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  • Kisdi, Eva; Geritz, Stefan A.H. (2016)
    We study the joint adaptive dynamics of n scalar-valued strategies in ecosystems where n is the maximum number of coexisting strategies permitted by the (generalized) competitive exclusion principle. The adaptive dynamics of such saturated systems exhibits special characteristics, which we first demonstrate in a simple example of a host-pathogen-predator model. The main part of the paper characterizes the adaptive dynamics of saturated polymorphisms in general. In order to investigate convergence stability, we give a new sufficient condition for absolute stability of an arbitrary (not necessarily saturated) polymorphic singularity and show that saturated evolutionarily stable polymorphisms satisfy it. For the case , we also introduce a method to construct different pairwise invasibility plots of the monomorphic population without changing the selection gradients of the saturated dimorphism.
  • Ahola, Virpi; Wahlberg, Niklas; Frilander, Mikko J. (2017)
    The first lepidopteran genome (Bombyx mori) was published in 2004. Ten years later the genome of Melitaea cinxia came out as the third butterfly genome published, and the first eukaryotic genome sequenced in Finland. Owing to Ilkka Hanski, the M. cinxia system in the angstrom land Islands has become a famous model for metapopulation biology. More than 20 years of research on this system provides a strong ecological basis upon which a genetic framework could be built. Genetic knowledge is an essential addition for understanding eco-evolutionary dynamics and the genetic basis of variability in life history traits. Here we review the process of the M. cinxia genome project, its implications for lepidopteran genome evolution, and describe how the genome has been used for gene expression studies to identify genetic consequences of habitat fragmentation. Finally, we introduce some future possibilities and challenges for genomic research in M. cinxia and other Lepidoptera.
  • Rauhamäki, Virve; Wolfram, Joy; Jokitalo, Eija; Hanski, Ilkka; Dahlhoff, Elizabeth P. (2014)
    Habitat loss and climate change are rapidly converting natural habitats and thereby increasing the significance of dispersal capacity for vulnerable species. Flight is necessary for dispersal in many insects, and differences in dispersal capacity may reflect dissimilarities in flight muscle aerobic capacity. In a large metapopulation of the Glanville fritillary butterfly in the Åland Islands in Finland, adults disperse frequently between small local populations. Individuals found in newly established populations have higher flight metabolic rates and field-measured dispersal distances than butterflies in old populations. To assess possible differences in flight muscle aerobic capacity among Glanville fritillary populations, enzyme activities and tissue concentrations of the mitochondrial protein Cytochrome-c Oxidase (CytOx) were measured and compared with four other species of Nymphalid butterflies. Flight muscle structure and mitochondrial density were also examined in the Glanville fritillary and a long-distance migrant, the red admiral. Glanville fritillaries from new populations had significantly higher aerobic capacities than individuals from old populations. Comparing the different species, strong-flying butterfly species had higher flight muscle CytOx content and enzymatic activity than short-distance fliers, and mitochondria were larger and more numerous in the flight muscle of the red admiral than the Glanville fritillary. These results suggest that superior dispersal capacity of butterflies in new populations of the Glanville fritillary is due in part to greater aerobic capacity, though this species has a low aerobic capacity in general when compared with known strong fliers. Low aerobic capacity may limit dispersal ability of the Glanville fritillary.
  • Duplouy, Anne; Wong, Swee C.; Corander, Jukka; Lehtonen, Rainer; Hanski, Ilkka (2017)
    Background: Adaptation to local habitat conditions may lead to the natural divergence of populations in life-history traits such as body size, time of reproduction, mate signaling or dispersal capacity. Given enough time and strong enough selection pressures, populations may experience local genetic differentiation. The genetic basis of many life-history traits, and their evolution according to different environmental conditions remain however poorly understood. Methods: We conducted an association study on the Glanville fritillary butterfly, using material from five populations along a latitudinal gradient within the Baltic Sea region, which show different degrees of habitat fragmentation. We investigated variation in 10 principal components, cofounding in total 21 life-history traits, according to two environmental types, and 33 genetic SNP markers from 15 candidate genes. Results: We found that nine SNPs from five genes showed strong trend for trait associations (p-values under 0.001 before correction). These associations, yet nonsignificant after multiple test corrections, with a total number of 1,086 tests, were consistent across the study populations. Additionally, these nine genes also showed an allele frequency difference between the populations from the northern fragmented versus the southern continuous landscape. Discussion: Our study provides further support for previously described trait associations within the Glanville fritillary butterfly species across different spatial scales. Although our results alone are inconclusive, they are concordant with previous studies that identified these associations to be related to climatic changes or habitat fragmentation within the angstrom land population.
