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Lecture 12

Lecture 12 Human-Agricultural Coevolution

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Doug Thomson

Lecture 12 BIO 220Coevolution Sexual Human agriculturalReciprocal evolutionary responses inoA pair of species caused by selection imposed by each otherEvolution by natural selection is a genetic and ecological processoEcology produces selectionoGenetics provides the material that is transmitted across generationsFor humans ecology includes culture and the organisms we interact withHuman infants depend on milkLactase production normally declines in adulthoodoException people of north European originoDecline in lactase lactose intoleranceoWild type lactose intolerance in adulthoodLactase PersistenceLactase production persists through adulthood allowing digestion of milkEvolution in European Cattle farming culturesObservation changes in lactase gene correlated with ability to digest lactose as adultHypothesis substitutions are causal variants they were formed by natural selectionPredictionsIf substitutions in lactase gene cause lactase persistence other human populations with lactase persistence would have same substitutions or changes with similar consequencesIf dairy agricultureevolution on substitutions that cause lactase persistence other human populations practicing dairy agriculture should have lactase persistence phenotype visible genetic evidence of past selection on lactase geneAfrican cultures with dairy agriculture have distinctive forms of lactase geneoDNA differences correlate with ability to digest lactoseChange vs DeterminismSingle events can be due to change alone or o deterministic processesIndependent lines of evidence can confirm deterministic explanations by rejecting chanceConvergent evolutionIndependent evolution of same trait in different groupsoGroups can be population or speciesAllow more confident determination that selection is at workAppears to use same genes
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