Evolutionary Applications (EVOL APPL )

Publisher: Blackwell Publishing


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Publications in this journal

  • Evolutionary Applications 01/2015; 8(1).
  • Thomas Merckx, Mélanie Serruys, Hans Van Dyck
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    ABSTRACT: Recent anthropogenic eutrophication has meant that hostplants of nettle-feeding insects became quasi-omnipresent in fertile regions of Western Europe. However, hostplant resource quality – in terms of microclimate and nutritional value – may vary considerably between the ‘original’ forest habitat and ‘recent’ agricultural habitat. Here, we compared development in both environmental settings using a split-brood design, so as to explore to what extent larval survival and adult morphology in the nettle-feeding butterfly Aglais urticae are influenced by the anthropogenic environment. Nettles along field margins had higher C/N-ratios and provided warmer microclimates to larvae. Larvae developed 20% faster, and tended to improve their survival rates, on the agricultural land compared to woodland. Our split-brood approach indicated plastic responses within families, but also family effects in the phenotypic responses. Adult males and females had darker wing pigmentation in the drier and warmer agricultural environment, which contrasts with the thermal melanism hypothesis. Developmental plasticity in response to this micro-climatically different and more variable habitat was associated with a broader phenotypic parameter space for the species. Both habitat-expansion and developmental plasticity are likely contributors to the ecological and evolutionary success of these nettle-feeding insects in anthropogenic environments under high nitrogen load.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Evolutionary Applications 01/2015;
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    ABSTRACT: We review the hypothesized and observed effects of two of the major forms of genomic conflicts, genomic imprinting and sexual antagonism, on human health. We focus on phenotypes mediated by peptide and steroid hormones (especially oxytocin and testosterone) because such hormones centrally mediate patterns of physical and behavioral resource allocation that underlie both forms of conflict. In early development, a suite of imprinted genes modulates the human oxytocinergic system as predicted from theory, with paternally-inherited gene expression associated with higher oxytocin production, and increased solicitation to mothers by infants. This system is predicted to impact health through the incompatibility of paternal-gene and maternal-gene optima and increased vulnerability of imprinted-gene systems to genetic and epigenetic changes. Early alterations to oxytocinergic systems have long-term negative impacts on human psychological health, especially through their effects on attachment and social behavior. In contrast to genomic imprinting, which generates maladaptation along an axis of mother-infant attachment, sexual antagonism is predicted from theory to generate maladaptation along an axis of sexual dimorphism, modulated by steroid and peptide hormones. We describe evidence of sexual antagonism from studies of humans and other animals, demonstrating that sexually-antagonistic effects on sex-dimorphic phenotypes, including aspects of immunity, life history, psychology, and behavior, are commonly observed and lead to forms of maladaptation that are demonstrated, or expected, to impact human health. Recent epidemiological and psychiatric studies of schizophrenia in particular indicate that it is mediated, in part, by sexually antagonistic alleles. The primary implication of this review is that data collection focused on (1) effects of imprinted genes that modulate the oxytocin system, and (2) effects of sexually-antagonistic alleles on sex-dimorphic, disease-related phenotypes, will lead to novel insights into both human health and the evolutionary dynamics of genomic conflicts.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Evolutionary Applications 01/2015;
  • A. Cornille, A. Feurtey, U. Gélin, J. Ropars, K. Misvanderbrugge, P. Gladieux, T. Giraud
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    ABSTRACT: Gene flow is an essential component of population adaptation and species evolution. Understanding of the natural and anthropogenic factors affecting gene flow is also critical for the development of appropriate management, breeding and conservation programs. Here, we explored the natural and anthropogenic factors impacting crop-to-wild and within wild gene flow in apples in Europe using an unprecedented dense sampling of 1,889 wild apple (Malus sylvestris) from European forests and 339 apple cultivars (Malus domestica). We made use of genetic, environmental and ecological data (microsatellite markers, apple production across landscapes and records of apple flower visitors respectively). We provide the first evidence that both human activities, through apple production, and human disturbance, through modifications of apple flower visitor diversity, have had a significant impact on crop-to-wild interspecific introgression rates. Our analysis also revealed the impact of previous natural climate change on historical gene flow in the non-introgressed wild apple M. sylvestris, by identifying five distinct genetic groups in Europe and a north-south gradient of genetic diversity. These findings identify human activities and climate as key drivers of gene flow in a wild temperate fruit tree, and provide a practical basis for conservation, agroforestry and breeding programs for apples in Europe.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Evolutionary Applications 01/2015;
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    Evolutionary Applications 12/2014; 7(10):1159-60.
