103 Works

Data from: Gene discovery in the Antarctic fur seal (Arctocephalus gazella) skin transcriptome

Joseph I Hoffman
Next-generation sequencing provides a powerful new approach for developing functional genomic tools for nonmodel species, helping to narrow the gap between studies of model organisms and those of natural populations. Consequently, massively parallel 454 sequencing was used to characterize a normalized cDNA library derived from skin biopsy samples of twelve Antarctic fur seal (Arctocephalus gazella) individuals. Over 412 Mb of sequence data were generated, comprising 1.4 million reads of average length 286 bp. De novo...

Data from: Genome size variation affects song attractiveness in grasshoppers: evidence for sexual selection against large genomes

Holger Schielzeth, Corinna Streitner, Ulrike Lampe, Alexandra Franzke & Klaus Reinhold
Genome size is largely uncorrelated to organismal complexity and adaptive scenarios. Genetic drift as well as intragenomic conflict have been put forward to explain this observation. We here study the impact of genome size on sexual attractiveness in the bow-winged grasshopper Chorthippus biguttulus. Grasshoppers show particularly large variation in genome size due to the high prevalence of supernumerary chromosomes that are considered (mildly) selfish, as evidenced by non-Mendelian inheritance and fitness costs if present in...

Data from: Global population structure and demographic history of the grey seal

Anastasia Klimova, Caleb D. Phillips, Katharina Fietz, Morten T. Olsen, John Harwood, William Amos & Joseph I. Hoffman
Although the grey seal Halichoerus grypus is one of the most familiar and intensively studied of all pinniped species, its global population structure remains to be elucidated. Little is also known about how the species as a whole may have historically responded to climate-driven changes in habitat availability and anthropogenic exploitation. We therefore analysed samples from over 1500 individuals collected from 22 colonies spanning the Western and Eastern Atlantic and the Baltic Sea regions, represented...

Data from: What triggers colour change? Effects of background colour and temperature on the development of an alpine grasshopper

J. Pablo Valverde & Holger Schielzeth
Background: Colour polymorphisms are a fascinating facet of many natural populations of plants and animals, and the selective processes that maintain such variation are as relevant as the processes which promote their development. Orthoptera, the insect group that encompasses grasshoppers and bush crickets, includes a particularly large number of species that are colour polymorphic with a marked green-brown polymorphism being particularly widespread. Colour polymorphism has been associated with the need for crypsis and background matching...

Data from: Ecologically dependent and intrinsic genetic signatures of postzygotic isolation between sympatric host races of the leaf beetle Lochmaea capreae

Shaghayegh Soudi, Klaus Reinhold & Leif Engqvist
The fitness of hybrids might be compromised as a result of intrinsic isolation and/or because they fall between ecological niches due to their intermediate phenotypes (“extrinsic isolation”). Here, we present data from several crosses (parental crosses, F1, F2 and backcrosses) between the two host races of Lochmaea capreae on willow and birch to test for extrinsic isolation, intrinsic isolation, and environmentally dependent genetic incompatibilities. We employed a reciprocal transplant design in which offspring were raised...

Data from: Intraguild predation leads to cascading effects on habitat choice, behaviour and reproductive performance

Anna-Katharina Mueller, Nayden Chakarov, Hanna Heseker & Oliver Krüger
Intraguild predation (IGP) is a commonly recognized mechanism influencing the community structure of predators, but the complex interactions are notoriously difficult to disentangle. The mesopredator suppression hypothesis predicts that a superpredator may either simultaneously repress two mesopredators, restrain the dominant one and thereby release the subdominant mesopredator, or elicit different responses by both mesopredators. We show the outcome arising from such conditions in a three-level predator assemblage (Eurasian eagle owl Bubo bubo L., northern goshawk...

