Congratulations to the winners of the Editors’ Choice Awards for outstanding articles published in GENETICS in 2016! The journal’s Editorial Board considered a diverse range of articles, finding many papers worthy of recognition. After much deliberation, they settled on one exceptional article for each of the three award categories: quantitative genetics, molecular genetics, and population and evolutionary genetics. Check out some of the best GENETICS had to offer in 2016!
2016 EDITORS’ CHOICE AWARD: MOLECULAR GENETICS
Kresti Pecani and Frederick R. Cross
GENETICS December 2016 204:1479–1494 DOI: 10.1534/genetics.116.194837
EDITORS’ NOTE In the textbook picture of cell cycle function, B-type cyclins must be degraded to allow the cell to exit mitosis. Pecani and Cross show that blocking degradation of yeast B-type cyclin Clb3 by removal of its destruction signal does not prevent mitotic exit. Instead, the cyclin’s persistence in new cells bypasses normal controls governing the start of the next cycle, including by cell size, pheromones, and G1 cyclins. The discovery that Clb3 destruction is not needed for mitotic exit has revealed a previously obscure role for mitotic cyclin degradation: blocking memory of the preceding cell cycle in newborn cells.
2016 EDITORS’ CHOICE AWARD: POPULATION GENETICS
Kelley Harris and Rasmus Nielsen
GENETICS June 2016 203: 881-891 DOI: 10.1534/genetics.116.186890
EDITORS’ NOTE Compared to humans, Neanderthals were inbred. Harris and Nielsen use simulations to show that this inbreeding likely caused the accumulation of harmful mutations. They estimate that inbreeding may have led to Neanderthals having 40% lower fitness than humans. Some of these harmful mutations are predicted to persist in modern populations, although most have been eliminated by natural selection in humans since the time of interbreeding.
2016 EDITORS’ CHOICE AWARD: QUANTITATIVE GENETICS
Anna K. Greenwood, Margaret G. Mills, Abigail R. Wark, Sophie L. Archambeault, and Catherine L. Peichel
GENETICS June 2016 203: 677–681 DOI: 10.1534/genetics.116.188342
EDITORS’ NOTE Genes are known to play an important role in behavior, but there are few cases in which variation in a specific gene has been linked to a natural, ecologically relevant behavior—particularly in vertebrates. Greenwood et al. find that natural variation in schooling behavior between two populations of threespine sticklebacks is caused by the pleiotropic gene Ectodysplasin, which is also known to affect the development of body armor and the sensory organs that fish use to detect water movement. This is one of the first examples of a genetic change that underlies the evolution of vertebrate behavior in the wild.