Reproductive isolation due to pollinator behavior is considered a key mode of speciation in flowering plants. Although floral scent is thought to mediate pollinator behavior, little is known about its effects on pollinator attraction and floral visitation in the wild. We used field experiments with wild hawkmoths and laboratory experiments with naïve hawkmoths to investigate attraction to and probing of flowers in response to indole, a volatile emitted by Ipomopsis tenuituba but not its close...
The global DNA barcoding initiative has revolutionized the field of biodiversity research. Such large-scale sequencing projects require the collection of large numbers of specimens, which need to be killed and preserved in a way that is both DNA-friendly and which will keep voucher specimens in good condition for later study. Factors such as time since collection, correct storage (exposure to free water and heat) and DNA extraction protocol are known to play a role in...
Hermaphroditism can lead to both intra- and inter-sexual conflict between male and female gender functions. However, the effect that such gender conflicts have on pollination efficiency has seldom been investigated. By artificially reducing the number of available male gametes on an individual, we quantified whether male interference with pollination efficiency occurs in the self-compatible, moth-pollinated orchid Satyrium longicauda. We partially emasculated S. longicauda inflorescences and compared pollination success and fecundity in these plants to intact...
Data from: Positive selection of deleterious alleles through interaction with a sex-ratio suppressor gene in African buffalo: a plausible new mechanism for a high frequency anomalyPim Van Hooft, Ben J. Greyling, Wayne M. Getz, Paul D. Van Helden, Bas J. Zwaan & Armanda D. S. Bastos
Although generally rare, deleterious alleles can become common through genetic drift, hitchhiking or reductions in selective constraints. Here we present a possible new mechanism that explains the attainment of high frequencies of deleterious alleles in the African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) population of Kruger National Park, through positive selection of these alleles that is ultimately driven by a sex-ratio suppressor. We have previously shown that one in four Kruger buffalo has a Y-chromosome profile that, despite...
Throughout the Cenozoic, the fitness benefits of the scrotum in placental mammals presumably outweighed the fitness costs through damage, yet a definitive hypothesis for its evolution remains elusive. Here, I present an hypothesis (Endothermic Pulses Hypothesis) which argues that the evolution of the scrotum was driven by Cenozoic pulses in endothermy, that is, increases in normothermic body temperature, which occurred in Boreotheria (rodents, primates, lagomorphs, carnivores, bats, lipotyphylans and ungulates) in response to factors such...
Data from: Frequent and seasonally variable sublethal anthrax infections are accompanied by short-lived immunity in an endemic systemCarrie A. Cizauskas, Steven E. Bellan, Wendy C. Turner, Russell E. Vance & Wayne M. Getz
1. Few studies have examined host-pathogen interactions in wildlife from an immunological perspective, particularly in the context of seasonal and longitudinal dynamics. In addition, though most ecological immunology studies employ serological antibody assays, endpoint titer determination is usually based on subjective criteria and needs to be made more objective. 2. Despite the fact that anthrax is an ancient and emerging zoonotic infectious disease found worldwide, its natural ecology is not well understood. In particular, little...
University of KwaZulu-Natal6
University of California, Berkeley2
University of Pretoria1
The University of Texas at Austin1
University of California System1
University of Oslo1
Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory1
Agricultural Research Council1
Wageningen University & Research1