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    ABSTRACT: The rise of next generation sequencing is revealing a hidden diversity of temperate phages within the microbial community. While a handful of these phages have been well characterized, for the vast majority, the role of phage carriage, and especially multiple phage carriage, is poorly understood. The Liverpool Epidemic Strain of Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an aggressive pathogen in Cystic Fibrosis lung infections that has recently been found to contain several unique prophages within its genome. Here we experimentally investigate the role of two of these phages in vivo, using an insect model of infection. We find that while no benefit is conferred by phage carriage in single bacterial infections, phages confer a large fitness advantage during mixed infections by mediating bacteria-bacteria competition. Differences between the two phages appeared to be associated with the rate at which the competitor acquired the phage, and therefore resistance. However the advantage was greatest in the polylysogen, carrying both phages. These finding suggest that the LES phages may play an important role in host invasions and more generally show that the carriage of multiple phages may itself be beneficial by hindering the spread of resistance in rival bacterial populations.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Evolutionary Applications 12/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Drug resistance is caused by mutations that change the balance of recognition favoring substrate cleavage over inhibitor binding. Here, a structural dynamics perspective of the re-gained wild-type functioning in mutant HIV-1 proteases with coevolution of the natural substrates is provided. The collective dynamics of mutant structures of the protease bound to p1-p6 and NC-p1 substrates are assessed using the Anisotropic Network Model (ANM). The drug-induced protease mutations perturb the mechanistically crucial hinge axes that involve key sites for substrate binding and dimerization and mainly coordinate the intrinsic dynamics. Yet with substrate coevolution, while the wild-type dynamic behavior is restored in both p1-p6 (LP1′Fp1-p6D30N/N88D) and NC-p1 (AP2VNC-p1V82A) bound proteases, the dynamic behavior of the NC-p1 bound protease variants (NC-p1V82A and AP2VNC-p1V82A) rather resemble those of the proteases bound to the other substrates, which is consistent with experimental studies. The orientational variations of residue fluctuations along the hinge axes in mutant structures justify the existence of coevolution in p1-p6 and NC-p1 substrates, that is, the dynamic behavior of hinge residues should contribute to the interdependent nature of substrate recognition. Overall, this study aids in the understanding of the structural dynamics basis of drug resistance and evolutionary optimization in the HIV-1 protease system.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Evolutionary Applications 12/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Genetic variation for potentially adaptive traits of the key restoration species Sandberg bluegrass (Poa secunda J. Presl) was assessed over the intermountain western United States in relation to source population climate. Common gardens were established at two intermountain west sites with progeny from two maternal parents from each of 130 wild populations. Data was collected over two years at each site on fifteen plant traits associated with production, phenology, and morphology. Analyses of variance revealed strong population differences for all plant traits (P<0.0001), indicating genetic variation. Both the canonical correlation and linear correlation established associations between source populations and climate variability. Populations from warmer, more arid climates had generally lower dry weight, earlier phenology, and smaller, narrower leaves than those from cooler, moister climates. The first three canonical variates were regressed with climate variables resulting in significant models (P<0.0001) used to map 12 seed zones. Of the 700981 km2 mapped, four seed zones represented 92% of the area in typically semi-arid and arid regions. The association of genetic variation with source climates the intermountain west suggested climate driven natural selection and evolution. We recommend seed transfer zones and population movement guidelines to enhance adaptation and diversity for large scale restoration projects.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Evolutionary Applications 12/2014;
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    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: Colletotrichum truncatum is an extremely important fungal pathogen. It can cause diseases both in humans and in over 460 plant species. However, little is known about its genetic diversity within and among populations. One of the major plant hosts of C. truncatum is pepper and China is one of the main pepper producing countries in the world. Here we propose the hypotheses that geography has a major influence on the relationships among populations of C. truncatum in China and that infections in different populations need to be managed differently. To test these hypotheses, we obtained and analyzed 266 C. truncatum isolates from 13 regions representing the main pepper-growing areas throughout China. The analysis based on nine microsatellite markers identified high intra-population genetic diversity, evidence of sexual recombination, and geographic differentiation. The genetic differentiation was positively correlated with geographical distance, with the southern and northern China populations grouped in two distinct clusters. Interestingly, isolates collected from the pepper-breeding center harbored the most private alleles. The results suggest that the geographic populations of C. truncatum on peppers in China are genetically differentiated and should be managed accordingly. Our study also provides a solid foundation from which to further explore the global genetic epidemiology of C. truncatum in both plants and humans.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: 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;