Data from: Long-term effects of early nutrition and environmental matching on developmental and personality traits in zebra finches

E. Tobias Krause, Oliver Krüger & Holger Schielzeth
Developmental plasticity is a key feature of many organisms and individuals can benefit from early programming to optimize their phenotypes for the expected environmental conditions. However, environmental conditions may sometimes change unexpectedly. Mismatches between early and adult life, for example, can have important repercussions for adult phenotypes, potentially leading to better performance under matched than mismatched conditions as predicted by the predictive adaptive response hypothesis. We conducted a long-term experimental manipulation of dietary conditions in...

Data from: Intracontinental plant invader shows matching genetic and chemical profiles and might benefit from high defence variation within populations

Lisa Johanna Tewes, Florian Michling, Marcus A. Koch & Caroline Müller
1. Whereas many studies have revealed mechanisms driving plant invasions between continents, research on intracontinental range-expanders is scarce. Therefore, we studied genetic, chemical and ecological traits of a range-expanding Brassicaceae, assuming that high genetic diversity should maintain chemical variation, which potentially benefits the invasion success. Moreover, we expected that within-individual defence diversity plays an essential role in biotic interactions. 2. We compared Bunias orientalis plants from 16 populations of native, invasive or exotic non-invasive origin....

Data from: Disruption of skin microbiota contributes to salamander disease

Molly C. Bletz, Moira Kelly, Joana Sabino-Pinto, Emma Bales, Sarah Van Praet, Wim Bert, Miguel Vences, Sebastian Steinfartz, Frank Pasmans, A. Martel & Filip Boyen
Escalating occurrences of emerging infectious diseases underscore the importance of understanding microbiome-pathogen interactions. The amphibian cutaneous microbiome is widely studied for its potential to mitigate disease-mediated amphibian declines. Other microbial interactions in this system, however, have been largely neglected in the context of disease outbreaks. European fire salamanders have suffered dramatic population crashes as a result of the newly emerged Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans(Bsal). We investigate microbial interactions on multiple fronts within this system. We show that...

Data from: Hypodermic self-insemination as a reproductive assurance strategy

Steven A. Ramm, Aline Schlatter, Maude Poirier & Lukas Schärer
Self-fertilization occurs in a broad range of hermaphroditic plants and animals, and is often thought to evolve as a reproductive assurance strategy under ecological conditions that disfavour or prevent outcrossing. Nevertheless, selfing ability is far from ubiquitous among hermaphrodites, and may be constrained in taxa where the male and female gametes of the same individual cannot easily meet. Here, we report an extraordinary selfing mechanism in one such species, the free-living flatworm Macrostomum hystrix. To...

Data from: Release from natural enemies mitigates inbreeding depression in native and invasive Silene latifolia populations

Karin Schrieber, Sabrina Wolf, Catherina Wypior, Diana Höhlig, Stephen R. Keller, Isabell Hensen & Susanne Lachmuth
Inbreeding and enemy infestation are common in plants and can synergistically reduce their performance. This inbreeding × environment (I×E) interaction may be of particular importance for the success of plant invasions if introduced populations experience a release from attack by natural enemies relative to their native conspecifics. Here, we investigate whether inbreeding affects plant infestation damage, whether inbreeding depression in growth and reproduction is mitigated by enemy release and whether this effect is more pronounced...

Data from: Evolution of age at primiparity in pinnipeds in the absence of the quality-quantity trade-off in reproduction

Stephanie Kalberer, Eugene DeRango, Fritz Trillmich & Oliver Krüger
Age at primiparity (AP) is a key life history trait which is crucial to the evolution of life-history strategies. This trait is particularly interesting in pinnipeds (walrus, eared seals and true seals), which are monotocous animals. Thus, the commonly observed trade-off between offspring quality and quantity does not apply to this taxon. Therefore, comparative studies on the evolution of AP might shed light on other important evolutionary correlates when litter size is fixed. Using phylogenetic...

