Natural Populations (natural + population)

Distribution by Scientific Domains
Distribution within Life Sciences

Kinds of Natural Populations

  • many natural population

  • Terms modified by Natural Populations

  • natural population analysis

  • Selected Abstracts


    EVOLUTION, Issue 2 2010
    Fabian Staubach
    Changes in expression of genes are thought to contribute significantly to evolutionary divergence. To study the relative role of selection and neutrality in shaping expression changes, we analyzed 24 genes in three different tissues of the house mouse (Mus musculus). Samples from two natural populations of the subspecies M. m. domesticus and M. m. musculus were investigated using quantitative PCR assays and sequencing of the upstream region. We have developed an approach to quantify expression polymorphism within such populations and to disentangle technical from biological variation in the data. We found a correlation between expression polymorphism within populations and divergence between populations. Furthermore, we found a correlation between expression polymorphism and sequence polymorphism of the respective genes. These data are most easily interpreted within a framework of a predominantly neutral model of gene expression change, where only a fraction of the changes may have been driven by positive selection. Although most genes investigated were expressed in all three tissues analyzed, significant changes of expression levels occurred predominantly in a single tissue only. This adds to the notion that enhancer-specific effects or transregulatory effects can modulate the evolution of gene expression in a tissue-specific way. [source]


    EVOLUTION, Issue 4 2008
    Kevin J. Emerson
    The ubiquity of endogenous, circadian (daily) clocks among eukaryotes has long been held as evidence that they serve an adaptive function, usually cited as the ability to properly time biological events in concordance with the daily cycling of the environment. Herein we test directly whether fitness is a function of the matching of the period of an organism's circadian clock with that of its environment. We find that fitness, measured as the per capita expectation of future offspring, a composite measure of fitness incorporating both survivorship and reproduction, is maximized in environments that are integral multiples of the period of the organism's circadian clock. Hence, we show that organisms require temporal concordance between their internal circadian clocks and their external environment to maximize fitness and thus the long-held assumption is true that, having evolved in a 24-h world, circadian clocks are adaptive. [source]

    Chromosomal Polymorphism in Korean Natural Populations of Drosophila immigrans

    Nam Woo KIM
    ABSTRACT To analyze chromosome inversions of Drosophila immigrans, wild flies were captured from large vineyards located in the suburbs of Yecheon and Gyeongsan from October 1999 to 2001. With the egg samples obtained singly at each of the 799 females of D. immigrans, cytological examinations were carried out for the type and frequency of inversions. Two types of different inversions were found only in the second chromosome. The inversions detected were known to be the cosmopolitan inversion "A" and "B". The mean frequency of inversion A was estimated to be 0.074 in Yecheon and 0.066 in Gyeongsan and that of B was to be 0.026 in Yecheon and 0.021 in Gyeongsan, respectively. In the frequency ratio, inversion A was significantly higher than that of B. The present populations of D. immigrans showed subtle differences from other Korean populations in inversion frequencies. To account for the local variations observed in inversion frequencies, several hypotheses are discussed such as founding event or selective force. [source]

    Variation in Heat-shock Proteins and Photosynthetic Thermotolerance among Natural Populations of Chenopodium album L. from Contrasting Thermal Environments: Implications for Plant Responses to Global Warming

    Deepak Barua
    Abstract Production of heat-shock proteins (Hsps) is a key adaptation to acute heat stress and will be important in determining plant responses to climate change. Further, intraspecifc variation in Hsps, which will influence species-level response to global warming, has rarely been examined in naturally occurring plants. To understand intraspecific variation in plant Hsps and its relevance to global warming, we examined Hsp content and thermotolerance in five naturally occurring populations of Chenopodium album L. from contrasting thermal environments grown at low and high temperatures. As expected, Hsp accumulation varied between populations, but this was related more to habitat variability than to mean temperature. Unexpectedly, Hsp accumulation decreased with increasing variability of habitat temperatures. Hsp accumulation also decreased with increased experimental growth temperatures. Physiological thermotolerance was partitioned into basal and induced components. As with Hsps, induced thermotolerance decreased with increasing temperature variability. Thus, populations native to the more stressful habitats, or grown at higher temperatures, had lower Hsp levels and induced thermotolerance, suggesting a greater reliance on basal mechanisms for thermotolerance. These results suggest that future global climate change will differentially impact ecotypes within species, possibly by selecting for increased basal versus inducible thermotolerance. [source]

    Occurrence of Bremia lactucae in Natural Populations of Lactuca serriola

    I. Petr, elová
    Abstract In the period 1996,2001 the natural occurrence of Bremia lactucae (lettuce downy mildew) on Asteraceae plants was studied in the Czech Republic. Lactuca serriola (prickly lettuce) is the most common naturally growing host species of B. lactucae. Infection of plants was recorded during the whole vegetation season with the first occurrence in April and last in November. Bremia lactucae was found on host plants in all developmental stages. High percentages of naturally infected populations of L. serriola were recorded. Host plants exhibited broad variation in phenotypic expression of disease symptoms and degree of infection, however, the intensity of infection was rather low in the majority of populations. Geographic distribution of B. lactucae was studied in the two main parts of Czech Republic, central and southern Moravia, and eastern, northern and central Bohemia. Bremia lactucae was recorded in all these areas. Nevertheless, in the warmest parts of the Czech Republic (southern Moravia) only sporadic occurrence of the pathogen was recorded. Bremia lactucae infection on L. serriola and disease severity was judged also in relation to the type of habitat, and the size and density of host plant populations. However, no substantial differences among various habitats were found; only host plants growing in urban areas were frequently free of infection and the degree of infection was very low. Nevertheless, these plants were commonly infected with powdery mildew (Golovinomyces cichoracearum), which is most aggressive pathogen of this type of habitat. [source]

