96 Works

Resolution of the house mouse (Mus musculus) phylogeny by integration over isolation-with-migration histories

Bettina Harr, Megan Phifer-Rixey & Jody Hey
The three main subspecies of house mice, Mus musculus castaneus, Mus musculus domesticus , and Mus musculus musculus, are estimated to have diverged ~325-500KYA. Resolution of the details of their evolutionary history is complicated by their relatively recent divergence, ongoing gene flow among the subspecies, and complex demographic histories. Previous studies have been limited to some extent by the number of loci surveyed and/or by the scope of the method used. Here we apply a...

An amplicon sequencing protocol for attacker identification from DNA traces left on artificial prey

Henrik Krehenwinkel, Daniela Rößler, Michael Veith, Stefan Lötters, Charlene Peters, Michele Fugmann & Sven Künzel
Clay model studies are a popular tool to identify predator-prey interactions that are challenging to observe directly in the field. But despite its wide use, the method’s applicability is limited by its low taxonomic resolution. Attack marks on clay models are usually identified visually, which only allows classification into higher taxonomic levels of predators. Thus, the method is often biased, lacks proof and, above all, standardization. Here, we tested whether precise identification of attackers can...

Reproduction affects immune defenses in the guinea pig even under ad libitum food

Fritz Trillmich, Anja Guenther, Manuela Jäckel & Gábor Czirják
Reproduction is one of the most costly processes in the life of an animal. Life history theory assumes that when resources are limiting allocation to reproduction will reduce allocation to other essential processes thereby inducing costs of reproduction. The immune system is vital for survival. If reproduction reduces investment in immune function, this could increase the risk of disease, morbidity and mortality. We here test in the guinea pig, if even under ad libitum food...

Data from: Rapid range expansion is not restricted by inbreeding in a sexually cannibalistic spider

Stefanie M. Zimmer, Henrik Krehenwinkel & Jutta M. Schneider
Few studies investigated whether rapid range expansion is associated with an individual's short-term fitness costs due to an increased risk of inbred mating at the front of expansion. In mating systems with low male mating rates both sexes share potential inbreeding costs and general mechanisms to avoid or reduce these costs are expected. The spider Argiope bruennichi expanded its range recently and we asked whether rapid settlement of new sites exposes individuals to a risk...

Data from: Anthropogenic hybridization between endangered migratory and commercially harvested stationary whitefish taxa (Coregonus spp.)

Jan Dierking, Luke Phelps, Kim Præbel, Gesine Ramm, Enno Prigge, Jost Borcherding, Matthias Brunke & Christophe Eizaguirre
Natural hybridization plays a key role in the process of speciation. However, anthropogenic (human induced) hybridization of historically isolated taxa raises conservation issues. Due to weak barriers to gene flow and the presence of endangered taxa, the whitefish species complex is an excellent study system to investigate the consequences of hybridization in conservation. We focused on three naturally reproductively isolated whitefish taxa in Germany: the endangered, anadromous North Sea houting (NSH) and Baltic houting (BH),...

Data from: The contribution of post-copulatory mechanisms to incipient ecological speciation in sticklebacks

Joshka Kaufmann, Christophe Eizaguirre, Manfred Milinski & Tobias L. Lenz
Ecology can play a major role in species diversification. As individuals are adapting to contrasting habitats, reproductive barriers may evolve at multiple levels. While pre-mating barriers have been extensively studied, the evolution of post-mating reproductive isolation during early stages of ecological speciation remains poorly understood. In diverging three-spined stickleback ecotypes from two lakes and two rivers, we observed differences in sperm traits between lake and river males. Interestingly, these differences did not translate into ecotype-specific...

Data from: Experimental parasite community ecology: intraspecific variation in a large tapeworm affects community assembly

Daniel P. Benesh & Martin Kalbe
Non-random species associations occur in naturally-sampled parasite communities. The processes resulting in predictable community structure (e.g. particular host behaviours, cross-immunity, interspecific competition) could be affected by traits that vary within a parasite species, like growth or antigenicity. We experimentally infected three-spined sticklebacks with a large tapeworm (Schistocephalus solidus) that impacts the energy needs, foraging behaviour, and immune reactions of its host. The tapeworms came from two populations, characterized by high or low growth in sticklebacks....

Data from: Copulation order, density cues and variance in fertilization success in a cestode

Demetra Andreou & Daniel P. Benesh
Simultaneous hermaphrodites maximize their fitness by optimizing their investment into male or female functions. Allocation of resources to male function (tissues, traits, and/or behaviours increasing paternity) is predicted to increase as density, and the associated level of sperm competition, increases. We tested whether the simultaneous hermaphroditic cestode Schistocephalus solidus uses cues of potential partner densities in its fish intermediate host to improve its male reproductive success in the final host. We had two worms, one...