Genotype-by-environment interactions for precopulatory mate guarding in a lek-mating insect

Nikolas Vellnow, Sonja Schindler & Tim Schmoll
In sexually reproducing species males often experience strong pre- and postcopulatory sexual selection leading to a wide variety of male adaptations. One example is mate guarding, where males prevent females from mating with other males either before or after they (will) have mated themselves. In case social conditions vary short-term and in an unpredictable manner and if there is genetic variation in plasticity of mate guarding (i.e. genotype-by-environment interaction, G x E), adaptive behavioral plasticity...

Data from: The repeatable opportunity for selection differs between pre- and post-copulatory fitness components

Lucas Marie-Orleach, Nikolas Vellnow & Lukas Schärer
In species with multiple mating, intense sexual selection may occur both before and after copulation. However, comparing the strength of pre- and postcopulatory selection is challenging, because i) postcopulatory processes are generally difficult to observe and ii) the often-used opportunity for selection (I) metric contains both deterministic and stochastic components. Here, we quantified pre- and postcopulatory male fitness components of the simultaneously hermaphroditic flatworm, Macrostomum lignano. We did this by tracking fluorescent sperm—using transgenics—through the...

Evidence for an Allee effect in a declining fur seal population

Rebecca Nagel, Claire Stainfield, Cameron Fox-Clarke, Camille Toscani, Jaume Forcada & Joseph Hoffman
Allee effects play an important role in the dynamics of many populations and can increase the risk of local extinction. However, some authors have questioned the weight of evidence for Allee effects in wild populations. We therefore exploited a natural experiment provided by two adjacent breeding colonies of contrasting density to investigate the potential for Allee effects in an Antarctic fur seal (Arctocephalus gazella) population that is declining in response to climate-change induced reductions in...

Data from: Comparative genomics of the dairy isolate Streptococcus macedonicus ACA-DC 198 against related members of the Streptococcus bovis/Streptococcus equinus complex

Konstantinos Papadimitriou, Rania Anastasiou, Eleni Mavrogonatou, Jochen Blom, Nikos C. Papandreou, Stavros J. Hamodrakas, Stéphanie Ferreira, Pierre Renault, Philip Supply, Bruno Pot & Effie Tsakalidou
Background: Within the genus Streptococcus, only Streptococcus thermophilus is used as a starter culture in food fermentations. Streptococcus macedonicus though, which belongs to the Streptococcus bovis/Streptococcus equinus complex (SBSEC), is also frequently isolated from fermented foods mainly of dairy origin. Members of the SBSEC have been implicated in human endocarditis and colon cancer. Here we compare the genome sequence of the dairy isolate S. macedonicus ACA-DC 198 to the other SBSEC genomes in order to...

Seminal fluid-mediated fitness effects in the simultaneously hermaphroditic flatworm Macrostomum lignano

Michael Weber, Athina Giannakara & Steven Ramm
As a class, seminal fluid proteins are expected to exert strong effects on mating partners due to the selection pressures of sperm competition and sexual conflict. But because of the complexity of this secretion, linking specific proteins to downstream effects on own fitness – via manipulating the reproductive behavior, physiology and ultimately the sperm utilization of mating partners – is not straightforward. Here we adopted a systematic gene knockdown approach to screen for seminal fluid-mediated...

Data from: A prezygotic transmission distorter acting equally in female and male zebra finches Taeniopygia guttata

Ulrich Knief, Holger Schielzeth, Hans Ellegren, Bart Kempenaers & Wolfgang Forstmeier
The two parental alleles at a specific locus are usually inherited with equal probability to the offspring. However, at least three processes can lead to an apparent departure from fair segregation: early viability selection, biased gene conversion and various kinds of segregation distortion. Here, we conduct a genome-wide scan for transmission distortion in a captive population of zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) using 1302 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) followed by confirmatory analyses on independent samples from the...

Data from: Plastic expression of seminal fluid protein genes in a simultaneously hermaphroditic snail

Yumi Nakadera, Athina Giannakara & Steven A. Ramm
Seminal fluid proteins (SFPs) are components of the ejaculate that often induce drastic changes in female physiology, such as reducing remating rate or shortening longevity. There is compelling evidence that these functions make SFPs a determinant of male reproductive success, and some evidence that males can strategically invest in their differential production. However, SFP-mediated effects have received relatively little attention in simultaneous hermaphrodites, i.e. organisms that are male and female at the same time. Since...