    High vertical and low horizontal diversity of Prochlorococcus ecotypes in the Mediterranean Sea in summer

    Laurence Garczarek
    Abstract Natural populations of the marine cyanobacterium Prochlorococcus exist as two main ecotypes, inhabiting different layers of the ocean's photic zone. These so-called high light- (HL-) and low light (LL-) adapted ecotypes are both physiologically and genetically distinct. HL strains can be separated into two major clades (HLI and HLII), whereas LL strains are more diverse. Here, we used several molecular techniques to study the genetic diversity of natural Prochlorococcus populations during the Prosope cruise in the Mediterranean Sea in the summer of 1999. Using a dot blot hybridization technique, we found that HLI was the dominant HL group and was confined to the upper mixed layer. In contrast, LL ecotypes were only found below the thermocline. Secondly, a restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis of PCR-amplified pcb genes (encoding the major light-harvesting proteins of Prochlorococcus) suggested that there were at least four genetically different ecotypes, occupying distinct but overlapping light niches in the photic zone. At comparable depths, similar banding patterns were observed throughout the sampled area, suggesting a horizontal homogenization of ecotypes. Nevertheless, environmental pcb gene sequences retrieved from different depths at two stations proved all different at the nucleotide level, suggesting a large genetic microdiversity within those ecotypes. [source]

    Latitudinal clines in body size, but not in thermal tolerance or heat-shock cognate 70 (HSC70), in the highly-dispersing intertidal gastropod Littorina keenae (Gastropoda: Littorinidae)

    Natural populations of widely-distributed animals often exhibit clinal variation in phenotypic traits or in allele frequencies of a particular gene over their geographical range. A planktotrophic intertidal snail, Littorina keenae is broadly distributed along the north-eastern Pacific coast through a large latitudinal range (24°50,N,43°18,N). We tested for latitudinal clines in two complex phenotypic traits , thermal tolerance and body size , and one single locus trait , heat shock cognate 70 (HSC70) , in L. keenae along almost its entire geographical range. We found only weak evidence for a latitudinal cline in the thermal tolerance and no evidence for a cline in allele frequencies at HSC70. However, as predicted by Bergmann's rule, we detected a strong latitudinal cline that accounted for 60% of the variance in body size (R2 = 0.598; P < 0.001). In contrast, body size did not significantly affect thermal tolerance. HSC70 showed no genetic differentiation among the populations, supporting our previous mitochondrial gene-based estimate of high gene flow during this snail's free-swimming larval stage. Given that L. keenae experiences panmixia along its species range, the observed size cline may be partially or entirely caused by a phenotypically plastic response to local thermal environments rather than by genetic divergence in body size among populations in response to locally optimizing natural selection. © 2010 The Linnean Society of London, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2010, 100, 494,505. [source]

    Oviposition habitat selection for a predator refuge and food source in a mosquito

    J. Guillermo Bond
    Abstract., 1.,The influence of filamentous algae on oviposition habitat selection by the mosquito Anopheles pseudopunctipennis and the consequences of oviposition decisions on the diet, development, body size, and survival of offspring were examined. 2.,A natural population of An. pseudopunctipennis in Chiapas, Mexico, oviposited almost exclusively in containers with filamentous algae. Algae represented 47% of the gut contents of mosquito larvae sampled from the natural population. Mosquito larvae fed on an exclusive diet of algae developed as quickly and achieved the same adult body size (wing length) as their conspecifics fed on a standard laboratory diet. 3.,Multiple regression of survival of mosquito larvae on percentage surface area cover of algae (0,99%) and the density of predatory fish (zero to four fish per container) was best described by a second-order polynomial model. Increasing fish densities resulted in a reduction in mosquito survival in all algal treatments. The highest incidence of survival was observed at intermediate (66%) algal cover in all treatments. 4.,The presence of fish significantly extended larval development times whereas algal cover had no significant effect. The presence of fish resulted in emergence of smaller adults due to reduced feeding opportunities and predator avoidance behaviour. Algal cover also affected mosquito wing length but differently at each fish density. 5.,Oviposition habitat selection improves survival in the presence of predators and feeding opportunities for An. pseudopunctipennis larvae. [source]

    Cascading effects of variation in plant vigour on the relative performance of insect herbivores and their parasitoids