Data from: Detection of somatic epigenetic variation in Norway spruce via targeted bisulfite sequencing

Katrin Heer, Kristian K. Ullrich, Manuel Hiss, Sascha Liepelt, Ralf Schulze Brüning, Jiabin Zou, Lars Opgenoorth, Stefan A. Rensing & Jiabin Zhou
Epigenetic mechanisms represent a possible mechanism for achieving a rapid response of long‐lived trees to changing environmental conditions. However, our knowledge on plant epigenetics is largely limited to a few model species. With increasing availability of genomic resources for many tree species, it is now possible to adopt approaches from model species that permit to obtain single‐base pair resolution data on methylation at a reasonable cost. Here, we used targeted bisulfite sequencing (TBS) to study...

Data from: Northern range expansion of European populations of the wasp spider Argiope bruennichi is associated with global warming correlated genetic admixture and specific temperature adaptations

Henrik Krehenwinkel & Diethard Tautz
Poleward range expansions are observed for an increasing number of species, which may be an effect of global warming during the past decades. However, it is still not clear in how far these expansions reflect simple geographical shifts of species ranges, or whether new genetic adaptations play a role as well. Here, we analyse the expansion of the wasp spider Argiope bruennichi into Northern Europe during the last century. We have used a range-wide sampling...

Data from: Complex life cycles: why refrain from growth before reproduction in the adult niche?

Daniel P. Benesh, James C. Chubb & Geoff A. Parker
Organisms with complex life cycles occupy distinct niches as larvae and adults. One presumed advantage of this is the ability to exploit different resources successively throughout ontogeny. Various taxa, however, have evolved non-feeding, non-growing adult stages. We show theoretically that this counterintuitive 'no-growth' strategy is favored when the optimal larval size is greater than or equal to the optimal adult size for reproduction. We empirically investigated this in a group of parasitic worms (helminths). Helminths...

Data from: Eco-evolutionary feedback promotes Red Queen dynamics and selects for sex in predator populations

Julia Haafke, Maria Abou Chakra & Lutz Becks
Although numerous hypotheses exist to explain the overwhelming presence of sexual reproduction across the tree of life, we still cannot explain its prevalence when considering all inherent costs involved. The Red Queen hypothesis states that sex is maintained because it can create novel genotypes with a selective advantage. This occurs when the interactions between species induce frequent environmental change. Here we investigate whether coevolution and eco-evolutionary feedback dynamics in a predator-prey system allows for indirect...

Data from: Reduced male fertility is common but highly variable in form and severity in a natural house mouse hybrid zone

Leslie M. Turner, Denise J. Schwahn & Bettina Harr
Barriers to gene flow between naturally hybridizing taxa reveal the initial stages of speciation. Reduced hybrid fertility is a common feature of reproductive barriers separating recently diverged species. In house mice (Mus musculus), hybrid male sterility has been studied extensively using experimental crosses between subspecies. Here, we present the first detailed picture of hybrid male fertility in the European M. m. domesticus – M. m. musculus hybrid zone. Complete sterility appears rare or absent in...

Data from: The trophic vacuum and the evolution of complex life cycles in trophically-transmitted helminths

Daniel P. Benesh, James C. Chubb & Geoff A. Parker
Parasitic worms (helminths) frequently have complex life cycles in which they are transmitted trophically between two or more successive hosts. Sexual reproduction often takes place in high trophic-level (TL) vertebrates, where parasites can grow to large sizes with high fecundity. Direct infection of high TL hosts, while advantageous, may be unachievable for parasites constrained to transmit trophically, because helminth propagules are unlikely to be ingested by large predators. Lack of niche overlap between propagule and...

Data from: Parental effects on the larval performance of a tapeworm in its copepod first host

Daniel P. Benesh
Parents can influence the phenotype of their offspring through various mechanisms, besides the direct effect of heredity. Such parental effects are little explored in parasitic organisms, perhaps because in many parasites per capita investment into offspring is low. I investigated whether parental identity, beyond direct genetic effects, could explain variation in the performance of the tapeworm Schistocephalus solidus in its first intermediate host, a copepod. I first determined that two breeding worms could be separated...

Data from: Evaluating patterns of convergent evolution and trans-species polymorphism at MHC immunogenes in two sympatric stickleback species

Tobias L. Lenz, Christophe Eizaguirre, Martin Kalbe & Manfred Milinski
The immunologically important major histocompatibility complex (MHC) harbors some of the most polymorphic genes in vertebrates. These genes presumably evolve under parasite-mediated selection and frequently show inconsistent allelic genealogies, where some alleles are more similar between species than within species. This phenomenon is thought to arise either from convergent evolution under parallel selection or from the preservation of ancient allelic lineages beyond speciation events (trans-species polymorphism, TSP). Here we examine natural populations of two sympatric...

New experimental support for long standing concepts of polygenic genetics implies that the Mendelian genetic paradigm needs to be revised

Diethard Tautz, Richard Reeves & Luisa F Pallares
The field of Genetics started flourishing after the rediscovery of the Mendelian laws of inheritance at the beginning of the 20th century. These laws are based on a discrete classification of phenotypes and their causative genes. Such a Mendelian way of thinking forms the foundation of modern molecular biology, with its experimental paradigm that a gene function is inferred from the knock-out of the gene. However, most phenotypes are not discrete. Human height, for example,...

