Browsing by Subject "TRADE-OFF"

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  • Noreikiene, Kristina; Kuparinen, Anna; Merilae, Juha (2017)
    Telomeres are highly conserved nucleoprotein structures which protect genome integrity. The length of telomeres is influenced by both genetic and environmental factors, but relatively little is known about how different hereditary and environmental factors interact in determining telomere length. We manipulated growth rates and timing of maturation by exposing full-sib nine-spined sticklebacks (Pungitius pungitius) to two different temperature treatments and quantified the effects of temperature treatments, sex, timing of maturation, growth rate and family (genetic influences) on telomere length. We did not find the overall effect of temperature treatment on the relative telomere length. However, we found that variation in telomere length was related to timing of maturation in a sex- and temperature-dependent manner. Telomere length was negatively related to age at maturation in elevated temperature and early maturing males and females differed in telomere length. Variation in growth rate did not explain any variation in telomere length. The broad sense heritability (h(2)) of telomere length was estimated at h(2) = 0.31 - 0.47, suggesting predominance of environmental over genetic determinants of telomere length variability. This study provides the first evidence that age at maturation together with factors associated with it are influencing telomere length in an ectotherm. Future studies are encouraged to identify the extent to which these results can be replicated in other ectotherms.
  • Pulkkinen, Katja; Pekkala, Nina; Ashrafi, Roghaieh; Hamalainen, Dorrit M.; Nkembeng, Aloysius N.; Lipponen, Anssi; Hiltunen, Teppo; Valkonen, Janne K.; Taskinen, Jouni (2018)
    Understanding ecological and epidemiological factors driving pathogen evolution in contemporary time scales is a major challenge in modern health management. Pathogens that replicate outside the hosts are subject to selection imposed by ambient environmental conditions. Increased nutrient levels could increase pathogen virulence by pre-adapting for efficient use of resources upon contact to a nutrient rich host or by favouring transmission of fast-growing virulent strains. We measured changes in virulence and competition in Flavobacterium columnare, a bacterial pathogen of freshwater fish, under high and low nutrient levels. To test competition between strains in genotype mixtures, we developed a quantitative real-time PCR assay. We found that a virulent strain maintained its virulence and outcompeted less virulent strains independent of the nutrient level and resource renewal rate while a less virulent strain further lost virulence in chemostats under low nutrient level and over long-term serial culture under high nutrient level. Our results suggest that increased outside-host nutrient levels might maintain virulence in less virulent strains and increase their contribution to epidemics in aquaculture. The results highlight a need to further explore the role of resource in the outside-host environment in maintaining strain diversity and driving evolution of virulence among environmentally growing pathogens.
  • A., Galarza Juan; Dhaygude, Kishor; Behnaz, Ghaedi; Kaisa, Suisto; Janne, Valkonen; Johanna, Mappes (2019)
    Insect metamorphosis is one of the most recognized processes delimiting transitions between phenotypes. It has been traditionally postulated as an adaptive process decoupling traits between life stages, allowing evolutionary independence of pre- and post-metamorphic phenotypes. However, the degree of autonomy between these life stages varies depending on the species and has not been studied in detail over multiple traits simultaneously. Here, we reared full-sib larvae of the warningly coloured wood tiger moth (Arctia plantaginis) in different temperatures and examined their responses for phenotypic (melanization change, number of moults), gene expression (RNA-seq and qPCR of candidate genes for melanization and flight performance) and life-histories traits (pupal weight, and larval and pupal ages). In the emerging adults, we examined their phenotypes (melanization and size) and compared them at three condition proxies: heat absorption (ability to engage flight), flight metabolism (ability to sustain flight) and overall flight performance. We found that some larval responses, as evidenced by gene expression and change in melanization, did not have an effect on the adult (i.e. size and wing melanization), whereas other adult traits such as heat absorption, body melanization and flight performance were found to be impacted by rearing temperature. Adults reared at high temperature showed higher resting metabolic rate, lower body melanization, faster heating rate, lower body temperature at take-off and inferior flight performance than cold-reared adults. Thus our results did not unambiguously support the environment-matching hypothesis. Our results illustrate the importance of assessing multiple traits across life stages as these may only be partly decoupled by metamorphosis. This article is part of the theme issue 'The evolution of complete metamorphosis'.
