Evolutionary Applications (EVOL APPL )

Publisher: Blackwell Publishing


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Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The rate of biological invasions is expected to increase as the effects of climate change on biological communities become widespread. Climate change enhances habitat disturbance which facilitates the establishment of invasive species, which in turn provides opportunities for hybridization and introgression. These effects influence local biodiversity that can be tracked through genetic and genomic approaches. Metabarcoding and metagenomic approaches provide a way of monitoring some types of communities under climate change for the appearance of invasives. Introgression and hybridization can be followed by the analysis of entire genomes so that rapidly changing areas of the genome are identified and instances of genetic pollution monitored. Genomic markers enable accurate tracking of invasive species’ geographic origin well beyond what was previously possible. New genomic tools are promoting fresh insights into classic questions about invading organisms under climate change, such as the role of genetic variation, local adaptation and climate pre-adaptation in successful invasions. These tools are providing managers with often more effective means to identify potential threats, improve surveillance, and assess impacts on communities. We provide a framework for the application of genomic techniques within a management context, and also indicate some important limitations in what can be achieved.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Evolutionary Applications 11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Domestication has resulted in selection upon seed traits found in wild populations, yet crop-wild hybrids retain some aspects of both parental phenotypes. Seed fates of germination, dormancy, and mortality can influence the success of crop allele introgression in crop-wild hybrid zones, especially if crop alleles or crop-imparted seed coverings result in out-of-season germination. We performed a seed burial experiment using crop, wild, and diverse hybrid sunflower (Helianthus annuus) cross types to test how a cross type's maternal parent and nuclear genetic composition might affect its fate under field conditions. We observed higher maladaptive fall germination in the crop- and F1- produced seeds than wild-produced seeds and, due to an interaction with percent crop alleles, fall germination was higher for cross types with more crop-like nuclear genetics. By spring, crop-produced cross types had the highest overwintering mortality, primarily due to higher fall germination. Early spring germination was identical across maternal types, but germination continued for F1-produced seeds. In conclusion, the more wild-like the maternal parent or the less proportion of the cross type's genome contributed by the crop, the greater likelihood a seed will remain ungerminated than die. Wild-like dormancy may facilitate introgression through future recruitment from the soil seed bank.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Evolutionary Applications 11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Salmon lice Lepeophtheirus salmonis are an ecologically and economically important parasite of wild and farmed salmon. In Scotland, Norway and Eastern Canada, L. salmonis have developed resistance to emamectin benzoate, one of the few parasiticides available for salmon lice. Drug resistance mechanisms can be complex, potentially differing among populations and involving multiple genes with additive effects (i.e. polygenic resistance). Indicators of resistance development may enable early detection and countermeasures to avoid the spread of resistance. Here we collect sensitive Pacific L. salmonis and sensitive and resistant Atlantic L. salmonis from salmon farms, propagate in lab (F1), expose to emamectin benzoate in bioassays, and evaluate either baseline (Atlantic only) or induced transcriptomic differences between populations. In all populations induced responses were minor and a cellular stress response was not identified. Pacific lice did not up-regulate any genes in response to emamectin benzoate, but down-regulated degradative enzymes and transport proteins at 50 ppb emamectin benzoate. Baseline differences between sensitive and now resistant Atlantic lice were much greater than responses to exposures. All resistant lice overexpressed degradative enzymes, and resistant males, the most resistant group, overexpressed collagenases to the greatest extent. These results indicate an accumulation of baseline expression differences related to resistance.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Evolutionary Applications 11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Recently, genetic strategies aimed at controlling populations of disease-vectoring mosquitoes have received considerable attention as alternatives to traditional measures. Theoretical studies have shown that female-killing (FK), antipathogen (AP), and reduce and replace (R&R) strategies can each decrease the number competent vectors. In this study, we utilize a mathematical model to evaluate impacts on competent Aedes aegypti populations of FK, AP, and R&R releases as well as hybrid strategies that result from combinations of these three approaches. We show that while the ordering of efficacy of these strategies depends upon population life history parameters, sex ratio of releases, and switch time in combination strategies, AP-only and R&R/AP releases typically lead to the greatest long-term reduction in competent vectors. R&R-only releases are often less effective at long-term reduction of competent vectors than AP-only releases or R&R/AP releases. Furthermore, the reduction in competent vectors caused by AP-only releases is easier to maintain than that caused by FK-only or R&R-only releases even when the AP gene confers a fitness cost. We discuss the roles that density dependence and inclusion of females play in the order of efficacy of the strategies. We anticipate that our results will provide added impetus to continue developing AP strategies.
