Evolutionary Applications (EVOL APPL )

Publisher: Blackwell Publishing


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Publications in this journal

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    Evolutionary Applications 03/2014; 7(3):337-8.
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    ABSTRACT: Adaptations at the gamete level (a) evolve quickly, (b) appear sensitive to inbreeding and outbreeding and (c) have important influences on potential to reproduce. We apply this understanding to problems posed by escaped farm salmon and measure their potential to reproduce in the wild. Farm Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) are a threat to biodiversity, because they escape in large numbers and can introgress, dilute or disrupt locally adapted wild gene pools. Experiments at the whole fish level have found farm reproductive potential to be significant, but inferior compared to wild adults, especially for males. Here, we assess reproductive performance at the gamete level through detailed in vitro comparisons of the form, function, fertility, compatibility and competitiveness of farm versus wild Atlantic salmon sperm and eggs, in conditions mimicking the natural gametic microenvironment, using fish raised under similar environmental conditions. Despite selective domestication and reduced genetic diversity, we find functional equivalence in all farm fish gamete traits compared with their wild ancestral strain. Our results identify a clear threat of farm salmon reproduction with wild fish and therefore encourage further consideration of using triploid farm strains with optimized traits for aquaculture and fish welfare, as triploid fish remain reproductively sterile following escape.
    Evolutionary Applications 03/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Evolution has contributed to the successful invasion of exotic plant species in their introduced ranges, but how evolution affects particular control strategies is still under evaluation. For instance, classical biological control, a common strategy involving the utilization of highly specific natural enemies to control exotic pests, may be negatively affected by host hybridization because of shifts in plant traits, such as root allocation or chemical constituents. We investigated introgression between two parent species of the invasive shrub tamarisk (Tamarix spp.) in the western United States, and how differences in plant traits affect interactions with a biological control agent. Introgression varied strongly with latitude of origin and was highly correlated with plant performance. Increased levels of T. ramosissima introgression resulted in both higher investment in roots and tolerance to defoliation and less resistance to insect attack. Because tamarisk hybridization occurs predictably on the western U.S. landscape, managers may be able to exploit this information to maximize control efforts. Genetic differentiation in plant traits in this system underpins the importance of plant hybridization and may explain why some biological control releases are more successful than others.
    Evolutionary Applications 03/2014; 7(3):381-93.
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    ABSTRACT: Influenza is one of the most severe respiratory infections affecting humans throughout the world, yet the dynamics of its global transmission network are still contentious. Here, I describe a novel combination of phylogenetics, time series, and graph theory to analyze 14.25 years of data stratified in space and in time, focusing on the main target of the human immune response, the hemagglutinin gene. While bypassing the complete phylogenetic inference of huge data sets, the method still extracts information suggesting that waves of genetic or of nucleotide diversity circulate continuously around the globe for subtypes that undergo sustained transmission over several seasons, such as H3N2 and pandemic H1N1/09, while diversity of prepandemic H1N1 viruses had until 2009 a noncontinuous transmission pattern consistent with a source/sink model. Irrespective of the shift in the structure of H1N1 diversity circulation with the emergence of the pandemic H1N1/09 strain, US prevalence peaks during the winter months when genetic diversity is at its lowest. This suggests that a dominant strain is generally responsible for epidemics and that monitoring genetic and/or nucleotide diversity in real time could provide public health agencies with an indirect estimate of prevalence.
    Evolutionary Applications 03/2014; 7(3):403-12.
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    ABSTRACT: The use of phages for treating bacterial pathogens has recently been advocated as an alternative to antibiotic therapy. Here, we test a hypothesis that bacteria treated with phages may show more limited evolution of antibiotic resistance as the fitness costs of resistance to phages may add to those of antibiotic resistance, further reducing the growth performance of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. We did this by studying the evolution of phage-exposed and phage-free Pseudomonas fluorescens cultures on concentration gradients of single drugs, including cefotaxime, chloramphenicol, and kanamycin. During drug treatment, the level of bacterial antibiotic resistance increased through time and was not affected by the phage treatment. Exposure to phages did not cause slower growth in antibiotic-resistant bacteria, although it did so in antibiotic-susceptible bacteria. We observed significant reversion of antibiotic resistance after drug use being terminated, and the rate of reversion was not affected by the phage treatment. The results suggest that the fitness costs caused by resistance to phages are unlikely to be an important constraint on the evolution of bacterial antibiotic resistance in heterogeneous drug environments. Further studies are needed for the interaction of fitness costs of antibiotic resistance with other factors.
