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Sample records for adaptive phenotypic plasticity

  1. Phenotypic Plasticity and Selection: Nonexclusive Mechanisms of Adaptation

    PubMed Central

    Grenier, S.; Barre, P.; Litrico, I.

    2016-01-01

    Selection and plasticity are two mechanisms that allow the adaptation of a population to a changing environment. Interaction between these nonexclusive mechanisms must be considered if we are to understand population survival. This review discusses the ways in which plasticity and selection can interact, based on a review of the literature on selection and phenotypic plasticity in the evolution of populations. The link between selection and phenotypic plasticity is analysed at the level of the individual. Plasticity can affect an individual's response to selection and so may modify the end result of genetic diversity evolution at population level. Genetic diversity increases the ability of populations or communities to adapt to new environmental conditions. Adaptive plasticity increases individual fitness. However this effect must be viewed from the perspective of the costs of plasticity, although these are not easy to estimate. It is becoming necessary to engage in new experimental research to demonstrate the combined effects of selection and plasticity for adaptation and their consequences on the evolution of genetic diversity. PMID:27313957

  2. Adaptation to marginal habitats by evolution of increased phenotypic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Chevin, L-M; Lande, R

    2011-07-01

    In an island population receiving immigrants from a larger continental population, gene flow causes maladaptation, decreasing mean fitness and producing continued directional selection to restore the local mean phenotype to its optimum. We show that this causes higher plasticity to evolve on the island than on the continent at migration-selection equilibrium, assuming genetic variation of reaction norms is such that phenotypic variance is higher on the island, where phenotypes are not canalized. For a species distributed continuously in space along an environmental gradient, higher plasticity evolves at the edges of the geographic range, and in environments where phenotypes are not canalized. Constant or evolving partially adaptive plasticity also alleviates maladaptation owing to gene flow in a heterogeneous environment and produces higher mean fitness and larger population size in marginal populations, preventing them from becoming sinks and facilitating invasion of new habitats. Our results shed light on the widely observed involvement of partially adaptive plasticity in phenotypic clines, and on the mechanisms causing geographic variation in plasticity.

  3. Invasion strategies in clonal aquatic plants: are phenotypic differences caused by phenotypic plasticity or local adaptation?

    PubMed Central

    Riis, Tenna; Lambertini, Carla; Olesen, Birgit; Clayton, John S.; Brix, Hans; Sorrell, Brian K.

    2010-01-01

    Background and Aims The successful spread of invasive plants in new environments is often linked to multiple introductions and a diverse gene pool that facilitates local adaptation to variable environmental conditions. For clonal plants, however, phenotypic plasticity may be equally important. Here the primary adaptive strategy in three non-native, clonally reproducing macrophytes (Egeria densa, Elodea canadensis and Lagarosiphon major) in New Zealand freshwaters were examined and an attempt was made to link observed differences in plant morphology to local variation in habitat conditions. Methods Field populations with a large phenotypic variety were sampled in a range of lakes and streams with different chemical and physical properties. The phenotypic plasticity of the species before and after cultivation was studied in a common garden growth experiment, and the genetic diversity of these same populations was also quantified. Key Results For all three species, greater variation in plant characteristics was found before they were grown in standardized conditions. Moreover, field populations displayed remarkably little genetic variation and there was little interaction between habitat conditions and plant morphological characteristics. Conclusions The results indicate that at the current stage of spread into New Zealand, the primary adaptive strategy of these three invasive macrophytes is phenotypic plasticity. However, while limited, the possibility that genetic diversity between populations may facilitate ecotypic differentiation in the future cannot be excluded. These results thus indicate that invasive clonal aquatic plants adapt to new introduced areas by phenotypic plasticity. Inorganic carbon, nitrogen and phosphorous were important in controlling plant size of E. canadensis and L. major, but no other relationships between plant characteristics and habitat conditions were apparent. This implies that within-species differences in plant size can be explained

  4. A history of phenotypic plasticity accelerates adaptation to a new environment.

    PubMed

    Fierst, J L

    2011-09-01

    Can a history of phenotypic plasticity increase the rate of adaptation to a new environment? Theory suggests it can be through two different mechanisms. Phenotypically plastic organisms can adapt rapidly to new environments through genetic assimilation, or the fluctuating environments that result in phenotypic plasticity can produce evolvable genetic architectures. In this article, I studied a model of a gene regulatory network that determined a phenotypic character in one population selected for phenotypic plasticity and a second population in a constant environment. A history of phenotypic plasticity increased the rate of adaptation in a new environment, but the amount of this increase was dependent on the strength of selection in the original environment. Phenotypic variance in the original environment predicted the adaptive capacity of the trait within, but not between, plastic and nonplastic populations. These results have implications for invasive species and ecological studies of rapid adaptation.

  5. Plasticity, stability, and yield: the origins of Anthony David Bradshaw's model of adaptive phenotypic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Peirson, B R Erick

    2015-04-01

    Plant ecologist Anthony David Bradshaw's account of the evolution of adaptive phenotypic plasticity remains central to contemporary research aimed at understanding how organisms persist in heterogeneous environments. Bradshaw suggested that changes in particular traits in response to specific environmental factors could be under direct genetic control, and that natural selection could therefore act directly to shape those responses: plasticity was not "noise" obscuring a genetic signal, but could be specific and refined just as any other adaptive phenotypic trait. In this paper, I document the contexts and development of Bradshaw's investigation of phenotypic plasticity in plants, including a series of unreported experiments in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Contrary to the mythology that later emerged around Bradshaw's ideas, Bradshaw was engaged in a serious and sustained empirical research program concerning plasticity in the 1950s and 1960s that went far beyond a single review paper. Moreover, that work was not isolated, but was surrounded by an already rich theoretical discourse and a substantial body of empirical research concerning the evolution of developmental plasticity and stability. Bradshaw recast the problem of how to understand (and control) plasticity and stability within an epistemic framework focused on genetic differences and natural selection. PMID:25641217

  6. Adaptive phenotypic plasticity and local adaptation for temperature tolerance in freshwater zooplankton.

    PubMed

    Yampolsky, Lev Y; Schaer, Tobias M M; Ebert, Dieter

    2014-02-01

    Many organisms have geographical distributions extending from the tropics to near polar regions or can experience up to 30°C temperature variation within the lifespan of an individual. Two forms of evolutionary adaptation to such wide ranges in ambient temperatures are frequently discussed: local adaptation and phenotypic plasticity. The freshwater planktonic crustacean Daphnia magna, whose range extends from South Africa to near arctic sites, shows strong phenotypic and genotypic variation in response to temperature. In this study, we use D. magna clones from 22 populations (one clone per population) ranging from latitude 0° (Kenya) to 66° North (White Sea) to explore the contributions of phenotypic plasticity and local adaptation to high temperature tolerance. Temperature tolerance was studied as knockout time (time until immobilization, T(imm)) at 37°C in clones acclimatized to either 20°C or 28°C. Acclimatization to 28°C strongly increased T(imm), testifying to adaptive phenotypic plasticity. At the same time, Timm significantly correlated with average high temperature at the clones' sites of origin, suggesting local adaptation. As earlier studies have found that haemoglobin expression contributes to temperature tolerance, we also quantified haemoglobin concentration in experimental animals and found that both acclimatization temperature (AccT) and temperature at the site of origin are positively correlated with haemoglobin concentration. Furthermore, Daphnia from warmer climates upregulate haemoglobin much more strongly in response to AccT, suggesting local adaptation for plasticity in haemoglobin expression. Our results show that both local adaptation and phenotypic plasticity contribute to temperature tolerance, and elucidate a possible role of haemoglobin in mediating these effects that differs along a cold-warm gradient.

  7. Adaptive phenotypic plasticity and local adaptation for temperature tolerance in freshwater zooplankton.

    PubMed

    Yampolsky, Lev Y; Schaer, Tobias M M; Ebert, Dieter

    2014-02-01

    Many organisms have geographical distributions extending from the tropics to near polar regions or can experience up to 30°C temperature variation within the lifespan of an individual. Two forms of evolutionary adaptation to such wide ranges in ambient temperatures are frequently discussed: local adaptation and phenotypic plasticity. The freshwater planktonic crustacean Daphnia magna, whose range extends from South Africa to near arctic sites, shows strong phenotypic and genotypic variation in response to temperature. In this study, we use D. magna clones from 22 populations (one clone per population) ranging from latitude 0° (Kenya) to 66° North (White Sea) to explore the contributions of phenotypic plasticity and local adaptation to high temperature tolerance. Temperature tolerance was studied as knockout time (time until immobilization, T(imm)) at 37°C in clones acclimatized to either 20°C or 28°C. Acclimatization to 28°C strongly increased T(imm), testifying to adaptive phenotypic plasticity. At the same time, Timm significantly correlated with average high temperature at the clones' sites of origin, suggesting local adaptation. As earlier studies have found that haemoglobin expression contributes to temperature tolerance, we also quantified haemoglobin concentration in experimental animals and found that both acclimatization temperature (AccT) and temperature at the site of origin are positively correlated with haemoglobin concentration. Furthermore, Daphnia from warmer climates upregulate haemoglobin much more strongly in response to AccT, suggesting local adaptation for plasticity in haemoglobin expression. Our results show that both local adaptation and phenotypic plasticity contribute to temperature tolerance, and elucidate a possible role of haemoglobin in mediating these effects that differs along a cold-warm gradient. PMID:24352948

  8. Phenotypic plasticity in gene expression contributes to divergence of locally adapted populations of Fundulus heteroclitus.

    PubMed

    Dayan, David I; Crawford, Douglas L; Oleksiak, Marjorie F

    2015-07-01

    We examine the interaction between phenotypic plasticity and evolutionary adaptation using muscle gene expression levels among populations of the fish Fundulus heteroclitus acclimated to three temperatures. Our analysis reveals shared patterns of phenotypic plasticity due to thermal acclimation as well as non-neutral patterns of variation among populations adapted to different thermal environments. For the majority of significant differences in gene expression levels, phenotypic plasticity and adaptation operate on different suites of genes. The subset of genes that demonstrate both adaptive differences and phenotypic plasticity, however, exhibit countergradient variation of expression. Thus, expression differences among populations counteract environmental effects, reducing the phenotypic differentiation between populations. Finally, gene-by-environment interactions among genes with non-neutral patterns of expression suggest that the penetrance of adaptive variation depends on the environmental conditions experienced by the individual.

  9. Local adaptation and the evolution of phenotypic plasticity in Trinidadian guppies (Poecilia reticulata).

    PubMed

    Torres-Dowdall, Julián; Handelsman, Corey A; Reznick, David N; Ghalambor, Cameron K

    2012-11-01

    Divergent selection pressures across environments can result in phenotypic differentiation that is due to local adaptation, phenotypic plasticity, or both. Trinidadian guppies exhibit local adaptation to the presence or absence of predators, but the degree to which predator-induced plasticity contributes to population differentiation is less clear. We conducted common garden experiments on guppies obtained from two drainages containing populations adapted to high- and low-predation environments. We reared full-siblings from all populations in treatments simulating the presumed ancestral (predator cues present) and derived (predator cues absent) conditions and measured water column use, head morphology, and size at maturity. When reared in presence of predator cues, all populations had phenotypes that were typical of a high-predation ecotype. However, when reared in the absence of predator cues, guppies from high- and low-predation regimes differed in head morphology and size at maturity; the qualitative nature of these differences corresponded to those that characterize adaptive phenotypes in high- versus low-predation environments. Thus, divergence in plasticity is due to phenotypic differences between high- and low-predation populations when reared in the absence of predator cues. These results suggest that plasticity might initially play an important role during colonization of novel environments, and then evolve as a by-product of adaptation to the derived environment.

  10. Local adaptation and the evolution of phenotypic plasticity in Trinidadian guppies (Poecilia reticulata).

    PubMed

    Torres-Dowdall, Julián; Handelsman, Corey A; Reznick, David N; Ghalambor, Cameron K

    2012-11-01

    Divergent selection pressures across environments can result in phenotypic differentiation that is due to local adaptation, phenotypic plasticity, or both. Trinidadian guppies exhibit local adaptation to the presence or absence of predators, but the degree to which predator-induced plasticity contributes to population differentiation is less clear. We conducted common garden experiments on guppies obtained from two drainages containing populations adapted to high- and low-predation environments. We reared full-siblings from all populations in treatments simulating the presumed ancestral (predator cues present) and derived (predator cues absent) conditions and measured water column use, head morphology, and size at maturity. When reared in presence of predator cues, all populations had phenotypes that were typical of a high-predation ecotype. However, when reared in the absence of predator cues, guppies from high- and low-predation regimes differed in head morphology and size at maturity; the qualitative nature of these differences corresponded to those that characterize adaptive phenotypes in high- versus low-predation environments. Thus, divergence in plasticity is due to phenotypic differences between high- and low-predation populations when reared in the absence of predator cues. These results suggest that plasticity might initially play an important role during colonization of novel environments, and then evolve as a by-product of adaptation to the derived environment. PMID:23106708

  11. Evidence of concurrent local adaptation and high phenotypic plasticity in a polar microeukaryote.

    PubMed

    Rengefors, Karin; Logares, Ramiro; Laybourn-Parry, Johanna; Gast, Rebecca J

    2015-05-01

    Here we investigated whether there is evidence of local adaptation in strains of an ancestrally marine dinoflagellate to the lacustrine environment they now inhabit (optimal genotypes) and/or if they have evolved phenotypic plasticity (a range of phenotypes). Eleven strains of Polarella glacialis were isolated and cultured from three different environments: the polar seas, a hyposaline and a hypersaline Antarctic lake. Local adaptation was tested by comparing growth rates of lacustrine and marine strains at their own and reciprocal site conditions. To determine phenotypic plasticity, we measured the reaction norm for salinity. We found evidence of both, limited local adaptation and higher phenotypic plasticity in lacustrine strains when compared with marine ancestors. At extreme high salinities, local lake strains outperformed other strains, and at extreme low salinities, strains from the hyposaline lake outperformed all other strains. The data suggest that lake populations may have evolved higher phenotypic plasticity in the lake habitats compared with the sea, presumably due to the high temporal variability in salinity in the lacustrine systems. Moreover, the interval of salinity tolerance differed between strains from the hyposaline and hypersaline lakes, indicating local adaptation promoted by different salinity.

  12. The adaptive value of phenotypic plasticity in two ecotypes of a marine gastropod

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Few surveys have concentrated on studying the adaptive value of phenotypic plasticity within genetically-distinct conspecific ecotypes. Here, we conduct a test to assess the adaptive value that partial phenotypic plasticity may have for survival in the marine gastropod Littorina saxatilis. This species has evolved canalized ecotypes but, nevertheless, the ecotypes show some phenotypic plasticity for the traits under divergent selection between wave-exposed and high-predation habitats. Results We exposed juveniles of each ecotype to several environmental treatments under laboratory conditions in order to produce shape variation associated with plasticity. The two ecotypes from different treatments were then transplanted to the wave-exposed habitat and the survival rate was monitored. Ecotype explained the largest distinction in survival rate while treatment caused variation in survival rate within the ecotype released into its parental habitat which was correlated with plastic changes in shell shape. Snails that had experienced a treatment mimicking the environment of the transplantation location survived with the highest rate, while individuals from the contrary experimental treatment had lower survivorship. Conclusions We conclude that the partial plastic response shown in Littorina saxatilis has a significant impact on fitness, although this remains small compared to the overall adaptive difference between ecotypes. PMID:21029403

  13. Role of phenotypic plasticity and population differentiation in adaptation to novel environmental conditions

    PubMed Central

    Volis, Sergei; Ormanbekova, Danara; Yermekbayev, Kanat

    2015-01-01

    Species can adapt to new environmental conditions either through individual phenotypic plasticity, intraspecific genetic differentiation in adaptive traits, or both. Wild emmer wheat, Triticum dicoccoides, an annual grass with major distribution in Eastern Mediterranean region, is predicted to experience in the near future, as a result of global climate change, conditions more arid than in any part of the current species distribution. To understand the role of the above two means of adaptation, and the effect of population range position, we analyzed reaction norms, extent of plasticity, and phenotypic selection across two experimental environments of high and low water availability in two core and two peripheral populations of this species. We studied 12 quantitative traits, but focused primarily on the onset of reproduction and maternal investment, which are traits that are closely related to fitness and presumably involved in local adaptation in the studied species. We hypothesized that the population showing superior performance under novel environmental conditions will either be genetically differentiated in quantitative traits or exhibit higher phenotypic plasticity than the less successful populations. We found the core population K to be the most plastic in all three trait categories (phenology, reproductive traits, and fitness) and most successful among populations studied, in both experimental environments; at the same time, the core K population was clearly genetically differentiated from the two edge populations. Our results suggest that (1) two means of successful adaptation to new environmental conditions, phenotypic plasticity and adaptive genetic differentiation, are not mutually exclusive ways of achieving high adaptive ability; and (2) colonists from some core populations can be more successful in establishing beyond the current species range than colonists from the range extreme periphery with conditions seemingly closest to those in the new

  14. Role of phenotypic plasticity and population differentiation in adaptation to novel environmental conditions.

    PubMed

    Volis, Sergei; Ormanbekova, Danara; Yermekbayev, Kanat

    2015-09-01

    Species can adapt to new environmental conditions either through individual phenotypic plasticity, intraspecific genetic differentiation in adaptive traits, or both. Wild emmer wheat, Triticum dicoccoides, an annual grass with major distribution in Eastern Mediterranean region, is predicted to experience in the near future, as a result of global climate change, conditions more arid than in any part of the current species distribution. To understand the role of the above two means of adaptation, and the effect of population range position, we analyzed reaction norms, extent of plasticity, and phenotypic selection across two experimental environments of high and low water availability in two core and two peripheral populations of this species. We studied 12 quantitative traits, but focused primarily on the onset of reproduction and maternal investment, which are traits that are closely related to fitness and presumably involved in local adaptation in the studied species. We hypothesized that the population showing superior performance under novel environmental conditions will either be genetically differentiated in quantitative traits or exhibit higher phenotypic plasticity than the less successful populations. We found the core population K to be the most plastic in all three trait categories (phenology, reproductive traits, and fitness) and most successful among populations studied, in both experimental environments; at the same time, the core K population was clearly genetically differentiated from the two edge populations. Our results suggest that (1) two means of successful adaptation to new environmental conditions, phenotypic plasticity and adaptive genetic differentiation, are not mutually exclusive ways of achieving high adaptive ability; and (2) colonists from some core populations can be more successful in establishing beyond the current species range than colonists from the range extreme periphery with conditions seemingly closest to those in the new

  15. A Test for Pre-Adapted Phenotypic Plasticity in the Invasive Tree Acer negundo L.

    PubMed Central

    Lamarque, Laurent J.; Porté, Annabel J.; Eymeric, Camille; Lasnier, Jean-Baptiste; Lortie, Christopher J.; Delzon, Sylvain

    2013-01-01

    Phenotypic plasticity is a key mechanism associated with the spread of exotic plants and previous studies have found that invasive species are generally more plastic than co-occurring species. Comparatively, the evolution of phenotypic plasticity in plant invasion has received less attention, and in particular, the genetic basis of plasticity is largely unexamined. Native from North America, Acer negundo L. is aggressively impacting the riparian forests of southern and eastern Europe thanks to higher plasticity relative to co-occurring native species. We therefore tested here whether invasive populations have evolved increased plasticity since introduction. The performance of 1152 seedlings from 8 native and 8 invasive populations was compared in response to nutrient availability. Irrespective of nutrients, invasive populations had higher growth and greater allocation to above-ground biomass relative to their native conspecifics. More importantly, invasive genotypes did not show increased plasticity in any of the 20 traits examined. This result suggests that the high magnitude of plasticity to nutrient variation of invasive seedlings might be pre-adapted in the native range. Invasiveness of A. negundo could be explained by higher mean values of traits due to genetic differentiation rather than by evolution of increased plasticity. PMID:24040212

  16. A test for pre-adapted phenotypic plasticity in the invasive tree Acer negundo L.

    PubMed

    Lamarque, Laurent J; Porté, Annabel J; Eymeric, Camille; Lasnier, Jean-Baptiste; Lortie, Christopher J; Delzon, Sylvain

    2013-01-01

    Phenotypic plasticity is a key mechanism associated with the spread of exotic plants and previous studies have found that invasive species are generally more plastic than co-occurring species. Comparatively, the evolution of phenotypic plasticity in plant invasion has received less attention, and in particular, the genetic basis of plasticity is largely unexamined. Native from North America, Acer negundo L. is aggressively impacting the riparian forests of southern and eastern Europe thanks to higher plasticity relative to co-occurring native species. We therefore tested here whether invasive populations have evolved increased plasticity since introduction. The performance of 1152 seedlings from 8 native and 8 invasive populations was compared in response to nutrient availability. Irrespective of nutrients, invasive populations had higher growth and greater allocation to above-ground biomass relative to their native conspecifics. More importantly, invasive genotypes did not show increased plasticity in any of the 20 traits examined. This result suggests that the high magnitude of plasticity to nutrient variation of invasive seedlings might be pre-adapted in the native range. Invasiveness of A. negundo could be explained by higher mean values of traits due to genetic differentiation rather than by evolution of increased plasticity. PMID:24040212

  17. Phenotypic plasticity as an adaptation to a functional trade-off

    PubMed Central

    Yi, Xiao; Dean, Antony M

    2016-01-01

    We report the evolution of a phenotypically plastic behavior that circumvents the hardwired trade-off that exists when resources are partitioned between growth and motility in Escherichia coli. We propagated cultures in a cyclical environment, alternating between growth up to carrying capacity and selection for chemotaxis. Initial adaptations boosted overall swimming speed at the expense of growth. The effect of the trade-off was subsequently eased through a change in behavior; while individual cells reduced motility during exponential growth, the faction of the population that was motile increased as the carrying capacity was approached. This plastic behavior was produced by a single amino acid replacement in FliA, a regulatory protein central to the chemotaxis network. Our results illustrate how phenotypic plasticity potentiates evolvability by opening up new regions of the adaptive landscape. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.19307.001 PMID:27692064

  18. Functional adaptation and phenotypic plasticity at the cellular and whole plant level.

    PubMed

    Niklas, Karl J

    2009-10-01

    The ability to adaptively alter morphological, anatomical, or physiological functional traits to local environmental variations using external environmental cues is especially well expressed by all terrestrial and most aquatic plants. A ubiquitous cue eliciting these plastic phenotypic responses is mechanical perturbation (MP), which can evoke dramatic differences in the size, shape, or mechanical properties of conspecifics. Current thinking posits that MP is part of a very ancient "stress-perception response system" that involves receptors located at the cell membrane/cell wall interface capable of responding to a broad spectrum of stress-inducing factors. This hypothesis is explored here from the perspective of cell wall evolution and the control of cell wall architecture by unicellular and multicellular plants. Among the conclusions that emerge from this exploration is the perspective that the plant cell is phenotypically plastic. PMID:19920346

  19. Recent advances in ecological genomics: from phenotypic plasticity to convergent and adaptive evolution and speciation.

