Browsing by Subject "EVOLUTIONARY"

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  • Skarp, C. P. A.; Akinrinade, O.; Nilsson, A. J. E.; Ellstrom, P.; Myllykangas, S.; Rautelin, H. (2015)
    Campylobacter jejuni is a major pathogen in bacterial gastroenteritis worldwide and can cause bacteremia in severe cases. C. jejuni is highly structured into clonal lineages of which the ST677CC lineage has been overrepresented among C. jejuni isolates derived from blood. In this study, we characterized the genomes of 31 C. jejuni blood isolates and 24 faecal isolates belonging to ST677CC in order to study the genome biology related to C. jejuni invasiveness. We combined the genome analyses with phenotypical evidence on serum resistance which was associated with phase variation of wcbK; a GDP-mannose 4,6-dehydratase involved in capsular biosynthesis. We also describe the finding of a Type III restriction-modification system unique to the ST-794 sublineage. However, features previously considered to be related to pathogenesis of C. jejuni were either absent or disrupted among our strains. Our results refine the role of capsule features associated with invasive disease and accentuate the possibility of methylation and restriction enzymes in the potential of C. jejuni to establish invasive infections. Our findings underline the importance of studying clinically relevant well-characterized bacterial strains in order to understand pathogenesis mechanisms important in human infections.
  • Kisdi, Eva (2015)
    Evolutionary singularities are central to the adaptive dynamics of evolving traits. The evolutionary singularities are strongly affected by the shape of any trade-off functions a model assumes, yet the trade-off functions are often chosen in an ad hoc manner, which may unjustifiably constrain the evolutionary dynamics exhibited by the model. To avoid this problem, critical function analysis has been used to find a trade-off function that yields a certain evolutionary singularity such as an evolutionary branching point. Here I extend this method to multiple trade-offs parameterized with a scalar strategy. I show that the trade-off functions can be chosen such that an arbitrary point in the viability domain of the trait space is a singularity of an arbitrary type, provided (next to certain non-degeneracy conditions) that the model has at least two environmental feedback variables and at least as many trade-offs as feedback variables. The proof is constructive, i.e., it provides an algorithm to find trade-off functions that yield the desired singularity. I illustrate the construction of trade-offs with an example where the virulence of a pathogen evolves in a small ecosystem of a host, its pathogen, a predator that attacks the host and an alternative prey of the predator.
  • Susi, Hanna; Filloux, Denis; Frilander, Mildco J.; Roumagnac, Philippe; Laine, Anna-Liisa (2019)
    Wild plant populations may harbour a myriad of unknown viruses. As the majority of research efforts have targeted economically important plant species, the diversity and prevalence of viruses in the wild has remained largely unknown. However, the recent shift towards metagenomics-based sequencing methodologies, especially those targeting small RNAs, is finally enabling virus discovery from wild hosts. Understanding this diversity of potentially pathogenic microbes in the wild can offer insights into the components of natural biodiversity that promotes long-term coexistence between hosts and parasites in nature, and help predict when and where risks of disease emergence are highest. Here, we used small RNA deep sequencing to identify viruses in Plantago lanceolata populations, and to understand the variation in their prevalence and distribution across the Aland Islands, South-West Finland. By subsequent design of PCR primers, we screened the five most common viruses from two sets of P. lanceolata plants: 164 plants collected from 12 populations irrespective of symptoms, and 90 plants collected from five populations showing conspicuous viral symptoms. In addition to the previously reported species Plantago lanceolata latent virus (PlLV), we found four potentially novel virus species belonging to Caulimovirus, Betapartitivirus, Enamovirus, and Closterovirus genera. Our results show that virus prevalence and diversity varied among the sampled host populations. In six of the virus infected populations only a single virus species was detected, while five of the populations supported between two to five of the studied virus species. In 20% of the infected plants, viruses occurred as coinfections. When the relationship between conspicuous viral symptoms and virus infection was investigated, we found that plants showing symptoms were usually infected (84%), but virus infections were also detected from asymptomatic plants (44%). Jointly, these results reveal a diverse virus community with newly developed tools and protocols that offer exciting opportunities for future studies on the eco-evolutionary dynamics of viruses infecting plants in the wild.
