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The industrial melanism mutation in British peppered moths is a transposable element

Overview of attention for article published in Nature, June 2016
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  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (99th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (93rd percentile)

Citations

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457 Mendeley
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3 CiteULike
Title
The industrial melanism mutation in British peppered moths is a transposable element
Published in
Nature, June 2016
DOI 10.1038/nature17951
Pubmed ID
Authors

Arjen E. van’t Hof, Pascal Campagne, Daniel J. Rigden, Carl J. Yung, Jessica Lingley, Michael A. Quail, Neil Hall, Alistair C. Darby, Ilik J. Saccheri

Abstract

Discovering the mutational events that fuel adaptation to environmental change remains an important challenge for evolutionary biology. The classroom example of a visible evolutionary response is industrial melanism in the peppered moth (Biston betularia): the replacement, during the Industrial Revolution, of the common pale typica form by a previously unknown black (carbonaria) form, driven by the interaction between bird predation and coal pollution. The carbonaria locus has been coarsely localized to a 200-kilobase region, but the specific identity and nature of the sequence difference controlling the carbonaria-typica polymorphism, and the gene it influences, are unknown. Here we show that the mutation event giving rise to industrial melanism in Britain was the insertion of a large, tandemly repeated, transposable element into the first intron of the gene cortex. Statistical inference based on the distribution of recombined carbonaria haplotypes indicates that this transposition event occurred around 1819, consistent with the historical record. We have begun to dissect the mode of action of the carbonaria transposable element by showing that it increases the abundance of a cortex transcript, the protein product of which plays an important role in cell-cycle regulation, during early wing disc development. Our findings fill a substantial knowledge gap in the iconic example of microevolutionary change, adding a further layer of insight into the mechanism of adaptation in response to natural selection. The discovery that the mutation itself is a transposable element will stimulate further debate about the importance of 'jumping genes' as a source of major phenotypic novelty.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 236 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 457 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United States 10 2%
Portugal 3 <1%
Germany 3 <1%
Brazil 3 <1%
United Kingdom 3 <1%
France 2 <1%
Japan 2 <1%
Finland 2 <1%
Austria 1 <1%
Other 11 2%
Unknown 417 91%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 111 24%
Researcher 76 17%
Student > Master 67 15%
Student > Bachelor 58 13%
Unspecified 28 6%
Other 117 26%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 289 63%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 83 18%
Unspecified 40 9%
Environmental Science 17 4%
Computer Science 6 1%
Other 22 5%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 614. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 16 April 2019.
All research outputs
#9,923
of 12,961,554 outputs
Outputs from Nature
#1,466
of 67,949 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#528
of 264,759 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Nature
#67
of 973 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 12,961,554 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 99th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 67,949 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 73.9. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 97% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 264,759 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 973 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 93% of its contemporaries.