    PubMed

    Landry, Christian R; Aubin-Horth, Nadia

    2014-01-01

    Biological diversity emerges from the interaction between genomes and their environment. Recent conceptual and technological developments allow dissecting these interactions over short and long time-scales. The 16 contributions to this book by leaders in the field cover major recent progresses in the field of Ecological Genomics. Altogether, they illustrate the interplay between the life-history and genomic architecture of organisms, how the interaction of the environment and the genome is shaping phenotypic variation through phenotypic plasticity, how the process of adaptation may be constrained and fueled by internal and external features of organisms and finally, how species formation is the result of intricate interactions between genomes and the ecological conditions. These contributions also show how fundamental questions in biology transcend the boundaries of kingdoms, species and environments and illustrate how integrative approaches are powerful means to answer the most important and challenging questions in ecology and evolution. PMID:24277292

  20. Climate change, adaptation, and phenotypic plasticity: the problem and the evidence.

    PubMed

    Merilä, Juha; Hendry, Andrew P

    2014-01-01

    Many studies have recorded phenotypic changes in natural populations and attributed them to climate change. However, controversy and uncertainty has arisen around three levels of inference in such studies. First, it has proven difficult to conclusively distinguish whether phenotypic changes are genetically based or the result of phenotypic plasticity. Second, whether or not the change is adaptive is usually assumed rather than tested. Third, inferences that climate change is the specific causal agent have rarely involved the testing - and exclusion - of other potential drivers. We here review the various ways in which the above inferences have been attempted, and evaluate the strength of support that each approach can provide. This methodological assessment sets the stage for 11 accompanying review articles that attempt comprehensive syntheses of what is currently known - and not known - about responses to climate change in a variety of taxa and in theory. Summarizing and relying on the results of these reviews, we arrive at the conclusion that evidence for genetic adaptation to climate change has been found in some systems, but is still relatively scarce. Most importantly, it is clear that more studies are needed - and these must employ better inferential methods - before general conclusions can be drawn. Overall, we hope that the present paper and special issue provide inspiration for future research and guidelines on best practices for its execution.

  1. Quantitative assessment of the importance of phenotypic plasticity in adaptation to climate change in wild bird populations.

    PubMed

    Vedder, Oscar; Bouwhuis, Sandra; Sheldon, Ben C

    2013-07-01

    Predictions about the fate of species or populations under climate change scenarios typically neglect adaptive evolution and phenotypic plasticity, the two major mechanisms by which organisms can adapt to changing local conditions. As a consequence, we have little understanding of the scope for organisms to track changing environments by in situ adaptation. Here, we use a detailed individual-specific long-term population study of great tits (Parus major) breeding in Wytham Woods, Oxford, UK to parameterise a mechanistic model and thus directly estimate the rate of environmental change to which in situ adaptation is possible. Using the effect of changes in early spring temperature on temporal synchrony between birds and a critical food resource, we focus in particular on the contribution of phenotypic plasticity to population persistence. Despite using conservative estimates for evolutionary and reproductive potential, our results suggest little risk of population extinction under projected local temperature change; however, this conclusion relies heavily on the extent to which phenotypic plasticity tracks the changing environment. Extrapolating the model to a broad range of life histories in birds suggests that the importance of phenotypic plasticity for adjustment to projected rates of temperature change increases with slower life histories, owing to lower evolutionary potential. Understanding the determinants and constraints on phenotypic plasticity in natural populations is thus crucial for characterising the risks that rapidly changing environments pose for the persistence of such populations.

  2. Phenotypic plasticity and adaptive evolution contribute to advancing flowering phenology in response to climate change.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Jill T; Inouye, David W; McKinney, Amy M; Colautti, Robert I; Mitchell-Olds, Tom

    2012-09-22

    Anthropogenic climate change has already altered the timing of major life-history transitions, such as the initiation of reproduction. Both phenotypic plasticity and adaptive evolution can underlie rapid phenological shifts in response to climate change, but their relative contributions are poorly understood. Here, we combine a continuous 38 year field survey with quantitative genetic field experiments to assess adaptation in the context of climate change. We focused on Boechera stricta (Brassicaeae), a mustard native to the US Rocky Mountains. Flowering phenology advanced significantly from 1973 to 2011, and was strongly associated with warmer temperatures and earlier snowmelt dates. Strong directional selection favoured earlier flowering in contemporary environments (2010-2011). Climate change could drive this directional selection, and promote even earlier flowering as temperatures continue to increase. Our quantitative genetic analyses predict a response to selection of 0.2 to 0.5 days acceleration in flowering per generation, which could account for more than 20 per cent of the phenological change observed in the long-term dataset. However, the strength of directional selection and the predicted evolutionary response are likely much greater now than even 30 years ago because of rapidly changing climatic conditions. We predict that adaptation will likely be necessary for long-term in situ persistence in the context of climate change.

  3. Phenotypic plasticity and adaptive evolution contribute to advancing flowering phenology in response to climate change.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Jill T; Inouye, David W; McKinney, Amy M; Colautti, Robert I; Mitchell-Olds, Tom

    2012-09-22

    Anthropogenic climate change has already altered the timing of major life-history transitions, such as the initiation of reproduction. Both phenotypic plasticity and adaptive evolution can underlie rapid phenological shifts in response to climate change, but their relative contributions are poorly understood. Here, we combine a continuous 38 year field survey with quantitative genetic field experiments to assess adaptation in the context of climate change. We focused on Boechera stricta (Brassicaeae), a mustard native to the US Rocky Mountains. Flowering phenology advanced significantly from 1973 to 2011, and was strongly associated with warmer temperatures and earlier snowmelt dates. Strong directional selection favoured earlier flowering in contemporary environments (2010-2011). Climate change could drive this directional selection, and promote even earlier flowering as temperatures continue to increase. Our quantitative genetic analyses predict a response to selection of 0.2 to 0.5 days acceleration in flowering per generation, which could account for more than 20 per cent of the phenological change observed in the long-term dataset. However, the strength of directional selection and the predicted evolutionary response are likely much greater now than even 30 years ago because of rapidly changing climatic conditions. We predict that adaptation will likely be necessary for long-term in situ persistence in the context of climate change. PMID:22787021

  4. Testing Local Host Adaptation and Phenotypic Plasticity in a Herbivore When Alternative Related Host Plants Occur Sympatrically

    PubMed Central

    Ruiz-Montoya, Lorena; Núñez-Farfán, Juan

    2013-01-01

    Host race formation in phytophagous insects can be an early stage of adaptive speciation. However, the evolution of phenotypic plasticity in host use is another possible outcome. Using a reciprocal transplant experiment we tested the hypothesis of local adaptation in the aphid Brevicoryne brassicae. Aphid genotypes derived from two sympatric host plants, Brassica oleracea and B. campestris, were assessed in order to measure the extent of phenotypic plasticity in morphological and life history traits in relation to the host plants. We obtained an index of phenotypic plasticity for each genotype. Morphological variation of aphids was summarized by principal components analysis. Significant effects of recipient host on morphological variation and life history traits (establishment, age at first reproduction, number of nymphs, and intrinsic growth rate) were detected. We did not detected genotype × host plant interaction; in general the genotypes developed better on B. campestris, independent of the host plant species from which they were collected. Therefore, there was no evidence to suggest local adaptation. Regarding plasticity, significant differences among genotypes in the index of plasticity were detected. Furthermore, significant selection on PC1 (general aphid body size) on B. campestris, and on PC1 and PC2 (body length relative to body size) on B. oleracea was detected. The elevation of the reaction norm of PC1 and the slope of the reaction norm for PC2 (i.e., plasticity) were under directional selection. Thus, host plant species constitute distinct selective environments for B. brassicae. Aphid genotypes expressed different phenotypes in response to the host plant with low or nil fitness costs. Phenotypic plasticity and gene flow limits natural selection for host specialization promoting the maintenance of genetic variation in host exploitation. PMID:24265743

  5. Adaptation in a variable environment: Phenotypic plasticity and bet-hedging during egg diapause and hatching in an annual killifish.

    PubMed

    Furness, Andrew I; Lee, Kevin; Reznick, David N

    2015-06-01

    Two ways in which organisms adapt to variable environments are phenotypic plasticity and bet-hedging. Theory suggests that bet-hedging is expected to evolve in unpredictable environments for which reliable cues indicative of future conditions (or season length) are lacking. Alternatively, if reliable cues exist indicating future conditions, organisms will be under selection to produce the most appropriate phenotype -that is, adaptive phenotypic plasticity. Here, we experimentally test which of these modes of adaptation are at play in killifish that have evolved an annual life cycle. These fish persist in ephemeral pools that completely dry each season through the production of eggs that can remain in developmental arrest, or diapause, buried in the soil, until the following rainy season. Consistent with diversified bet-hedging (a risk spreading strategy), we demonstrate that the eggs of the annual killifish Nothobranchius furzeri exhibit variation at multiple levels-whether or not different stages of diapause are entered, for how long diapause is entered, and the timing of hatching-and this variation persists after controlling for both genetic and environmental sources of variation. However, we show that phenotypic plasticity is also present in that the proportion of eggs that enter diapause is influenced by environmental factors (temperature and light level) that vary seasonally. In nature there is typically a large parameter zone where environmental cues are somewhat correlated with seasonality, but not perfectly so, such that it may be advantageous to have a combination of both bet-hedging and plasticity. PMID:25908306

  6. Do invasive species show higher phenotypic plasticity than native species and, if so, is it adaptive? A meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Davidson, Amy Michelle; Jennions, Michael; Nicotra, Adrienne B

    2011-04-01

    Do invasive plant species have greater phenotypic plasticity than non-invasive species? And, if so, how does this affect their fitness relative to native, non-invasive species? What role might this play in plant invasions? To answer these long-standing questions, we conducted a meta-analysis using data from 75 invasive/non-invasive species pairs. Our analysis shows that invasive species demonstrate significantly higher phenotypic plasticity than non-invasive species. To examine the adaptive benefit of this plasticity, we plotted fitness proxies against measures of plasticity in several growth, morphological and physiological traits to test whether greater plasticity is associated with an improvement in estimated fitness. Invasive species were nearly always more plastic in their response to greater resource availability than non-invasives but this plasticity was only sometimes associated with a fitness benefit. Intriguingly, non-invasive species maintained greater fitness homoeostasis when comparing growth between low and average resource availability. Our finding that invasive species are more plastic in a variety of traits but that non-invasive species respond just as well, if not better, when resources are limiting, has interesting implications for predicting responses to global change.

  7. The effects of phenotypic plasticity and local adaptation on forecasts of species range shifts under climate change.

    PubMed

    Valladares, Fernando; Matesanz, Silvia; Guilhaumon, François; Araújo, Miguel B; Balaguer, Luis; Benito-Garzón, Marta; Cornwell, Will; Gianoli, Ernesto; van Kleunen, Mark; Naya, Daniel E; Nicotra, Adrienne B; Poorter, Hendrik; Zavala, Miguel A

    2014-11-01

    Species are the unit of analysis in many global change and conservation biology studies; however, species are not uniform entities but are composed of different, sometimes locally adapted, populations differing in plasticity. We examined how intraspecific variation in thermal niches and phenotypic plasticity will affect species distributions in a warming climate. We first developed a conceptual model linking plasticity and niche breadth, providing five alternative intraspecific scenarios that are consistent with existing literature. Secondly, we used ecological niche-modeling techniques to quantify the impact of each intraspecific scenario on the distribution of a virtual species across a geographically realistic setting. Finally, we performed an analogous modeling exercise using real data on the climatic niches of different tree provenances. We show that when population differentiation is accounted for and dispersal is restricted, forecasts of species range shifts under climate change are even more pessimistic than those using the conventional assumption of homogeneously high plasticity across a species' range. Suitable population-level data are not available for most species so identifying general patterns of population differentiation could fill this gap. However, the literature review revealed contrasting patterns among species, urging greater levels of integration among empirical, modeling and theoretical research on intraspecific phenotypic variation. PMID:25205436

  8. The effects of phenotypic plasticity and local adaptation on forecasts of species range shifts under climate change.

    PubMed

    Valladares, Fernando; Matesanz, Silvia; Guilhaumon, François; Araújo, Miguel B; Balaguer, Luis; Benito-Garzón, Marta; Cornwell, Will; Gianoli, Ernesto; van Kleunen, Mark; Naya, Daniel E; Nicotra, Adrienne B; Poorter, Hendrik; Zavala, Miguel A

    2014-11-01

    Species are the unit of analysis in many global change and conservation biology studies; however, species are not uniform entities but are composed of different, sometimes locally adapted, populations differing in plasticity. We examined how intraspecific variation in thermal niches and phenotypic plasticity will affect species distributions in a warming climate. We first developed a conceptual model linking plasticity and niche breadth, providing five alternative intraspecific scenarios that are consistent with existing literature. Secondly, we used ecological niche-modeling techniques to quantify the impact of each intraspecific scenario on the distribution of a virtual species across a geographically realistic setting. Finally, we performed an analogous modeling exercise using real data on the climatic niches of different tree provenances. We show that when population differentiation is accounted for and dispersal is restricted, forecasts of species range shifts under climate change are even more pessimistic than those using the conventional assumption of homogeneously high plasticity across a species' range. Suitable population-level data are not available for most species so identifying general patterns of population differentiation could fill this gap. However, the literature review revealed contrasting patterns among species, urging greater levels of integration among empirical, modeling and theoretical research on intraspecific phenotypic variation.

  9. Population differences in host use by a seed-beetle: local adaptation, phenotypic plasticity and maternal effects.

    PubMed

    Amarillo-Suárez, Angela R; Fox, Charles W

    2006-11-01

    For insects that develop inside discrete hosts, both host size and host quality constrain offspring growth, influencing the evolution of body size and life history traits. Using a two-generation common garden experiment, we quantified the contribution of maternal and rearing hosts to differences in growth and life history traits between populations of the seed-feeding beetle Stator limbatus that use a large-seeded host, Acacia greggii, and a small-seeded host, Pseudosamanea guachapele. Populations differed genetically for all traits when beetles were raised in a common garden. Contrary to expectations from the local adaptation hypothesis, beetles from all populations were larger, developed faster and had higher survivorship when reared on seeds of A. greggii (the larger host), irrespective of their native host. We observed two host plant-mediated maternal effects: offspring matured sooner, regardless of their rearing host, when their mothers were reared on P. guachapele (this was not caused by an effect of rearing host on egg size), and females laid larger eggs on P. guachapele. This is the first study to document plasticity by S. limbatus in response to P. guachapele, suggesting that plasticity is an ancestral trait in S. limbatus that likely plays an important role in diet expansion. Although differences between populations in growth and life history traits are likely adaptations to their host plants, host-associated maternal effects, partly mediated by maternal egg size plasticity, influence growth and life history traits and likely play an important role in the evolution of the breadth of S. limbatus' diet. More generally, phenotypic plasticity mediates the fitness consequences of using novel hosts, likely facilitating colonization of new hosts, but also buffering herbivores from selection post-colonization. Plasticity in response to novel versus normal hosts varied among our study populations such that disentangling the historical role of plasticity in

  10. Phenotypic plasticity's impacts on diversification and speciation.

    PubMed

    Pfennig, David W; Wund, Matthew A; Snell-Rood, Emilie C; Cruickshank, Tami; Schlichting, Carl D; Moczek, Armin P

    2010-08-01

    Phenotypic plasticity (the ability of a single genotype to produce multiple phenotypes in response to variation in the environment) is commonplace. Yet its evolutionary significance remains controversial, especially in regard to whether and how it impacts diversification and speciation. Here, we review recent theory on how plasticity promotes: (i) the origin of novel phenotypes, (ii) divergence among populations and species, (iii) the formation of new species and (iv) adaptive radiation. We also discuss the latest empirical support for each of these evolutionary pathways to diversification and identify potentially profitable areas for future research. Generally, phenotypic plasticity can play a largely underappreciated role in driving diversification and speciation.

  11. Life History Variation in an Alpine Caddisfly: Local Adaptation or Phenotypic Plasticity?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shama, L. N.; Robinson, C. T.

    2005-05-01

    Facultative species that inhabit permanent and temporary streams can be locally adapted to their stream of origin or exhibit life history plasticity. Temporary stream populations should respond to environmental cues signalling stream drying, whereas permanent stream populations may not. We used a common garden experiment to test whether males and females of an alpine caddisfly from six populations (3 permanent/3 temporary streams) differed in their life history responses to combined changes in photoperiod (ambient/late) and hydroperiod (constant/drying). Responses varied by sex, time-constraint cue and population. Both sexes shortened development time in the late photoperiod, and males emerged before females in all treatments. Growth rates were higher in the late photoperiod for both sexes, and females had higher growth rates and mass at emergence than males. Growth rate compensation in the late photoperiod resulted in similar masses at emergence for both photoperiods. Population-level differences in responses varied according to microgeographic co-gradient variation. Our results suggest that while stream drying cues may not exert sufficient selection pressure to promote faster development in temporary streams, populations may be locally adapted to differences in growing season length associated with stream-specific environmental characteristics.

  12. Phenotypic plasticity and local adaptation in leaf ecophysiological traits of 13 contrasting cork oak populations under different water availabilities.

    PubMed

    Ramírez-Valiente, Jose Alberto; Sánchez-Gómez, David; Aranda, Ismael; Valladares, Fernando

    2010-05-01

    Plants distributed across a wide range of environmental conditions are submitted to differential selective pressures. Long-term selection can lead to the development of adaptations to the local environment, generating ecotypic differentiation. Additionally, plant species can cope with this environmental variability by phenotypic plasticity. In this study, we examine the importance of both processes in coping with environmental heterogeneity in the Mediterranean sclerophyllous cork oak Quercus suber. For this purpose, we measured growth and key functional traits at the leaf level in 9-year-old plants across 2 years of contrasting precipitation (2005 and 2006) in a common garden. Plants were grown from acorns originated from 13 populations spanning a wide range of climates along the distribution range of the species. The traits measured were: leaf size (LS), specific leaf area (SLA), carbon isotope discrimination (Delta(13)C) and leaf nitrogen content per unit mass (N(mass)). Inter-population differences in LS, SLA and Delta(13)C were found. These differences were associated with rainfall and temperature at the sites of origin, suggesting local adaptation in response to diverging climates. Additionally, SLA and LS exhibited positive responses to the increase in annual rainfall. Year effect explained 28% of the total phenotypic variance in LS and 2.7% in SLA. There was a significant genotype x environment interaction for shoot growth and a phenotypic correlation between the difference in shoot growth among years and the annual mean temperature at origin. This suggests that populations originating from warm sites can benefit more from wet conditions than populations from cool sites. Finally, we investigated the relationships between functional traits and aboveground growth by several regression models. Our results showed that plants with lower SLA presented larger aboveground growth in a dry year and plants with larger leaf sizes displayed larger growth rates in both

  13. Regulatory mechanisms link phenotypic plasticity to evolvability

    PubMed Central

    van Gestel, Jordi; Weissing, Franz J.

