Coevolving parasites enhance the diversity-decreasing effect of dispersal

Tom Vogwill, Andy Fenton, Michael A. Brockhurst*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

High dispersal rates between patches in spatially structured populations can impede diversification and homogenize diversity. These homogenizing effects of dispersal are likely to be enhanced by coevolving parasites that impose strong selection on hosts for resistance. However, the interactive effects of dispersal and parasites on host diversification have never been tested. We used spatially structured, experimental populations of the bacterium Pseudomonas fluorescens, cultured with or without the phage SBW25 Phi 2 under three levels of dispersal (none, localized or global), and quantified diversity in terms of evolved bacterial colony morphologies after approximately 100 bacterial generations. We demonstrate that higher levels of colony morphology richness evolved in the presence of phage, and that dispersal reduced diversity most strongly in the presence of phage. Thus, our results suggest that, while parasites can drive host diversification, host populations coevolving with parasites are more prone to homogenization through dispersal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)578-580
Number of pages3
JournalBiology Letters
Volume7
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Aug 2011

Keywords

  • adaptive radiation
  • experimental evolution
  • antagonistic coevolution
  • geographical mosaic theory
  • metapopulation
  • SOURCE-SINK METACOMMUNITIES
  • GENE FLOW
  • POPULATION-STRUCTURE
  • FITNESS LANDSCAPES
  • ADAPTIVE RADIATION
  • LOCAL ADAPTATION
  • HOST
  • EVOLUTION
  • DIVERSIFICATION
  • COEVOLUTION

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