    Tiit Teder
    Abstract 1. Consequences of variation in food plant quality were estimated for a system consisting of two monophagous noctuid herbivores and three ichneumonid parasitoids. 2. In a natural population, pupal weights of the herbivores in this system, Nonagria typhae and Archanara sparganii, were found to be highly variable. Pupal weights increased strongly and consistently with the increase in the vigour of the host plant, Typha latifolia, providing support for the plant vigour hypothesis. Correspondingly, as the moths do not feed as adults, a strong, positive correlation between host vigour and fecundity of the herbivores would be expected. 3. There were strong and positive relationships between adult body sizes of the parasitoids and the sizes of their lepidopteran hosts. Moreover, a direct, positive link between plant quality and parasitoid size was documented. 4. For all three parasitoids, cascading effects of plant quality on body size were weaker than for the herbivores. Differences in the importance of adult feeding and oviposition behaviour suggest that dependence of fitness on body size is also weaker in the parasitoids than in the moths. It is therefore concluded that the numerical response of the herbivore population to a change in plant quality should exceed the corresponding response in the parasitoids. 5. The results of this work imply that variation in plant variables may affect performance of different trophic levels to a different extent. It is suggested that the importance of adult feeding for the reproductive success (capital vs. income breeding strategies) in both herbivores and parasitoids is an essential aspect to consider when predicting responses of such a system to changes in plant quality. [source]

    Survival rates in a natural population of the damselfly Ceriagrion tenellum: effects of sex and female phenotype

    Jose A. Andrés
    Summary 1. Ceriagrion tenellum females show genetic colour polymorphism. Androchrome (erythrogastrum) females are brightly (male-like) coloured while gynochrome females (typica and melanogastrum) show cryptic colouration. 2. Several hypotheses have been proposed to explain the existence of more than one female morph in damselfly populations. The reproductive isolation and intraspecific mimicry hypotheses predict greater survival of gynochrome females, while the density dependent hypothesis predicts no differential survival between morphs. 3. Mature males had greater recapture probability than females while the survival probability was similar for both sexes. Survival and recapture rates were similar for androchrome and gynochrome females. 4. Gynochrome females showed greater mortality or migration rate than androchrome females during the pre-reproductive period. This result is not predicted by the above hypotheses or by the null hypothesis that colour polymorphism is only maintained by random factors: founder effects, genetic drift, and migration. [source]

    Relationship between female mating strategy, litter success and offspring dispersal

    ECOLOGY LETTERS, Issue 8 2009
    David Laloi
    Abstract The relationship between mating systems and dispersal has generally been studied at the population and species levels. It has hardly ever been investigated at the individual level, by studying the variations of mating and dispersal strategies between individuals. We investigated this relationship in a natural population of the common lizard (Lacerta vivipara). Assuming that dispersal has a genetic basis, juvenile dispersal would be expected to be more family-dependent in monoandrous litters than in polyandrous litters. The opposite pattern was observed. Thus, maternal effects and/or litter effects play a greater role than genetic determinism in shaping the dispersal phenotype of juveniles. Moreover, the relationship between female mating strategy and offspring dispersal depended on litter success, in a way consistent with an influence of mother-offspring competition. Such a link between mating and dispersal strategies of individuals may have major repercussions for the way we consider the roles of these processes in population functioning. [source]

    Darwin's cross-promotion hypothesis and the evolution of stylar polymorphism

    ECOLOGY LETTERS, Issue 12 2004
    Adeline C. Cesaro
    Abstract There is growing appreciation that the ecological factors which impact on rates of pollen transfer can contribute significantly to reproductive trait evolution in plants. In heterostylous species, several studies support Darwin's claim that the reciprocal positions of stigmas and anthers enhance inter-morph mating in comparison to intra-morph mating and thus the maintenance of the polymorphism. In this study, we evaluate the relative importance of intra-morph and inter-morph pollen transfers in Narcissus assoanus, a species with dimorphic variation in style length but non-reciprocity of anther positions. This stigma-height dimorphism represents a transitional stage in theoretical models of the evolution of distyly. Seed set variation on recipient plants with donor plants of a single morph in experimental arrays in a natural population illustrate that inter-morph cross-pollination is more efficient that intra-morph cross-pollination as a result of high rates of pollen transfer from long-styled to short-styled plants. The observed rates of pollen transfer satisfy the theoretical conditions for the establishment of a stigma-height dimorphism in an ancestral monomorphic long-styled population in pollen-limited situations. These results provide experimental evidence for the Darwinian hypothesis that enhanced inter-morph cross-pollination facilitates not only the maintenance of heterostyly but also the establishment of transitional forms implicated in the evolution of this polymorphism. [source]

    The effect of a pathogen epidemic on the genetic structure and reproductive strategy of the crustacean Daphnia magna

    ECOLOGY LETTERS, Issue 9 2004
    Suzanne E. Mitchell
    Abstract Host,parasite coevolution is potentially of great importance in producing and maintaining biological diversity. However, there is a lack of evidence for parasites directly driving genetic change. We examined the impact of an epidemic of the bacterium Pasteuria ramosa on a natural population of the crustacean Daphnia magna through the use of molecular markers (allozymes) and laboratory experiments to determine the susceptibility of hosts collected during and after the epidemic. Some allozyme genotypes were more heavily infected than others in field samples, and the population genetic structure differed during and after the epidemic, consistent with a response to parasite-mediated selection. Laboratory studies showed no evidence for the evolution of higher resistance, but did reveal an intriguing life-history pattern: host genotypes that were more susceptible also showed a greater tendency to engage in sex. In light of this, we suggest a model of host,parasite dynamics that incorporates the cycles of sex and parthenogenesis that Daphnia undergo in the field. [source]