    2016-01-01

    Organisms have a remarkable capacity to respond to environmental change. They can either respond directly, by means of phenotypic plasticity, or they can slowly adapt through evolution. Yet, how phenotypic plasticity links to evolutionary adaptability is largely unknown. Current studies of plasticity tend to adopt a phenomenological reaction norm (RN) approach, which neglects the mechanisms underlying plasticity. Focusing on a concrete question – the optimal timing of bacterial sporulation – we here also consider a mechanistic approach, the evolution of a gene regulatory network (GRN) underlying plasticity. Using individual-based simulations, we compare the RN and GRN approach and find a number of striking differences. Most importantly, the GRN model results in a much higher diversity of responsive strategies than the RN model. We show that each of the evolved strategies is pre-adapted to a unique set of unseen environmental conditions. The regulatory mechanisms that control plasticity therefore critically link phenotypic plasticity to the adaptive potential of biological populations. PMID:27087393

  14. Phenotypic plasticity in bacterial plasmids.

    PubMed Central

    Turner, Paul E

    2004-01-01

    Plasmid pB15 was previously shown to evolve increased horizontal (infectious) transfer at the expense of reduced vertical (intergenerational) transfer and vice versa, a key trade-off assumed in theories of parasite virulence. Whereas the models predict that susceptible host abundance should determine which mode of transfer is selectively favored, host density failed to mediate the trade-off in pB15. One possibility is that the plasmid's transfer deviates from the assumption that horizontal spread (conjugation) occurs in direct proportion to cell density. I tested this hypothesis using Escherichia coli/pB15 associations in laboratory serial culture. Contrary to most models of plasmid transfer kinetics, my data show that pB15 invades static (nonshaking) bacterial cultures only at intermediate densities. The results can be explained by phenotypic plasticity in traits governing plasmid transfer. As cells become more numerous, the plasmid's conjugative transfer unexpectedly declines, while the trade-off between transmission routes causes vertical transfer to increase. Thus, at intermediate densities the plasmid's horizontal transfer can offset selection against plasmid-bearing cells, but at high densities pB15 conjugates so poorly that it cannot invade. I discuss adaptive vs. nonadaptive causes for the phenotypic plasticity, as well as potential mechanisms that may lead to complex transfer dynamics of plasmids in liquid environments. PMID:15166133

  15. The ubiquity of phenotypic plasticity in plants: a synthesis

    PubMed Central

    Palacio-López, Kattia; Beckage, Brian; Scheiner, Samuel; Molofsky, Jane

    2015-01-01

    Adaptation to heterogeneous environments can occur via phenotypic plasticity, but how often this occurs is unknown. Reciprocal transplant studies provide a rich dataset to address this issue in plant populations because they allow for a determination of the prevalence of plastic versus canalized responses. From 31 reciprocal transplant studies, we quantified the frequency of five possible evolutionary patterns: (1) canalized response–no differentiation: no plasticity, the mean phenotypes of the populations are not different; (2) canalized response–population differentiation: no plasticity, the mean phenotypes of the populations are different; (3) perfect adaptive plasticity: plastic responses with similar reaction norms between populations; (4) adaptive plasticity: plastic responses with parallel, but not congruent reaction norms between populations; and (5) nonadaptive plasticity: plastic responses with differences in the slope of the reaction norms. The analysis included 362 records: 50.8% life-history traits, 43.6% morphological traits, and 5.5% physiological traits. Across all traits, 52% of the trait records were not plastic, and either showed no difference in means across sites (17%) or differed among sites (83%). Among the 48% of trait records that showed some sort of plasticity, 49.4% showed perfect adaptive plasticity, 19.5% adaptive plasticity, and 31% nonadaptive plasticity. These results suggest that canalized responses are more common than adaptive plasticity as an evolutionary response to environmental heterogeneity. PMID:26380672

  16. Phenotypic plasticity and divergence in gene expression.

    PubMed

    Healy, Timothy M; Schulte, Patricia M

    2015-07-01

    The extent to which phenotypic plasticity, or the ability of a single genotype to produce different phenotypes in different environments, impedes or promotes genetic divergence has been a matter of debate within evolutionary biology for many decades (see, for example, Ghalambor et al. ; Pfennig et al. ). Similarly, the role of evolution in shaping phenotypic plasticity remains poorly understood (Pigliucci ). In this issue of Molecular Ecology, Dayan et al. () provide empirical data relevant to these questions by assessing the extent of plasticity and divergence in the expression levels of 2272 genes in muscle tissue from killifish (genus Fundulus) exposed to different temperatures. F. heteroclitus (Fig. A) and F. grandis are minnows that inhabit estuarine marshes (Fig. B) along the coasts of the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico in North America. These habitats undergo large variations in temperature both daily and seasonally, and these fish are known to demonstrate substantial phenotypic plasticity in response to temperature change (e.g. Fangue et al. ). Furthermore, the range of F. heteroclitus spans a large latitudinal gradient of temperatures, such that northern populations experience temperatures that are on average ~10°C colder than do southern populations (Schulte ). By comparing gene expression patterns between populations of these fish from different thermal habitats held in the laboratory at three different temperatures, Dayan et al. () address two important questions regarding the interacting effects of plasticity and evolution: (i) How does phenotypic plasticity affect adaptive divergence? and (ii) How does adaptive divergence affect plasticity? PMID:26096949

  17. [Plasticity of the cellular phenotype].

    PubMed

    Chneiweiss, Hervé

    2011-01-01

    The tragical consequences of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs in 1945 were to lead to the discovery of hematopoietic stem cells and their phenotypic plasticity, in response to environmental factors. These concepts were much later extended to the founding cells of other tissues. In the following collection of articles, the mechanisms underlying this plasticity, at the frontiers of developmental biology and oncology, are illustrated in the case of various cell types of neural origin and of some tumours. PMID:21501574

  18. [Plasticity of the cellular phenotype].

    PubMed

    Chneiweiss, Hervé

    2011-01-01

    The tragical consequences of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs in 1945 were to lead to the discovery of hematopoietic stem cells and their phenotypic plasticity, in response to environmental factors. These concepts were much later extended to the founding cells of other tissues. In the following collection of articles, the mechanisms underlying this plasticity, at the frontiers of developmental biology and oncology, are illustrated in the case of various cell types of neural origin and of some tumours.

  19. Genetic Regulation of Phenotypic Plasticity and Canalisation in Yeast Growth.

    PubMed

    Yadav, Anupama; Dhole, Kaustubh; Sinha, Himanshu

    2016-01-01

    The ability of a genotype to show diverse phenotypes in different environments is called phenotypic plasticity. Phenotypic plasticity helps populations to evade extinctions in novel environments, facilitates adaptation and fuels evolution. However, most studies focus on understanding the genetic basis of phenotypic regulation in specific environments. As a result, while it's evolutionary relevance is well established, genetic mechanisms regulating phenotypic plasticity and their overlap with the environment specific regulators is not well understood. Saccharomyces cerevisiae is highly sensitive to the environment, which acts as not just external stimulus but also as signalling cue for this unicellular, sessile organism. We used a previously published dataset of a biparental yeast population grown in 34 diverse environments and mapped genetic loci regulating variation in phenotypic plasticity, plasticity QTL, and compared them with environment-specific QTL. Plasticity QTL is one whose one allele exhibits high plasticity whereas the other shows a relatively canalised behaviour. We mapped phenotypic plasticity using two parameters-environmental variance, an environmental order-independent parameter and reaction norm (slope), an environmental order-dependent parameter. Our results show a partial overlap between pleiotropic QTL and plasticity QTL such that while some plasticity QTL are also pleiotropic, others have a significant effect on phenotypic plasticity without being significant in any environment independently. Furthermore, while some plasticity QTL are revealed only in specific environmental orders, we identify large effect plasticity QTL, which are order-independent such that whatever the order of the environments, one allele is always plastic and the other is canalised. Finally, we show that the environments can be divided into two categories based on the phenotypic diversity of the population within them and the two categories have differential regulators of

  20. Genetic Regulation of Phenotypic Plasticity and Canalisation in Yeast Growth

    PubMed Central

    Yadav, Anupama; Dhole, Kaustubh

    2016-01-01

    The ability of a genotype to show diverse phenotypes in different environments is called phenotypic plasticity. Phenotypic plasticity helps populations to evade extinctions in novel environments, facilitates adaptation and fuels evolution. However, most studies focus on understanding the genetic basis of phenotypic regulation in specific environments. As a result, while it’s evolutionary relevance is well established, genetic mechanisms regulating phenotypic plasticity and their overlap with the environment specific regulators is not well understood. Saccharomyces cerevisiae is highly sensitive to the environment, which acts as not just external stimulus but also as signalling cue for this unicellular, sessile organism. We used a previously published dataset of a biparental yeast population grown in 34 diverse environments and mapped genetic loci regulating variation in phenotypic plasticity, plasticity QTL, and compared them with environment-specific QTL. Plasticity QTL is one whose one allele exhibits high plasticity whereas the other shows a relatively canalised behaviour. We mapped phenotypic plasticity using two parameters–environmental variance, an environmental order-independent parameter and reaction norm (slope), an environmental order-dependent parameter. Our results show a partial overlap between pleiotropic QTL and plasticity QTL such that while some plasticity QTL are also pleiotropic, others have a significant effect on phenotypic plasticity without being significant in any environment independently. Furthermore, while some plasticity QTL are revealed only in specific environmental orders, we identify large effect plasticity QTL, which are order-independent such that whatever the order of the environments, one allele is always plastic and the other is canalised. Finally, we show that the environments can be divided into two categories based on the phenotypic diversity of the population within them and the two categories have differential

  1. Evolution of phenotypic plasticity in colonizing species.

    PubMed

    Lande, Russell

    2015-05-01

    I elaborate an hypothesis to explain inconsistent empirical findings comparing phenotypic plasticity in colonizing populations or species with plasticity from their native or ancestral range. Quantitative genetic theory on the evolution of plasticity reveals that colonization of a novel environment can cause a transient increase in plasticity: a rapid initial increase in plasticity accelerates evolution of a new optimal phenotype, followed by slow genetic assimilation of the new phenotype and reduction of plasticity. An association of colonization with increased plasticity depends on the difference in the optimal phenotype between ancestral and colonized environments, the difference in mean, variance and predictability of the environment, the cost of plasticity, and the time elapsed since colonization. The relative importance of these parameters depends on whether a phenotypic character develops by one-shot plasticity to a constant adult phenotype or by labile plasticity involving continuous and reversible development throughout adult life.

  2. Endothelial Plasticity: Shifting Phenotypes through Force Feedback

    PubMed Central

    Krenning, Guido; Barauna, Valerio G.; Krieger, José E.; Harmsen, Martin C.; Moonen, Jan-Renier A. J.

    2016-01-01

    The endothelial lining of the vasculature is exposed to a large variety of biochemical and hemodynamic stimuli with different gradients throughout the vascular network. Adequate adaptation requires endothelial cells to be highly plastic, which is reflected by the remarkable heterogeneity of endothelial cells in tissues and organs. Hemodynamic forces such as fluid shear stress and cyclic strain are strong modulators of the endothelial phenotype and function. Although endothelial plasticity is essential during development and adult physiology, proatherogenic stimuli can induce adverse plasticity which contributes to disease. Endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EndMT), the hallmark of endothelial plasticity, was long thought to be restricted to embryonic development but has emerged as a pathologic process in a plethora of diseases. In this perspective we argue how shear stress and cyclic strain can modulate EndMT and discuss how this is reflected in atherosclerosis and pulmonary arterial hypertension. PMID:26904133

  3. Adaptation without Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Del Mar Quiroga, Maria; Morris, Adam P; Krekelberg, Bart

    2016-09-27

    Sensory adaptation is a phenomenon in which neurons are affected not only by their immediate input but also by the sequence of preceding inputs. In visual cortex, for example, neurons shift their preferred orientation after exposure to an oriented stimulus. This adaptation is traditionally attributed to plasticity. We show that a recurrent network generates tuning curve shifts observed in cat and macaque visual cortex, even when all synaptic weights and intrinsic properties in the model are fixed. This demonstrates that, in a recurrent network, adaptation on timescales of hundreds of milliseconds does not require plasticity. Given the ubiquity of recurrent connections, this phenomenon likely contributes to responses observed across cortex and shows that plasticity cannot be inferred solely from changes in tuning on these timescales. More broadly, our findings show that recurrent connections can endow a network with a powerful mechanism to store and integrate recent contextual information. PMID:27681421

  4. Evolution and ecology meet molecular genetics: adaptive phenotypic plasticity in two isolated Negev desert populations of Acacia raddiana at either end of a rainfall gradient

    PubMed Central

    Ward, David; Shrestha, Madan K.; Golan-Goldhirsh, Avi

    2012-01-01

    Background and Aims The ecological, evolutionary and genetic bases of population differentiation in a variable environment are often related to the selection pressures that plants experience. We compared differences in several growth- and defence-related traits in two isolated populations of Acacia raddiana trees from sites at either end of an extreme environmental gradient in the Negev desert. Methods We used random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) to determine the molecular differences between populations. We grew plants under two levels of water, three levels of nutrients and three levels of herbivory to test for phenotypic plasticity and adaptive phenotypic plasticity. Key Results The RAPD analyses showed that these populations are highly genetically differentiated. Phenotypic plasticity in various morphological traits in A. raddiana was related to patterns of population genetic differentiation between the two study sites. Although we did not test for maternal effects in these long-lived trees, significant genotype × environment (G × E) interactions in some of these traits indicated that such plasticity may be adaptive. Conclusions The main selection pressure in this desert environment, perhaps unsurprisingly, is water. Increased water availability resulted in greater growth in the southern population, which normally receives far less rain than the northern population. Even under the conditions that we defined as low water and/or nutrients, the performance of the seedlings from the southern population was significantly better, perhaps reflecting selection for these traits. Consistent with previous studies of this genus, there was no evidence of trade-offs between physical and chemical defences and plant growth parameters in this study. Rather, there appeared to be positive correlations between plant size and defence parameters. The great variation in several traits in both populations may result in a diverse potential for responding to selection pressures in

  5. Phenotypic plasticity in two marine snails: constraints superseding life history.

    PubMed

    Hollander, J; Collyer, M L; Adams, D C; Johannesson, K

    2006-11-01

    In organisms encountering predictable environments, fixed development is expected, whereas in organisms that cannot predict their future environment, phenotypic plasticity would be optimal to increase local adaptation. To test this prediction we experimentally compared phenotypic plasticity in two rocky-shore snail species; Littorina saxatilis releasing miniature snails on the shore, and Littorina littorea releasing drifting larvae settling on various shores, expecting L. littorea to show more phenotypic plasticity than L. saxatilis. We compared magnitude and direction of vectors of phenotypic difference in juvenile shell traits after 3 months exposure to different stimuli simulating sheltered and crab-rich shores, or wave-exposed and crab-free shores. Both species showed similar direction and magnitude of vectors of phenotypic difference with minor differences only between ecotypes of the nondispersing species, indicating that plasticity is an evolving trait in L. saxatilis. The lack of a strong plastic response in L. littorea might be explained by limits rather than costs to plasticity. PMID:17040383

  6. Amphibious fishes: evolution and phenotypic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Wright, Patricia A; Turko, Andy J

    2016-08-01

    Amphibious fishes spend part of their life in terrestrial habitats. The ability to tolerate life on land has evolved independently many times, with more than 200 extant species of amphibious fishes spanning 17 orders now reported. Many adaptations for life out of water have been described in the literature, and adaptive phenotypic plasticity may play an equally important role in promoting favourable matches between the terrestrial habitat and behavioural, physiological, biochemical and morphological characteristics. Amphibious fishes living at the interface of two very different environments must respond to issues relating to buoyancy/gravity, hydration/desiccation, low/high O2 availability, low/high CO2 accumulation and high/low NH3 solubility each time they traverse the air-water interface. Here, we review the literature for examples of plastic traits associated with the response to each of these challenges. Because there is evidence that phenotypic plasticity can facilitate the evolution of fixed traits in general, we summarize the types of investigations needed to more fully determine whether plasticity in extant amphibious fishes can provide indications of the strategies used during the evolution of terrestriality in tetrapods. PMID:27489213

  7. The role of phenotypic plasticity in driving genetic evolution.

    PubMed Central

    Price, Trevor D; Qvarnström, Anna; Irwin, Darren E

    2003-01-01

    Models of population divergence and speciation are often based on the assumption that differences between populations are due to genetic factors, and that phenotypic change is due to natural selection. It is equally plausible that some of the differences among populations are due to phenotypic plasticity. We use the metaphor of the adaptive landscape to review the role of phenotypic plasticity in driving genetic evolution. Moderate levels of phenotypic plasticity are optimal in permitting population survival in a new environment and in bringing populations into the realm of attraction of an adaptive peak. High levels of plasticity may increase the probability of population persistence but reduce the likelihood of genetic change, because the plastic response itself places the population close to a peak. Moderate levels of plasticity arise whenever multiple traits, some of which are plastic and others not, form a composite trait involved in the adaptive response. For example, altered behaviours may drive selection on morphology and physiology. Because there is likely to be a considerable element of chance in which behaviours become established, behavioural change followed by morphological and physiological evolution may be a potent force in driving evolution in novel directions. We assess the role of phenotypic plasticity in stimulating evolution by considering two examples from birds: (i) the evolution of red and yellow plumage coloration due to carotenoid consumption; and (ii) the evolution of foraging behaviours on islands. Phenotypic plasticity is widespread in nature and may speed up, slow down, or have little effect on evolutionary change. Moderate levels of plasticity may often facilitate genetic evolution but careful analyses of individual cases are needed to ascertain whether plasticity has been essential or merely incidental to population differentiation. PMID:12965006

  8. Does phenotypic plasticity for adult size versus food level in Drosophila melanogaster evolve in response to adaptation to different rearing densities?

    PubMed

    Mueller, Laurence D; Cabral, Larry G

    2012-01-01

    Recent studies with Drosophila have suggested that there is extensive genetic variability for phenotypic plasticity of body size versus food level. If true, we expect that the outcome of evolution at very different food levels should yield genotypes whose adult size show different patterns of phenotypic plasticity. We have tested this prediction with six independent populations of Drosophila melanogaster kept at extreme densities for 125 generations. We found that the phenotypic plasticity of body size versus food level is not affected by selection or the presence of competitors of a different genotype. However, we document increasing among population variation in phenotypic plasticity due to random genetic drift. Several reasons are explored to explain these results including the possibility that the use of highly inbred lines to make inferences about the evolution of genetically variable populations may be misleading.

  9. The Genetics of Phenotypic Plasticity. XIV. Coevolution.

    PubMed

    Scheiner, Samuel M; Gomulkiewicz, Richard; Holt, Robert D

    2015-05-01

    Plastic changes in organisms' phenotypes can result from either abiotic or biotic effectors. Biotic effectors create the potential for a coevolutionary dynamic. Through the use of individual-based simulations, we examined the coevolutionary dynamic of two species that are phenotypically plastic. We explored two modes of biotic and abiotic interactions: ecological interactions that determine the form of natural selection and developmental interactions that determine phenotypes. Overall, coevolution had a larger effect on the evolution of phenotypic plasticity than plasticity had on the outcome of coevolution. Effects on the evolution of plasticity were greater when the fitness-maximizing coevolutionary outcomes were antagonistic between the species pair (predator-prey interactions) than when those outcomes were augmenting (competitive or mutualistic). Overall, evolution in the context of biotic interactions reduced selection for plasticity even when trait development was responding to just the abiotic environment. Thus, the evolution of phenotypic plasticity must always be interpreted in the full context of a species' ecology. Our results show how the merging of two theory domains--coevolution and phenotypic plasticity--can deepen our understanding of both and point to new empirical research.

  10. Global change and the evolution of phenotypic plasticity in plants.

    PubMed

    Matesanz, Silvia; Gianoli, Ernesto; Valladares, Fernando

    2010-09-01

    Global change drivers create new environmental scenarios and selective pressures, affecting plant species in various interacting ways. Plants respond with changes in phenology, physiology, and reproduction, with consequences for biotic interactions and community composition. We review information on phenotypic plasticity, a primary means by which plants cope with global change scenarios, recommending promising approaches for investigating the evolution of plasticity and describing constraints to its evolution. We discuss the important but largely ignored role of phenotypic plasticity in range shifts and review the extensive literature on invasive species as models of evolutionary change in novel environments. Plasticity can play a role both in the short-term response of plant populations to global change as well as in their long-term fate through the maintenance of genetic variation. In new environmental conditions, plasticity of certain functional traits may be beneficial (i.e., the plastic response is accompanied by a fitness advantage) and thus selected for. Plasticity can also be relevant in the establishment and persistence of plants in novel environments that are crucial for populations at the colonizing edge in range shifts induced by climate change. Experimental studies show taxonomically widespread plastic responses to global change drivers in many functional traits, though there is a lack of empirical support for many theoretical models on the evolution of phenotypic plasticity. Future studies should assess the adaptive value and evolutionary potential of plasticity under complex, realistic global change scenarios. Promising tools include resurrection protocols and artificial selection experiments.