    Evolutionary Applications 10/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Domestication can have adverse genetic consequences, which may reduce the fitness of individuals once released back into the wild. Many wild Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) populations are threatened by anthropogenic influences and they are supplemented with captively bred fish. The Atlantic salmon is also widely used in selective breeding programs to increase the mean trait values for desired phenotypic traits. We analyzed a genome-wide set of SNPs in three domesticated Atlantic salmon strains and their wild conspecifics to identify loci underlying domestication. The genetic differentiation between domesticated strains and wild populations was low (FST < 0.03), and domesticated strains harbored similar levels of genetic diversity compared to their wild conspecifics. Only a few loci showed footprints of selection, and these loci were located in different linkage groups among the different wild population/hatchery strain comparisons. Simulated scenarios indicated that differentiation in quantitative trait loci exceeded that in neutral markers during the early phases of divergence only when the difference in the phenotypic optimum between populations was large. This study indicates that detecting selection using standard approaches in the early phases of domestication might be challenging unless selection is strong and the traits under selection show simple inheritance patterns.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Evolutionary Applications 10/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Urbanization profoundly impacts animal populations by causing isolation, increased susceptibility to disease, and exposure to toxicants. Genetic effects include reduced effective population size, increased population substructure, and decreased adaptive potential. We investigated the influence that urbanization and a disease epizootic had on the population genetics of bobcats (Lynx rufus) distributed across a highly fragmented urban landscape. We genotyped more than 300 bobcats, sampled from 1996-2012, for variation at nine neutral and seven immune gene-linked microsatellite loci. We found that two freeways are significant barriers to gene flow. Further, a 3-year disease epizootic, associated with secondary anticoagulant rodenticide exposure, caused a population bottleneck that led to significant genetic differentiation between pre- and post-disease populations that was greater than that between populations separated by major freeways for > 60 years. However, balancing selection acted on immune-linked loci during the epizootic, maintaining variation at functional regions. Conservation assessments need to assay loci that are potentially under selection in order to better preserve the adaptive potential of populations at the urban-wildland interface. Further, inter-connected regions that contain appropriate habitat for wildlife will be critical to the long-term viability of animal populations in urban landscapes.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Evolutionary Applications 10/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Understanding the transition of bacterial species from commensal to pathogen, or vice versa, is a key application of evolutionary theory to preventative medicine. This requires working knowledge of the molecular interaction among hosts and bacteria, ecological interactions among microbes, spatial variation in bacterial prevalence or host life history, and evolution in response to these factors. However, there are very few systems for which such broad datasets are available. One exception is the gram-negative bacterium, Helicobacter pylori, which infects upwards of 50% of the global human population. This bacterium is associated with a wide breadth of human gastrointestinal disease, including numerous cancers, inflammatory disorders, and pathogenic infections, but is also known to confer fitness benefits to its host both indirectly, through interactions with other pathogens, and directly. Outstanding questions are therefore why, when and how this bacterium transitions along the parasitism-mutualism continuum. We examine known virulence factors, genetic predispositions of the host, and environmental contributors that impact progression of clinical disease and help define geographical trends in disease incidence. We highlight the complexity of the interaction and discuss future therapeutic strategies for disease management and public health in light of the longstanding evolutionary history between the bacterium and its human host.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Evolutionary Applications 10/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The emerging field of ecological genomics contains several broad research areas. Comparative genomic and conservation genetic analyses are providing great insight into adaptive processes, species bottlenecks, population dynamics and areas of conservation priority. Now the same technological advances in high throughput sequencing, coupled with taxonomically broad sequence repositories, are providing greater resolution and fundamentally new insights into functional ecology. In particular we now have the capacity in some systems to rapidly identify thousands of species-level interactions using non-invasive methods based on the detection of trace DNA. This represents a powerful tool for conservation biology for example, allowing the identification of species with particularly inflexible niches and the investigation of food-webs or interaction networks with unusual or vulnerable dynamics. As they develop, these analyses will no doubt provide significant advances in the field of restoration ecology and the identification of appropriate locations for species reintroduction, as well as highlighting species at ecological risk. Here, I describe emerging patterns that have come from the various initial model systems, the advantages and limitations of the technique and key areas where these methods may significantly advance our empirical and applied conservation practices.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Evolutionary Applications 10/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The evolutionary potential of natural populations to adapt to anthropogenic threats critically depends on whether there exists additive genetic variation for tolerance to the threat. A major problem for water-dwelling organisms is chemical pollution, and among the most common pollutants is 17α-ethinylestradiol (EE2), the synthetic estrogen that is used in oral contraceptives and that can affect fish at various developmental stages, including embryogenesis. We tested whether there is variation in the tolerance to EE2 within Alpine whitefish. We sampled spawners from two species of different lakes, bred them in vitro in a full-factorial design each, and studied growth and mortality of embryos. Exposure to EE2 turned out to be toxic in all concentrations we tested (≥1 ng/L). It reduced embryo viability and slowed down embryogenesis. We found significant additive genetic variation in EE2-induced mortality in both species, that is, genotypes differed in their tolerance to estrogen pollution. We also found maternal effects on embryo development to be influenced by EE2, that is, some maternal sib groups were more susceptible to EE2 than others. In conclusion, the toxic effects of EE2 were strong, but both species demonstrated the kind of additive genetic variation that is necessary for an evolutionary response to this type of pollution.