    Ontogenetic diet shift in the June sucker Chasmistes liorus (Cypriniformes, Catostomidae) in the early juvenile stage

    J. D. Kreitzer
    Kreitzer JD, Belk MC, Gonzalez DB, Tuckfield RC, Shiozawa DK, Rasmussen JE. Ontogenetic diet shift in the June sucker Chasmistes liorus (Cypriniformes, Catostomidae) in the early juvenile stage. Ecology of Freshwater Fish 2010: 19: 433,438. © 2010 John Wiley & Sons A/S Abstract,,, Ontogenetic diet shifts are common in fishes and often occur during early life stages. The larval and early juvenile period is critical in the life cycle of the endangered June sucker, Chasmistes liorus (Teleostei: Catostomidae). High larval and juvenile mortality leads to low recruitment to the breeding population and hence a declining natural population. To understand diet composition and dynamics in June sucker at early life stages, diet was quantified and compared to available food items in the natural environment during the early juvenile stage. Rotifers (Brachionus sp.) were the primary diet item at week 10, but by week 12 a small cyclopoid copepod (Microcyclops rubellus) became predominant. Availability of diet items varied little across the experimental period. The increase in size of young suckers may explain this rapid dietary shift, but there are some inconsistencies with the size selection argument. This diet shift represents an important nutritional change that should be considered in development of diets for young June sucker and in assessing suitability of nursery habitats. [source]

    Population genetics of Escherichia coli in a natural population of native Australian rats

    Gulietta M. Pupo
    Escherichia coli, a normal inhabitant of the intestinal tract of mammals and birds, is a diverse species. Most studies on E. coli populations involve organisms from humans or human-associated animals. In this study, we undertook a survey of E. coli from native Australian mammals, predominantly Rattus tunneyi, living in a relatively pristine environment in the Bundjalung National Park. The genetic diversity was assessed and compared by multilocus enzyme electrophoresis (MLEE), sequence analysis of the mdh (malate dehydrogenase) gene and biotyping using seven sugars. Ninety-nine electrophoretic types were identified from the 242 isolates analysed by MLEE and 15 sequences from the mdh genes sequenced from 21 representative strains. The Bundjalung isolates extend the diversity represented by the E. coli reference (ECOR) set, with new MLEE alleles found in six out of 10 loci. Many of the Bundjalung isolates fell into a discrete group in MLEE. Other Bundjalung strains fell into the recognized E. coli ECOR set groups, but tended to be at the base of both the MLEE and mdh gene trees, implying that these strains are derived independently from ancestral forms of the ECOR groups and that ECOR strains represent only a subset of E. coli adapted to humans and human-associated animals. Linkage disequilibrium analysis showed that the Bundjalung population has an ,epidemic' population structure. The Bundjalung isolates were able to utilize more sugars than the ECOR strains, suggesting that diet plays a prominent role in adaptation of E. coli. [source]

    Field assessments in conjunction with whole effluent toxicity testing

    Thomas W. La Point
    Abstract Whole effluent toxicity (WET) tests are widely used to assess potential effects of wastewater discharges on aquatic life. This paper represents a summary of chapters in a 1996 Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry,sponsored workshop and a literature review concerning linkages between WET testing and associated field biomonitoring. Most published studies thus far focus primarily on benthic macroinvertebrates and on effluent-dominated stream systems in which effluents demonstrate little or no significant acute toxicity. Fewer studies examine WET test predictability in other aquatic ecosystems (e.g., wetlands, estuaries, large rivers) or deal with instream biota such as fish and primary producers. Published results indicate that standards for the usual WET freshwater test species, Ceriodaphnia dubia and Pimephales promelas, may not always protect most of the species inhabiting a receiving stream. Although WET tests are useful in predicting aquatic individual responses, they are not meant to directly measure natural population or community responses. Further, they do not address bioconcentration or bioaccumulation of hydrophobic compounds; do not assess eutrophication effects in receiving systems; and lastly, do not reflect genotoxic effects or function to test for endocrine-disrupting chemicals. Consequently, a more direct evaluation of ecosystem health, using bioassessment techniques, may be needed to properly evaluate aquatic systems affected by wastewater discharges. [source]

    Individual Male Calling Pattern and Male Mating Success in the European Treefrog (Hyla arborea): Is there Evidence for Directional or Stabilizing Selection on Male Calling Behaviour?