  11. Constraints on the evolution of phenotypic plasticity: limits and costs of phenotype and plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Murren, C J; Auld, J R; Callahan, H; Ghalambor, C K; Handelsman, C A; Heskel, M A; Kingsolver, J G; Maclean, H J; Masel, J; Maughan, H; Pfennig, D W; Relyea, R A; Seiter, S; Snell-Rood, E; Steiner, U K; Schlichting, C D

    2015-01-01

    Phenotypic plasticity is ubiquitous and generally regarded as a key mechanism for enabling organisms to survive in the face of environmental change. Because no organism is infinitely or ideally plastic, theory suggests that there must be limits (for example, the lack of ability to produce an optimal trait) to the evolution of phenotypic plasticity, or that plasticity may have inherent significant costs. Yet numerous experimental studies have not detected widespread costs. Explicitly differentiating plasticity costs from phenotype costs, we re-evaluate fundamental questions of the limits to the evolution of plasticity and of generalists vs specialists. We advocate for the view that relaxed selection and variable selection intensities are likely more important constraints to the evolution of plasticity than the costs of plasticity. Some forms of plasticity, such as learning, may be inherently costly. In addition, we examine opportunities to offset costs of phenotypes through ontogeny, amelioration of phenotypic costs across environments, and the condition-dependent hypothesis. We propose avenues of further inquiry in the limits of plasticity using new and classic methods of ecological parameterization, phylogenetics and omics in the context of answering questions on the constraints of plasticity. Given plasticity's key role in coping with environmental change, approaches spanning the spectrum from applied to basic will greatly enrich our understanding of the evolution of plasticity and resolve our understanding of limits. PMID:25690179

  12. Constraints on the evolution of phenotypic plasticity: limits and costs of phenotype and plasticity.

    PubMed

    Murren, C J; Auld, J R; Callahan, H; Ghalambor, C K; Handelsman, C A; Heskel, M A; Kingsolver, J G; Maclean, H J; Masel, J; Maughan, H; Pfennig, D W; Relyea, R A; Seiter, S; Snell-Rood, E; Steiner, U K; Schlichting, C D

    2015-10-01

    Phenotypic plasticity is ubiquitous and generally regarded as a key mechanism for enabling organisms to survive in the face of environmental change. Because no organism is infinitely or ideally plastic, theory suggests that there must be limits (for example, the lack of ability to produce an optimal trait) to the evolution of phenotypic plasticity, or that plasticity may have inherent significant costs. Yet numerous experimental studies have not detected widespread costs. Explicitly differentiating plasticity costs from phenotype costs, we re-evaluate fundamental questions of the limits to the evolution of plasticity and of generalists vs specialists. We advocate for the view that relaxed selection and variable selection intensities are likely more important constraints to the evolution of plasticity than the costs of plasticity. Some forms of plasticity, such as learning, may be inherently costly. In addition, we examine opportunities to offset costs of phenotypes through ontogeny, amelioration of phenotypic costs across environments, and the condition-dependent hypothesis. We propose avenues of further inquiry in the limits of plasticity using new and classic methods of ecological parameterization, phylogenetics and omics in the context of answering questions on the constraints of plasticity. Given plasticity's key role in coping with environmental change, approaches spanning the spectrum from applied to basic will greatly enrich our understanding of the evolution of plasticity and resolve our understanding of limits.

  13. Genomics of environmentally induced phenotypes in 2 extremely plastic arthropods.

    PubMed

    Simon, Jean-Christophe; Pfrender, Michael E; Tollrian, Ralph; Tagu, Denis; Colbourne, John K

    2011-01-01

    Understanding how genes and the environment interact to shape phenotypes is of fundamental importance for resolving important issues in adaptive evolution. Yet, for most model species with mature genetics and accessible genomic resources, we know little about the natural environmental factors that shape their evolution. By contrast, animal species with deeply understood ecologies and well characterized responses to environmental cues are rarely subjects of genomic investigations. Here, we preview advances in genomics in aphids and waterfleas that may help transform research on the regulatory mechanisms of phenotypic plasticity. This insect and crustacean duo has the capacity to produce extremely divergent phenotypes in response to environmental stimuli. Sexual fate and reproductive mode are condition-dependent in both groups, which are also capable of altering morphology, physiology and behavior in response to biotic and abiotic cues. Recently, the genome sequences for the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum and the waterflea Daphnia pulex were described by their respective research communities. We propose that an integrative study of genome biology focused on the condition-dependent transcriptional basis of their shared plastic traits and specialized mode of reproduction will provide broad insight into adaptive plasticity and genome by environment interactions. We highlight recent advances in understanding the genome regulation of alternative phenotypes and environmental cue processing, and we propose future research avenues to discover gene networks and epigenetic mechanisms underlying phenotypic plasticity.

  14. A heuristic model on the role of plasticity in adaptive evolution: plasticity increases adaptation, population viability and genetic variation.

    PubMed

    Gomez-Mestre, Ivan; Jovani, Roger

    2013-11-22

    An ongoing new synthesis in evolutionary theory is expanding our view of the sources of heritable variation beyond point mutations of fixed phenotypic effects to include environmentally sensitive changes in gene regulation. This expansion of the paradigm is necessary given ample evidence for a heritable ability to alter gene expression in response to environmental cues. In consequence, single genotypes are often capable of adaptively expressing different phenotypes in different environments, i.e. are adaptively plastic. We present an individual-based heuristic model to compare the adaptive dynamics of populations composed of plastic or non-plastic genotypes under a wide range of scenarios where we modify environmental variation, mutation rate and costs of plasticity. The model shows that adaptive plasticity contributes to the maintenance of genetic variation within populations, reduces bottlenecks when facing rapid environmental changes and confers an overall faster rate of adaptation. In fluctuating environments, plasticity is favoured by selection and maintained in the population. However, if the environment stabilizes and costs of plasticity are high, plasticity is reduced by selection, leading to genetic assimilation, which could result in species diversification. More broadly, our model shows that adaptive plasticity is a common consequence of selection under environmental heterogeneity, and hence a potentially common phenomenon in nature. Thus, taking adaptive plasticity into account substantially extends our view of adaptive evolution.

  15. Non-adaptive plasticity potentiates rapid adaptive evolution of gene expression in nature.

    PubMed

    Ghalambor, Cameron K; Hoke, Kim L; Ruell, Emily W; Fischer, Eva K; Reznick, David N; Hughes, Kimberly A

    2015-09-17

    Phenotypic plasticity is the capacity for an individual genotype to produce different phenotypes in response to environmental variation. Most traits are plastic, but the degree to which plasticity is adaptive or non-adaptive depends on whether environmentally induced phenotypes are closer or further away from the local optimum. Existing theories make conflicting predictions about whether plasticity constrains or facilitates adaptive evolution. Debate persists because few empirical studies have tested the relationship between initial plasticity and subsequent adaptive evolution in natural populations. Here we show that the direction of plasticity in gene expression is generally opposite to the direction of adaptive evolution. We experimentally transplanted Trinidadian guppies (Poecilia reticulata) adapted to living with cichlid predators to cichlid-free streams, and tested for evolutionary divergence in brain gene expression patterns after three to four generations. We find 135 transcripts that evolved parallel changes in expression within the replicated introduction populations. These changes are in the same direction exhibited in a native cichlid-free population, suggesting rapid adaptive evolution. We find 89% of these transcripts exhibited non-adaptive plastic changes in expression when the source population was reared in the absence of predators, as they are in the opposite direction to the evolved changes. By contrast, the remaining transcripts exhibiting adaptive plasticity show reduced population divergence. Furthermore, the most plastic transcripts in the source population evolved reduced plasticity in the introduction populations, suggesting strong selection against non-adaptive plasticity. These results support models predicting that adaptive plasticity constrains evolution, whereas non-adaptive plasticity potentiates evolution by increasing the strength of directional selection. The role of non-adaptive plasticity in evolution has received relatively

  16. Adaptive evolution of molecular phenotypes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Held, Torsten; Nourmohammad, Armita; Lässig, Michael

    2014-09-01

    Molecular phenotypes link genomic information with organismic functions, fitness, and evolution. Quantitative traits are complex phenotypes that depend on multiple genomic loci. In this paper, we study the adaptive evolution of a quantitative trait under time-dependent selection, which arises from environmental changes or through fitness interactions with other co-evolving phenotypes. We analyze a model of trait evolution under mutations and genetic drift in a single-peak fitness seascape. The fitness peak performs a constrained random walk in the trait amplitude, which determines the time-dependent trait optimum in a given population. We derive analytical expressions for the distribution of the time-dependent trait divergence between populations and of the trait diversity within populations. Based on this solution, we develop a method to infer adaptive evolution of quantitative traits. Specifically, we show that the ratio of the average trait divergence and the diversity is a universal function of evolutionary time, which predicts the stabilizing strength and the driving rate of the fitness seascape. From an information-theoretic point of view, this function measures the macro-evolutionary entropy in a population ensemble, which determines the predictability of the evolutionary process. Our solution also quantifies two key characteristics of adapting populations: the cumulative fitness flux, which measures the total amount of adaptation, and the adaptive load, which is the fitness cost due to a population's lag behind the fitness peak.

  17. Plasticity, memory and the adaptive landscape of the genotype

    PubMed Central

    l, C. P

    1998-01-01

    The adaptive value of epigenetic inheritance systems is investigated in a simple mathematical framework. These systems enable the environmentally induced phenotypes to be transmitted between generations. The frequencies of the different epigenetic variants are determined by the plasticity and the efficiency of transmission (called memory). Plasticity and memory are genetically determined. This paper studies the evolution of a quantitative character, its plasticity and memory, on the adaptive landscape. Due to the dual inheritance of the character, selection acts on two levels: on the phenotypes of the same genotype, and on the different genotypes. Plasticity generates the raw material, and memory increases the strength of phenotypic selection. If the character is far from the peak of the landscape, then dual inheritance of the character can be advantageous for the genotype. Near the peak it is more favourable to suppress phenotypic variation. This would lead to genetic assimilation.

  18. Changes in Selection Regime Cause Loss of Phenotypic Plasticity in Planktonic Freshwater Copepods

    PubMed Central

    Sereda, Sergej Vital’evič; Wilke, Thomas; Schultheiß, Roland

    2014-01-01

    Rapid phenotypic adaptation is critical for populations facing environmental changes and can be facilitated by phenotypic plasticity in the selected traits. Whereas recurrent environmental fluctuations can favour the maintenance or de novo evolution of plasticity, strong selection is hypothesized to decrease plasticity or even fix the trait (genetic assimilation). Despite advances in the theoretical understanding of the impact of plasticity on diversification processes, comparatively little empirical data of populations undergoing diversification mediated by plasticity are available. Here we use the planktonic freshwater copepod Acanthodiaptomus denticornis from two lakes as model system to study UV stress responses of two phenotypically different populations under laboratory conditions. Our study reveals heritable lake- and sex-specific differences of behaviour, physiological plasticity, and mortality. We discuss specific selective scenarios causing these differences and argue that phenotypic plasticity will be higher when selection pressure is moderate, but will decrease or even be lost under stronger pressure. PMID:24587186

  19. Correlated evolution of phenotypic plasticity in metamorphic timing.

    PubMed

    Michimae, H; Emura, T

    2012-07-01

    Phenotypic plasticity has long been a focus of research, but the mechanisms of its evolution remain controversial. Many amphibian species exhibit a similar plastic response in metamorphic timing in response to multiple environmental factors; therefore, more than one environmental factor has likely influenced the evolution of plasticity. However, it is unclear whether the plastic responses to different factors have evolved independently. In this study, we examined the relationship between the plastic responses to two experimental factors (water level and food type) in larvae of the salamander Hynobius retardatus, using a cause-specific Cox proportional hazards model on the time to completion of metamorphosis. Larvae from ephemeral ponds metamorphosed earlier than those from permanent ponds when kept at a low water level or fed conspecific larvae instead of larval Chironomidae. This acceleration of metamorphosis depended only on the permanency of the larvae's pond of origin, but not on the conspecific larval density (an indicator of the frequency of cannibalism) in the ponds. The two plastic responses were significantly correlated, indicating that they may evolve correlatively. Once plasticity evolved as an adaptation to habitat desiccation, it might have relatively easily become a response to other ecological factors, such as food type via the pre-existing developmental pathway.

  20. Functional Genomics of Physiological Plasticity and Local Adaptation in Killifish

    PubMed Central

    Galvez, Fernando; Zhang, Shujun; Williams, Larissa M.; Oleksiak, Marjorie F.

    2011-01-01

    Evolutionary solutions to the physiological challenges of life in highly variable habitats can span the continuum from evolution of a cosmopolitan plastic phenotype to the evolution of locally adapted phenotypes. Killifish (Fundulus sp.) have evolved both highly plastic and locally adapted phenotypes within different selective contexts, providing a comparative system in which to explore the genomic underpinnings of physiological plasticity and adaptive variation. Importantly, extensive variation exists among populations and species for tolerance to a variety of stressors, and we exploit this variation in comparative studies to yield insights into the genomic basis of evolved phenotypic variation. Notably, species of Fundulus occupy the continuum of osmotic habitats from freshwater to marine and populations within Fundulus heteroclitus span far greater variation in pollution tolerance than across all species of fish. Here, we explore how transcriptome regulation underpins extreme physiological plasticity on osmotic shock and how genomic and transcriptomic variation is associated with locally evolved pollution tolerance. We show that F. heteroclitus quickly acclimate to extreme osmotic shock by mounting a dramatic rapid transcriptomic response including an early crisis control phase followed by a tissue remodeling phase involving many regulatory pathways. We also show that convergent evolution of locally adapted pollution tolerance involves complex patterns of gene expression and genome sequence variation, which is confounded with body-weight dependence for some genes. Similarly, exploiting the natural phenotypic variation associated with other established and emerging model organisms is likely to greatly accelerate the pace of discovery of the genomic basis of phenotypic variation. PMID:20581107

  1. Phenotypic Plasticity and Population Differentiation in an Ongoing Species Invasion

    PubMed Central

    Matesanz, Silvia; Horgan-Kobelski, Tim; Sultan, Sonia E.

    2012-01-01

    The ability to succeed in diverse conditions is a key factor allowing introduced species to successfully invade and spread across new areas. Two non-exclusive factors have been suggested to promote this ability: adaptive phenotypic plasticity of individuals, and the evolution of locally adapted populations in the new range. We investigated these individual and population-level factors in Polygonum cespitosum, an Asian annual that has recently become invasive in northeastern North America. We characterized individual fitness, life-history, and functional plasticity in response to two contrasting glasshouse habitat treatments (full sun/dry soil and understory shade/moist soil) in 165 genotypes sampled from nine geographically separate populations representing the range of light and soil moisture conditions the species inhabits in this region. Polygonum cespitosum genotypes from these introduced-range populations expressed broadly similar plasticity patterns. In response to full sun, dry conditions, genotypes from all populations increased photosynthetic rate, water use efficiency, and allocation to root tissues, dramatically increasing reproductive fitness compared to phenotypes expressed in simulated understory shade. Although there were subtle among-population differences in mean trait values as well as in the slope of plastic responses, these population differences did not reflect local adaptation to environmental conditions measured at the population sites of origin. Instead, certain populations expressed higher fitness in both glasshouse habitat treatments. We also compared the introduced-range populations to a single population from the native Asian range, and found that the native population had delayed phenology, limited functional plasticity, and lower fitness in both experimental environments compared with the introduced-range populations. Our results indicate that the future spread of P. cespitosum in its introduced range will likely be fueled by

  2. Molecular mechanisms of phenotypic plasticity in social insects

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Polyphenism in insects, whereby a single genome expresses different phenotypes in response to environmental cues, is a fascinating biological phenomenon. Social insects are especially intriguing examples of phenotypic plasticity because division of labor results in the development of extreme morphol...

  3. Phenotype adjustment promotes adaptive evolution in a game without conflict.

    PubMed

    Yamaguchi, Sachi; Iwasa, Yoh

    2015-06-01

    Organisms may adjust their phenotypes in response to social and physical environments. Such phenotypic plasticity is known to help or retard adaptive evolution. Here, we study the evolutionary outcomes of adaptive phenotypic plasticity in an evolutionary game involving two players who have no conflicts of interest. A possible example is the growth and sex allocation of a lifelong pair of shrimps entrapped in the body of a sponge. We consider random pair formation, the limitation of total resources for growth, and the needs of male investment to fertilize eggs laid by the partner. We compare the following three different evolutionary dynamics: (1) No adjustment: each individual develops a phenotype specified by its own genotype; (2) One-player adjustment: the phenotype of the first player is specified by its own genotype, and the second player chooses the phenotype that maximizes its own fitness; (3) Two-player adjustment: the first player exhibits an initial phenotype specified by its own genotype, the second player chooses a phenotype given that of the first player, and finally, the first player readjusts its phenotype given that of the second player. We demonstrate that both one-player and two-player adjustments evolve to achieve maximum fitness. In contrast, the dynamics without adjustment fails in some cases to evolve outcomes with the highest fitness. For an intermediate range of male cost, the evolution of no adjustment realizes two hermaphrodites with equal size, whereas the one-player and two-player adjustments realize a small male and a large female.

  4. Molecular signatures of plastic phenotypes in two eusocial insect species with simple societies.

    PubMed

    Patalano, Solenn; Vlasova, Anna; Wyatt, Chris; Ewels, Philip; Camara, Francisco; Ferreira, Pedro G; Asher, Claire L; Jurkowski, Tomasz P; Segonds-Pichon, Anne; Bachman, Martin; González-Navarrete, Irene; Minoche, André E; Krueger, Felix; Lowy, Ernesto; Marcet-Houben, Marina; Rodriguez-Ales, Jose Luis; Nascimento, Fabio S; Balasubramanian, Shankar; Gabaldon, Toni; Tarver, James E; Andrews, Simon; Himmelbauer, Heinz; Hughes, William O H; Guigó, Roderic; Reik, Wolf; Sumner, Seirian

    2015-11-10

    Phenotypic plasticity is important in adaptation and shapes the evolution of organisms. However, we understand little about what aspects of the genome are important in facilitating plasticity. Eusocial insect societies produce plastic phenotypes from the same genome, as reproductives (queens) and nonreproductives (workers). The greatest plasticity is found in the simple eusocial insect societies in which individuals retain the ability to switch between reproductive and nonreproductive phenotypes as adults. We lack comprehensive data on the molecular basis of plastic phenotypes. Here, we sequenced genomes, microRNAs (miRNAs), and multiple transcriptomes and methylomes from individual brains in a wasp (Polistes canadensis) and an ant (Dinoponera quadriceps) that live in simple eusocial societies. In both species, we found few differences between phenotypes at the transcriptional level, with little functional specialization, and no evidence that phenotype-specific gene expression is driven by DNA methylation or miRNAs. Instead, phenotypic differentiation was defined more subtly by nonrandom transcriptional network organization, with roles in these networks for both conserved and taxon-restricted genes. The general lack of highly methylated regions or methylome patterning in both species may be an important mechanism for achieving plasticity among phenotypes during adulthood. These findings define previously unidentified hypotheses on the genomic processes that facilitate plasticity and suggest that the molecular hallmarks of social behavior are likely to differ with the level of social complexity. PMID:26483466

  5. Molecular signatures of plastic phenotypes in two eusocial insect species with simple societies.

    PubMed

    Patalano, Solenn; Vlasova, Anna; Wyatt, Chris; Ewels, Philip; Camara, Francisco; Ferreira, Pedro G; Asher, Claire L; Jurkowski, Tomasz P; Segonds-Pichon, Anne; Bachman, Martin; González-Navarrete, Irene; Minoche, André E; Krueger, Felix; Lowy, Ernesto; Marcet-Houben, Marina; Rodriguez-Ales, Jose Luis; Nascimento, Fabio S; Balasubramanian, Shankar; Gabaldon, Toni; Tarver, James E; Andrews, Simon; Himmelbauer, Heinz; Hughes, William O H; Guigó, Roderic; Reik, Wolf; Sumner, Seirian

    2015-11-10

    Phenotypic plasticity is important in adaptation and shapes the evolution of organisms. However, we understand little about what aspects of the genome are important in facilitating plasticity. Eusocial insect societies produce plastic phenotypes from the same genome, as reproductives (queens) and nonreproductives (workers). The greatest plasticity is found in the simple eusocial insect societies in which individuals retain the ability to switch between reproductive and nonreproductive phenotypes as adults. We lack comprehensive data on the molecular basis of plastic phenotypes. Here, we sequenced genomes, microRNAs (miRNAs), and multiple transcriptomes and methylomes from individual brains in a wasp (Polistes canadensis) and an ant (Dinoponera quadriceps) that live in simple eusocial societies. In both species, we found few differences between phenotypes at the transcriptional level, with little functional specialization, and no evidence that phenotype-specific gene expression is driven by DNA methylation or miRNAs. Instead, phenotypic differentiation was defined more subtly by nonrandom transcriptional network organization, with roles in these networks for both conserved and taxon-restricted genes. The general lack of highly methylated regions or methylome patterning in both species may be an important mechanism for achieving plasticity among phenotypes during adulthood. These findings define previously unidentified hypotheses on the genomic processes that facilitate plasticity and suggest that the molecular hallmarks of social behavior are likely to differ with the level of social complexity.