  • Yusuf, Leeban; Heatley, Matthew C.; Palmer, Joseph P. G.; Barton, Henry J.; Cooney, Christopher R.; Gossmann, Toni (2020)
    Recent progress has been made in identifying genomic regions implicated in trait evolution on a microevolutionary scale in many species, but whether these are relevant over macroevolutionary time remains unclear. Here, we directly address this fundamental question using bird beak shape, a key evolutionary innovation linked to patterns of resource use, divergence, and speciation, as a model trait. We integrate class-wide geometric-morphometric analyses with evolutionary sequence analyses of 10,322 protein-coding genes as well as 229,001 genomic regions spanning 72 species. We identify 1434 protein-coding genes and 39,806 noncoding regions for which molecular rates were significantly related to rates of bill shape evolution. We show that homologs of the identified protein-coding genes as well as genes in close proximity to the identified noncoding regions are involved in craniofacial embryo development in mammals. They are associated with embryonic stem cell pathways, including BMP and Wnt signaling, both of which have repeatedly been implicated in the morphological development of avian beaks. This suggests that identifying genotype-phenotype association on a genome-wide scale over macroevolutionary time is feasible. Although the coding and noncoding gene sets are associated with similar pathways, the actual genes are highly distinct, with significantly reduced overlap between them and bill-related phenotype associations specific to noncoding loci. Evidence for signatures of recent diversifying selection on our identified noncoding loci in Darwin finch populations further suggests that regulatory rather than coding changes are major drivers of morphological diversification over macroevolutionary times.
  • Merikanto, Ilona; Laakso, Jouni T.; Kaitala, Veijo (2018)
    Background: Environmentally growing pathogens present an increasing threat for human health, wildlife and food production. Treating the hosts with antibiotics or parasitic bacteriophages fail to eliminate diseases that grow also in the outside-host environment. However, bacteriophages could be utilized to suppress the pathogen population sizes in the outside-host environment in order to prevent disease outbreaks. Here, we introduce a novel epidemiological model to assess how the phage infections of the bacterial pathogens affect epidemiological dynamics of the environmentally growing pathogens. We assess whether the phage therapy in the outside-host environment could be utilized as a biological control method against these diseases. We also consider how phage-resistant competitors affect the outcome, a common problem in phage therapy. The models give predictions for the scenarios where the outside-host phage therapy will work and where it will fail to control the disease. Parameterization of the model is based on the fish columnaris disease that causes significant economic losses to aquaculture worldwide. However, the model is also suitable for other environmentally growing bacterial diseases. Results: Transmission rates of the phage determine the success of infectious disease control, with high-transmission phage enabling the recovery of the host population that would in the absence of the phage go asymptotically extinct due to the disease. In the presence of outside-host bacterial competition between the pathogen and phage-resistant strain, the trade-off between the pathogen infectivity and the phage resistance determines phage therapy outcome from stable coexistence to local host extinction. Conclusions: We propose that the success of phage therapy strongly depends on the underlying biology, such as the strength of trade-off between the pathogen infectivity and the phage-resistance, as well as on the rate that the phages infect the bacteria. Our results indicate that phage therapy can fail if there are phage-resistant bacteria and the trade-off between pathogen infectivity and phage resistance does not completely inhibit the pathogen infectivity. Also, the rate that the phages infect the bacteria should be sufficiently high for phage-therapy to succeed.
  • Fountain, Toby Edward Soames; Nieminen, Marko Juhani; Siren, Jukka Pekka; Wong, Swee Chong; Lehtonen, Rainer Juhani; Hanski, Ilkka Aulis (2016)
    Describing the evolutionary dynamics of now extinct populations is challenging, as their genetic composition before extinction is generally unknown. The Glanville fritillary butterfly has a large extant metapopulation in the Åland Islands in Finland, but declined to extinction in the nearby fragmented southwestern (SW) Finnish archipelago in the 20th century. We genotyped museum samples for 222 SNPs across the genome, including SNPs from candidate genes and neutral regions. SW Finnish populations had significantly reduced genetic diversity before extinction, and their allele frequencies gradually diverged from those in contemporary Åland populations over 80 y. We identified 15 outlier loci among candidate SNPs, mostly related to flight, in which allele frequencies have changed more than the neutral expectation. At outlier loci, allele frequencies in SW Finland shifted in the same direction as newly established populations deviated from old local populations in contemporary Åland. Moreover, outlier allele frequencies in SW Finland resemble those in fragmented landscapes as opposed to continuous landscapes in the Baltic region. These results indicate selection for genotypes associated with good colonization capacity in the highly fragmented landscape before the extinction of the populations. Evolutionary response to habitat fragmentation may have enhanced the viability of the populations, but it did not save the species from regional extinction in the face of severe habitat loss and fragmentation. These results highlight a potentially common situation in changing environments: evolutionary changes are not strong enough to fully compensate for the direct adverse effects of environmental change and thereby rescue populations from extinction.
  • Somervuo, Panu; Kvist, Jouni; Ikonen, Suvi; Auvinen, Petri; Paulin, Lars; Koskinen, Patrik; Holm, Liisa; Taipale, Minna; Duplouy, Anne; Ruokolainen, Annukka; Saarnio, Suvi; Siren, Jukka; Kohonen, Jukka; Corander, Jukka; Frilander, Mikko J.; Ahola, Virpi; Hanski, Ilkka (2014)