  • Boldin, Barbara; Kisdi, Eva (2016)
    Evolutionary suicide is a riveting phenomenon in which adaptive evolution drives a viable population to extinction. Gyllenberg and Parvinen (Bull Math Biol 63(5):981-993, 2001) showed that, in a wide class of deterministic population models, a discontinuous transition to extinction is a necessary condition for evolutionary suicide. An implicit assumption of their proof is that the invasion fitness of a rare strategy is well-defined also in the extinction state of the population. Epidemic models with frequency-dependent incidence, which are often used to model the spread of sexually transmitted infections or the dynamics of infectious diseases within herds, violate this assumption. In these models, evolutionary suicide can occur through a non-catastrophic bifurcation whereby pathogen adaptation leads to a continuous decline of host (and consequently pathogen) population size to zero. Evolutionary suicide of pathogens with frequency-dependent transmission can occur in two ways, with pathogen strains evolving either higher or lower virulence.
  • Murillo Ramos, Leidys Del Carmen; Chazot, Nicolas; Sihvonen, Pasi; Õunap, Erki; Jiang, Nan; Han, Hongxiang; Clarke, John T.; Davis, Robert B.; Tammaru, Toomas; Wahlberg, Niklas (2021)
    Understanding how and why some groups have become more species-rich than others, and how past biogeography may have shaped their current distribution, are questions that evolutionary biologists have long attempted to answer. We investigated diversification patterns and historical biogeography of a hyperdiverse lineage of Lepidoptera, the geometrid moths, by studying its most species-rich tribe Boarmiini, which comprises ca. 200 genera and ca. known 3000 species. We inferred the evolutionary relationships of Boarmiini based on a dataset of 346 taxa, with up to eight genetic markers under a maximum likelihood approach. The monophyly of Boarmiiniis strongly supported. However, the phylogenetic position of many taxa does not agree with current taxonomy, although the monophyly of most major genera within the tribe is supported after minor adjustments. Three genera are synonymized, one new combination is proposed, and four species are placed in incertae sedis within Boarmiini. Our results support the idea of a rapid initial diversification of Boarmiini, which also implies that no major taxonomic subdivisions of the group can currently be proposed. A time-calibrated tree and biogeographical analyses suggest that boarmiines appeared in Laurasia ca. 52 Mya, followed by dispersal events throughout the Australasian, African and Neotropical regions. Most of the transcontinental dispersal events occurred in the Eocene, a period of intense geological activity and rapid climate change. Diversification analyses showed a relatively constant diversification rate for all Boarmiini, except in one clade containing the species-rich genus Cleora. The present work represents a substantial contribution towards understanding the evolutionary origin of Boarmiini moths. Our results, inevitably biased by taxon sampling, highlight the difficulties with working on species-rich groups that have not received much attention outside of Europe. Specifically, poor knowledge of the natural history of geometrids (particularly in tropical clades) limits our ability to identify key innovations underlying the diversification of boarmiines.
  • Winters, Anne E.; Lommi, Jenna; Kirvesoja, Jimi; Nokelainen, Ossi; Mappes, Johanna (2021)
    Aposematic organisms warn predators of their unprofitability using a combination of defenses, including visual warning signals, startling sounds, noxious odors, or aversive tastes. Using multiple lines of defense can help prey avoid predators by stimulating multiple senses and/or by acting at different stages of predation. We tested the efficacy of three lines of defense (color, smell, taste) during the predation sequence of aposematic wood tiger moths (Arctia plantaginis) using blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) predators. Moths with two hindwing phenotypes (genotypes: WW/Wy = white, yy = yellow) were manipulated to have defense fluid with aversive smell (methoxypyrazines), body tissues with aversive taste (pyrrolizidine alkaloids) or both. In early predation stages, moth color and smell had additive effects on bird approach latency and dropping the prey, with the strongest effect for moths of the white morph with defense fluids. Pyrrolizidine alkaloid sequestration was detrimental in early attack stages, suggesting a trade-off between pyrrolizidine alkaloid sequestration and investment in other defenses. In addition, pyrrolizidine alkaloid taste alone did not deter bird predators. Birds could only effectively discriminate toxic moths from non-toxic moths when neck fluids containing methoxypyrazines were present, at which point they abandoned attack at the consumption stage. As a result, moths of the white morph with an aversive methoxypyrazine smell and moths in the treatment with both chemical defenses had the greatest chance of survival. We suggest that methoxypyrazines act as context setting signals for warning colors and as attention alerting or "go-slow" signals for distasteful toxins, thereby mediating the relationship between warning signal and toxicity. Furthermore, we found that moths that were heterozygous for hindwing coloration had more effective defense fluids compared to other genotypes in terms of delaying approach and reducing the latency to drop the moth, suggesting a genetic link between coloration and defense that could help to explain the color polymorphism. Conclusively, these results indicate that color, smell, and taste constitute a multimodal warning signal that impedes predator attack and improves prey survival. This work highlights the importance of understanding the separate roles of color, smell and taste through the predation sequence and also within-species variation in chemical defenses.