  6. Molecular signatures of plastic phenotypes in two eusocial insect species with simple societies

    PubMed Central

    Patalano, Solenn; Vlasova, Anna; Wyatt, Chris; Ewels, Philip; Camara, Francisco; Ferreira, Pedro G.; Asher, Claire L.; Jurkowski, Tomasz P.; Segonds-Pichon, Anne; Bachman, Martin; González-Navarrete, Irene; Minoche, André E.; Krueger, Felix; Lowy, Ernesto; Marcet-Houben, Marina; Rodriguez-Ales, Jose Luis; Nascimento, Fabio S.; Balasubramanian, Shankar; Gabaldon, Toni; Tarver, James E.; Andrews, Simon; Himmelbauer, Heinz; Hughes, William O. H.; Guigó, Roderic; Reik, Wolf; Sumner, Seirian

    2015-01-01

    Phenotypic plasticity is important in adaptation and shapes the evolution of organisms. However, we understand little about what aspects of the genome are important in facilitating plasticity. Eusocial insect societies produce plastic phenotypes from the same genome, as reproductives (queens) and nonreproductives (workers). The greatest plasticity is found in the simple eusocial insect societies in which individuals retain the ability to switch between reproductive and nonreproductive phenotypes as adults. We lack comprehensive data on the molecular basis of plastic phenotypes. Here, we sequenced genomes, microRNAs (miRNAs), and multiple transcriptomes and methylomes from individual brains in a wasp (Polistes canadensis) and an ant (Dinoponera quadriceps) that live in simple eusocial societies. In both species, we found few differences between phenotypes at the transcriptional level, with little functional specialization, and no evidence that phenotype-specific gene expression is driven by DNA methylation or miRNAs. Instead, phenotypic differentiation was defined more subtly by nonrandom transcriptional network organization, with roles in these networks for both conserved and taxon-restricted genes. The general lack of highly methylated regions or methylome patterning in both species may be an important mechanism for achieving plasticity among phenotypes during adulthood. These findings define previously unidentified hypotheses on the genomic processes that facilitate plasticity and suggest that the molecular hallmarks of social behavior are likely to differ with the level of social complexity. PMID:26483466

  7. Adaptive plasticity in wild field cricket's acoustic signaling.

    PubMed

    Bertram, Susan M; Harrison, Sarah J; Thomson, Ian R; Fitzsimmons, Lauren P

    2013-01-01

    Phenotypic plasticity can be adaptive when phenotypes are closely matched to changes in the environment. In crickets, rhythmic fluctuations in the biotic and abiotic environment regularly result in diel rhythms in density of sexually active individuals. Given that density strongly influences the intensity of sexual selection, we asked whether crickets exhibit plasticity in signaling behavior that aligns with these rhythmic fluctuations in the socio-sexual environment. We quantified the acoustic mate signaling behavior of wild-caught males of two cricket species, Gryllus veletis and G. pennsylvanicus. Crickets exhibited phenotypically plastic mate signaling behavior, with most males signaling more often and more attractively during the times of day when mating activity is highest in the wild. Most male G. pennsylvanicus chirped more often and louder, with shorter interpulse durations, pulse periods, chirp durations, and interchirp durations, and at slightly higher carrier frequencies during the time of the day that mating activity is highest in the wild. Similarly, most male G. veletis chirped more often, with more pulses per chirp, longer interpulse durations, pulse periods, and chirp durations, shorter interchirp durations, and at lower carrier frequencies during the time of peak mating activity in the wild. Among-male variation in signaling plasticity was high, with some males signaling in an apparently maladaptive manner. Body size explained some of the among-male variation in G. pennsylvanicus plasticity but not G. veletis plasticity. Overall, our findings suggest that crickets exhibit phenotypically plastic mate attraction signals that closely match the fluctuating socio-sexual context they experience.

  8. Phenotypically plastic neophobia: a response to variable predation risk

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Grant E.; Ferrari, Maud C. O.; Elvidge, Chris K.; Ramnarine, Indar; Chivers, Douglas P.

    2013-01-01

    Prey species possess a variety of morphological, life history and behavioural adaptations to evade predators. While specific evolutionary conditions have led to the expression of permanent, non-plastic anti-predator traits, the vast majority of prey species rely on experience to express adaptive anti-predator defences. While ecologists have identified highly sophisticated means through which naive prey can deal with predation threats, the potential for death upon the first encounter with a predator is still a remarkably important unresolved issue. Here, we used both laboratory and field studies to provide the first evidence for risk-induced neophobia in two taxa (fish and amphibians), and argue that phenotypically plastic neophobia acts as an adaptive anti-predator strategy for vulnerable prey dealing with spatial and temporal variation in predation risk. Our study also illustrates how risk-free maintenance conditions used in laboratory studies may blind researchers to adaptive anti-predator strategies that are only expressed in high-risk conditions. PMID:23390103

  9. The Genome of the Self-Fertilizing Mangrove Rivulus Fish, Kryptolebias marmoratus: A Model for Studying Phenotypic Plasticity and Adaptations to Extreme Environments.

    PubMed

    Kelley, Joanna L; Yee, Muh-Ching; Brown, Anthony P; Richardson, Rhea R; Tatarenkov, Andrey; Lee, Clarence C; Harkins, Timothy T; Bustamante, Carlos D; Earley, Ryan L

    2016-01-01

    The mangrove rivulus (Kryptolebias marmoratus) is one of two preferentially self-fertilizing hermaphroditic vertebrates. This mode of reproduction makes mangrove rivulus an important model for evolutionary and biomedical studies because long periods of self-fertilization result in naturally homozygous genotypes that can produce isogenic lineages without significant limitations associated with inbreeding depression. Over 400 isogenic lineages currently held in laboratories across the globe show considerable among-lineage variation in physiology, behavior, and life history traits that is maintained under common garden conditions. Temperature mediates the development of primary males and also sex change between hermaphrodites and secondary males, which makes the system ideal for the study of sex determination and sexual plasticity. Mangrove rivulus also exhibit remarkable adaptations to living in extreme environments, and the system has great promise to shed light on the evolution of terrestrial locomotion, aerial respiration, and broad tolerances to hypoxia, salinity, temperature, and environmental pollutants. Genome assembly of the mangrove rivulus allows the study of genes and gene families associated with the traits described above. Here we present a de novo assembled reference genome for the mangrove rivulus, with an approximately 900 Mb genome, including 27,328 annotated, predicted, protein-coding genes. Moreover, we are able to place more than 50% of the assembled genome onto a recently published linkage map. The genome provides an important addition to the linkage map and transcriptomic tools recently developed for this species that together provide critical resources for epigenetic, transcriptomic, and proteomic analyses. Moreover, the genome will serve as the foundation for addressing key questions in behavior, physiology, toxicology, and evolutionary biology. PMID:27324916

  10. The Genome of the Self-Fertilizing Mangrove Rivulus Fish, Kryptolebias marmoratus: A Model for Studying Phenotypic Plasticity and Adaptations to Extreme Environments.

    PubMed

    Kelley, Joanna L; Yee, Muh-Ching; Brown, Anthony P; Richardson, Rhea R; Tatarenkov, Andrey; Lee, Clarence C; Harkins, Timothy T; Bustamante, Carlos D; Earley, Ryan L

    2016-01-01

    The mangrove rivulus (Kryptolebias marmoratus) is one of two preferentially self-fertilizing hermaphroditic vertebrates. This mode of reproduction makes mangrove rivulus an important model for evolutionary and biomedical studies because long periods of self-fertilization result in naturally homozygous genotypes that can produce isogenic lineages without significant limitations associated with inbreeding depression. Over 400 isogenic lineages currently held in laboratories across the globe show considerable among-lineage variation in physiology, behavior, and life history traits that is maintained under common garden conditions. Temperature mediates the development of primary males and also sex change between hermaphrodites and secondary males, which makes the system ideal for the study of sex determination and sexual plasticity. Mangrove rivulus also exhibit remarkable adaptations to living in extreme environments, and the system has great promise to shed light on the evolution of terrestrial locomotion, aerial respiration, and broad tolerances to hypoxia, salinity, temperature, and environmental pollutants. Genome assembly of the mangrove rivulus allows the study of genes and gene families associated with the traits described above. Here we present a de novo assembled reference genome for the mangrove rivulus, with an approximately 900 Mb genome, including 27,328 annotated, predicted, protein-coding genes. Moreover, we are able to place more than 50% of the assembled genome onto a recently published linkage map. The genome provides an important addition to the linkage map and transcriptomic tools recently developed for this species that together provide critical resources for epigenetic, transcriptomic, and proteomic analyses. Moreover, the genome will serve as the foundation for addressing key questions in behavior, physiology, toxicology, and evolutionary biology.

  11. The Genome of the Self-Fertilizing Mangrove Rivulus Fish, Kryptolebias marmoratus: A Model for Studying Phenotypic Plasticity and Adaptations to Extreme Environments

    PubMed Central

    Kelley, Joanna L.; Yee, Muh-Ching; Brown, Anthony P.; Richardson, Rhea R.; Tatarenkov, Andrey; Lee, Clarence C.; Harkins, Timothy T.; Bustamante, Carlos D.; Earley, Ryan L.

    2016-01-01

    The mangrove rivulus (Kryptolebias marmoratus) is one of two preferentially self-fertilizing hermaphroditic vertebrates. This mode of reproduction makes mangrove rivulus an important model for evolutionary and biomedical studies because long periods of self-fertilization result in naturally homozygous genotypes that can produce isogenic lineages without significant limitations associated with inbreeding depression. Over 400 isogenic lineages currently held in laboratories across the globe show considerable among-lineage variation in physiology, behavior, and life history traits that is maintained under common garden conditions. Temperature mediates the development of primary males and also sex change between hermaphrodites and secondary males, which makes the system ideal for the study of sex determination and sexual plasticity. Mangrove rivulus also exhibit remarkable adaptations to living in extreme environments, and the system has great promise to shed light on the evolution of terrestrial locomotion, aerial respiration, and broad tolerances to hypoxia, salinity, temperature, and environmental pollutants. Genome assembly of the mangrove rivulus allows the study of genes and gene families associated with the traits described above. Here we present a de novo assembled reference genome for the mangrove rivulus, with an approximately 900 Mb genome, including 27,328 annotated, predicted, protein-coding genes. Moreover, we are able to place more than 50% of the assembled genome onto a recently published linkage map. The genome provides an important addition to the linkage map and transcriptomic tools recently developed for this species that together provide critical resources for epigenetic, transcriptomic, and proteomic analyses. Moreover, the genome will serve as the foundation for addressing key questions in behavior, physiology, toxicology, and evolutionary biology. PMID:27324916

  12. The evolution of phenotypic plasticity: genealogy of a debate in genetics.

    PubMed

    Nicoglou, Antonine

    2015-04-01

    The paper describes the context and the origin of a particular debate that concerns the evolution of phenotypic plasticity. In 1965, British biologist A. D. Bradshaw proposed a widely cited model intended to explain the evolution of norms of reaction, based on his studies of plant populations. Bradshaw's model went beyond the notion of the "adaptive norm of reaction" discussed before him by Dobzhansky and Schmalhausen by suggesting that "plasticity"--the ability of a phenotype to be modified by the environment--should be genetically determined. To prove Bradshaw's hypothesis, it became necessary for some authors to identify the pressures exerted by natural selection on phenotypic plasticity in particular traits, and thus to model its evolution. In this paper, I contrast two different views, based on quantitative genetic models, proposed in the mid-1980s: Russell Lande and Sara Via's conception of phenotypic plasticity, which assumes that the evolution of plasticity is linked to the evolution of the plastic trait itself, and Samuel Scheiner and Richard Lyman's view, which assumes that the evolution of plasticity is independent from the evolution of the trait. I show how the origin of this specific debate, and different assumptions about the evolution of phenotypic plasticity, depended on Bradshaw's definition of plasticity and the context of quantitative genetics.

  13. The evolution of phenotypic plasticity: genealogy of a debate in genetics.

    PubMed

    Nicoglou, Antonine

    2015-04-01

    The paper describes the context and the origin of a particular debate that concerns the evolution of phenotypic plasticity. In 1965, British biologist A. D. Bradshaw proposed a widely cited model intended to explain the evolution of norms of reaction, based on his studies of plant populations. Bradshaw's model went beyond the notion of the "adaptive norm of reaction" discussed before him by Dobzhansky and Schmalhausen by suggesting that "plasticity"--the ability of a phenotype to be modified by the environment--should be genetically determined. To prove Bradshaw's hypothesis, it became necessary for some authors to identify the pressures exerted by natural selection on phenotypic plasticity in particular traits, and thus to model its evolution. In this paper, I contrast two different views, based on quantitative genetic models, proposed in the mid-1980s: Russell Lande and Sara Via's conception of phenotypic plasticity, which assumes that the evolution of plasticity is linked to the evolution of the plastic trait itself, and Samuel Scheiner and Richard Lyman's view, which assumes that the evolution of plasticity is independent from the evolution of the trait. I show how the origin of this specific debate, and different assumptions about the evolution of phenotypic plasticity, depended on Bradshaw's definition of plasticity and the context of quantitative genetics. PMID:25636689

  14. The evolutionary consequences of ecological interactions mediated through phenotypic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Fordyce, James A

    2006-06-01

    Phenotypic plasticity describes the capacity of a genotype to exhibit a range of phenotypes in response to variation in the environment. Environmental variation encompasses both abiotic and biotic components of the environment, including interactions among organisms. The strength and outcome of many ecological interactions, ranging from antagonism to mutualism, are mediated through the phenotypically plastic responses of one or more players in the interaction. Herein, three broadly defined, non-mutually exclusive, evolutionary consequences of ecological interactions mediated through phenotypic plasticity are discussed. (1) The predictable plastic response of one partner can favor behaviors, physiological responses, and life history traits of an interacting partner that manipulate, circumvent, or ameliorate the response of that partner. (2) Phenotypic plasticity can generate substantial spatial and temporal variation within and among populations. Such phenotypic variation can depend on the density and identity of interacting players in an ecological community, and can ultimately affect the evolutionary outcome of ecological interactions. (3) Phenotypic plasticity affects the strength and direction of natural selection. Ecological interactions mediated through phenotypic plasticity are ubiquitous in nature, and the potential evolutionary consequences of these interactions illustrate the complexity inherent in understanding evolution in a community context.

  15. The alignment between phenotypic plasticity, the major axis of genetic variation and the response to selection

    PubMed Central

    Lind, Martin I.; Yarlett, Kylie; Reger, Julia; Carter, Mauricio J.; Beckerman, Andrew P.

    2015-01-01

    Phenotypic plasticity is the ability of a genotype to produce more than one phenotype in order to match the environment. Recent theory proposes that the major axis of genetic variation in a phenotypically plastic population can align with the direction of selection. Therefore, theory predicts that plasticity directly aids adaptation by increasing genetic variation in the direction favoured by selection and reflected in plasticity. We evaluated this theory in the freshwater crustacean Daphnia pulex, facing predation risk from two contrasting size-selective predators. We estimated plasticity in several life-history traits, the G matrix of these traits, the selection gradients on reproduction and survival, and the predicted responses to selection. Using these data, we tested whether the genetic lines of least resistance and the predicted response to selection aligned with plasticity. We found predator environment-specific G matrices, but shared genetic architecture across environments resulted in more constraint in the G matrix than in the plasticity of the traits, sometimes preventing alignment of the two. However, as the importance of survival selection increased, the difference between environments in their predicted response to selection increased and resulted in closer alignment between the plasticity and the predicted selection response. Therefore, plasticity may indeed aid adaptation to new environments. PMID:26423845

  16. Hormone signaling and phenotypic plasticity in nematode development and evolution.

    PubMed

    Sommer, Ralf J; Ogawa, Akira

    2011-09-27

    Phenotypic plasticity refers to the ability of an organism to adopt different phenotypes depending on environmental conditions. In animals and plants, the progression of juvenile development and the formation of dormant stages are often associated with phenotypic plasticity, indicating the importance of phenotypic plasticity for life-history theory. Phenotypic plasticity has long been emphasized as a crucial principle in ecology and as facilitator of phenotypic evolution. In nematodes, several examples of phenotypic plasticity have been studied at the genetic and developmental level. In addition, the influence of different environmental factors has been investigated under laboratory conditions. These studies have provided detailed insight into the molecular basis of phenotypic plasticity and its ecological and evolutionary implications. Here, we review recent studies on the formation of dauer larvae in Caenorhabditis elegans, the evolution of nematode parasitism and the generation of a novel feeding trait in Pristionchus pacificus. These examples reveal a conserved and co-opted role of an endocrine signaling module involving the steroid hormone dafachronic acid. We will discuss how hormone signaling might facilitate life-history and morphological evolution.

  17. Multiple cues influence multiple traits in the phenotypically plastic melanization of the cabbage white butterfly.

    PubMed

    Stoehr, Andrew M; Wojan, Erin M

    2016-11-01

    Phenotypic plasticity, or the ability of organisms to produce different phenotypes depending upon environmental factors, may be adaptive in varying environments. However, because environments differ in many ways and organisms consist of many traits perfect phenotype-environment matches are unlikely. Studies that investigate multiple interacting environmental factors and the plastic responses of multiple traits should increase our understanding of the limits of adaptive plasticity. We experimentally examined the effects of variation in temperature and photoperiod on the seasonally plastic, and likely adaptive, melanization of a temperate butterfly, Pieris rapae. Although several melanin-based traits changed in response to temperature and photoperiodic variation, these traits tended to fall into two 'trait groups' consisting of traits covarying positively. However, these two trait groups responded to environmental factors, particularly temperature, in independent and sometimes opposing ways, with one increasing and the other decreasing in melanization with increased temperature. In some cases, plastic responses were complex and non-linear. Furthermore, when temperature and photoperiod were manipulated orthogonally, we sometimes detected interactive effects on melanization. These complex responses to two environmental cues may reflect sub-optimal responses or may occur if the two cues together provide more reliable information about future conditions than would either cue alone. Our results highlight the limits of studies of phenotypic plasticity that consider only single environmental factors and limit treatments to just two levels. PMID:27417547

  18. Adaptive plasticity and niche expansion in an invasive thistle

    PubMed Central

    Turner, Kathryn G; Fréville, Hélène; Rieseberg, Loren H

    2015-01-01

    Phenotypic differentiation in size and fecundity between native and invasive populations of a species has been suggested as a causal driver of invasion in plants. Local adaptation to novel environmental conditions through a micro-evolutionary response to natural selection may lead to phenotypic differentiation and fitness advantages in the invaded range. Local adaptation may occur along a stress tolerance trade-off, favoring individuals that, in benign conditions, shift resource allocation from stress tolerance to increased vigor and fecundity and, therefore, invasiveness. Alternately, the typically disturbed invaded range may select for a plastic, generalist strategy, making phenotypic plasticity the main driver of invasion success. To distinguish between these hypotheses, we performed a field common garden and tested for genetically based phenotypic differentiation, resource allocation shifts in response to water limitation, and local adaptation to the environmental gradient which describes the source locations for native and invasive populations of diffuse knapweed (Centaurea diffusa). Plants were grown in an experimental field in France (naturalized range) under water addition and limitation conditions. After accounting for phenotypic variation arising from environmental differences among collection locations, we found evidence of genetic variation between the invasive and native populations for most morphological and life-history traits under study. Invasive C. diffusa populations produced larger, later maturing, and therefore potentially fitter individuals than native populations. Evidence for local adaptation along a resource allocation trade-off for water limitation tolerance is equivocal. However, native populations do show evidence of local adaptation to an environmental gradient, a relationship which is typically not observed in the invaded range. Broader analysis of the climatic niche inhabited by the species in both ranges suggests that the

  19. DNA methylation mediates genetic variation for adaptive transgenerational plasticity.

    PubMed

    Herman, Jacob J; Sultan, Sonia E

    2016-09-14

    Environmental stresses experienced by individual parents can influence offspring phenotypes in ways that enhance survival under similar conditions. Although such adaptive transgenerational plasticity is well documented, its transmission mechanisms are generally unknown. One possible mechanism is environmentally induced DNA methylation changes. We tested this hypothesis in the annual plant Polygonum persicaria, a species known to express adaptive transgenerational plasticity in response to parental drought stress. Replicate plants of 12 genetic lines (sampled from natural populations) were grown in dry versus moist soil. Their offspring were exposed to the demethylating agent zebularine or to control conditions during germination and then grown in dry soil. Under control germination conditions, the offspring of drought-stressed parents grew longer root systems and attained greater biomass compared with offspring of well-watered parents of the same genetic lines. Demethylation removed these adaptive developmental effects of parental drought, but did not significantly alter phenotypic expression in offspring of well-watered parents. The effect of demethylation on the expression of the parental drought effect varied among genetic lines. Differential seed provisioning did not contribute to the effect of parental drought on offspring phenotypes. These results demonstrate that DNA methylation can mediate adaptive, genotype-specific effects of parental stress on offspring phenotypes. PMID:27629032

  20. Speciation, Phenotypic Variation and Plasticity: What Can Endocrine Disruptors Tell Us?

    PubMed Central

    Ayala-García, Braulio; López-Santibáñez Guevara, Marta; Marcos-Camacho, Lluvia I.; Fuentes-Farías, Alma L.; Meléndez-Herrera, Esperanza; Gutiérrez-Ospina, Gabriel

    2013-01-01

    Phenotype variability, phenotypic plasticity, and the inheritance of phenotypic traits constitute the fundamental ground of processes such as individuation, individual and species adaptation and ultimately speciation. Even though traditional evolutionary thinking relies on genetic mutations as the main source of intra- and interspecies phenotypic variability, recent studies suggest that the epigenetic modulation of gene transcription and translation, epigenetic memory, and epigenetic inheritance are by far the most frequent reliable sources of transgenerational variability among viable individuals within and across organismal species. Therefore, individuation and speciation should be considered as nonmutational epigenetic phenomena. PMID:23762055

  1. Adaptive Plasticity in Wild Field Cricket’s Acoustic Signaling

    PubMed Central

    Bertram, Susan M.; Harrison, Sarah J.; Thomson, Ian R.; Fitzsimmons, Lauren P.

