Browsing by Subject "DEFENSES"

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  • Mesterton-Gibbons, Mike; Hardy, Ian Charles Wrighton (2021)
    We develop a game-theoretic model to explore the question of whether two animals should cooperate in the dangerous activity of obtaining a rich and essential resource. We consider variation in the risks incurred to individuals and in how the activities of the two animals interact to influence the probability of success. We also consider that the animals may be relatives and thus share evolutionary interests. The model is general and can, for instance, be applied to mammalian predators attempting to capture and subdue large and dangerous prey or to female parasitoid wasps that attack and, if successful, paralyse aggressive hosts that then provide the only feeding resource for their offspring. This minimal model of cooperation contains three dimensionless parameters: vulnerability (the ratio between the average time for a lone attacker to subdue the defending resource and the average time for the defender to fatally strike the attacker), the dilution ratio (the extent to which attack by animals acting in tandem reduces a defender's ability to kill its attackers) and the relatedness between the potential attackers. The model predicts that higher values of all three parameters favour cooperation and that for small values cooperation is not evolutionarily stable. Cooperation can arise from an ancestral state of non-cooperation if values of all parameters are sufficiently high but cannot arise among non-relatives, irrespective of other parameter values. Once cooperation has emerged in a population, it can be maintained among nonrelatives at modest values of dilution ratio and vulnerability. We discuss these general predictions in particular relation to the parasitoid genus Sclerodermus, in which multiple females may attack unusually large and aggressive hosts and in which host attack behaviour is mediated by kinship. (c) 2021 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
  • Mukrimin, Mukrimin; Kovalchuk, Andriy; Ghimire, Rajendra P.; Kivimaenpaa, Minna; Sun, Hui; Holopainen, Jarmo K.; Asiegbu, Fred O. (2019)
    Main conclusion Two terpene compounds and four genes were identified as potential biomarkers for further evaluation for Scots pine susceptibility or tolerance against Heterobasidion annosum. Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) is one of the main sources of timber in the boreal zone of Eurasia. Commercial pine plantations are vulnerable to root and butt rot disease caused by the fungus Heterobasidion annosum. The pathogen affects host growth rate, causes higher mortality and decreases in timber quality, resulting in considerable economic losses to forest owners. Genetic and biochemical factors contributing to Scots pine tolerance against H. annosum infection are not well understood. We assessed the predictive values of a set of potential genetic and chemical markers in a field experiment. We determined the expression levels of 25 genes and the concentrations of 36 terpenoid compounds in needles of 16 Scots pine trees randomly selected from a natural population prior to artificial infection. Stems of the same trees were artificially inoculated with H. annosum, and the length of necrotic lesions was documented 5 months post inoculation. Higher expression level of four genes included in our analysis and encoding predicted alpha-pinene synthase (two genes), geranyl diphosphate synthase (GPPS), and metacaspase 5 (MC5), could be associated with trees exhibiting increased levels of necrotic lesion formation in response to fungal inoculation. In contrast, concentrations of two terpenoid compounds, beta-caryophyllene and alpha-humulene, showed significant negative correlations with the lesion size. Further studies with larger sample size will help to elucidate new biomarkers or clarify the potential of the evaluated markers for use in Scots pine disease resistance breeding programs.
  • Mukrimin, Mukrimin; Conrad, Anna O.; Kovalchuk, Andriy; Julkunen-Tiitto, Riitta; Bonello, Pierluigi; Asiegbu, Fred O. (2019)
    Conifer trees, including Norway spruce, are threatened by fungi of the Heterobasidion annosum species complex, which severely affect timber quality and cause economic losses to forest owners. The timely detection of infected trees is complicated, as the pathogen resides within the heartwood and sapwood of infected trees. The presence of the disease and the extent of the wood decay often becomes evident only after tree felling. Fourier-transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy is a potential method for non-destructive sample analysis that may be useful for identifying infected trees in this pathosystem. We performed FT-IR analysis of 18 phloem, 18 xylem, and 18 needle samples from asymptomatic and symptomatic Norway spruce trees. FT-IR spectra from 1066 – 912 cm−1 could be used to distinguish phloem, xylem, and needle tissue extracts. FT-IR spectra collected from xylem and needle extracts could also be used to discriminate between asymptomatic and symptomatic trees using spectral bands from 1657 – 994 cm−1 and 1104 – 994 cm−1, respectively. A partial least squares regression model predicted the concentration of condensed tannins, a defense-related compound, in phloem of asymptomatic and symptomatic trees. This work is the first to show that FT-IR spectroscopy can be used for the identification of Norway spruce trees naturally infected with Heterobasidion spp.
  • Denham, Sander; Coyle, David; Oishi, Andrew; Bullock, Bronson P; Heliövaara, Kari Tapani; Novick, Kimberly A (2019)
    The success of tree colonization by bark beetles depends on their ability to overcome host tree defenses, including resin exudation and toxic chemicals, which deter bark beetle colonization. Resin defenses during insect outbreaks are challenging to study in situ, as outbreaks are stochastic events that progress quickly and thus preclude the establishment of baseline observations of non-infested controls. We use synthetic aggregation pheromones to demonstrate that confined Ips bark beetle herbivory can be successfully initiated to provide opportunities for studying interactions between bark beetles and their hosts, including the dynamics of constitutive and induced resin exudation. In Pinus taeda L. plantations between 12 and 19 years old in North and South Carolina, U.S., trees were affixed with pheromone lures, monitored for evidence of bark beetle attacks, and resin samples were collected throughout the growing season. Baiting increased beetle herbivory to an extent sufficient to produce an induced resin response. Attacked trees exuded about three times more resin at some time than control trees. This supports previous work that demonstrated that information on constitutive resin dynamics alone provides an incomplete view of a host tree's resistance to bark beetle attack.