8 Works

Shedding light: a phylotranscriptomic perspective illuminates the origin of photosymbiosis in marine bivalves

Jingchun Li, Sarah Lemer, Lisa Kirkendale, Rudiger Bieler, Colleen Cavanaugh & Gonzalo Giribet
Background: Photosymbiotic associations between metazoan hosts and photosynthetic dinoflagellates are crucial to the trophic and structural integrity of many marine ecosystems, including coral reefs. Although extensive efforts have been devoted to study the short-term ecological interactions between coral hosts and their symbionts, long-term evolutionary dynamics of photosymbiosis in many marine animals are not well understood. Within Bivalvia, the second largest class of mollusks, obligate photosymbiosis is found in two marine lineages: the giant clams (subfamily...

Data from: Ecological interactions and coexistence are predicted by gene expression similarity in freshwater green algae

Anita Narwani, Bastian Bentlage, Markos A. Alexandrou, Keith J. Fritschie, Charles Delwiche, Todd H. Oakley & Bradley J. Cardinale
Phenotypic variation controls the species interactions which determine whether or not species coexist. Long-standing hypotheses in ecology and evolution posit that phenotypic differentiation enables coexistence by increasing the size of niche differentiation. This hypothesis has only been tested using macroscopic traits to date, but niche differentiation, particularly of microscopic organisms, also occurs at the molecular and metabolic level. We examined how phenotypic variation that arises at the level of gene expression over evolutionary time affects...

Data from: Ant seed removal in a non-myrmecochorous Neotropical shrub: implications for seed dispersal

Seanne Clemente & Susan Whitehead
This study investigated ant seed removal of Piper sancti-felicis, an early successional Neotropical shrub. Neotropical Piper are a classic example of bat-dispersed plants, but we suggest that ants are underappreciated dispersal agents. We identified eleven ant species from the genera Aphaenogaster, Ectatomma, Paratrechina, Pheidole, Trachymyrmex, and Wasmannia recruiting to and harvesting P. sancti-felicis seeds in forest edge and secondary forest sites at La Selva, Costa Rica. We also tested for differences in ant recruitment to...

Lineage-specific variation in the evolutionary stability of coral photosymbiosis.

Jordan Gault, Bastian Bentlage, Danwei Huang & Alexander Kerr
Over half of reef-building corals (Scleractinia) participate in a nutritional symbiosis, known as photosymbiosis, with photosynthetic dinoflagellates that ranges from obligate to facultative dependence. Fitting hidden-rates models allowing among-lineage variation in the rate of trait evolution to supertree and molecular phylogenies of Scleractinia, we reconstruct the history of photosymbiosis within Scleractinia and characterize its evolutionary stability. We find that most lineages of scleractinians are extraordinarily stable for the trait, evincing no instances of loss, but...

Going with the flow: corals in high-flow environments can beat the heat

James Fifer, Bastian Bentlage, Sarah Lemer, Atsushi Fujimura, Michael Sweet & Laurie Raymundo
Coral reefs are experiencing unprecedented declines in health on a global scale leading to severe reductions in coral cover. One major cause of this decline is increasing sea surface temperature. However, conspecific colonies separated by even small spatial distances appear to show varying responses to this global stressor. One factor contributing to differential responses to heat stress is variability in the coral’s micro-environment, such as the amount of water flow a coral experiences. High flow...

Data from: Contrasting ecological roles of non-native ungulates in a novel ecosystem

Ann Marie Gawel, Haldre S. Rogers, Ross H. Miller & Alexander M. Kerr
Conservation has long focused on preserving or restoring pristine ecosystems. However, understanding and managing novel ecosystems has grown in importance as they outnumber pristine ecosystems worldwide. While non-native species may be neutral or detrimental in pristine ecosystems, it is possible that even notorious invaders could play beneficial or mixed roles in novel ecosystems. We examined the effects of two long-established non-native species – Philippine deer (Rusa marianna) and feral pigs (Sus scrofa) – in Guam,...

Data from: Phylotranscriptomic analysis uncovers a wealth of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases variants in echinoderms

Ronald M. Clouse, Gregorio V. Linchangco, Alexander M. Kerr, Robert W. Reid & Daniel A. Janies
Tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs) help regulate the extracellular matrix (ECM) in animals, mostly by inhibiting matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). They are important activators of mutable collagenous tissue (MCT), which have been extensively studied in echinoderms, and the four TIMP copies in humans have been studied for their role in cancer. To understand the evolution of TIMPs, we combined 405 TIMPs from an echinoderm transcriptome dataset built from 41 specimens representing all five classes of echinoderms...

Evolutionary biogeography of the reef-building coral genus Galaxea across the Indo-Pacific ocean

Patricia Wepfer, Patricia H. Wepfer, Yuichi Nakajima, Makamas Sutthacheep, Veronica Z. Radice, Zoe Richards, Put Ang, Tullia Terraneo, Mareike Sudek, Atsushi Fujimura, Robert J. Toonen, Alexander S. Mikheyev, Evan P. Economo & Satoshi Mitarai
Stony corals (Scleractinia) form the basis for some of the most diverse ecosytems on Earth, but we have much to learn about their evolutionary history and systematic relationships. In order to improve our understanding of species in corals we here investigated phylogenetic relationships between morphologically defined species and genetic lineages in the genus Galaxea (Euphyllidae) using a combined phylogenomic and phylogeographic ap- proach. Previous studies revealed the nominal species G. fascicularis included three genetically well-differ-...

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