  • Alioravainen, Nico; Prokkola, Jenni M.; Lemopoulos, Alexandre; Härkönen, Laura; Hyvärinen, Pekka; Vainikka, Anssi (2020)
    Behaviour that is adaptive in captivity may be maladaptive in the wild and compromise postrelease survival of hatchery fish. The understanding of behavioural variation displayed immediately after release could help to improve hatchery protocols and development of behavioural tests for assessing the fitness of fish reared for releases. We characterized the postrelease behaviour of common-garden-raised offspring of wild resident, captive-bred migratory, and hybrid brown trout (Salmo trutta) in two experiments: in small artificial channels and in high and low densities in seminatural streams. The results from seminatural streams showed that hatchery fish were more likely to disperse downstream from the initial stocking site compared with hybrid and wild strain fish. The small-scale experiment did not reveal this ecologically pivotal difference in postrelease performance among strains, and individual responses were inconsistent between the experiments. Circadian activity patterns did not differ among strains. These detailed observations of postrelease behaviour reveal important intrinsic differences in dispersal traits among brown trout strains and suggest that selective breeding and crossbreeding can substantially affect these traits.
  • Almeida, Diana Abondano; Mappes, Johanna; Gordon, Swanne (2021)
    Predator-induced plasticity in life-history and antipredator traits during the larval period has been extensively studied in organisms with complex life-histories. However, it is unclear whether different levels of predation could induce warning signals in aposematic organisms. Here, we investigated whether predator-simulated handling affects warning coloration and life-history traits in the aposematic wood tiger moth larva, Arctia plantaginis. As juveniles, a larger orange patch on an otherwise black body signifies a more efficient warning signal against predators but this comes at the costs of conspicuousness and thermoregulation. Given this, one would expect that an increase in predation risk would induce flexible expression of the orange patch. Prior research in this system points to plastic effects being important as a response to environmental changes for life history traits, but we had yet to assess whether this was the case for predation risk, a key driver of this species evolution. Using a full-sib rearing design, in which individuals were reared in the presence and absence of a non-lethal simulated bird attack, we evaluated flexible responses of warning signal size (number of orange segments), growth, molting events, and development time in wood tiger moths. All measured traits except development time showed a significant response to predation. Larvae from the predation treatment developed a more melanized warning signal (smaller orange patch), reached a smaller body size, and molted more often. Our results suggest plasticity is indeed important in aposematic organisms, but in this case may be complicated by the trade-off between costly pigmentation and other life-history traits.
  • Gordon, Swanne P.; Burdfield-Steel, Emily; Kirvesoja, Jimi; Mappes, Riitta Johanna (2021)
    Polymorphic warning signals in aposematic systems are enigmatic because predator learning should favor the most common form, creating positive frequency-dependent survival. However, many populations exhibit variation in warning signals. There are various selective mechanisms that can counter positive frequency-dependent selection and lead to temporal or spatial warning signal diversification. Examining these mechanisms and their effects requires first confirming whether the most common morphs are favored at both local and regional scales. Empirical examples of this are uncommon and often include potentially confounding factors, such as a lack of knowledge of predator identity and behavior. We tested how bird behavior influences the survival of three coexisting morphs of the aposematic wood tiger moth Arctia plantaginis offered to a sympatric predator (great tit Parus major) at different frequencies. We found that although positive frequency-dependent selection is present, its strength is affected by predator characteristics and varying prey profitability. These results highlight the need to understand predator foraging in natural communities with variable prey defenses in order to better examine how behavioral interactions shape evolutionary outcomes.
  • Teichmann, Marianne; Thorogood, Rose; Hämäläinen, Liisa (2020)
    Colours are commonly used as visual cues when measuring animals' cognitive abilities. However, animals can have innate biases towards certain colours that depend on ecological and evolutionary contexts, therefore potentially influencing their performance in experiments. For example, when foraging, the colour red can advertise profitable fruits or act as a warning signal about chemically defended prey, and an individual's propensity to take food of that colour may depend on experience, age or physical condition. Here, we investigate how these contexts influence blue tits' (Cyanistes caeruleus) and great tits' (Parus major) responses to red-coloured almond flakes. We found that juvenile birds preferred red both when it was presented simultaneously with green, and when it was presented with three alternative colours (orange, purple, green). Adult birds, however, only preferred red after a positive experience with the colour, or when it was presented with the three alternative colours. We then tested whether colour influenced avoidance learning about food unpalatability. Despite the prediction that red is a more salient warning signal than green, we found only weak evidence that birds discriminated red unpalatable almonds from a green palatable alternative more quickly than when the colours were reversed. Our results suggest that biases towards red food may depend on birds' age and previous experience, and this might influence their performance in experiments that use red stimuli. Considering the ecological relevance of colours is, therefore, important when designing experiments that involve colour cues.