  • Thomas, Stephen M.; Harrod, Chris; Hayden, Brian; Malinen, Tommi; Kahilainen, Kimmo K. (2017)
    Ecological speciation - whereby an ancestral founder species diversifies to fill vacant niches - is a phenomenon characteristic of newly formed ecosystems. Despite such ubiquity, ecosystem-level effects of such divergence remain poorly understood. Here, we compared the trophic niche of European whitefish (Coregonus lavaretus) and their predators in a series of contrasting subarctic lakes where this species had either diversified into four ecomorphologically distinct morphs or instead formed monomorphic populations. We found that the trophic niche of whitefish was almost three times larger in the polymorphic than in the monomorphic lakes, due to an increase in intraspecific specialisation. This trophic niche expansion was mirrored in brown trout (Salmo trutta), a major predator of whitefish. This represents amongst the first evidence for ecological speciation directly altering the trophic niche of a predator. We suggest such mechanisms may be a common and important - though presently overlooked - factor regulating trophic interactions in diverse ecosystems globally.
  • Tiusanen, Mikko; Huotari, Tea; Hebert, Paul D. N.; Andersson, Tommi; Asmus, Ashley; Bety, Joel; Davis, Emma; Gale, Jennifer; Hardwick, Bess; Hik, David; Körner, Christian; Lanctot, Richard B.; Loonen, Maarten J. J. E.; Partanen, Rauni; Reischke, Karissa; Saalfeld, Sarah T.; Senez-Gagnon, Fanny; Smith, Paul A.; Sulavik, Jan; Syvanpera, Ilkka; Urbanowicz, Christine; Williams, Sian; Woodard, Paul; Zaika, Yulia; Roslin, Tomas (2019)
    Pollination is an ecosystem function of global importance. Yet, who visits the flower of specific plants, how the composition of these visitors varies in space and time and how such variation translates into pollination services are hard to establish. The use of DNA barcodes allows us to address ecological patterns involving thousands of taxa that are difficult to identify. To clarify the regional variation in the visitor community of a widespread flower resource, we compared the composition of the arthropod community visiting species in the genus Dryas (mountain avens, family Rosaceae), throughout Arctic and high-alpine areas. At each of 15 sites, we sampled Dryas visitors with 100 sticky flower mimics and identified specimens to Barcode Index Numbers (BINs) using a partial sequence of the mitochondrial COI gene. As a measure of ecosystem functioning, we quantified variation in the seed set of Dryas. To test for an association between phylogenetic and functional diversity, we characterized the structure of local visitor communities with both taxonomic and phylogenetic descriptors. In total, we detected 1,360 different BINs, dominated by Diptera and Hymenoptera. The richness of visitors at each site appeared to be driven by local temperature and precipitation. Phylogeographic structure seemed reflective of geological history and mirrored trans-Arctic patterns detected in plants. Seed set success varied widely among sites, with little variation attributable to pollinator species richness. This pattern suggests idiosyncratic associations, with function dominated by few and potentially different taxa at each site. Taken together, our findings illustrate the role of post-glacial history in the assembly of flower-visitor communities in the Arctic and offer insights for understanding how diversity translates into ecosystem functioning.
  • Jerney, Jacqueline; Suikkanen, Sanna; Lindehoff, Elin; Kremp, Anke (2019)
    Abstract Environmental conditions regulate the germination of phytoplankton resting stages. While some factors lead to synchronous germination, others stimulate germination of only a small fraction of the resting stages. This suggests that habitat filters may act on the germination level and thus affect selection of blooming strains. Benthic ?seed banks? of the toxic dinoflagellate Alexandrium ostenfeldii from the Baltic Sea are genetically and phenotypically diverse, indicating a high potential for adaptation by selection on standing genetic variation. Here, we experimentally tested the role of climate-related salinity and temperature as selection filters during germination and subsequent establishment of A. ostenfeldii strains. A representative resting cyst population was isolated from sediment samples, and germination and reciprocal transplantation experiments were carried out, including four treatments: Average present day germination conditions and three potential future conditions: high temperature, low salinity, and high temperature in combination with low salinity. We found that the final germination success of A. ostenfeldii resting cysts was unaffected by temperature and salinity in the range tested. A high germination success of more than 80% in all treatments indicates that strains are not selected by temperature and salinity during germination, but selection becomes more important shortly after germination, in the vegetative stage of the life cycle. Moreover, strains were not adapted to germination conditions. Instead, highly plastic responses occurred after transplantation and significantly higher growth rates were observed at higher temperature. High variability of strain-specific responses has probably masked the overall effect of the treatments, highlighting the importance of testing the effect of environmental factors on many strains. It is likely that A. ostenfeldii populations can persist in the future, because suitable strains, which are able to germinate and grow well at potential future climate conditions, are part of the highly diverse cyst population. OPEN RESEARCH BADGES This article has been awarded Open Data badge. All materials and data are publicly accessible via the Open Science Framework at https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.c8c83nr. Learn more about the Open Practices badges from the Center for Open Science: https://osf.io/tvyxz/wiki.