    2013-01-01

    Phenotypic plasticity can be adaptive when phenotypes are closely matched to changes in the environment. In crickets, rhythmic fluctuations in the biotic and abiotic environment regularly result in diel rhythms in density of sexually active individuals. Given that density strongly influences the intensity of sexual selection, we asked whether crickets exhibit plasticity in signaling behavior that aligns with these rhythmic fluctuations in the socio-sexual environment. We quantified the acoustic mate signaling behavior of wild-caught males of two cricket species, Gryllus veletis and G. pennsylvanicus. Crickets exhibited phenotypically plastic mate signaling behavior, with most males signaling more often and more attractively during the times of day when mating activity is highest in the wild. Most male G. pennsylvanicus chirped more often and louder, with shorter interpulse durations, pulse periods, chirp durations, and interchirp durations, and at slightly higher carrier frequencies during the time of the day that mating activity is highest in the wild. Similarly, most male G. veletis chirped more often, with more pulses per chirp, longer interpulse durations, pulse periods, and chirp durations, shorter interchirp durations, and at lower carrier frequencies during the time of peak mating activity in the wild. Among-male variation in signaling plasticity was high, with some males signaling in an apparently maladaptive manner. Body size explained some of the among-male variation in G. pennsylvanicus plasticity but not G. veletis plasticity. Overall, our findings suggest that crickets exhibit phenotypically plastic mate attraction signals that closely match the fluctuating socio-sexual context they experience. PMID:23935965

  2. Human Maternal Brain Plasticity: Adaptation to Parenting

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kim, Pilyoung

    2016-01-01

    New mothers undergo dynamic neural changes that support positive adaptation to parenting and the development of mother-infant relationships. In this article, I review important psychological adaptations that mothers experience during pregnancy and the early postpartum period. I then review evidence of structural and functional plasticity in human…

  3. Human Maternal Brain Plasticity: Adaptation to Parenting.

    PubMed

    Kim, Pilyoung

    2016-09-01

    New mothers undergo dynamic neural changes that support positive adaptation to parenting and the development of mother-infant relationships. In this article, I review important psychological adaptations that mothers experience during pregnancy and the early postpartum period. I then review evidence of structural and functional plasticity in human mothers' brains, and explore how such plasticity supports mothers' psychological adaptation to parenting and sensitive maternal behaviors. Last, I discuss pregnancy and the early postpartum period as a window of vulnerabilities and opportunities when the human maternal brain is influenced by stress and psychopathology, but also receptive to interventions. PMID:27589497

  4. Rapid evolution in response to introduced predators II: the contribution of adaptive plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Latta, Leigh C; Bakelar, Jeremy W; Knapp, Roland A; Pfrender, Michael E

    2007-01-01

    Background Introductions of non-native species can significantly alter the selective environment for populations of native species, which can respond through phenotypic plasticity or genetic adaptation. We examined phenotypic and genetic responses of Daphnia populations to recent introductions of non-native fish to assess the relative roles of phenotypic plasticity versus genetic change in causing the observed patterns. The Daphnia community in alpine lakes throughout the Sierra Nevada of California (USA) is ideally suited for investigation of rapid adaptive evolution because there are multiple lakes with and without introduced fish predators. We conducted common-garden experiments involving presence or absence of chemical cues produced by fish and measured morphological and life-history traits in Daphnia melanica populations collected from lakes with contrasting fish stocking histories. The experiment allowed us to assess the degree of population differentiation due to fish predation and examine the contribution of adaptive plasticity in the response to predator introduction. Results Our results show reductions in egg number and body size of D. melanica in response to introduced fish. These phenotypic changes have a genetic basis but are partly due to a direct response to chemical cues from fish via adaptive phenotypic plasticity. Body size showed the largest phenotypic change, on the order of nine phenotypic standard deviations, with approximately 11% of the change explained by adaptive plasticity. Both evolutionary and plastic changes in body size and egg number occurred but no changes in the timing of reproduction were observed. Conclusion Native Daphnia populations exposed to chemical cues produced by salmonid fish predators display adaptive plasticity for body size and fecundity. The magnitude of adaptive plasticity was insufficient to explain the total phenotypic change, so the realized change in phenotypic means in populations exposed to introduced fish may

  5. Assessing the impacts of phenotypic plasticity on evolution.

    PubMed

    Wund, Matthew A

    2012-07-01

    In the past decade, there has been a resurgent interest in whether and how phenotypic plasticity might impact evolutionary processes. Of fundamental importance is how the environment influences individual phenotypic development while simultaneously selecting among phenotypic variants in a population. Conceptual and theoretical treatments of the evolutionary implications of plasticity are numerous, as are criticisms of the conclusions. As such, the time is ripe for empirical evidence to catch up with theoretical predictions. To this end, I provide a summary of eight hypotheses at the core of this issue, highlighting various approaches by which they can be tested. My goal is to provide practical guidance to those seeking to understand the complex ways by which phenotypic plasticity can influence evolutionary innovation and diversification.

  6. Phenotypic plasticity in heterotrophic marine microbial communities in continuous cultures.

    PubMed

    Beier, Sara; Rivers, Adam R; Moran, Mary Ann; Obernosterer, Ingrid

    2015-05-01

    Phenotypic plasticity (PP) is the development of alternate phenotypes of a given taxon as an adaptation to environmental conditions. Methodological limitations have restricted the quantification of PP to the measurement of a few traits in single organisms. We used metatranscriptomic libraries to overcome these challenges and estimate PP using the expressed genes of multiple heterotrophic organisms as a proxy for traits in a microbial community. The metatranscriptomes captured the expression response of natural marine bacterial communities grown on differing carbon resource regimes in continuous cultures. We found that taxa with different magnitudes of PP coexisted in the same cultures, and that members of the order Rhodobacterales had the highest levels of PP. In agreement with previous studies, our results suggest that continuous culturing may have specifically selected for taxa featuring a rather high range of PP. On average, PP and abundance changes within a taxon contributed equally to the organism's change in functional gene abundance, implying that both PP and abundance mediated observed differences in community function. However, not all functional changes due to PP were directly reflected in the bulk community functional response: gene expression changes in individual taxa due to PP were partly masked by counterbalanced expression of the same gene in other taxa. This observation demonstrates that PP had a stabilizing effect on a community's functional response to environmental change.

  7. Phenotypic plasticity confers multiple fitness benefits to a mimic.

    PubMed

    Cortesi, Fabio; Feeney, William E; Ferrari, Maud C O; Waldie, Peter A; Phillips, Genevieve A C; McClure, Eva C; Sköld, Helen N; Salzburger, Walter; Marshall, N Justin; Cheney, Karen L

    2015-03-30

    Animal communication is often deceptive; however, such dishonesty can become ineffective if it is used too often, is used out of context, or is too easy to detect [1-3]. Mimicry is a common form of deception, and most mimics gain the greatest fitness benefits when they are rare compared to their models [3, 4]. If mimics are encountered too frequently or if their model is absent, avoidance learning of noxious models is disrupted (Batesian mimicry [3]), or receivers become more vigilant and learn to avoid perilous mimics (aggressive mimicry [4]). Mimics can moderate this selective constraint by imperfectly resembling multiple models [5], through polymorphisms [6], or by opportunistically deploying mimetic signals [1, 7]. Here we uncover a novel mechanism to escape the constraints of deceptive signaling: phenotypic plasticity allows mimics to deceive targets using multiple guises. Using a combination of behavioral, cell histological, and molecular methods, we show that a coral reef fish, the dusky dottyback (Pseudochromis fuscus), flexibly adapts its body coloration to mimic differently colored reef fishes and in doing so gains multiple fitness benefits. We find that by matching the color of other reef fish, dottybacks increase their success of predation upon juvenile fish prey and are therefore able to deceive their victims by resembling multiple models. Furthermore, we demonstrate that changing color also increases habitat-associated crypsis that decreases the risk of being detected by predators. Hence, when mimics and models share common selective pressures, flexible imitation of models might inherently confer secondary benefits to mimics. Our results show that phenotypic plasticity can act as a mechanism to ease constraints that are typically associated with deception. VIDEO ABSTRACT. PMID:25802153

  8. Phenotypic plasticity in prostate cancer: role of intrinsically disordered proteins

    PubMed Central

    Mooney, Steven M; Jolly, Mohit Kumar; Levine, Herbert; Kulkarni, Prakash

    2016-01-01

    A striking characteristic of cancer cells is their remarkable phenotypic plasticity, which is the ability to switch states or phenotypes in response to environmental fluctuations. Phenotypic changes such as a partial or complete epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) that play important roles in their survival and proliferation, and development of resistance to therapeutic treatments, are widely believed to arise due to somatic mutations in the genome. However, there is a growing concern that such a deterministic view is not entirely consistent with multiple lines of evidence, which indicate that stochasticity may also play an important role in driving phenotypic plasticity. Here, we discuss how stochasticity in protein interaction networks (PINs) may play a key role in determining phenotypic plasticity in prostate cancer (PCa). Specifically, we point out that the key players driving transitions among different phenotypes (epithelial, mesenchymal, and hybrid epithelial/mesenchymal), including ZEB1, SNAI1, OVOL1, and OVOL2, are intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) and discuss how plasticity at the molecular level may contribute to stochasticity in phenotypic switching by rewiring PINs. We conclude by suggesting that targeting IDPs implicated in EMT in PCa may be a new strategy to gain additional insights and develop novel treatments for this disease, which is the most common form of cancer in adult men. PMID:27427552

  9. Phenotypic plasticity in prostate cancer: role of intrinsically disordered proteins.

    PubMed

    Mooney, Steven M; Jolly, Mohit Kumar; Levine, Herbert; Kulkarni, Prakash

    2016-01-01

    A striking characteristic of cancer cells is their remarkable phenotypic plasticity, which is the ability to switch states or phenotypes in response to environmental fluctuations. Phenotypic changes such as a partial or complete epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) that play important roles in their survival and proliferation, and development of resistance to therapeutic treatments, are widely believed to arise due to somatic mutations in the genome. However, there is a growing concern that such a deterministic view is not entirely consistent with multiple lines of evidence, which indicate that stochasticity may also play an important role in driving phenotypic plasticity. Here, we discuss how stochasticity in protein interaction networks (PINs) may play a key role in determining phenotypic plasticity in prostate cancer (PCa). Specifically, we point out that the key players driving transitions among different phenotypes (epithelial, mesenchymal, and hybrid epithelial/mesenchymal), including ZEB1, SNAI1, OVOL1, and OVOL2, are intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) and discuss how plasticity at the molecular level may contribute to stochasticity in phenotypic switching by rewiring PINs. We conclude by suggesting that targeting IDPs implicated in EMT in PCa may be a new strategy to gain additional insights and develop novel treatments for this disease, which is the most common form of cancer in adult men. PMID:27427552

  10. Phenotypic plasticity changes correlations of traits following experimental introductions of Trinidadian guppies (Poecilia reticulata).

    PubMed

    Handelsman, Corey A; Ruell, Emily W; Torres-Dowdall, Julián; Ghalambor, Cameron K

    2014-11-01

    Colonization of novel environments can alter selective pressures and act as a catalyst for rapid evolution in nature. Theory and empirical studies suggest that the ability of a population to exhibit an adaptive evolutionary response to novel selection pressures should reflect the presence of sufficient additive genetic variance and covariance for individual and correlated traits. As correlated traits should not respond to selection independently, the structure of correlations of traits can bias or constrain adaptive evolution. Models of how multiple correlated traits respond to selection often assume spatial and temporal stability of trait-correlations within populations. Yet, trait-correlations can also be plastic in response to environmental variation. Phenotypic plasticity, the ability of a single genotype to produce different phenotypes across environments, is of particular interest because it can induce population-wide changes in the combination of traits exposed to selection and change the trajectory of evolutionary divergence. We tested the ability of phenotypic plasticity to modify trait-correlations by comparing phenotypic variance and covariance in the body-shapes of four experimental populations of Trinidadian guppies (Poecilia reticulata) to their ancestral population. We found that phenotypic plasticity produced both adaptive and novel aspects of body-shape, which was repeated in all four experimental populations. Further, phenotypic plasticity changed patterns of covariance among morphological characters. These findings suggest our ability to make inferences about patterns of divergence based on correlations of traits in extant populations may be limited if novel environments not only induce plasticity in multiple traits, but also change the correlations among the traits.

  11. Climate change in the oceans: evolutionary versus phenotypically plastic responses of marine animals and plants

    PubMed Central

    Reusch, Thorsten B H

    2014-01-01

    I summarize marine studies on plastic versus adaptive responses to global change. Due to the lack of time series, this review focuses largely on the potential for adaptive evolution in marine animals and plants. The approaches were mainly synchronic comparisons of phenotypically divergent populations, substituting spatial contrasts in temperature or CO2 environments for temporal changes, or in assessments of adaptive genetic diversity within populations for traits important under global change. The available literature is biased towards gastropods, crustaceans, cnidarians and macroalgae. Focal traits were mostly environmental tolerances, which correspond to phenotypic buffering, a plasticity type that maintains a functional phenotype despite external disturbance. Almost all studies address coastal species that are already today exposed to fluctuations in temperature, pH and oxygen levels. Recommendations for future research include (i) initiation and analyses of observational and experimental temporal studies encompassing diverse phenotypic traits (including diapausing cues, dispersal traits, reproductive timing, morphology) (ii) quantification of nongenetic trans-generational effects along with components of additive genetic variance (iii) adaptive changes in microbe–host associations under the holobiont model in response to global change (iv) evolution of plasticity patterns under increasingly fluctuating environments and extreme conditions and (v) joint consideration of demography and evolutionary adaptation in evolutionary rescue approaches. PMID:24454551

  12. Integrating biological invasions, climate change and phenotypic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Engel, Katharina; Tollrian, Ralph; Jeschke, Jonathan M

    2011-05-01

    Invasive species frequently change the ecosystems where they are introduced, e.g., by affecting species interactions and population densities of native species. We outline the connectedness of biological invasions, climate change and the phenomenon of phenotypic plasticity. Integrating these hot topics is important for understanding the biology of many species, their information transfer and general interactions with other organisms. One example where this is particularly true is the zooplankton species Daphnia lumholtzi, which has successfully invaded North America. The combination of a high thermal tolerance and a phenotypically plastic defense in D. lumholtzi might be responsible for its invasion success. Its morphological defense consists of rigid spines and is formed after sensory detecting the presence of native fish predators. The integration of biological invasions, climate change and phenotypic plasticity is an important goal for integrative biology.

  13. Integrating biological invasions, climate change and phenotypic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Tollrian, Ralph; Jeschke, Jonathan M

    2011-01-01

    Invasive species frequently change the ecosystems where they are introduced, e.g., by affecting species interactions and population densities of native species. We outline the connectedness of biological invasions, climate change and the phenomenon of phenotypic plasticity. Integrating these hot topics is important for understanding the biology of many species, their information transfer and general interactions with other organisms. One example where this is particularly true is the zooplankton species Daphnia lumholtzi, which has successfully invaded North America. The combination of a high thermal tolerance and a phenotypically plastic defense in D. lumholtzi might be responsible for its invasion success. Its morphological defense consists of rigid spines and is formed after sensory detecting the presence of native fish predators. The integration of biological invasions, climate change and phenotypic plasticity is an important goal for integrative biology. PMID:21980551

  14. Jack-of-all-trades: phenotypic plasticity facilitates the invasion of an alien slug species.

    PubMed

    Knop, Eva; Reusser, Nik

    2012-11-22

    Invasive alien species might benefit from phenotypic plasticity by being able to (i) maintain fitness in stressful environments ('robust'), (ii) increase fitness in favourable environments ('opportunistic'), or (iii) combine both abilities ('robust and opportunistic'). Here, we applied this framework, for the first time, to an animal, the invasive slug, Arion lusitanicus, and tested (i) whether it has a more adaptive phenotypic plasticity compared with a congeneric native slug, Arion fuscus, and (ii) whether it is robust, opportunistic or both. During one year, we exposed specimens of both species to a range of temperatures along an altitudinal gradient (700-2400 m a.s.l.) and to high and low food levels, and we compared the responsiveness of two fitness traits: survival and egg production. During summer, the invasive species had a more adaptive phenotypic plasticity, and at high temperatures and low food levels, it survived better and produced more eggs than A. fuscus, representing the robust phenotype. During winter, A. lusitanicus displayed a less adaptive phenotype than A. fuscus. We show that the framework developed for plants is also very useful for a better mechanistic understanding of animal invasions. Warmer summers and milder winters might lead to an expansion of this invasive species to higher altitudes and enhance its spread in the lowlands, supporting the concern that global climate change will increase biological invasions.

  15. Venom Evolution: Gene Loss Shapes Phenotypic Adaptation.

    PubMed

    Casewell, Nicholas R

    2016-09-26

    Snake venoms are variable protein mixtures with a multitude of bioactivities. New work shows, surprisingly, that it is the loss of toxin-encoding genes that strongly influences venom function in rattlesnakes, highlighting how gene loss can underpin adaptive phenotypic change. PMID:27676304

  16. Molecular mechanisms of phenotypic plasticity in social insects.

    PubMed

    Corona, Miguel; Libbrecht, Romain; Wheeler, Diana E

    2016-02-01

    Polyphenism in insects, whereby a single genome expresses different phenotypes in response to environmental cues, is a fascinating biological phenomenon. Social insects are especially intriguing examples of phenotypic plasticity because division of labor results in the development of extreme morphological phenotypes, such as the queen and worker castes. Although sociality evolved independently in ants, bees, wasps and termites, similar genetic pathways regulate phenotypic plasticity in these different groups of social insects. The insulin/insulin-like growth signaling (IIS) plays a key role in this process. Recent research reveals that IIS interacts with other pathways including target of rapamycin (TOR), epidermal growth factor receptor (Egfr), juvenile hormone (JH) and vitellogenin (Vg) to regulate caste differentiation. PMID:27436553

  17. The overshoot and phenotypic equilibrium in characterizing cancer dynamics of reversible phenotypic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Chen, Xiufang; Wang, Yue; Feng, Tianquan; Yi, Ming; Zhang, Xingan; Zhou, Da

    2016-02-01

    The paradigm of phenotypic plasticity indicates reversible relations of different cancer cell phenotypes, which extends the cellular hierarchy proposed by the classical cancer stem cell (CSC) theory. Since it is still questionable if the phenotypic plasticity is a crucial improvement to the hierarchical model or just a minor extension to it, it is worthwhile to explore the dynamic behavior characterizing the reversible phenotypic plasticity. In this study we compare the hierarchical model and the reversible model in predicting the cell-state dynamics observed in biological experiments. Our results show that the hierarchical model shows significant disadvantages over the reversible model in describing both long-term stability (phenotypic equilibrium) and short-term transient dynamics (overshoot) in cancer cell populations. In a very specific case in which the total growth of population due to each cell type is identical, the hierarchical model predicts neither phenotypic equilibrium nor overshoot, whereas the reversible model succeeds in predicting both of them. Even though the performance of the hierarchical model can be improved by relaxing the specific assumption, its prediction to the phenotypic equilibrium strongly depends on a precondition that may be unrealistic in biological experiments. Moreover, it still does not show as rich dynamics as the reversible model in capturing the overshoots of both CSCs and non-CSCs. By comparison, it is more likely for the reversible model to correctly predict the stability of the phenotypic mixture and various types of overshoot behavior.

  18. Phenotypic plasticity in response to food source in Triatoma infestans (Klug, 1834) (Hemiptera, Reduviidae: Triatominae).

    PubMed

    Nattero, Julieta; Malerba, Romina; Rodríguez, Claudia S; Crocco, Liliana

    2013-10-01

    In the Gran Chaco region of Argentina, Bolivia, and Paraguay, vector transmission of Trypanosoma cruzi, the etiological agent of Chagas disease, is still a severe problem because, among other causes, houses are reinfested with Triatoma infestans, the main vector of T. cruzi in southern South America. A better understanding of adaptation and evolution of T. infestans populations may contribute to the selection of appropriate vector control strategies in this region. Phenotypic plasticity is essential to understand development and maintenance of morphological variation. An experimental phenotypic plasticity study was conducted to assess if blood meal source induced head shape and size variation during development in T. infestans. Eighteen full-sib families were assigned to one of two food sources (pigeon and guinea pig) to examine the effect of food source on head shape and size in all nymph instars and adults. Data were analyzed using geometric morphometric tools and phenotypic plasticity analyses. Significant differences in head shape and size were observed between adults fed on different food sources. Allometric effects at the adult stage were observed. Head size showed significant food source × family interaction for fifth-instar nymphs and adults. For head size, significant differences between food sources were observed at stages and in ontogenetic trajectory. Phenotypic plasticity expression was found for head shape and size in adults; indeed, bugs fed on guinea pigs exhibited greater changes in head shape and larger heads than those fed on pigeon. Full-sib families exhibited different patterns of phenotypic expression in response to food source. Food source × family interaction may indicate that the observed variation in phenotypic plasticity may contribute to changes in head morphometry. These results may contribute to the selection of an appropriate control strategy for T. infestans in the Gran Chaco region, since they provide evidences of morphological

  19. Constraints on the evolution of adaptive plasticity: costs of plasticity to density are expressed in segregating progenies.

    PubMed

    Dechaine, Jennifer M; Johnston, Jill A; Brock, Marcus T; Weinig, Cynthia

    2007-01-01

    Phenotypic plasticity, the ability of a genotype to express different phenotypes across environments, is an adaptive strategy expected to evolve in heterogeneous environments. One widely held hypothesis is that the evolutionary benefits of plasticity are reduced by its costs, but when compared with the number of traits tested, the evidence for costs is limited. Selection gradients were calculated for traits and trait plasticities to test for costs of plasticity to density in a field study using recombinant inbred lines (RILs) of Brassica rapa. Significant costs of putatively adaptive plasticity were found in three out of six measured traits. For one trait, petiole length, a cost of plasticity was detected in both environments tested; such global costs are expected to more strongly constrain the evolution of plasticity than local costs expressed in a single environment. These results, in combination with evidence from studies in segregating progenies of Arabidopsis thaliana, suggest that the potential for genetic costs of plasticity exists in natural populations. Detection of costs in previous studies may have been limited because historical selection has purged genotypes with costly plasticity, and experimental conditions often lack environmental stresses.

