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      Running with the Red Queen: the role of biotic conflicts in evolution

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          Abstract

          What are the causes of natural selection? Over 40 years ago, Van Valen proposed the Red Queen hypothesis, which emphasized the primacy of biotic conflict over abiotic forces in driving selection. Species must continually evolve to survive in the face of their evolving enemies, yet on average their fitness remains unchanged. We define three modes of Red Queen coevolution to unify both fluctuating and directional selection within the Red Queen framework. Empirical evidence from natural interspecific antagonisms provides support for each of these modes of coevolution and suggests that they often operate simultaneously. We argue that understanding the evolutionary forces associated with interspecific interactions requires incorporation of a community framework, in which new interactions occur frequently. During their early phases, these newly established interactions are likely to drive fast evolution of both parties. We further argue that a more complete synthesis of Red Queen forces requires incorporation of the evolutionary conflicts within species that arise from sexual reproduction. Reciprocally, taking the Red Queen's perspective advances our understanding of the evolution of these intraspecific conflicts.

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          Arms Races between and within Species

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            The rapid evolution of reproductive proteins.

            Many genes that mediate sexual reproduction, such as those involved in gamete recognition, diverge rapidly, often as a result of adaptive evolution. This widespread phenomenon might have important consequences, such as the establishment of barriers to fertilization that might lead to speciation. Sequence comparisons and functional studies are beginning to show the extent to which the rapid divergence of reproductive proteins is involved in the speciation process.
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              Sexual Conflict

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Proc Biol Sci
                Proc. Biol. Sci
                RSPB
                royprsb
                Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
                The Royal Society
                0962-8452
                1471-2954
                22 December 2014
                22 December 2014
                : 281
                : 1797
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Biology, University of York , Wentworth Way, York YO10 5DD, UK
                [2 ]School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia , Norwich Research Park, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK
                [3 ]Department of Zoology, University of Oxford , Oxford OX1 3PS, UK
                [4 ]Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment, University College London , London WC1E 6BT, UK
                [5 ]Institute of Integrative Biology, University of Liverpool , Liverpool L69 7ZB, UK
                Author notes
                Article
                rspb20141382
                10.1098/rspb.2014.1382
                4240979
                25355473
                85674872-cb70-495a-a540-52f26f3981b6

                © 2014 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.

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                1001
                70
                Review Articles
                Darwin Review
                Custom metadata
                December 22, 2014

                Life sciences
                red queen hypothesis,coevolution,sexual selection
                Life sciences
                red queen hypothesis, coevolution, sexual selection

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