  • Poczai, Peter; Matyas, Kinga Klara; Szabo, Istvan; Varga, Ildiko; Hyvönen, Jaakko; Cernak, Istvan; Gorji, Ahmad Mosapour; Decsi, Kincso; Taller, Janos (2011)
  • Lee, Kyung Min; Kivelä, Sami M.; Ivanov, Vladislav; Hausmann, Axel; Kaila, Lauri; Wahlberg, Niklas; Mutanen, Marko (2018)
    A rapid shift from traditional Sanger sequencing-based molecular methods to the phylogenomic approach with large numbers of loci is underway. Among phylogenomic methods, restriction site associated DNA (RAD) sequencing approaches have gained much attention as they enable rapid generation of up to thousands of loci randomly scattered across the genome and are suitable for nonmodel species. RAD data sets however suffer from large amounts of missing data and rapid locus dropout along with decreasing relatedness among taxa. The relationship between locus dropout and the amount of phylogenetic information retained in the data has remained largely uninvestigated. Similarly, phylogenetic hypotheses based on RAD have rarely been compared with phylogenetic hypotheses based on multilocus Sanger sequencing, even less so using exactly the same species and specimens. We compared the Sanger-based phylogenetic hypothesis (8 loci; 6172 bp) of 32 species of the diverse moth genus Eupithecia (Lepidoptera, Geometridae) to that based on double-digest RAD sequencing (3256 loci; 726,658 bp). We observed that topologies were largely congruent, with some notable exceptions that we discuss. The locus dropout effect was strong. We demonstrate that number of loci is not a precise measure of phylogenetic information since the number of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) may remain low at very shallow phylogenetic levels despite large numbers of loci. As we hypothesize, the number of SNPs and parsimony informative SNPs (PIS) is low at shallow phylogenetic levels, peaks at intermediate levels and, thereafter, declines again at the deepest levels as a result of decay of available loci. Similarly, we demonstrate with empirical data that the locus dropout affects the type of loci retained, the loci found in many species tending to show lower interspecific distances than those shared among fewer species. We also examine the effects of the numbers of loci, SNPs, and PIS on nodal bootstrap support, but could not demonstrate with our data our expectation of a positive correlation between them. We conclude that RAD methods provide a powerful tool for phylogenomics at an intermediate phylogenetic level as indicated by its broad congruence with an eight-gene Sanger data set in a genus of moths. When assessing the quality of the data for phylogenetic inference, the focus should be on the distribution and number of SNPs and PIS rather than on loci.
  • Verspagen, Nadja; Ikonen, Suvi; Saastamoinen, Marjo; van Bergen, Erik (2020)
    Variation in environmental conditions during development can lead to changes in life-history traits with long-lasting effects. Here, we study how variation in temperature and host plant (i.e. the consequences of potential maternal oviposition choices) affects a suite of life-history traits in pre-diapause larvae of the Glanville fritillary butterfly. We focus on offspring survival, larval growth rates and relative fat reserves, and pay specific attention to intraspecific variation in the responses (G × E × E). Globally, thermal performance and survival curves varied between diets of two host plants, suggesting that host modifies the temperature impact, or vice versa. Additionally, we show that the relative fat content has a host-dependent, discontinuous response to developmental temperature. This implies that a potential switch in resource allocation, from more investment in growth at lower temperatures to storage at higher temperatures, is dependent on the larval diet. Interestingly, a large proportion of the variance in larval performance is explained by differences among families, or interactions with this variable. Finally, we demonstrate that these family-specific responses to the host plant remain largely consistent across thermal environments. Together, the results of our study underscore the importance of paying attention to intraspecific trait variation in the field of evolutionary ecology.