Data from: Environmental fluctuations restrict eco-evolutionary dynamics in predator-prey system

Teppo Hiltunen, Gökçe B. Ayan & Lutz Becks
Environmental fluctuations, species interactions and rapid evolution are all predicted to affect community structure and their temporal dynamics. Although the effects of the abiotic environment and prey evolution on ecological community dynamics have been studied separately, these factors can also have interactive effects. Here we used bacteria–ciliate microcosm experiments to test for eco-evolutionary dynamics in fluctuating environments. Specifically, we followed population dynamics and a prey defence trait over time when populations were exposed to regular...

Data from: Extortion strategies resist disciplining when higher competitiveness is rewarded with extra gain

Lutz Becks & Manfred Milinski
Cooperative strategies are predicted for repeated social interactions. The recently described Zero Determinant (ZD) strategies enforce the partner’s cooperation because the ‘generous’ ZD players help their cooperative partners while ‘extortionate’ ZD players exploit their partners’ cooperation. Partners may accede to extortion because it pays them to do so, but the partner can sabotage his own and his extortioner’s score by defecting to discipline the extortioner. Thus, extortion is predicted to turn into generous and disappear....

Data from: Experimental evolution of parasitic host manipulation

Nina Hafer-Hahmann
Host manipulation is a parasite-induced alteration of a host’s phenotype that increases parasite fitness. However, if genetically encoded in the parasite, it should be under selection in the parasite. Such host manipulation has often been assumed to be energetically costly, which should restrict its evolution. Evidence of such costs, however, remains elusive. The trophically-transmitted cestode Schistocephalus solidus manipulates the activity of its first intermediate copepod host to reduce its predation susceptibility before the parasite is...

Data from: Genomic evolution of bacterial populations under co-selection by antibiotics and phage

Johannes Cairns, Jens Frickel, Matti Jalasvuori, Teppo Hiltunen & Lutz Becks
Bacteria live in dynamic systems where selection pressures can alter rapidly, forcing adaptation to the prevailing conditions. In particular, bacteriophages and antibiotics of anthropogenic origin are major bacterial stressors in many environments. We previously observed that populations of the bacterium Pseudomonas fluorescens SBW25 exposed to the lytic bacteriophage SBW25Φ2 and a non-inhibitive concentration of the antibiotic streptomycin (co-selection) achieved higher levels of phage resistance compared to populations exposed to the phage alone. In addition, the...

Data from: Competing metabolic strategies in a multilevel selection model

André Amado, Lenin Fernández, Weini Huang, Fernando F. Ferreira & Paulo R. A. Campos
The evolutionary mechanisms of energy efficiency have been addressed. One important question is to understand how the optimized usage of energy can be selected in an evolutionary process, especially when the immediate advantage of gathering efficient individuals in an energetic context is not clear. We propose a model of two competing metabolic strategies differing in their resource usage, an efficient strain which converts resource into energy at high efficiency but displays a low rate of...

Data from: Population differentiation of zander (Sander lucioperca, Linnaeus, 1758) across native and newly colonized ranges suggests increasing admixture in the course of an invasion

Erik Eschbach, Arne W. Nolte, Klaus Kohlmann, Petra Kersten, Robert Arlinghaus & Jochem Kail
In addition to ecological factors, evolutionary processes can determine the invasion success of a species. In particular, genetic admixture has the potential to induce rapid evolutionary change, which can result from natural or human-assisted secondary contact between differentiated populations. We studied the recent range expansion of zander in Germany focusing on the interplay between invasion and genetic admixture. Historically, the rivers Elbe and Danube harboured the most north-western source populations from which a north-westward range...

Data from: Transcriptome profiling of immune tissues reveals habitat-specific gene expression between lake and river sticklebacks

Yun Huang, Frederic Chain, Mahesh Panchal, Christophe Eizaguirre, Martin Kalbe, Tobias Lenz, Irene Samonte, Monika Stoll, Erich Bornberg-Bauer, Thorsten B. Reusch, Manfred Milinski & Philine Feulner
The observation of habitat-specific phenotypes suggests the action of natural selection. The three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) has repeatedly colonized and adapted to diverse freshwater habitats across the northern hemisphere since the last glaciation, while giving rise to recurring phenotypes associated with specific habitats. Parapatric lake and river populations of sticklebacks harbour distinct parasite communities, a factor proposed to contribute to adaptive differentiation between these ecotypes. However, little is known about the transcriptional response to the...

Data from: Genetic differences between willow warbler migratory phenotypes are few and cluster in large haplotype blocks

Max Lundberg, Miriam Liedvogel, Keith Larson, Hanna Sigeman, Mats Grahn, Anthony Wright, Susanne Åkesson & Staffan Bensch
It is well established that differences in migratory behavior between populations of songbirds have a genetic basis but the actual genes underlying these traits remains largely unknown. In an attempt to identify such candidate genes we de novo assembled the genome of the willow warbler Phylloscopus trochilus, and used whole-genome resequencing and a SNP array to associate genomic variation with migratory phenotypes across two migratory divides around the Baltic Sea that separate SW migrating P....

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