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    ABSTRACT: When organisms are attacked by multiple natural enemies, the evolution of a resistance mechanism to one natural enemy will be influenced by the degree of cross-resistance to another natural enemy. Cross-resistance can be positive, when a resistance mechanism against one natural enemy also offers resistance to another; or negative, in the form of a trade-off, when an increase in resistance against one natural enemy results in a decrease in resistance against another. Using Drosophila melanogaster, an important model system for the evolution of invertebrate immunity, we test for the existence of cross-resistance against parasites and pathogens, at both a phenotypic and evolutionary level. We used a field strain of D. melanogaster to test whether surviving parasitism by the parasitoid Asobara tabida has an effect on the resistance against Beauveria bassiana, an entomopathogenic fungus; and whether infection with the microsporidian Tubulinosema kingi has an effect on the resistance against A. tabida. We used lines selected for increased resistance to A. tabida to test whether increased parasitoid resistance has an effect on resistance against B. bassiana and T. kingi. We used lines selected for increased tolerance against B. bassiana to test whether increased fungal resistance has an effect on resistance against A. tabida. We found no positive cross-resistance or trade-offs in the resistance to parasites and pathogens. This is an important finding, given the use of D. melanogaster as a model system for the evolution of invertebrate immunity. The lack of any cross-resistance to parasites and pathogens, at both the phenotypic and the evolutionary level, suggests that evolution of resistance against one class of natural enemies is largely independent of evolution of resistance against the other.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2012 · PLoS ONE
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    ABSTRACT: Many autonomously replicating genetic elements exist as multiple copies within the cell. The copy number of these elements is often assumed to have important fitness consequences for both element and host, yet the forces shaping its evolution are not well understood. The 2 μm is a multicopy plasmid of Saccharomyces yeasts, encoding just four genes that are solely involved in plasmid replication. One simple model for the fitness relationship between yeasts and 2 μm is that plasmid copy number evolves as a trade-off between selection for increased vertical transmission, favouring high copy number, and selection for decreased virulence, favouring low copy number. To test this model, we experimentally manipulated the copy number of the plasmid and directly measured the fitness cost, in terms of growth rate reduction, associated with high plasmid copy number. We find that the fitness burden imposed by the 2 μm increases with plasmid copy number, such that each copy imposes a fitness burden of 0.17% (± 0.008%), greatly exceeding the cost expected for it to be stably maintained in yeast populations. Our results demonstrate the crucial importance of copy number in the evolution of yeast per 2 μm associations and pave the way for future studies examining how selection can shape the cost of multicopy elements.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2012 · Journal of Evolutionary Biology
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    ABSTRACT: The ecological forces shaping adaptive radiations are of great interest to evolutionary ecologists. Here, we experimentally test the hypothesis that the diversification of a lineage should be limited in the presence of competition from another taxon. We do this by studying a model microbial adaptive radiation (the generation of phenotypic diversity in asexual lineages of the bacterium Pseudomonas fluorescens) in the presence or absence of a competitor (Pseudomonas putida). In a spatially heterogeneous environment, the competitor P. putida reduced P. fluorescens population size only slightly and had no effect on diversification. In a spatially homogeneous environment, the competitor reduced P. fuoresecens population size to a much greater extent. Again the final extent of diversification in P. fluorescens was not affected by the competitor, but early diversification was accelerated. In this environment, P. putida suppressed the growth of a common variant of P. fluorescens and directly or indirectly facilitated the growth of a rare morph. Our results suggest that competition experienced by diversifying lineages may have complex effects on adaptive radiations not fully captured by current theory.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2012 · Evolution
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