  • Linnakoski, Riikka; Forbes, Kristian M. (2019)
  • Tibblin, Petter; Hall, Marcus; Svensson, P. Andreas; Merila, Juha; Forsman, Anders (2020)
    Phenotypic flexibility may incur a selective advantage in changing and heterogeneous environments, and is increasingly recognized as an integral aspect of organismal adaptation. Despite the widespread occurrence and potential importance of rapid and reversible background-mediated color change for predator avoidance, knowledge gaps remain regarding its adaptive value, repeatability within individuals, phenotypic correlates, and whether its expression is context dependent. We used manipulative experiments to investigate these issues in two fish species, the three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) and nine-spined stickleback (Pungitius pungitius). We sequentially exposed individuals to dark and light visual background treatments, quantified color change from video recordings, and examined associations of color change with phenotypic dimensions that can influence the outcome of predator-prey interactions. G. aculeatus expressed a greater degree of color change compared to P. pungitius. In G. aculeatus, the color change response was repeatable within individuals. Moreover, the color change response was independent of body size but affected by sex and boldness, with males and bolder individuals changing less. Infection by the parasite Schistocephalus solidus did not affect the degree of color change, but it did modulate its association with sex and boldness. G. aculeatus adjusted the expression of color change in response to predation risk, with enhanced color change expression in individuals exposed to either simulated attacks, or olfactory cues from a natural predator. These results provide novel evidence on repeatability, correlated traits, and context dependence in the color change response and highlight how a suite of factors can contribute to individual variation in phenotypic flexibility.
  • Cairns, Johannes; Jokela, Roosa; Becks, Lutz; Mustonen, Ville; Hiltunen, Teppo (2020)
    By exposing an experimental 34-species bacterial community to different levels of pulse antibiotic disturbance with or without immigration, the authors identify a highly repeatable community response, the magnitude of which increases with increasing antibiotic levels. In an era of pervasive anthropogenic ecological disturbances, there is a pressing need to understand the factors that constitute community response and resilience. A detailed understanding of disturbance response needs to go beyond associations and incorporate features of disturbances, species traits, rapid evolution and dispersal. Multispecies microbial communities that experience antibiotic perturbation represent a key system with important medical dimensions. However, previous microbiome studies on this theme have relied on high-throughput sequencing data from uncultured species without the ability to explicitly account for the role of species traits and immigration. Here, we serially passage a 34-species defined bacterial community through different levels of pulse antibiotic disturbance, manipulating the presence or absence of species immigration. To understand the ecological community response measured using amplicon sequencing, we combine initial trait data measured for each species separately and metagenome sequencing data revealing adaptive mutations during the experiment. We found that the ecological community response was highly repeatable within the experimental treatments, which could be attributed in part to key species traits (antibiotic susceptibility and growth rate). Increasing antibiotic levels were also coupled with an increasing probability of species extinction, making species immigration critical for community resilience. Moreover, we detected signals of antibiotic-resistance evolution occurring within species at the same time scale, leaving evolutionary changes in communities despite recovery at the species compositional level. Together, these observations reveal a disturbance response that presents as classic species sorting, but is nevertheless accompanied by rapid within-species evolution.
  • Vaumourin, Elise; Laine, Anna-Liisa (2018)
    Understanding processes maintaining variation in pathogen life-history traits is a key challenge in disease biology, and of importance for predicting when and where risks of disease emergence are highest. Pathogens are expected to encounter tremendous levels of variation in their environment - both abiotic and biotic - and this variation may promote maintenance of variation in pathogen populations through space and time. Here, we measure life-history traits of an obligate fungal pathogen at both asexual and sexual stages under both single infection and coinfection along a temperature gradient. We find that temperature had a significant effect on all measured life-history traits while coinfection only had a significant effect on the number of sexual resting structures produced. The effect of temperature on life-history traits was both direct as well as mediated through a genotype-by-temperature interaction. We conclude that pathogen life-history traits vary in their sensitivity to abiotic and biotic variation in the environment.