    Evolutionary Applications 10/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Flowering time divergence can be a crucial component of reproductive isolation between sympatric populations but few studies have quantified its actual contribution to the reduction of gene flow. In this study, we aimed at estimating pollen-mediated gene flow between cultivated sunflower and a weedy conspecific sunflower population growing in the same field, and at quantifying how it is affected by the weeds’ flowering time.For that purpose, we extended an existing mating model by including a temporal distance (i.e. flowering time difference between potential parents) effect on mating probabilities. Using phenological and genotypic data gathered on the crop and on a sample of the weedy population and its offspring, we estimated an average hybridization rate of approximately 10%. This rate varied strongly from 30% on average for weeds flowering at the crop flowering peak to 0% when the crop finished flowering, and was affected by the local density of weeds. Our result also suggested the occurrence of other factors limiting crop-to-weed gene flow. This level of gene flow and its dependence on flowering time might influence the evolutionary fate of weedy sunflower populations sympatric to their crop relative.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Evolutionary Applications 09/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Fishing may induce neutral and adaptive evolution affecting life-history traits, and molecular evidence has shown that neutral genetic diversity has declined in some exploited populations. Here we theoretically study the interplay between neutral and adaptive evolution caused by fishing. An individual-based eco-genetic model is devised that includes neutral and functional loci in a realistic ecological setting. In line with theoretical expectations, we find that fishing induces evolution towards slow growth, early maturation at small size, and higher reproductive investment. We show, first, that the choice of genetic model (based on either quantitative genetics or gametic inheritance) influences the evolutionary recovery of traits after fishing ceases. Second, we analyse the influence of three factors possibly involved in the lack of evolutionary recovery: the strength of selection, the effect of genetic drift, and the loss of adaptive potential. We find that evolutionary recovery is hampered by an association of weak selection differentials with reduced additive genetic variances. Third, the contribution of fisheries-induced selection to the erosion of functional genetic diversity clearly dominates that of genetic drift only for the traits related to maturation. Together, our results highlight the importance of taking into account population genetic variability in predictions of eco-evolutionary dynamics.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Evolutionary Applications 09/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Pleiotropy is a key feature of the genotype–phenotype map, and its form and extent have many evolutionary implications, including for the dynamics of adaptation and the evolution of specialization. Similarly, pleiotropic effects of antibiotic resistance mutations may affect the evolution of antibiotic resistance in the simultaneous or fluctuating presence of different antibiotics. Here, we study the role of pleiotropy during the in vitro adaptation of the enzyme TEM-1 β-lactamase to two novel antibiotics, cefotaxime (CTX) and ceftazidime (CAZ). We subject replicate lines for four rounds of evolution to selection with CTX and CAZ alone, and in their combined and fluctuating presence. Evolved alleles show positive correlated responses when selecting with single antibiotics. Nevertheless, pleiotropic constraints are apparent from the effects of single mutations and from selected alleles showing smaller correlated than direct responses and smaller responses after simultaneous and fluctuating selection with both than with single antibiotics. We speculate that these constraints result from structural changes in the oxyanion pocket surrounding the active site, where accommodation of CTX and the larger CAZ is balanced against their positioning with respect to the active site. Our findings suggest limited benefits from the combined or fluctuating application of these related cephalosporins for containing antibiotic resistance.
    Evolutionary Applications 09/2014;