Agata Plesnar-Bielak

Agata Plesnar-Bielak
Jagiellonian University | UJ · Institute of Environmental Sciences

PhD

About

19
Publications
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171
Citations
Introduction
My works focuses on sexual selection and conflict and their evolutionary consequences. I am especially interested in how these processes are affected by ecology and how sexual selection and environment interact in shaping populations’ evolution. In my research I combine experimental evolution approach, phenotypic measurements and molecular techniques. My recent project is aimed at testing the role of environment in shaping polymorphism of a metabolic gene involved in sexual conflict and looking
Additional affiliations
September 2016 - present
Jagiellonian University
Position
  • PostDoc Position

Publications

Publications (19)
Article
Intralocus sexual conflict (IASC) arises when fitness optima for a shared trait differ between the sexes; such conflict may help maintain genetic variation within populations. Sex-limited expression of sexually antagonistic traits may help resolve the conflict, but the extent of this resolution remains a subject of debate. In species with alternati...
Article
Full-text available
Selection for secondary sexual trait (SST) elaboration may increase intralocus sexual conflict over the optimal values of traits expressed from shared genomes. This conflict can reduce female fitness, and the resulting gender load can be exacerbated by environmental stress, with consequences for a population's ability to adapt to novel environments...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The maintenance of considerable genetic variation in sexually selected traits (SSTs) is puzzling given directional selection expected to act on these traits. A possible explanation is the existence of a genotype-by-environment (GxE) interaction for fitness, by which elaborate SSTs are favored in some environments but selected against i...
Article
Sexual selection and conflict can act on genes with important metabolic functions, potentially shaping standing genetic variance in such genes, and thus evolutionary potential of populations. Here, using experimental evolution, we show how reproductive competition intensity and thermal environment affect selection on phosphogluconate dehydrogenase...
Article
Full-text available
Sexual conflict has extremely important consequences for various evolutionary processes including its effect on local adaptation and extinction probability during environmental change. The awareness that the intensity and dynamics of sexual conflict is highly dependent on the ecological setting of a population has grown in recent years, but much wo...
Article
According to theory, sexual selection in males may efficiently purge mutation load of sexual populations, reducing or fully compensating “the cost of males”. For this to occur, mutations not only need to be deleterious to both sexes, they also must affect males more than females. A frequently overlooked problem is that relative strength of selectio...
Data
Fig. S1. Mean fecundity of females developed and maintained at 24°C or 28°C following mating with males maintained at 24°C (squares) or 28°C (circles).
Article
Mate-guarding strategies are known to evolve in response to changes in the environment, but little is known about the genetic and plastic components of this source of variation. Here, we investigated how risk associated with aggression shapes postcopulatory association time between mates in the bulb mite, Rhizoglyphus robini, a species in which agg...
Article
Evolutionary interests of males and females are usually not the same, leading to different reproductive roles of the sexes. This results in sexual conflict, where a trait that is beneficial for one sex is detrimental to the other (Parker, 1979). Sexual conflict may take one of two forms. Intralocus sexual conflict is expressed when the direction of...
Article
Full-text available
The maintenance of males and outcrossing is widespread, despite considerable costs of males. By enabling recombination between distinct genotypes, outcrossing may be advantageous during adaptation to novel environments and if so, it should be selected for under environmental challenge. However, a given environmental change may influence fitness of...
Article
Variation in individual condition is probably one of the most critical factors affecting the high levels of diversity in animal fitness components, commonly observed in natural populations. Differential access to nutritional resources, in turn, is among the most important determinants of condition. However, our understanding of how resource access...
Article
Selection acting on males can reduce mutation load of sexual relative to asexual populations, thus mitigating the two-fold cost of sex, provided that it seeks and destroys the same mutations as selection acting on females, but with higher efficiency. This could happen due to sexual selection – a potent evolutionary force that in most systems predom...
Preprint
Full-text available
The maintenance of males and outcrossing is widespread, despite considerable costs of males. By enabling recombination between distinct genotypes, outcrossing may be advantageous during adaptation to a novel environments and if so, it should be selected for under environmental challenge. However, a given environmental change may influence fitness o...
Article
Full-text available
Intralocus sexual conflict (IASC) prevents males and females from reaching their disparate phenotypic optima and is widespread, but little is known about its genetic underpinnings. In Rhizoglyphus robini, a mite species with alternative male morphs, elevated sexual dimorphism of the armoured fighter males (compared to more feminized scramblers male...
Article
Full-text available
Sexual conflict leading to sexual antagonistic coevolution has been hypothesized to drive reproductive isolation in allopatric populations and hence lead to speciation. However, the generality of this speciation mechanism is under debate. We used experimental evolution in the bulb mite Rhizoglyphusrobini to investigate whether sexual conflict promo...
Article
Full-text available
Temperature is a key environmental factor affecting almost all aspects of life histories in ectotherms. The theory predicts that they grow faster, reach smaller sizes and produce smaller offspring when temperature increases. In addition, temperature changes, through their effects on metabolism, may also influence the expression of alternative repro...
Article
Full-text available
Failure of organisms to adapt to sudden environmental changes may lead to extinction. The type of mating system, by affecting fertility and the strength of sexual selection, may have a major impact on a population's chances to adapt and survive. Here, we use experimental evolution in bulb mites (Rhizoglyphus robini) to examine the effects of the ma...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Based on the assumption that males burdened with fewer deleterious mutations achieve higher reproductive success, the authors hypothesized that sexual selection can decrease the mutation load of populations. Hypothesis: Sexual selection improves viability after induction of deleterious mutations. Organism: The bulb mite, Rhizoglyphus ro...

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Projects

Projects (2)
Project
We aim to investigate the maintenance of polymorphism in 6Pgdh a sexually selected metabolic gene associated with sexual conflict in the bulb mite Rhizoglyphus robini. Previous studies suggest that 6Pgdh polymorphism is maintained by environment-dependent balancing selection, but the exact mechanisms driving this selection are unknown. The project will look for the signatures of balancing selection and comprehensively investigate ecological factors that determine persistence of the polymorphism.
Project
The results of my and my collegues' previous studies suggest that unresolved sexual conflict might be a mechanism maintaining male polymorphism such that selection acting on males (increasing the frequency of the morph achieving higher fitness) would be balanced by selection acting on females (decreasing the frequency of the higher fitness male morph). In the current project, we want to test this exciting possibility explicitly, using a powerful experimental evolution approach. Wealso want to test if the intensity of this conflict changes with changing environmental conditions.