of non-Mendelian inheritance and within-individual elimination. Recent c...
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Passerine birds have a supernumerary chromosome in their germ cells called the germline-restricted chromosome (GRC). The GRC was first discovered more than two decades ago in zebra finch but recent studies have suggested that it is likely present in all passerines, the most species rich avian order, encompassing more than half of all modern bird sp...
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Changes in chromosomal structure involving chromosomal rearrangements or copy number variation of specific sequences can play an important role in speciation. Here, we explored the chromosomal structure of two hybridizing passerine species; the common nightingale ( Luscinia megarhynchos ) and the thrush nightingale ( Luscinia luscinia ), using conv...
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Background It has been proposed that divergence in the gut microbiota composition between incipient species could contribute to their reproductive isolation. Nevertheless, empirical evidence for the role of gut microbiota in speciation is scarce. Moreover, it is still largely unknown to what extent closely related species in the early stages of spe...
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B chromosomes represent additional chromosomes found in many eukaryotic organisms. Their origin is not completely understood but recent genomic studies suggest that they mostly arise through rearrangements and duplications from standard chromosomes. They can occur in single or multiple copies in a cell and are usually present only in a subset of in...
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We review knowledge about the roles of sex chromosomes in vertebrate hybridization and speciation, exploring a gradient of divergences with increasing reproductive isolation (speciation continuum). Under early divergence, well-differentiated sex chromosomes in meiotic hybrids may cause Haldane-effects and introgress less easily than autosomes. Undi...
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Understanding the genetic basis of reproductive isolation is a central issue in the study of speciation. Structural variants (SVs); that is, structural changes in DNA, including inversions, translocations, insertions, deletions, and duplications, are common in a broad range of organisms and have been hypothesized to play a central role in speciatio...
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Among the broad diversity of songbird vocalisations, song can serve a wide range of different functions depending on the species and context. In many species, aggressive motivation has often been linked with the use of fast repeated series of elements typically referred to as trills. However, only a few studies explored the role of this specific co...
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Competition-driven feeding niche separation is assumed to be an important driver of the morphological divergence of co-occurring animal species. However, despite a strong theoretical background, empirical studies showing a direct link between competition, diet divergence and specific morphological adaptations are still scarce. Here we studied the e...
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The songs of migratory passerine birds have a key role in mate attraction and territory defence during the breeding season. Many species also sing on their wintering grounds, but the function of this behaviour remains unclear. One possible explanation, proposed by the song improvement hypothesis, is that the birds take advantage of this period to d...
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Postcopulatory sexual selection may promote evolutionary diversification in sperm form, but the contribution of between‐species divergence in sperm morphology to the origin of reproductive isolation and speciation remains little understood. To assess the possible role of sperm diversification in reproductive isolation, we studied sperm morphology i...
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The X and Z sex chromosomes play a disproportionately large role in intrinsic postzygotic isolation. The underlying mechanisms of this large X/Z effect are, however, still poorly understood. Here we tested whether faster rates of molecular evolution caused by more intense positive selection or genetic drift on the Z chromosome could contribute to t...
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Interspecific competition is assumed to play an important role in the ecological differentiation of species and speciation. However, empirical evidence for competition's role in speciation remains surprisingly scarce. Here we studied the role of interspecific competition in the ecological differentiation and speciation of two closely related songbi...
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Knowledge of the mechanisms facilitating the coexistence of closely related competing species is crucial for understanding biodiversity patterns. The concept of convergent agonistic character displacement (ACD) suggests that interspecific interference competition may lead to convergence in territorial signals between species, which helps to establi...
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The role of interspecific competition for generating patterns in species’ distribution is hotly debated and studies taking into account processes occurring at both large and small spatial scales are almost missing. Theoretically, competition between species with overlapping niches should result in divergence of their niches in sympatry to reduce th...
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Hybrid sterility is a common first step in the evolution of postzygotic reproductive isolation. According to Haldane's Rule it affects predominantly the heterogametic sex. While the genetic basis of hybrid male sterility in organisms with heterogametic males has been studied for decades, the genetic basis of hybrid female sterility in organisms wit...
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Although sexual reproduction is ubiquitous throughout nature, the molecular machinery behind it has been repeatedly disrupted during evolution, leading to the emergence of asexual lineages in all eukaryotic phyla. Despite intensive research, little is known about what causes the switch from sexual reproduction to asexuality. Interspecific hybridiza...
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Background Understanding the mechanisms and selective forces leading to adaptive radiations and origin of biodiversity is a major goal of evolutionary biology. Acrocephalus warblers are small passerines that underwent an adaptive radiation in the last approximately 10 million years that gave rise to 37 extant species, many of which still hybridize...
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In animals, interspecific interference competition is often associated with their aggressive behaviour. The intensity of interspecific aggression and the outcomes of interference competition between closely related species might be substantially modified by copying of vocal signals used in territory defence. Here we tested the hypothesis that song...
Article
With the rise of next-generation sequencing methods it has become increasingly possible to obtain genome-wide sequence data even for non-model species. Such data are often used for the development of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers, which can subsequently be screened in a larger population sample using a variety of genotyping technique...
Article
Interspecific hybridization between closely related mammalian species, including various species of the genus Mus, is commonly associated with abnormal growth of the placenta and hybrid fetuses, a phenomenon known as hybrid placental dysplasia (HPD). The role of HPD in speciation is anticipated but still poorly understood. Here we studied placental...
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Hybrid sterility (HS) belongs to reproductive isolation barriers that safeguard the integrity of species in statu nascendi. Although hybrid sterility occurs almost universally among animal and plant species, most of our current knowledge comes from the classical genetic studies on Drosophila interspecific crosses or introgressions. With the house m...
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Bird song plays an important role in the establishment and maintenance of prezygotic reproductive barriers. When two closely related species come into secondary contact, song convergence caused by acquisition of heterospecific songs into the birds’ repertoires is often observed. The proximate mechanisms responsible for such mixed singing, and its e...
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Understanding the mechanisms causing reproductive isolation between incipient species can give important insights into the process of species origin. Here, we describe a record of a hybrid female between two closely related bird species, the Common Nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos) and the Thrush Nightingale (L. luscinia). These species are separ...
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Theory predicts that sexually antagonistic mutations will be over- or under-represented on the X and Z chromosomes, depending on their average dominance coefficients. However, as little is known about the dominance coefficients for new mutations, the effect of sexually antagonistic selection is difficult to predict. To elucidate the role of sexuall...
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The study of interspecific hybridization can provide important insight into the mechanisms responsible for the origin of species. Here we describe the record of a hybrid between the Common Nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos) and the Thrush Nightingale (Luscinia luscinia) in the district of Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic. The hybrid status was confi...

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