    ETHOLOGY, Issue 2 2006
    Thomas W.P. Friedl
    In anurans, call properties are commonly classified based on within-male variability as being either static or dynamic. Numerous playback experiments in the laboratory have indicated that female preferences based on dynamic call properties are usually strongly directional, while female preferences based on static call properties are often stabilizing or weakly directional. However, there are only few studies demonstrating that female preferences for high values of dynamic call properties indeed exert directional selection on male calling behaviour in natural populations. Moreover, field studies investigating whether female preferences for values of static call properties around the mean of the population lead to currently operating stabilizing selection on male calling patterns in natural populations are completely lacking. Here I investigate for two consecutive breeding seasons male calling patterns and male mating success in a population of individually marked European treefrogs (Hyla arborea), a hylid frog with prolonged breeding season and a lek mating system. Individual male calling pattern as analysed in terms of seven temporal and spectral call properties did not differ between males that survived from one breeding season to the next and those not surviving. None of the seven call properties investigated differed significantly between mated and unmated males, indicating that there is no strong directional selection on male calling behaviour in the study population. However, in one study season males that produced calls with a number of pulses around the mean of the population were significantly more likely to obtain matings than males that produced calls with a number of pulses at the low or high end of the distribution. Thus, this study provides preliminary evidence for the operation of stabilizing selection on a static call property (i.e. the number of pulses per call) in a natural population of an anuran amphibian. [source]


    EVOLUTION, Issue 8 2007
    Elizabeth P. Derryberry
    Mating signals act as behavioral barriers to gene flow in many animal taxa, yet little is known about how signal evolution within populations contributes to the formation of these barriers. Although variation in mating signals among populations is known to affect mating behavior, there is no direct evidence that the evolution of mating signals changes signal effectiveness within a natural population. Making use of historical recordings of bird song, I found that both male and female white-crowned sparrows (Zonotrichia leucophrys) respond more strongly to current than to historical songs, indicating that historical songs are less effective as signals in the current contexts of both mate choice and male,male competition. Finding that historical signals are less effective suggests that signal evolution within populations may ultimately contribute to the formation of behavioral barriers to gene flow between populations. [source]


    EVOLUTION, Issue 4 2007
    Yunxin Huang
    The use of genetic drive mechanisms to replace native mosquito genotypes with individuals bearing antipathogen transgenes is a potential strategy for repressing insect transmission of human diseases such as malaria and dengue. Antipathogen transgenes have been developed and tested, but efficient gene drive mechanisms are lacking. Here we theoretically assess the feasibility of introducing antipathogen genes into wild Aedes aegypti populations by using a naturally occurring meiotic drive system. We consider the release of males having both a Y-linked meiotic drive gene and an X-linked drive-insensitive response allele to which an antipathogen gene is linked. We use mathematical models and computer simulations to determine how the post-introduction dynamics of the antipathogen gene are affected by specific genetic characteristics of the system. The results show that when the natural population is uniformly sensitive to the meiotic drive gene, the antipathogen gene may be driven close to fixation if the fitness costs of the drive gene, the insensitive response allele, and the antipathogen gene are low. However, when the natural population has a small proportion of an X-linked insensitive response allele or an autosomal gene that strongly reduces the effect of the drive gene, the antipathogen gene does not spread if it has an associated fitness cost. Our modeling results provide a theoretical foundation for further experimental tests. [source]

    Backhousia citriodora F. Muell.,Rediscovery and chemical characterization of the L -citronellal form and aspects of its breeding system

    J. C. Doran
    Abstract The rare L -citronellal form of Backhousia citriodora F. Muell. was first reported in 1950 but attempts to relocate it were unsuccessful until 1996. The quest to relocate trees of this type has been driven by interest in L -citronellal for perfumery. The common, citral form of the species is already under cultivation for oil production in Australia. This paper reports on the rediscovery of the L -citronellal form, first in 1996 in a year-old provenance/progeny trial of B. citriodora in south-eastern Queensland, and then in a natural population on Queensland's Sunshine Coast in 1998. The three L -citronellal trees in the trial gave foliar oil concentrations (g/100 g dry weight) of 3.2, 2.2 and 1.8, respectively, when sampled in November 1996. The same trees sampled in March 1999 gave pale yellow oils consisting of 85,89% citronellal, 6,9% isopulegol isomers with small quantities of citronellol (approx. 3%) and several other compounds. Data on the physicochemical properties of these oils are given in the paper. Seed from a single mature L -citronellal tree gave progeny of both the L -citronellal and citral form in a ratio of approximately 1 : 1. Propagation material from many more plants of the L -citronellal form needs to be collected and assembled in breeding populations. This would form the basis of a selection and breeding programme, should this chemotype show economic potential. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    Hyperparasitic Stagonospora sp. on Botryosphaeria stevensii