  20. Phenotyping maize for adaptation to drought

    PubMed Central

    Araus, Jose L.; Serret, María D.; Edmeades, Gregory O.

    2012-01-01

    The need of a better adaptation of crops to drought is an issue of increasing urgency. However, enhancing the tolerance of maize has, therefore, proved to be somewhat elusive in terms of plant breeding. In that context, proper phenotyping remains as one of the main factors limiting breeding advance. Topics covered by this review include the conceptual framework for identifying secondary traits associated with yield response to drought and how to measure these secondary traits in practice. PMID:22934056

  1. Developmental phenotypic plasticity in a marsupial.

    PubMed

    Riek, Alexander; Geiser, Fritz

    2012-05-01

    Climate change is likely to substantially affect the distribution ranges of species. However, little is known about how different mammalian taxa respond morphologically and physiologically to a rapid change of climate. Our objective was to provide the first quantitative data on the effect of continuous cold exposure during development on morphological and functional variables of a marsupial. Fat-tailed dunnarts (Sminthopsis crassicaudata, Dasyuridae) were reared at an ambient temperature (T(a)) of 16°C [cold-reared (CR)] or 22°C [warm-reared (WR)] until they reached adult age (>200 days). Body and head length of CR animals were significantly longer than in WR animals (mean ± s.e.m.; body: CR 80.8±6 mm, WR 76.4±5 mm; head: CR 29.4±3 mm, WR 27.5±2 mm), but other body attributes were not significantly different. Use of torpor was more frequent, torpor bout duration was longer and average daily metabolic rate and percentage of savings when using torpor were significantly higher (P<0.01) in CR than in WR animals at 16°C T(a) but not at 24°C. Furthermore, resting metabolic rates measured at 16°C T(a) were significantly lower in CR than WR animals; at 30°C T(a) values were similar. Our results do not conform to Allen's rule, but to some extent they do conform to Bergmann's rule. However, the data demonstrate that a relatively moderate cold exposure from birth until adulthood induces marked changes in the morphology and thermal energetics of small marsupials. Such short-term phenotypic responses without the need for long-term selection are likely important for the ability to cope with different climates over a wide range of distribution, but will also play a crucial role in enhancing the survival of species during climate change. PMID:22496292

  2. Developmental phenotypic plasticity in a marsupial.

    PubMed

    Riek, Alexander; Geiser, Fritz

    2012-05-01

    Climate change is likely to substantially affect the distribution ranges of species. However, little is known about how different mammalian taxa respond morphologically and physiologically to a rapid change of climate. Our objective was to provide the first quantitative data on the effect of continuous cold exposure during development on morphological and functional variables of a marsupial. Fat-tailed dunnarts (Sminthopsis crassicaudata, Dasyuridae) were reared at an ambient temperature (T(a)) of 16°C [cold-reared (CR)] or 22°C [warm-reared (WR)] until they reached adult age (>200 days). Body and head length of CR animals were significantly longer than in WR animals (mean ± s.e.m.; body: CR 80.8±6 mm, WR 76.4±5 mm; head: CR 29.4±3 mm, WR 27.5±2 mm), but other body attributes were not significantly different. Use of torpor was more frequent, torpor bout duration was longer and average daily metabolic rate and percentage of savings when using torpor were significantly higher (P<0.01) in CR than in WR animals at 16°C T(a) but not at 24°C. Furthermore, resting metabolic rates measured at 16°C T(a) were significantly lower in CR than WR animals; at 30°C T(a) values were similar. Our results do not conform to Allen's rule, but to some extent they do conform to Bergmann's rule. However, the data demonstrate that a relatively moderate cold exposure from birth until adulthood induces marked changes in the morphology and thermal energetics of small marsupials. Such short-term phenotypic responses without the need for long-term selection are likely important for the ability to cope with different climates over a wide range of distribution, but will also play a crucial role in enhancing the survival of species during climate change.

  3. Selective processes in development: implications for the costs and benefits of phenotypic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Snell-Rood, Emilie C

    2012-07-01

    Adaptive phenotypic plasticity, the ability of a genotype to develop a phenotype appropriate to the local environment, allows organisms to cope with environmental variation and has implications for predicting how organisms will respond to rapid, human-induced environmental change. This review focuses on the importance of developmental selection, broadly defined as a developmental process that involves the sampling of a range of phenotypes and feedback from the environment reinforcing high-performing phenotypes. I hypothesize that understanding the degree to which developmental selection underlies plasticity is key to predicting the costs, benefits, and consequences of plasticity. First, I review examples that illustrate that elements of developmental selection are common across the development of many different traits, from physiology and immunity to circulation and behavior. Second, I argue that developmental selection, relative to a fixed strategy or determinate (switch) mechanisms of plasticity, increases the probability that an individual will develop a phenotype best matched to the local environment. However, the exploration and environmental feedback associated with developmental selection is costly in terms of time, energy, and predation risk, resulting in major changes in life history such as increased duration of development and greater investment in individual offspring. Third, I discuss implications of developmental selection as a mechanism of plasticity, from predicting adaptive responses to novel environments to understanding conditions under which genetic assimilation may fuel diversification. Finally, I outline exciting areas of future research, in particular exploring costs of selective processes in the development of traits outside of behavior and modeling developmental selection and evolution in novel environments.

  4. Phenotypic Plasticity through Transcriptional Regulation of the Evolutionary Hotspot Gene tan in Drosophila melanogaster

    PubMed Central

    Mouchel-Vielh, Emmanuèle; De Castro, Sandra; Peronnet, Frédérique

    2016-01-01

    Phenotypic plasticity is the ability of a given genotype to produce different phenotypes in response to distinct environmental conditions. Phenotypic plasticity can be adaptive. Furthermore, it is thought to facilitate evolution. Although phenotypic plasticity is a widespread phenomenon, its molecular mechanisms are only beginning to be unravelled. Environmental conditions can affect gene expression through modification of chromatin structure, mainly via histone modifications, nucleosome remodelling or DNA methylation, suggesting that phenotypic plasticity might partly be due to chromatin plasticity. As a model of phenotypic plasticity, we study abdominal pigmentation of Drosophila melanogaster females, which is temperature sensitive. Abdominal pigmentation is indeed darker in females grown at 18°C than at 29°C. This phenomenon is thought to be adaptive as the dark pigmentation produced at lower temperature increases body temperature. We show here that temperature modulates the expression of tan (t), a pigmentation gene involved in melanin production. t is expressed 7 times more at 18°C than at 29°C in female abdominal epidermis. Genetic experiments show that modulation of t expression by temperature is essential for female abdominal pigmentation plasticity. Temperature modulates the activity of an enhancer of t without modifying compaction of its chromatin or level of the active histone mark H3K27ac. By contrast, the active mark H3K4me3 on the t promoter is strongly modulated by temperature. The H3K4 methyl-transferase involved in this process is likely Trithorax, as we show that it regulates t expression and the H3K4me3 level on the t promoter and also participates in female pigmentation and its plasticity. Interestingly, t was previously shown to be involved in inter-individual variation of female abdominal pigmentation in Drosophila melanogaster, and in abdominal pigmentation divergence between Drosophila species. Sensitivity of t expression to

  5. Phenotypic Plasticity through Transcriptional Regulation of the Evolutionary Hotspot Gene tan in Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Gibert, Jean-Michel; Mouchel-Vielh, Emmanuèle; De Castro, Sandra; Peronnet, Frédérique

    2016-08-01

    Phenotypic plasticity is the ability of a given genotype to produce different phenotypes in response to distinct environmental conditions. Phenotypic plasticity can be adaptive. Furthermore, it is thought to facilitate evolution. Although phenotypic plasticity is a widespread phenomenon, its molecular mechanisms are only beginning to be unravelled. Environmental conditions can affect gene expression through modification of chromatin structure, mainly via histone modifications, nucleosome remodelling or DNA methylation, suggesting that phenotypic plasticity might partly be due to chromatin plasticity. As a model of phenotypic plasticity, we study abdominal pigmentation of Drosophila melanogaster females, which is temperature sensitive. Abdominal pigmentation is indeed darker in females grown at 18°C than at 29°C. This phenomenon is thought to be adaptive as the dark pigmentation produced at lower temperature increases body temperature. We show here that temperature modulates the expression of tan (t), a pigmentation gene involved in melanin production. t is expressed 7 times more at 18°C than at 29°C in female abdominal epidermis. Genetic experiments show that modulation of t expression by temperature is essential for female abdominal pigmentation plasticity. Temperature modulates the activity of an enhancer of t without modifying compaction of its chromatin or level of the active histone mark H3K27ac. By contrast, the active mark H3K4me3 on the t promoter is strongly modulated by temperature. The H3K4 methyl-transferase involved in this process is likely Trithorax, as we show that it regulates t expression and the H3K4me3 level on the t promoter and also participates in female pigmentation and its plasticity. Interestingly, t was previously shown to be involved in inter-individual variation of female abdominal pigmentation in Drosophila melanogaster, and in abdominal pigmentation divergence between Drosophila species. Sensitivity of t expression to

  6. RNA Directed Modulation of Phenotypic Plasticity in Human Cells

    PubMed Central

    Burdach, Jon; Morris, Kevin V.

    2016-01-01

    Natural selective processes have been known to drive phenotypic plasticity, which is the emergence of different phenotypes from one genome following environmental stimulation. Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been observed to modulate transcriptional and epigenetic states of genes in human cells. We surmised that lncRNAs are governors of phenotypic plasticity and drive natural selective processes through epigenetic modulation of gene expression. Using heat shocked human cells as a model we find several differentially expressed transcripts with the top candidates being lncRNAs derived from retro-elements. One particular retro-element derived transcripts, Retro-EIF2S2, was found to be abundantly over-expressed in heat shocked cells. Over-expression of Retro-EIF2S2 significantly enhanced cell viability and modulated a predisposition for an adherent cellular phenotype upon heat shock. Mechanistically, we find that this retro-element derived transcript interacts directly with a network of proteins including 40S ribosomal protein S30 (FAU), Eukaryotic translation initiation factor 5A (EIF5A), and Ubiquitin-60S ribosomal protein L40 (UBA52) to affect protein modulated cell adhesion pathways. We find one motif in Retro-EIF2S2 that exhibits binding to FAU and modulates phenotypic cell transitions from adherent to suspension states. The observations presented here suggest that retroviral derived transcripts actively modulate phenotypic plasticity in human cells in response to environmental selective pressures and suggest that natural selection may play out through the action of retro-elements in human cells. PMID:27082860

  7. Distinct subspecies or phenotypic plasticity? Genetic and morphological differentiation of mountain honey bees in East Africa

    PubMed Central

    Gruber, Karl; Schöning, Caspar; Otte, Marianne; Kinuthia, Wanja; Hasselmann, Martin

    2013-01-01

    Identifying the forces shaping intraspecific phenotypic and genotypic divergence are of key importance in evolutionary biology. Phenotypic divergence may result from local adaptation or, especially in species with strong gene flow, from pronounced phenotypic plasticity. Here, we examine morphological and genetic divergence among populations of the western honey bee Apis mellifera in the topographically heterogeneous East African region. The currently accepted “mountain refugia hypothesis” states that populations living in disjunct montane forests belong to a different lineage than those in savanna habitats surrounding these forests. We obtained microsatellite data, mitochondrial sequences, and morphometric data from worker honey bees collected from feral colonies in three montane forests and corresponding neighboring savanna regions in Kenya. Honey bee colonies from montane forests showed distinct worker morphology compared with colonies in savanna areas. Mitochondrial sequence data did not support the existence of the two currently accepted subspecies. Furthermore, analyses of the microsatellite data with a Bayesian clustering method did not support the existence of two source populations as it would be expected under the mountain refugia scenario. Our findings suggest that phenotypic plasticity rather than distinct ancestry is the leading cause behind the phenotypic divergence observed between montane forest and savanna honey bees. Our study thus corroborates the idea that high gene flow may select for increased plasticity. PMID:24223262

  8. Developmental instability is genetically correlated with phenotypic plasticity, constraining heritability, and fitness.

    PubMed

    Tonsor, Stephen J; Elnaccash, Tarek W; Scheiner, Samuel M

    2013-10-01

    Although adaptive plasticity would seem always to be favored by selection, it occurs less often than expected. This lack of ubiquity suggests that there must be trade-offs, costs, or limitations associated with plasticity. Yet, few costs have been found. We explore one type of limitation, a correlation between plasticity and developmental instability, and use quantitative genetic theory to show why one should expect a genetic correlation. We test that hypothesis using the Landsberg erecta × Cape Verde Islands recombinant inbred lines (RILs) of Arabidopsis thaliana. RILs were grown at four different nitrogen (N) supply levels that span the range of N availabilities previously documented in North American field populations. We found a significant multivariate relationship between the cross-environment trait plasticity and the within-environment, within-RIL developmental instability across 13 traits. This genetic covariation between plasticity and developmental instability has two costs. First, theory predicts diminished fitness for highly plastic lines under stabilizing selection, because their developmental instability and variance around the optimum phenotype will be greater compared to nonplastic genotypes. Second, empirically the most plastic traits exhibited heritabilities reduced by 57% on average compared to nonplastic traits. This demonstration of potential costs in inclusive fitness and heritability provoke a rethinking of the evolutionary role of plasticity. PMID:24094343

  9. Phenological plasticity will not help all species adapt to climate change.

    PubMed

    Duputié, Anne; Rutschmann, Alexis; Ronce, Ophélie; Chuine, Isabelle

    2015-08-01

    Concerns are rising about the capacity of species to adapt quickly enough to climate change. In long-lived organisms such as trees, genetic adaptation is slow, and how much phenotypic plasticity can help them cope with climate change remains largely unknown. Here, we assess whether, where and when phenological plasticity is and will be adaptive in three major European tree species. We use a process-based species distribution model, parameterized with extensive ecological data, and manipulate plasticity to suppress phenological variations due to interannual, geographical and trend climate variability, under current and projected climatic conditions. We show that phenological plasticity is not always adaptive and mostly affects fitness at the margins of the species' distribution and climatic niche. Under current climatic conditions, phenological plasticity constrains the northern range limit of oak and beech and the southern range limit of pine. Under future climatic conditions, phenological plasticity becomes strongly adaptive towards the trailing edges of beech and oak, but severely constrains the range and niche of pine. Our results call for caution when interpreting geographical variation in trait means as adaptive, and strongly point towards species distribution models explicitly taking phenotypic plasticity into account when forecasting species distribution under climate change scenarios.

  10. Iterative development and the scope for plasticity: contrasts among trait categories in an adaptive radiation

    PubMed Central

    Foster, S A; Wund, M A; Graham, M A; Earley, R L; Gardiner, R; Kearns, T; Baker, J A

    2015-01-01

    Phenotypic plasticity can influence evolutionary change in a lineage, ranging from facilitation of population persistence in a novel environment to directing the patterns of evolutionary change. As the specific nature of plasticity can impact evolutionary consequences, it is essential to consider how plasticity is manifested if we are to understand the contribution of plasticity to phenotypic evolution. Most morphological traits are developmentally plastic, irreversible, and generally considered to be costly, at least when the resultant phenotype is mis-matched to the environment. At the other extreme, behavioral phenotypes are typically activational (modifiable on very short time scales), and not immediately costly as they are produced by constitutive neural networks. Although patterns of morphological and behavioral plasticity are often compared, patterns of plasticity of life history phenotypes are rarely considered. Here we review patterns of plasticity in these trait categories within and among populations, comprising the adaptive radiation of the threespine stickleback fish Gasterosteus aculeatus. We immediately found it necessary to consider the possibility of iterated development, the concept that behavioral and life history trajectories can be repeatedly reset on activational (usually behavior) or developmental (usually life history) time frames, offering fine tuning of the response to environmental context. Morphology in stickleback is primarily reset only in that developmental trajectories can be altered as environments change over the course of development. As anticipated, the boundaries between the trait categories are not clear and are likely to be linked by shared, underlying physiological and genetic systems. PMID:26243135

  11. Adaptation by Plasticity of Genetic Regulatory Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brenner, Naama

    2007-03-01

    Genetic regulatory networks have an essential role in adaptation and evolution of cell populations. This role is strongly related to their dynamic properties over intermediate-to-long time scales. We have used the budding yeast as a model Eukaryote to study the long-term dynamics of the genetic regulatory system and its significance in evolution. A continuous cell growth technique (chemostat) allows us to monitor these systems over long times under controlled condition, enabling a quantitative characterization of dynamics: steady states and their stability, transients and relaxation. First, we have demonstrated adaptive dynamics in the GAL system, a classic model for a Eukaryotic genetic switch, induced and repressed by different carbon sources in the environment. We found that both induction and repression are only transient responses; over several generations, the system converges to a single robust steady state, independent of external conditions. Second, we explored the functional significance of such plasticity of the genetic regulatory network in evolution. We used genetic engineering to mimic the natural process of gene recruitment, placing the gene HIS3 under the regulation of the GAL system. Such genetic rewiring events are important in the evolution of gene regulation, but little is known about the physiological processes supporting them and the dynamics of their assimilation in a cell population. We have shown that cells carrying the rewired genome adapted to a demanding change of environment and stabilized a population, maintaining the adaptive state for hundreds of generations. Using genome-wide expression arrays we showed that underlying the observed adaptation is a global transcriptional programming that allowed tuning expression of the recruited gene to demands. Our results suggest that non-specific properties reflecting the natural plasticity of the regulatory network support adaptation of cells to novel challenges and enhance their evolvability.

  12. Phenotypic plasticity in the range-margin population of the lycaenid butterfly Zizeeria maha

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Many butterfly species have been experiencing the northward range expansion and physiological adaptation, probably due to climate warming. Here, we document an extraordinary field case of a species of lycaenid butterfly, Zizeeria maha, for which plastic phenotypes of wing color-patterns were revealed at the population level in the course of range expansion. Furthermore, we examined whether this outbreak of phenotypic changes was able to be reproduced in a laboratory. Results In the recently expanded northern range margins of this species, more than 10% of the Z. maha population exhibited characteristic color-pattern modifications on the ventral wings for three years. We physiologically reproduced similar phenotypes by an artificial cold-shock treatment of a normal southern population, and furthermore, we genetically reproduced a similar phenotype after selective breeding of a normal population for ten generations, demonstrating that the cold-shock-induced phenotype was heritable and partially assimilated genetically in the breeding line. Similar genetic process might have occurred in the previous and recent range-margin populations as well. Relatively minor modifications expressed in the tenth generation of the breeding line together with other data suggest a role of founder effect in this field case. Conclusions Our results support the notion that the outbreak of the modified phenotypes in the recent range-margin population was primed by the revelation of plastic phenotypes in response to temperature stress and by the subsequent genetic process in the previous range-margin population, followed by migration and temporal establishment of genetically unstable founders in the recent range margins. This case presents not only an evolutionary role of phenotypic plasticity in the field but also a novel evolutionary aspect of range expansion at the species level. PMID:20718993

  13. Phenotypic plasticity influences the size, shape and dynamics of the geographic distribution of an invasive plant.

    PubMed

    Pichancourt, Jean-Baptiste; van Klinken, Rieks D

    2012-01-01

    Phenotypic plasticity has long been suspected to allow invasive species to expand their geographic range across large-scale environmental gradients. We tested this possibility in Australia using a continental scale survey of the invasive tree Parkinsonia aculeata (Fabaceae) in twenty-three sites distributed across four climate regions and three habitat types. Using tree-level responses, we detected a trade-off between seed mass and seed number across the moisture gradient. Individual trees plastically and reversibly produced many small seeds at dry sites or years, and few big seeds at wet sites and years. Bigger seeds were positively correlated with higher seed and seedling survival rates. The trade-off, the relation between seed mass, seed and seedling survival, and other fitness components of the plant life-cycle were integrated within a matrix population model. The model confirms that the plastic response resulted in average fitness benefits across the life-cycle. Plasticity resulted in average fitness being positively maintained at the wet and dry range margins where extinction risks would otherwise have been high ("Jack-of-all-Trades" strategy JT), and fitness being maximized at the species range centre where extinction risks were already low ("Master-of-Some" strategy MS). The resulting hybrid "Jack-and-Master" strategy (JM) broadened the geographic range and amplified average fitness in the range centre. Our study provides the first empirical evidence for a JM species. It also confirms mechanistically the importance of phenotypic plasticity in determining the size, the shape and the dynamic of a species distribution. The JM allows rapid and reversible phenotypic responses to new or changing moisture conditions at different scales, providing the species with definite advantages over genetic adaptation when invading diverse and variable environments. Furthermore, natural selection pressure acting on phenotypic plasticity is predicted to result in maintenance

  14. Phenotypic Plasticity Influences the Size, Shape and Dynamics of the Geographic Distribution of an Invasive Plant

    PubMed Central

    Pichancourt, Jean-Baptiste; van Klinken, Rieks D.