  • Stucki, Dimitri; Freitak, Dalial; Bos, Nick; Sundstrom, Liselotte (2019)
    Organisms are simultaneously exposed to multiple stresses, which requires regulation of the resistance to each stress. Starvation is one of the most severe stresses organisms encounter, yet nutritional state is also one of the most crucial conditions on which other stress resistances depend. Concomitantly, organisms often deploy lower immune defenses when deprived of resources. This indicates that the investment into starvation resistance and immune defenses is likely to be subject to trade-offs. Here, we investigated the impact of starvation and oral exposure to bacteria on survival and gene expression in the ant Formica exsecta. Of the three bacteria used in this study, only Serratia marcescens increased the mortality of the ants, whereas exposure to Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas entomophila alleviated the effects of starvation. Both exposure to bacteria and starvation induced changes in gene expression, but in different directions depending on the species of bacteria used, as well as on the nutritional state of the ants.
  • Venn, Stephen (2016)
    This review considers factors affecting the flight capacity of carabid beetles and the implications of flight for carabids. Studies from the Dutch polders in particular show that young populations of carabids consist predominantly of macropterous species and macropterous individuals of wing-dimorphic species. Also populations of wing-dimorphic carabid species at the periphery of their geographical range contain high proportions of macropterous individuals. However, studies from Baltic archipelagos show that older populations of even highly isolated island habitats contain considerable proportions of brachypterous species and individuals. This suggests that macroptery is primarily an adaptation for dispersal and that there exists a mechanism for subsequently reducing the ratio of macropterous to brachypterous species under stable conditions, due to the competitive advantage of brachyptery. Populations in isolated habitats, such as islands and mountains, have high proportions of brachypterous species. Many macropterous species do not possess functional flight muscles. Species of unstable habitats, such as tree canopies and wet habitats, are mostly macropterous. Brachypterous species tend to disappear from disturbed habitats. There is uncertainty regarding the extent to which carabid dispersal is directed and how much passive. Both Den Boer and Lindroth recognized that mostly macropterous individuals of macropterous and wing-dimorphic species disperse and found new populations, after which brachyptery tends to rapidly appear and proliferate in the newly founded population. It is most likely that the allele for brachyptery would arrive via the dispersal of gravid females which had mated with brachypterous males prior to emigration. Whilst many studies consider wing morphology traits of carabid beetles to be species-specific and permanent, a number of studies have shown that the oogenesis flight syndrome, whereby females undertake migration and subsequently lose their flight muscles by histolysis before eventually regenerating them after reproducing, has been reported for a growing number of carabid species. Wing morphology of carabid beetles clearly offers strong potential for the study of population dynamics. This field of study flourished during the 1940's to the late 1980's. Whilst a considerable amount of valuable research has been performed and published, the topic clearly holds considerable potential for future study.
  • Mikonranta, Lauri; Mappes, Johanna; Laakso, Jouni; Ketola, Tarmo (2015)
    Background: Pathogens evolve in a close antagonistic relationship with their hosts. The conventional theory proposes that evolution of virulence is highly dependent on the efficiency of direct host-to-host transmission. Many opportunistic pathogens, however, are not strictly dependent on the hosts due to their ability to reproduce in the free-living environment. Therefore it is likely that conflicting selection pressures for growth and survival outside versus within the host, rather than transmission potential, shape the evolution of virulence in opportunists. We tested the role of within-host selection in evolution of virulence by letting a pathogen Serratia marcescens db11 sequentially infect Drosophila melanogaster hosts and then compared the virulence to strains that evolved only in the outside-host environment. Results: We found that the pathogen adapted to both Drosophila melanogaster host and novel outside-host environment, leading to rapid evolutionary changes in the bacterial life-history traits including motility, in vitro growth rate, biomass yield, and secretion of extracellular proteases. Most significantly, selection within the host led to decreased virulence without decreased bacterial load while the selection lines in the outside-host environment maintained the same level of virulence with ancestral bacteria. Conclusions: This experimental evidence supports the idea that increased virulence is not an inevitable consequence of within-host adaptation even when the epidemiological restrictions are removed. Evolution of attenuated virulence could occur because of immune evasion within the host. Alternatively, rapid fluctuation between outside-host and within-host environments, which is typical for the life cycle of opportunistic bacterial pathogens, could lead to trade-offs that lower pathogen virulence.