    FOREST PATHOLOGY, Issue 6 2003
    L. Vajna
    Summary An unknown fungus, Stagonospora sp., has been found on and in stromata of Botryosphaeria stevensii Shoemaker anamorph (Diplodia mutila Fr. & Mont.) and Diatrypella quercina (Persoon) Nitschke. Microscopic investigations indicated that the fungus might be a hyperparasite of some ascomycetous fungi, necrotrophs or weak parasites on sessile oak [Quercus petraea] and turkey oak (Quercus cerris). Dual culture studies carried out with monoconidial isolates of Stagonospora sp. and B. stevensii have demonstrated that Stagonospora sp. is a necrotrophic mycoparasite which might suppress, to some extent, the natural population of B. stevensii. Botryosphaeria stevensii is one of the biotic factors causing oak decline. Morphology of the fungus and symptoms of mycoparasitic interaction are described. Stagonospora sp. found in Hungary is assumed to be identical with hyperparasitic Stagonospora sp. reported from Germany and Austria as parasite of Ascodichaena rugosa and Ascodichaena mexicana in Mexico. This is the first record of hyperparasitic Stagonospora sp. of B. stevensii and D. quercina. Résumé Un champignon inconnu, Stagonospora sp, a été trouvé sur et dans les stromas de Botryosphaeria stevensii Shoemaker (anamorphe Diplodia mutila Fr. & Mont.) et Diatrypella quercina (Persoon) Nitschke. D'après les études microscopiques, le champignon pourrait être un hyperparasite de champignons ascomycètes, nécrotrophes ou parasites de faiblesse du chêne sessile [Q. petraea] et du chêne chevelu (Quercus cerris L.). Des confrontations en culture d'isolats monoconidiens de Stagonospora sp. et Botryosphaeria stevensii montrent que Stagonospora sp. est un mycoparasite nécrotrophe qui pourrait limiter dans une certaine mesure les populations naturelles de Botryosphaeria stevensii. Botryosphaeria stevensii est un des facteurs biotiques associés au dépérissement des chênes. La morphologie du champignon et les symptômes de l'interaction mycoparasitaire sont décrits. L'espèce de Stagonospora trouvée en Hongrie est supposée identique au Stagonospora décrit en Allemagne et Autriche comme parasite de Ascodichaena rugosa et au Mexique sur Ascodichaena mexicana. Cette étude constitue la première mention de Stagonospora sp. hyperparasite de B. stevensii et D. quercina. Zusammenfassung Eine bisher unbekannte Art von Stagonospora wurde in und auf Stromata von Diatrypella quercina (Persoon) Nitschke sowie der Anamorphe (Diplodia mutila Fr. & Mont.) von Botryosphaeria stevensii Shoemaker nachgewiesen. Mikroskopische Beobachtungen legen eine hyperparasitische Lebensweise auf zu den Ascomyceten gehörenden, nekrotrophen Parasiten und Schwächeparasiten von Trauben- (Q. petraea) und Zerreiche (Quercus cerris) nahe. Dualkulturen von Monokonidien-Isolaten von Stagonospora sp. und B. stevensii zeigten, dass es sich bei der Stagonospora -Art um einen nekrotrophen Mycoparasiten handelt, der möglicherweise unter gewissen Umständen die Entwicklung natürlicher Populationen von B. stevensii zu hemmen vermag. B. stevensii ist einer der biotischen Faktoren des ,,Eichensterbens". Die in Ungarn nachgewiesene Art dürfte mit derjenigen Stagonospora -Art identisch sein, welche Ascodichaena rugosa in Deutschland und Österreich sowie Ascodichaena mexicana in Mexico parasitiert. Bei der vorliegenden Arbeit handelt es sich um den ersten Nachweis einer hyperparasitischen Stagonospora -Art auf B. stevensii und D. quercina. [source]

    Persistence of a biocontrol strain of Phlebiopsis gigantea in conifer stumps and its effects on within-species genetic diversity

