Experimental coevolution leads to a decrease in parasite-induced host mortality.

Berenos, C., Schmid-Hempel, P. and Wegner, Mathias (2011) Experimental coevolution leads to a decrease in parasite-induced host mortality. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 24 (8). pp. 1777-1782. DOI 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2011.02306.x.

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Host–parasite coevolution can lead to a variety of outcomes, but whereas experimental studies on clonal populations have taken prominence over the last years, experimental studies on obligately out-crossing organisms are virtually absent so far. Therefore, we set up a coevolution experiment using four genetically distinct lines of Tribolium castaneum and its natural obligately killing microsporidian parasite, Nosema whitei. After 13 generations of experimental coevolution, we employed a time-shift experiment infecting hosts from the current generation with parasites from nine different time points in coevolutionary history. Although initially parasite-induced mortality showed synchronized fluctuations across lines, a general decrease over time was observed, potentially reflecting evolution towards optimal levels of virulence or a failure to adapt to coevolving sexual hosts.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Evolutionary Ecology of Marine Fishes; adaptive evolution; experimental evolution; host–parasite coevolution; Red Queen hypothesis; resistance
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EV Marine Evolutionary Ecology
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2011.02306.x
ISSN: 1010-061X
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2011 12:27
Last Modified: 10 Jul 2017 10:24
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/12595

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