99 Works

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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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...

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: Population size changes and selection drive patterns of parallel evolution in a host-virus system

Jens Frickel, Philine G.D. Feulner, Emre Karakoc & Lutz Becks
Predicting the repeatability of evolution remains elusive. Theory and empirical studies suggest that strong selection and large population sizes increase the probability for parallel evolution at the phenotypic and genotypic levels. However, selection and population sizes are not constant, but rather change continuously and directly affect each other even on short time scales. Here, we examine the degree of parallel evolution shaped through eco-evolutionary dynamics in an algal host population coevolving with a virus. We...

Data from: Sublethal streptomycin concentrations and lytic bacteriophage together promote resistance evolution

Johannes Cairns, Lutz Becks, Matti Jalasvuori & Teppo Hiltunen
Sub-minimum inhibiting concentrations (sub-MICs) of antibiotics frequently occur in natural environments owing to wide-spread antibiotic leakage by human action. Even though the concentrations are very low, these sub-MICs have recently been shown to alter bacterial populations by selecting for antibiotic resistance and increasing the rate of adaptive evolution. However, studies are lacking on how these effects reverberate into key ecological interactions, such as bacteria–phage interactions. Previously, co-selection of bacteria by phages and antibiotic concentrations exceeding...

Data from: Tracing the dynamics of gene transcripts after organismal death

Alexander E. Pozhitkov, Rafik Neme, Tomislav Domazet-Lošo, Brian G. Leroux, Shivani Soni, Diethard Tautz & Peter A. Noble
In life, genetic and epigenetic networks precisely coordinate the expression of genes—but in death, it is not known if gene expression diminishes gradually or abruptly stops or if specific genes and pathways are involved. We studied this by identifying mRNA transcripts that apparently increase in relative abundance after death, assessing their functions, and comparing their abundance profiles through postmortem time in two species, mouse and zebrafish. We found mRNA transcript profiles of 1063 genes became...

Data from: Programmed and flexible: long-term Zugunruhe data highlight the many axes of variation in avian migratory behaviour

Benjamin M. Van Doren, Miriam Liedvogel & Barbara Helm
Studies of Zugunruhe – the ‘migratory restlessness’ behaviour of captive birds – have been integral to our understanding of animal migration, revealing an inherited propensity to migrate and an endogenous timing and navigation system. However, differences between Zugunruhe in captivity and migration in the wild call for more data, in particular on variation within and among taxa with diverse migration strategies. Here, we characterise Zugunruhe in a long-term dataset of activity profiles from stonechats (genus...

Data from: When parasites disagree: evidence for parasite-induced sabotage of host manipulation

Nina Hafer & Manfred Milinski
Host manipulation is a common parasite strategy to alter host behavior in a manner to enhance parasite fitness usually by increasing the parasite's transmission to the next host. In nature, hosts often harbour multiple parasites with agreeing or conflicting interests over host manipulation. Natural selection might drive such parasites to cooperation, compromise or sabotage. Sabotage would occur, if one parasite suppresses the manipulation of another. Experimental studies on the effect of multi-parasite interactions on host...

Data from: Genome-wide mapping in a house mouse hybrid zone reveals hybrid sterility loci and Dobzhansky-Muller interactions

Leslie M. Turner & Bettina Harr
Mapping hybrid defects in contact zones between incipient species can identify genomic regions contributing to reproductive isolation and reveal genetic mechanisms of speciation. The house mouse features a rare combination of sophisticated genetic tools and natural hybrid zones between subspecies. Male hybrids often show reduced fertility, a common reproductive barrier between incipient species. Laboratory crosses have identified sterility loci, but each encompasses hundreds of genes. We map genetic determinants of testis weight and testis gene...

Data from: Mate choice in sticklebacks reveals that immunogenes can drive ecological speciation

Demetra Andreou, Christophe Eizaguirre, Thomas Boehm & Manfred Milinski
Adaptation to ecologically contrasting niches can lead to the formation of new species. Theoretically, this process of ecological speciation can be driven by pleiotropic “magic traits” that genetically link natural and sexual selection. To qualify as a true magic trait, the pleiotropic function of a gene must be reflected in biologically relevant mechanisms underlying both local adaptation and mate choice. The immune genes of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) contribute to parasite resistance and also...