    FOREST PATHOLOGY, Issue 5 2001
    E. J. Vainio
    Fungal isolations and genetic fingerprinting were used to determine whether Phlebiopsis gigantea stump treatment against Heterobasidion annosum sl. using a single genotype (Rotstop) would affect the genetic diversity of P. gigantea populations. The survival time of P. gigantea was longer in Norway spruce (Picea abies) stumps compared to Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) as no isolates were obtained from pine stumps 6 years after treatment, whereas in about half of the spruce stumps the fungus was still present. The usage of Rotstop did not seem to increase the occurrence of the fungus 5 years after the treatment in fresh (1-year-old) untreated stumps within the same forest stands. All the isolates from the 6-year-old treated spruce stumps were identical in genotype with the Rotstop-strain, whereas all isolates from the fresh untreated spruce and pine stumps differed from it. Within the treated pine stand, the biocontrol usage seemed to have caused a slight reduction in genetic markers not related to Rotstop, but there were no statistically significant differences between the marker frequencies and the local natural population. Thus, Rotstop is not likely to cause any immediate threat to the genetic diversity of P. gigantea. Persistance dans les souches de conifères d'un génotype de Phlebiopsis gigantea utilisée en lutte biologique, et effets sur la diversité génétique de l'espèce L'isolement et l'empreinte génétique ont été utilisés pour savoir si le traitement de souches contre Heterobasidion annosum avec un seul génotype de Phlebiopsis gigantea (Rotstop) peut affecter la diversité génétique des populations de P. gigantea. La durée de survie de P. gigantea a été plus longue dans les souches de Picea abies que dans celles de Pinus sylvestris. Chez celles-ci, aucun isolat n'a été obtenu six ans après le traitement alors que chez environ la moitié des souches d'épicéa le champignon était encore présent. Dans les mêmes peuplements, cinq ans après l'application du Rotstop, l'incidence du champignon ne semblait pas avoir augmenté chez les souches fraîches non traitées, âgées de un an. Tous les isolats obtenus à partir des souches traitées six ans auparavant avaient le même génotype que l'isolat du Rotstop, alors que tous ceux issus de souches fraîches non traitées d'épicéa et de pin étaient différents. Chez le peuplement de pins, le traitement biologique semblait avoir causé une légère réduction des marqueurs génétiques non liés au Rotstop, mais leur fréquence n'était pas statistiquement différente de celle de la population naturelle locale. Ainsi, il apparaît peu probable que le Rotstop soit une menace immédiate pour la diversité génétique du P. gigantea. Persistenz eines Phlebiopsis gigantea -Isolates in Koniferenstümpfen und seine Auswirkungen auf die intraspezifische genetische Diversität Mit Isolierungen und genetischem Fingerprinting wurde untersucht, ob eine Stumpfbehandlung mit einem einzelnen Genotyp von Phlebiopsis gigantea (Rotstop) gegen Heterobasidion annosum sl. die genetische Diversität von P. gigantea -Populationen beeinträchtigen könnte. P. giganteaüberlebte auf Stümpfen von Picea abies länger als auf solchen von Pinus sylvestris. Auf Kiefernstümpfen konnte der Pilz sechs Jahre nach der Behandlung nicht mehr nachgewiesen werden, während er auf 50% der Fichtenstümpfe noch vorhanden war. Eine Rotstop-Anwendung 5 Jahre zuvor hatte offenbar keinen Einfluss auf das Vorkommen von P. gigantea in frischen (einjährigen) unbehandelten Stümpfen im gleichen Bestand. Alle Isolate von den sechs Jahre alten behandelten Fichtenstümpfen hatten den gleichen Genotyp wie das Rotstop-Isolat, während alle Isolate von den frischen (unbehandelten) Fichten-und Kiefernstümpfen anderen Genotypen angehörten. In dem behandelten Kiefernbestand war die Frequenz der nicht mit dem Rotstop-Isolat assoziierten genetischen Marker etwas verringert, der Unterschied zur lokalen natürlichen Population war aber statistisch nicht signifikant. Die Anwendung von Rotstop dürfte somit keine kurzfristige Bedrohung der genetischen Diversität von P. gigantea darstellen. [source]

    Offspring performance and the adaptive benefits of prolonged pregnancy: experimental tests in a viviparous lizard

    FUNCTIONAL ECOLOGY, Issue 4 2009
    Geoffrey M While
    Summary 1Offspring locomotor performance has been shown to influence fitness related traits in a wide range of taxa. One potential mechanism by which viviparous animals can increase the performance (e.g. sprint speed) of their offspring is by prolonging pregnancy (beyond that required for complete development). However, to date studies examining this potentially important maternal effect have been largely descriptive. 2The skink Egernia whitii is an ideal candidate species to examine the consequences of delayed parturition on the performance of offspring as it routinely gives birth asynchronously despite synchronous offspring development. 3Using correlative data from a natural population and experimental manipulations of birthing asynchrony, we tested the prediction that, within litters, last born offspring have a better locomotor performance than first born offspring. 4We show that prolonged pregnancy does significantly influence average offspring locomotor performance; however, contrary to predictions, the direction of this effect is dependent on gestation length and thus offspring date of birth. Last born offspring had significantly poorer performance than first born offspring in litters early in the season with this pattern reversed late in the season. 5These results do not support the hypothesis that prolonged retention of fully formed offspring consistently increases offspring performance; however, they may help us understand the asymmetries in offspring competitive ability generated by birthing asynchrony. [source]

    Reversible introduction of transgenes in natural populations of insects

    A. Le Rouzic
    Abstract The most serious challenge concerning genetically modified insects remains their invasion ability. Indeed, transgenic insects often show lower fitness than wild individuals, and the transgene does not seem able to spread through a natural population without a driving system. The use of remobilizable vectors, based on the invading properties of transposable elements, has been frequently suggested. Simulations show that this strategy can be efficient. Moreover, if the transgene is designed to use transposition machinery already present in the genome, the transgene invasion appears to be potentially reversible after a few hundred generations, leading to new experimental perspectives. [source]

    Annual Cycle of Planktothrix agardhii(Gom.) Anagn.

    & Kom.
    Abstract Changes in abundance, biovolume and morphology of Planktothrix agardhii in a natural population were followed over one year period in shallow fishpond Bílá Lhota (Central Moravia, Czech Republic). The selected environmental parameters (pH, oxygen, temperature, conductivity, nutrients, light) were measured at the surface and at the bottom of the fishpond, together with the Planktothrix abundances and filament morphology , filament length, width, shape, aerotopes (gas vacuoles) formation. The annual cycle of P. agardhii in this hypertrophic fishpond starts in March with the germination of hormogonia and the growth of overwintered filaments. The filament length quickly increases to a maximum length in April. The following summer period can be characterized by filament shortening and by changes in the aerotopes shape. On the other hand the abundance and biomass of P. agardhii is increasing until the maximum in August. Further shortening of filaments, loss of aerotopes and hormogoniae formation is typical for the autumn (October) with the average temperature of 9.4 °C. The population overwinters near the pond bottom in the form of hormogonia (60%) and filaments (40%). (© 2004 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim) [source]