  • Hällfors, Maria; Antao, Laura; Itter, Malcolm; Lehikoinen, Aleksi; Lindholm, Tanja Marjukka; Roslin, Tomas; Saastamoinen, Marjo (2020)
    Breeding timed to match optimal resource abundance is vital for the successful reproduction of species, and breeding is therefore sensitive to environmental cues. As the timing of breeding shifts with a changing climate, this may not only affect the onset of breeding but also its termination, and thus the length of the breeding period. We use an extensive dataset of over 820K nesting records of 73 bird species across the boreal region in Finland to probe for changes in the beginning, end, and duration of the breeding period over four decades (1975 to 2017). We uncover a general advance of breeding with a strong phylogenetic signal but no systematic variation over space. Additionally, 31% of species contracted their breeding period in at least one bioclimatic zone, as the end of the breeding period advanced more than the beginning. We did not detect a statistical difference in phenological responses of species with combinations of different migratory strategy or number of broods. Nonetheless, we find systematic differences in species responses, as the contraction in the breeding period was found almost exclusively in resident and short-distance migrating species, which generally breed early in the season. Overall, changes in the timing and duration of reproduction may potentially lead to more broods co-occurring in the early breeding season-a critical time for species' reproductive success. Our findings highlight the importance of quantifying phenological change across species and over the entire season to reveal shifts in the community-level distribution of bird reproduction.
  • Wei, Shichao; Li, Zitong; Momigliano, Paolo; Fu, Chao; Wu, Hua; Merilä, Juha (2020)
    The role of geological events and Pleistocene climatic fluctuations as drivers of current patterns of genetic variation in extant species has been a topic of continued interest among evolutionary biologists. Nevertheless, comprehensive studies of widely distributed species are still rare, especially from Asia. Using geographically extensive sampling of many individuals and a large number of nuclear single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), we studied the phylogeography and historical demography ofHyla annectanspopulations in southern China. Thirty-five sampled populations were grouped into seven clearly defined genetic clusters that closely match phenotype-based subspecies classification. These lineages diverged 2.32-5.23 million years ago (Ma), a timing that closely aligns with the rapid and drastic uplifting of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and adjacent southwest China. Demographic analyses and species distribution models indicate that different populations of this species have responded differently to past climatic changes. In the Hengduan Mountains, most populations experienced a bottleneck, whereas the populations located outside of the Hengduan Mountains have gradually declined in size since the end of the last glaciation. In addition, the levels of phenotypic and genetic divergence were strongly correlated across major clades. These results highlight the combined effects of geological events and past climatic fluctuations, as well as natural selection, as drivers of contemporary patterns of genetic and phenotypic variation in a widely distributed anuran in Asia.
  • Laine, Anna-Liisa; Barres, Benoit; Numminen, Elina; Siren, Jukka P. (2019)
    Many pathogens possess the capacity for sex through outcrossing, despite being able to reproduce also asexually and/or via selfing. Given that sex is assumed to come at a cost, these mixed reproductive strategies typical of pathogens have remained puzzling. While the ecological and evolutionary benefits of outcrossing are theoretically well-supported, support for such benefits in pathogen populations are still scarce. Here, we analyze the epidemiology and genetic structure of natural populations of an obligate fungal pathogen, Podosphaera plantaginis. We find that the opportunities for outcrossing vary spatially. Populations supporting high levels of coinfection -a prerequisite of sex - result in hotspots of novel genetic diversity. Pathogen populations supporting coinfection also have a higher probability of surviving winter. Jointly our results show that outcrossing has direct epidemiological consequences as well as a major impact on pathogen population genetic diversity, thereby providing evidence of ecological and evolutionary benefits of outcrossing in pathogens.
  • Numminen, Elina; Vaumourin, Elise; Parratt, Steven R.; Poulin, Lucie; Laine, Anna-Liisa (2019)
    BackgroundUnderstanding the mechanisms by which diversity is maintained in pathogen populations is critical for epidemiological predictions. Life-history trade-offs have been proposed as a hypothesis for explaining long-term maintenance of variation in pathogen populations, yet the empirical evidence supporting trade-offs has remained mixed. This is in part due to the challenges of documenting successive pathogen life-history stages in many pathosystems. Moreover, little is understood of the role of natural enemies of pathogens on their life-history evolution.ResultsWe characterize life-history-trait variation and possible trade-offs in fungal pathogen Podosphaera plantaginis infecting the host plant Plantago lanceolata. We measured the timing of both asexual and sexual stages, as well as resistance to a hyperparasite of seven pathogen strains that vary in their prevalence in nature. We find significant variation among the strains in their life-history traits that constitute the infection cycle, but no evidence for trade-offs among pathogen development stages, apart from fast pathogen growth coninciding with fast hyperparasite growth. Also, the seemingly least fit pathogen strain was the most prevalent in the nature.ConclusionsWe conclude that in the nature environmental variation, and interactions with the antagonists of pathogens themselves may maintain variation in pathogen populations.