Fitness consequences of seasonally different life histories? A match-mismatch experiment

Anja Guenther, Lucienne Eweleit & Fritz Trillmich
To survive and reproduce successfully, animals have to find the optimal time of breeding. Species living in non-tropical environments often adjust their reproduction plastically according to seasonal changes of the environment. Information about the prevailing season can be transmitted in utero, leading to adaptation of the offspring to the prevailing season. After birth, animals acquire additional personal information about the environment which allows them to adjust their reproductive investment. Here, we tested in a full-factorial...

Collision between biological process and statistical analysis revealed by mean-centering

David Westneat, Yimen Araya-Ajoy, Hassen Allegue, Barbara Class, Niels Dingemanse, Ned Dochtermann, Laszlo Garamszegi, Julien Martin, Shinichi Nakagawa, Denis Reale & Holger Schielzeth
1. Animal ecologists often collect hierarchically-structured data and analyze these with linear mixed-effects models. Specific complications arise when the effect sizes of covariates vary on multiple levels (e.g., within vs among subjects). Mean-centering of covariates within subjects offers a useful approach in such situations, but is not without problems. 2. A statistical model represents a hypothesis about the underlying biological process. Mean-centering within clusters assumes that the lower level responses (e.g. within subjects) depend on...

Effects of drought and mycorrhiza on wheat and aphid infestation

Caroline Pons, Ann-Cathrin Voss, Rabea Schweiger & Caroline Müller
The impacts of climate change on worldwide crop production become increasingly severe. Thus, sustainable enhancements of agricultural production are needed. The present study investigated the effects of drought and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi on wheat plants (Triticum aestivum) and their interaction with aphids. Considering predicted climate change scenarios, wheat plants were exposed to well-watered conditions, continuous (CD) or pulsed (PD) drought and plants were grown without (NM) or with mycorrhizal (AM) fungi. Ear biomass and harvest...

Data from: Genetic and environmental variation in transcriptional expression of seminal fluid proteins

Bahar Patlar, Michael Weber & Steven A. Ramm
Seminal fluid proteins (SFPs) are crucial mediators of sexual selection and sexual conflict. Recent studies have chiefly focused on environmentally-induced plasticity as one source of variation in SFP expression, particularly in response to differing sperm competition levels. However, understanding the evolution of a trait in heterogenous environments requires estimates of both environmental and genetic sources of variation, as well as their interaction. Therefore, we investigated how environment (specifically mating group size, a good predictor of...

Data from: N/P imbalance as a key driver for the invasion of oligothrophic dune systems by a woody legume

Florian Ulm, Christine Hellmann, Cristina Cruz & Cristina Máguas
Oligotrophic ecosystems, previously considered to be more resilient to invasive plants, are now recognised to be highly vulnerable to invasions. In these systems, woody legumes show belowground ecosystem engineering characteristics that enable invasion, however, the underlying processes are not well understood. Using a Portuguese primary dune ecosystem as an oligotrophic model system, belowground biomass pools, turnover rates and stoichiometry of a native (Stauracanthus spectabilis) and an invasive legume (Acacia longifolia) were compared and related to...

Data from: Long-term effective population size dynamics of an intensively monitored vertebrate population

Anna-Katharina Mueller, Nayden Chakarov, Oliver Krüger & Joseph Ivan Hoffman
Long-term genetic data from intensively monitored natural populations are important for understanding how effective population sizes (Ne) can vary over time. We therefore genotyped 1622 common buzzard (Buteo buteo) chicks sampled over 12 consecutive years (2002–2013 inclusive) at 15 microsatellite loci. This data set allowed us to both compare single-sample with temporal approaches and explore temporal patterns in the effective number of parents that produced each cohort in relation to the observed population dynamics. We...

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