    Ecological selection against hybrids in natural populations of sympatric threespine sticklebacks

    J. L. GOW
    Abstract Experimental work has provided evidence for extrinsic post-zygotic isolation, a phenomenon unique to ecological speciation. The role that ecological components to reduced hybrid fitness play in promoting speciation and maintaining species integrity in the wild, however, is not as well understood. We addressed this problem by testing for selection against naturally occurring hybrids in two sympatric species pairs of benthic and limnetic threespine sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus). If post-zygotic isolation is a significant reproductive barrier, the relative frequency of hybrids within a population should decline significantly across the life-cycle. Such a trend in a natural population would give independent support to experimental evidence for extrinsic, rather than intrinsic, post-zygotic isolation in this system. Indeed, tracing mean individual hybridity (genetic intermediateness) across three life-history stages spanning four generations revealed just such a decline. This provides compelling evidence that extrinsic selection plays an important role in maintaining species divergence and supports a role for ecological speciation in sticklebacks. [source]

    Heritability of life-history tactics and genetic correlation with body size in a natural population of brook charr (Salvelinus fontinalis)

    Abstract A common dimorphism in life-history tactic in salmonids is the presence of an anadromous pathway involving a migration to sea followed by a freshwater reproduction, along with an entirely freshwater resident tactic. Although common, the genetic and environmental influence on the adoption of a particular life-history tactic has rarely been studied under natural conditions. Here, we used sibship-reconstruction based on microsatellite data and an ,animal model' approach to estimate the additive genetic basis of the life-history tactic adopted (anadromy vs. residency) in a natural population of brook charr, Salvelinus fontinalis. We also assess its genetic correlation with phenotypic correlated traits, body size and body shape. Significant heritability was observed for life-history tactic (varying from 0.52 to 0.56 depending on the pedigree scenario adopted) as well as for body size (from 0.44 to 0.50). There was also a significant genetic correlation between these two traits, whereby anadromous fish were genetically associated with bigger size at age 1 (rG = ,0.52 and ,0.61). Our findings thus indicate that life-history tactics in this population have the potential to evolve in response to selection acting on the tactic itself or indirectly via selection on body size. This study is one of the very few to have successfully used sibship-reconstruction to estimate quantitative genetic parameters under wild conditions. [source]

    Female common lizards (Lacerta vivipara) do not adjust their sex-biased investment in relation to the adult sex ratio

    Abstract Sex allocation theory predicts that facultative maternal investment in the rare sex should be favoured by natural selection when breeders experience predictable variation in adult sex ratios (ASRs). We found significant spatial and predictable interannual changes in local ASRs within a natural population of the common lizard where the mean ASR is female-biased, thus validating the key assumptions of adaptive sex ratio models. We tested for facultative maternal investment in the rare sex during and after an experimental perturbation of the ASR by creating populations with female-biased or male-biased ASR. Mothers did not adjust their clutch sex ratio during or after the ASR perturbation, but produced sons with a higher body condition in male-biased populations. However, this differential sex allocation did not result in growth or survival differences in offspring. Our results thus contradict the predictions of adaptive models and challenge the idea that facultative investment in the rare sex might be a mechanism regulating the population sex ratio. [source]

    Predicting evolution of floral traits associated with mating system in a natural plant population

    M. van Kleunen
    Abstract Evolution of floral traits requires that they are heritable, that they affect fitness, and that they are not constrained by genetic correlations. These prerequisites have only rarely been examined in natural populations. For Mimulus guttatus, we found by using the Riska-method that corolla width, anther length, ovary length and number of red dots on the corolla were heritable in a natural population. Seed production (maternal fitness) was directly positively affected by corolla width and anther size, and indirectly so by ovary length and number of red dots on the corolla. The siring success (paternal fitness), as estimated from allozyme data, was directly negatively affected by anther,stigma separation, and indirectly so by the corolla length,width ratio. Genetic correlations, estimated with the Lynch-method, were positive between floral size measures. We predict that larger flowers with larger reproductive organs, which generally favour outcrossing, will evolve in this natural population of M. guttatus. [source]

    The use of marker-based relationship information to estimate the heritability of body weight in a natural population: a cautionary tale

    S. C. Thomas
    A number of procedures have been developed that allow the genetic parameters of natural populations to be estimated using relationship information inferred from marker data rather than known pedigrees. Three published approaches are available; the regression, pair-wise likelihood and Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) sib-ship reconstruction methods. These were applied to body weight and molecular data collected from the Soay sheep population of St. Kilda, which has a previously determined pedigree. The regression and pair-wise likelihood approaches do not specify an exact pedigree and yielded unreliable heritability estimates, that were sensitive to alteration of the fixed effects. The MCMC method, which specifies a pedigree prior to heritability estimation, yielded results closer to those determined using the known pedigree. In populations of low average relationship, such as the Soay sheep population, determination of a reliable pedigree is more useful than indirect approaches that do not specify a pedigree. [source]