    Evolutionary Applications 03/2014; 7(3):394-402.
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    ABSTRACT: The ability to deal with temperature-induced changes in interactions with contaminants and predators under global warming is one of the outstanding, applied evolutionary questions. For this, it is crucial to understand how contaminants will affect activity levels, predator avoidance and antipredator responses under global warming and to what extent gradual thermal evolution may mitigate these effects. Using a space-for-time substitution approach, we assessed the potential for gradual thermal evolution shaping activity (mobility and foraging), predator avoidance and antipredator responses when Ischnura elegans damselfly larvae were exposed to zinc in a common-garden warming experiment at the mean summer water temperatures of shallow water bodies at southern and northern latitudes (24 and 20°C, respectively). Zinc reduced mobility and foraging, predator avoidance and escape swimming speed. Importantly, high-latitude populations showed stronger zinc-induced reductions in escape swimming speed at both temperatures, and in activity levels at the high temperature. The latter indicates that local thermal adaptation may strongly change the ecological impact of contaminants under global warming. Our study underscores the critical importance of considering local adaptation along natural gradients when integrating biotic interactions in ecological risk assessment, and the potential of gradual thermal evolution mitigating the effects of warming on the vulnerability to contaminants.
    Evolutionary Applications 03/2014; 7(3):421-30.
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    ABSTRACT: This paper addresses the general concern in plant pathology that the introduction of quantitative resistance in the landscape can lead to increased pathogenicity. Hereto, we study the hypothetical case of a quantitative trait loci (QTL) acting on pathogen spore production per unit lesion area. To regain its original fitness, the pathogen can break the QTL, restoring its spore production capacity leading to an increased spore production per lesion. Or alternatively, it can increase its lesion size, also leading to an increased spore production per lesion. A data analysis shows that spore production per lesion (affected by the resistance QTL) and lesion size (not targeted by the QTL) are positively correlated traits, suggesting that a change in magnitude of a trait not targeted by the QTL (lesion size) might indirectly affect the targeted trait (spore production per lesion). Secondly, we model the effect of pathogen adaptation towards increased lesion size and analyse its consequences for spore production per lesion. The model calculations show that when the pathogen is unable to overcome the resistance associated QTL, it may compensate for its reduced fitness by indirect selection for increased pathogenicity on both the resistant and susceptible cultivar, but whereby the QTLs remain effective.
    Evolutionary Applications 03/2014; 7(3):370-80.
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    ABSTRACT: Understanding how organisms interact with their environments is increasingly important for conservation efforts in many species, especially in light of highly anticipated climate changes. One method for understanding this relationship is to use genetic maps and QTL mapping to detect genomic regions linked to phenotypic traits of importance for adaptation. We used high-throughput genotyping by sequencing (GBS) to both detect and map thousands of SNPs in haploid Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha). We next applied this map to detect QTL related to temperature tolerance and body size in families of diploid Chinook salmon. Using these techniques, we mapped 3534 SNPs in 34 linkage groups which is consistent with the haploid chromosome number for Chinook salmon. We successfully detected three QTL for temperature tolerance and one QTL for body size at the experiment-wide level, as well as additional QTL significant at the chromosome-wide level. The use of haploids coupled with GBS provides a robust pathway to rapidly develop genomic resources in nonmodel organisms; these QTL represent preliminary progress toward linking traits of conservation interest to regions in the Chinook salmon genome.
    Evolutionary Applications 02/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Spatial and temporal trends and variation in life-history traits, including age and length at maturation, can be influenced by environmental and anthropogenic processes, including size-selective exploitation. Spawning adults in many wild Alaskan sockeye salmon populations have become shorter at a given age over the past half-century, but their age composition has not changed. These fish have been exploited by a gillnet fishery since the late 1800s that has tended to remove the larger fish. Using a rare, long-term dataset, we estimated probabilistic maturation reaction norms (PMRNs) for males and females in nine populations in two basins and correlated these changes with fishery size selection and intensity to determine whether such selection contributed to microevolutionary changes in maturation length. PMRN midpoints decreased in six of nine populations for both sexes, consistent with the harvest. These results support the hypothesis that environmental changes in the ocean (likely from competition) combined with adaptive microevolution (decreased PMRNs) have produced the observed life-history patterns. PMRNs did not decrease in all populations, and we documented differences in magnitude and consistency of size selection and exploitation rates among populations. Incorporating evolutionary considerations and tracking further changes in life-history traits can support continued sustainable exploitation and productivity in these and other exploited natural resources.
    Evolutionary Applications 02/2014; 7(2):313-22.

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