Data from: Sex ratio and density affect sexual selection in a sex-role reversed fish

Tonje Aronsen, Anders Berglund, Kenyon B. Mobley, Irja Ida Ratikainen & Gunilla Rosenqvist
Understanding how demographic processes influence mating systems is important to decode ecological influences on sexual selection in nature. We manipulated sex ratio and density in experimental populations of the sex-role reversed pipefish Syngnathus typhle. We quantified sexual selection using the Bateman gradient (ß′ss), the opportunity for selection (I), and sexual selection (Is), and the maximum standardized sexual selection differential (s′max). We also measured selection on body length using standardized selection differentials (s′) and mating differentials...

Data from: Recombination in the eggs and sperm in a simultaneously hermaphroditic vertebrate

Loukas Theodosiou, W. O. McMillan & Oscar Puebla
When there is no recombination (achiasmy) in one sex, it is in the heterogametic one. This observation is so consistent that it constitutes one of the few patterns in biology that may be regarded as a ‘rule’ and Haldane (Haldane 1922 J. Genet. 12, 101–109. (doi:10.1007/BF02983075)) proposed that it might be driven by selection against recombination in the sex chromosomes. Yet differences in recombination rates between the sexes (heterochiasmy) have also been reported in hermaphroditic...

Data from: A revised design for microarray experiments to account for experimental noise and uncertainty of probe response

Alex E. Pozhitkov, Peter A. Noble, Jaroslaw Bryk, Diethard Tautz & Jarosław Bryk
Background: Although microarrays are analysis tools in biomedical research, they are known to yield noisy output that usually requires experimental confirmation. To tackle this problem, many studies have developed rules for optimizing probe design and devised complex statistical tools to analyze the output. However, less emphasis has been placed on systematically identifying the noise component as part of the experimental procedure. One source of noise is the variance in probe binding, which can be assessed...

Data from: The temporal window of ecological adaptation in postglacial lakes: a comparison of head morphology, trophic position and habitat use in Norwegian threespine stickleback populations

Kjartan Østbye, Chris Harrod, Finn Gregersen, Tom Klepaker, Michael Schulz, Dolph Schluter & Leif Asbjørn Vøllestad
Background: Studying how trophic traits and niche use are related in natural populations is important in order to understand adaptation and specialization. Here, we describe trophic trait diversity in twenty-five Norwegian freshwater threespine stickleback populations and their putative marine ancestor, and relate trait differences to postglacial lake age. By studying lakes of different ages, depths and distance to the sea we examine key environmental variables that may predict adaptation in trophic position and habitat use....

Data from: The breakdown of genomic ancestry blocks in hybrid lineages given a finite number of recombination sites

Thijs Janzen, Arne W. Nolte & Arne Traulsen
When a lineage originates from hybridization genomic blocks of contiguous ancestry from different ancestors are fragmented through genetic recombination. The resulting blocks are delineated by so called “junctions”, which accumulate with every generation that passes. Modeling the accumulation of ancestry block junctions can elucidate processes and timeframes of genomic admixture. Previous models have not addressed ancestry block dynamics for chromosomes that consist of a finite number of recombination sites. However, genomic data typically consist of...

Data from: Mapping of craniofacial traits in outbred mice identifies major developmental genes involved in shape determination

Luisa F. Pallares, Peter Carbonetto, Shyam Gopalakrishnan, Clarissa C. Parker, Cheryl L. Ackert-Bicknell, Abraham A. Palmer & Diethard Tautz
The vertebrate cranium is a prime example of the high evolvability of complex traits. While evidence of genes and developmental pathways underlying craniofacial shape determination is accumulating, we are still far from understanding how such variation at the genetic level is translated into craniofacial shape variation. Here we used 3D geometric morphometrics to map genes involved in shape determination in a population of outbred mice (Carworth Farms White, or CFW). We defined shape traits via...

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