    2012-01-01

    Phenotypic plasticity has long been suspected to allow invasive species to expand their geographic range across large-scale environmental gradients. We tested this possibility in Australia using a continental scale survey of the invasive tree Parkinsonia aculeata (Fabaceae) in twenty-three sites distributed across four climate regions and three habitat types. Using tree-level responses, we detected a trade-off between seed mass and seed number across the moisture gradient. Individual trees plastically and reversibly produced many small seeds at dry sites or years, and few big seeds at wet sites and years. Bigger seeds were positively correlated with higher seed and seedling survival rates. The trade-off, the relation between seed mass, seed and seedling survival, and other fitness components of the plant life-cycle were integrated within a matrix population model. The model confirms that the plastic response resulted in average fitness benefits across the life-cycle. Plasticity resulted in average fitness being positively maintained at the wet and dry range margins where extinction risks would otherwise have been high (“Jack-of-all-Trades” strategy JT), and fitness being maximized at the species range centre where extinction risks were already low (“Master-of-Some” strategy MS). The resulting hybrid “Jack-and-Master” strategy (JM) broadened the geographic range and amplified average fitness in the range centre. Our study provides the first empirical evidence for a JM species. It also confirms mechanistically the importance of phenotypic plasticity in determining the size, the shape and the dynamic of a species distribution. The JM allows rapid and reversible phenotypic responses to new or changing moisture conditions at different scales, providing the species with definite advantages over genetic adaptation when invading diverse and variable environments. Furthermore, natural selection pressure acting on phenotypic plasticity is predicted to result in

  15. Williams' paradox and the role of phenotypic plasticity in sexual systems.

    PubMed

    Leonard, Janet L

    2013-10-01

    As George Williams pointed out in 1975, although evolutionary explanations, based on selection acting on individuals, have been developed for the advantages of simultaneous hermaphroditism, sequential hermaphroditism and gonochorism, none of these evolutionary explanations adequately explains the current distribution of these sexual systems within the Metazoa (Williams' Paradox). As Williams further pointed out, the current distribution of sexual systems is explained largely by phylogeny. Since 1975, we have made a great deal of empirical and theoretical progress in understanding sexual systems. However, we still lack a theory that explains the current distribution of sexual systems in animals and we do not understand the evolutionary transitions between hermaphroditism and gonochorism. Empirical data, collected over the past 40 years, demonstrate that gender may have more phenotypic plasticity than was previously realized. We know that not only sequential hermaphrodites, but also simultaneous hermaphrodites have phenotypic plasticity that alters sex allocation in response to social and environmental conditions. A focus on phenotypic plasticity suggests that one sees a continuum in animals between genetically determined gonochorism on the one hand and simultaneous hermaphroditism on the other, with various types of sequential hermaphroditism and environmental sex determination as points along the spectrum. Here I suggest that perhaps the reason we have been unable to resolve Williams' Paradox is because the problem was not correctly framed. First, because, for example, simultaneous hermaphroditism provides reproductive assurance or dioecy ensures outcrossing does not mean that there are no other evolutionary paths that can provide adaptive responses to those selective pressures. Second, perhaps the question we need to ask is: What selective forces favor increased versus reduced phenotypic plasticity in gender expression? It is time to begin to look at the question

  16. The regulation of phenotypic plasticity of eyespots in the butterfly Bicyclus anynana.

    PubMed

    Brakefield, P M; Kesbeke, F; Koch, P B

    1998-12-01

    We use an outcrossed stock and selected lines of Bicyclus anynana in combination with measurements and manipulations of ecdysteroid hormones in early pupae to examine the regulation of eyespot size in adult butterflies. The eyespots on the ventral wing surfaces express adaptive phenotypic plasticity in response to the dry-wet seasonal environments of the butterflies. Larvae reared at low or high temperatures produce adults with small or large ventral eyespots, respectively. Our experiments examine the role of ecdysteroids in mediating this phenotypic plasticity. Higher titers of ecdysteroids shortly after pupation yield larger ventral wing eyespots. There is an uncoupling of the ventral eyespots and those on the dorsal forewing. The latter do not show phenotypic plasticity. They show very little response to rearing temperature, and variation in their size is not associated with differences in the dynamics of ecdysteroids in early pupae. A testable hypothesis in terms of the distribution of hormone receptors in the developmental "organizers" or foci of the eyespots is proposed to account for how some eyespots express plasticity while others do not. PMID:18811432

  17. Phenotypic plasticity is not affected by experimental evolution in constant, predictable or unpredictable fluctuating thermal environments.

    PubMed

    Manenti, T; Loeschcke, V; Moghadam, N N; Sørensen, J G

    2015-11-01

    The selective past of populations is presumed to affect the levels of phenotypic plasticity. Experimental evolution at constant temperatures is generally expected to lead to a decreased level of plasticity due to presumed costs associated with phenotypic plasticity when not needed. In this study, we investigated the effect of experimental evolution in constant, predictable and unpredictable daily fluctuating temperature regimes on the levels of phenotype plasticity in several life history and stress resistance traits in Drosophila simulans. Contrary to the expectation, evolution in the different regimes did not affect the levels of plasticity in any of the traits investigated even though the populations from the different thermal regimes had evolved different stress resistance and fitness trait means. Although costs associated with phenotypic plasticity are known, our results suggest that the maintenance of phenotypic plasticity might come at low and negligible costs, and thus, the potential of phenotypic plasticity to evolve in populations exposed to different environmental conditions might be limited.

  18. Plasticity and genetic adaptation mediate amphibian and reptile responses to climate change

    PubMed Central

    Urban, Mark C; Richardson, Jonathan L; Freidenfelds, Nicole A

    2014-01-01

    Phenotypic plasticity and genetic adaptation are predicted to mitigate some of the negative biotic consequences of climate change. Here, we evaluate evidence for plastic and evolutionary responses to climate variation in amphibians and reptiles via a literature review and meta-analysis. We included studies that either document phenotypic changes through time or space. Plasticity had a clear and ubiquitous role in promoting phenotypic changes in response to climate variation. For adaptive evolution, we found no direct evidence for evolution of amphibians or reptiles in response to climate change over time. However, we found many studies that documented adaptive responses to climate along spatial gradients. Plasticity provided a mixture of adaptive and maladaptive responses to climate change, highlighting that plasticity frequently, but not always, could ameliorate climate change. Based on our review, we advocate for more experiments that survey genetic changes through time in response to climate change. Overall, plastic and genetic variation in amphibians and reptiles could buffer some of the formidable threats from climate change, but large uncertainties remain owing to limited data. PMID:24454550

  19. Plasticity and genetic adaptation mediate amphibian and reptile responses to climate change.

    PubMed

    Urban, Mark C; Richardson, Jonathan L; Freidenfelds, Nicole A

    2014-01-01

    Phenotypic plasticity and genetic adaptation are predicted to mitigate some of the negative biotic consequences of climate change. Here, we evaluate evidence for plastic and evolutionary responses to climate variation in amphibians and reptiles via a literature review and meta-analysis. We included studies that either document phenotypic changes through time or space. Plasticity had a clear and ubiquitous role in promoting phenotypic changes in response to climate variation. For adaptive evolution, we found no direct evidence for evolution of amphibians or reptiles in response to climate change over time. However, we found many studies that documented adaptive responses to climate along spatial gradients. Plasticity provided a mixture of adaptive and maladaptive responses to climate change, highlighting that plasticity frequently, but not always, could ameliorate climate change. Based on our review, we advocate for more experiments that survey genetic changes through time in response to climate change. Overall, plastic and genetic variation in amphibians and reptiles could buffer some of the formidable threats from climate change, but large uncertainties remain owing to limited data.

  20. Disentangling the role of phenotypic plasticity and genetic divergence in contemporary ecotype formation during a biological invasion.

    PubMed

    Lucek, Kay; Sivasundar, Arjun; Seehausen, Ole

    2014-09-01

    The occurrence of contemporary ecotype formation through adaptive divergence of populations within the range of an invasive species typically requires standing genetic variation but can be facilitated by phenotypic plasticity. The relative contributions of both of these to adaptive trait differentiation have rarely been simultaneously quantified in recently diverging vertebrate populations. Here we study a case of intraspecific divergence into distinct lake and stream ecotypes of threespine stickleback that evolved in the past 140 years within the invasive range in Switzerland. Using a controlled laboratory experiment with full-sib crosses and treatments mimicking a key feature of ecotypic niche divergence, we test if the phenotypic divergence that we observe in the wild results from phenotypic plasticity or divergent genetic predisposition. Our experimental groups show qualitatively similar phenotypic divergence as those observed among wild adults. The relative contribution of plasticity and divergent genetic predisposition differs among the traits studied, with traits related to the biomechanics of feeding showing a stronger genetic predisposition, whereas traits related to locomotion are mainly plastic. These results implicate that phenotypic plasticity and standing genetic variation interacted during contemporary ecotype formation in this case.

  1. Phenotyping common beans for adaptation to drought.

    PubMed

    Beebe, Stephen E; Rao, Idupulapati M; Blair, Matthew W; Acosta-Gallegos, Jorge A

    2013-01-01

    Common beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) originated in the New World and are the grain legume of greatest production for direct human consumption. Common bean production is subject to frequent droughts in highland Mexico, in the Pacific coast of Central America, in northeast Brazil, and in eastern and southern Africa from Ethiopia to South Africa. This article reviews efforts to improve common bean for drought tolerance, referring to genetic diversity for drought response, the physiology of drought tolerance mechanisms, and breeding strategies. Different races of common bean respond differently to drought, with race Durango of highland Mexico being a major source of genes. Sister species of P. vulgaris likewise have unique traits, especially P. acutifolius which is well adapted to dryland conditions. Diverse sources of tolerance may have different mechanisms of plant response, implying the need for different methods of phenotyping to recognize the relevant traits. Practical considerations of field management are discussed including: trial planning; water management; and field preparation.

  2. Phenotyping common beans for adaptation to drought

    PubMed Central

    Beebe, Stephen E.; Rao, Idupulapati M.; Blair, Matthew W.; Acosta-Gallegos, Jorge A.

    2013-01-01

    Common beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) originated in the New World and are the grain legume of greatest production for direct human consumption. Common bean production is subject to frequent droughts in highland Mexico, in the Pacific coast of Central America, in northeast Brazil, and in eastern and southern Africa from Ethiopia to South Africa. This article reviews efforts to improve common bean for drought tolerance, referring to genetic diversity for drought response, the physiology of drought tolerance mechanisms, and breeding strategies. Different races of common bean respond differently to drought, with race Durango of highland Mexico being a major source of genes. Sister species of P. vulgaris likewise have unique traits, especially P. acutifolius which is well adapted to dryland conditions. Diverse sources of tolerance may have different mechanisms of plant response, implying the need for different methods of phenotyping to recognize the relevant traits. Practical considerations of field management are discussed including: trial planning; water management; and field preparation. PMID:23507928

  3. Inbreeding and adaptive plasticity: an experimental analysis on predator-induced responses in the water flea Daphnia

    PubMed Central

    Swillen, Ine; Vanoverbeke, Joost; De Meester, Luc

    2015-01-01

    Several studies have emphasized that inbreeding depression (ID) is enhanced under stressful conditions. Additionally, one might imagine a loss of adaptively plastic responses which may further contribute to a reduction in fitness under environmental stress. Here, we quantified ID in inbred families of the cyclical parthenogen Daphnia magna in the absence and presence of fish predation risk. We test whether predator stress affects the degree of ID and if inbred families have a reduced capacity to respond to predator stress by adaptive phenotypic plasticity. We obtained two inbred families through clonal selfing within clones isolated from a fish pond. After mild purging under standardized conditions, we compared life history traits and adaptive plasticity between inbred and outbred lineages (directly hatched from the natural dormant egg bank of the same pond). Initial purging of lineages under standardized conditions differed among inbred families and exceeded that in outbreds. The least purged inbred family exhibited strong ID for most life history traits. Predator-induced stress hardly affected the severity of ID, but the degree to which the capacity for adaptive phenotypic plasticity was retained varied strongly among the inbred families. The least purged family overall lacked the capacity for adaptive phenotypic plasticity, whereas the family that suffered only mild purging exhibited a potential for adaptive plasticity that was comparable to the outbred population. We thus found that inbred offspring may retain the capacity to respond to the presence of fish by adaptive phenotypic plasticity, but this strongly depends on the parental clone engaging in selfing. PMID:26257883

  4. Adapting to a Changing Environment: Modeling the Interaction of Directional Selection and Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Nunney, Leonard

    2016-01-01

    Human-induced habitat loss and fragmentation constrains the range of many species, making them unable to respond to climate change by moving. For such species to avoid extinction, they must respond with some combination of phenotypic plasticity and genetic adaptation. Haldane's "cost of natural selection" limits the rate of adaptation, but, although modeling has shown that in very large populations long-term adaptation can be maintained at rates substantially faster than Haldane's suggested limit, maintaining large populations is often an impossibility, so phenotypic plasticity may be crucial in enhancing the long-term survival of small populations. The potential importance of plasticity is in "buying time" for populations subject to directional environmental change: if genotypes can encompass a greater environmental range, then populations can maintain high fitness for a longer period of time. Alternatively, plasticity could be detrimental by lessening the effectiveness of natural selection in promoting genetic adaptation. Here, I modeled a directionally changing environment in which a genotype's adaptive phenotypic plasticity is centered around the environment where its fitness is highest. Plasticity broadens environmental tolerance and, provided it is not too costly, is favored by natural selection. However, a paradoxical result of the individually advantageous spread of plasticity is that, unless the adaptive trait is determined by very few loci, the long-term extinction risk of a population increases. This effect reflects a conflict between the short-term individual benefit of plasticity and a long-term detriment to population persistence, adding to the multiple threats facing small populations under conditions of climate change.

  5. Snowshoe hares display limited phenotypic plasticity to mismatch in seasonal camouflage

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zimova, Marketa; Mills, L. Scott; Lukacs, Paul M.; Mitchell, Michael S.

    2014-01-01

    As duration of snow cover decreases owing to climate change, species undergoing seasonal colour moults can become colour mismatched with their background. The immediate adaptive solution to this mismatch is phenotypic plasticity, either in phenology of seasonal colour moults or in behaviours that reduce mismatch or its consequences. We observed nearly 200 snowshoe hares across a wide range of snow conditions and two study sites in Montana, USA, and found minimal plasticity in response to mismatch between coat colour and background. We found that moult phenology varied between study sites, likely due to differences in photoperiod and climate, but was largely fixed within study sites with only minimal plasticity to snow conditions during the spring white-to-brown moult. We also found no evidence that hares modify their behaviour in response to colour mismatch. Hiding and fleeing behaviours and resting spot preference of hares were more affected by variables related to season, site and concealment by vegetation, than by colour mismatch. We conclude that plasticity in moult phenology and behaviours in snowshoe hares is insufficient for adaptation to camouflage mismatch, suggesting that any future adaptation to climate change will require natural selection on moult phenology or behaviour.

  6. Snowshoe hares display limited phenotypic plasticity to mismatch in seasonal camouflage

    PubMed Central

    Zimova, Marketa; Mills, L. Scott; Lukacs, Paul M.; Mitchell, Michael S.

    2014-01-01

    As duration of snow cover decreases owing to climate change, species undergoing seasonal colour moults can become colour mismatched with their background. The immediate adaptive solution to this mismatch is phenotypic plasticity, either in phenology of seasonal colour moults or in behaviours that reduce mismatch or its consequences. We observed nearly 200 snowshoe hares across a wide range of snow conditions and two study sites in Montana, USA, and found minimal plasticity in response to mismatch between coat colour and background. We found that moult phenology varied between study sites, likely due to differences in photoperiod and climate, but was largely fixed within study sites with only minimal plasticity to snow conditions during the spring white-to-brown moult. We also found no evidence that hares modify their behaviour in response to colour mismatch. Hiding and fleeing behaviours and resting spot preference of hares were more affected by variables related to season, site and concealment by vegetation, than by colour mismatch. We conclude that plasticity in moult phenology and behaviours in snowshoe hares is insufficient for adaptation to camouflage mismatch, suggesting that any future adaptation to climate change will require natural selection on moult phenology or behaviour. PMID:24619446

  7. Adaptive developmental plasticity: what is it, how can we recognize it and when can it evolve?

    PubMed

    Nettle, Daniel; Bateson, Melissa

    2015-08-01

    Developmental plasticity describes situations where a specific input during an individual's development produces a lasting alteration in phenotype. Some instances of developmental plasticity may be adaptive, meaning that the tendency to produce the phenotype conditional on having experienced the developmental input has been under positive selection. We discuss the necessary assumptions and predictions of hypotheses concerning adaptive developmental plasticity (ADP) and develop guidelines for how to test empirically whether a particular example is adaptive. Central to our analysis is the distinction between two kinds of ADP: informational, where the developmental input provides information about the future environment, and somatic state-based, where the developmental input enduringly alters some aspect of the individual's somatic state. Both types are likely to exist in nature, but evolve under different conditions. In all cases of ADP, the expected fitness of individuals who experience the input and develop the phenotype should be higher than that of those who experience the input and do not develop the phenotype, while the expected fitness of those who do not experience the input and do not develop the phenotype should be higher than those who do not experience the input and do develop the phenotype. We describe ancillary predictions that are specific to just one of the two types of ADP and thus distinguish between them. PMID:26203000

  8. Adaptive developmental plasticity: what is it, how can we recognize it and when can it evolve?

    PubMed Central

    Nettle, Daniel; Bateson, Melissa

    2015-01-01

    Developmental plasticity describes situations where a specific input during an individual's development produces a lasting alteration in phenotype. Some instances of developmental plasticity may be adaptive, meaning that the tendency to produce the phenotype conditional on having experienced the developmental input has been under positive selection. We discuss the necessary assumptions and predictions of hypotheses concerning adaptive developmental plasticity (ADP) and develop guidelines for how to test empirically whether a particular example is adaptive. Central to our analysis is the distinction between two kinds of ADP: informational, where the developmental input provides information about the future environment, and somatic state-based, where the developmental input enduringly alters some aspect of the individual's somatic state. Both types are likely to exist in nature, but evolve under different conditions. In all cases of ADP, the expected fitness of individuals who experience the input and develop the phenotype should be higher than that of those who experience the input and do not develop the phenotype, while the expected fitness of those who do not experience the input and do not develop the phenotype should be higher than those who do not experience the input and do develop the phenotype. We describe ancillary predictions that are specific to just one of the two types of ADP and thus distinguish between them. PMID:26203000

  9. Understanding the wide geographic range of a clonal perennial grass: plasticity versus local adaptation.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yanjie; Zhang, Lirong; Xu, Xingliang; Niu, Haishan

    2015-01-01

    Both phenotypic plasticity and local adaptation may allow widely distributed plant species to either acclimate or adapt to environmental heterogeneity. Given the typically low genetic variation of clonal plants across their habitats, phenotypic plasticity may be the primary adaptive strategy allowing them to thrive across a wide range of habitats. In this study, the mechanism supporting the widespread distribution of the clonal plant Leymus chinensis was determined, i.e. phenotypic plasticity or local specialization in water use efficiency (WUE; reflected by foliar δ(13)C). To test whether plasticity is required for the species to thrive in different habitats, samples were collected across its distribution in the Mongolian steppe, and a controlled watering experiment was conducted with two populations at two different sites. Five populations were also transplanted from different sites into a control environment, and the foliar δ(13)C was compared between the control and original habitats, to test for local specialization in WUE. Results demonstrated decreased foliar δ(13)C with increasing precipitation during controlled watering experiments, with divergent responses between the two populations assessed. Change in foliar δ(13)C (-3.69 ‰) due to water addition was comparable to fluctuations of foliar δ(13)C observed in situ (-4.83 ‰). Foliar δ(13)C differed by -0.91 ‰ between two transplanted populations; however, this difference was not apparent between the two populations when growing in their original habitats. Findings provide evidence that local adaptation affects foliar δ(13)C much less than phenotypic plasticity. Thus, plasticity in WUE is more important than local adaptation in allowing the clonal plant L. chinensis to occupy a wide range of habitats in the Mongolian steppe. PMID:26644341

  10. Understanding the wide geographic range of a clonal perennial grass: plasticity versus local adaptation

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Yanjie; Zhang, Lirong; Xu, Xingliang; Niu, Haishan

    2016-01-01

    Both phenotypic plasticity and local adaptation may allow widely distributed plant species to either acclimate or adapt to environmental heterogeneity. Given the typically low genetic variation of clonal plants across their habitats, phenotypic plasticity may be the primary adaptive strategy allowing them to thrive across a wide range of habitats. In this study, the mechanism supporting the widespread distribution of the clonal plant Leymus chinensis was determined, i.e. phenotypic plasticity or local specialization in water use efficiency (WUE; reflected by foliar δ13C). To test whether plasticity is required for the species to thrive in different habitats, samples were collected across its distribution in the Mongolian steppe, and a controlled watering experiment was conducted with two populations at two different sites. Five populations were also transplanted from different sites into a control environment, and the foliar δ13C was compared between the control and original habitats, to test for local specialization in WUE. Results demonstrated decreased foliar δ13C with increasing precipitation during controlled watering experiments, with divergent responses between the two populations assessed. Change in foliar δ13C (−3.69 ‰) due to water addition was comparable to fluctuations of foliar δ13C observed in situ (−4.83 ‰). Foliar δ13C differed by −0.91 ‰ between two transplanted populations; however, this difference was not apparent between the two populations when growing in their original habitats. Findings provide evidence that local adaptation affects foliar δ13C much less than phenotypic plasticity. Thus, plasticity in WUE is more important than local adaptation in allowing the clonal plant L. chinensis to occupy a wide range of habitats in the Mongolian steppe. PMID:26644341

  11. The nuclear phenotypic plasticity observed in fish during rRNA regulation entails Cajal bodies dynamics

    SciTech Connect

    Alvarez, Marco; Nardocci, Gino; Thiry, Marc; Alvarez, Rodrigo; Reyes, Mauricio; Molina, Alfredo; Vera, M. Ines . E-mail: mvera@unab.cl

    2007-08-17

    Cajal bodies (CBs) are small mobile organelles found throughout the nucleoplasm of animal and plant cells. The dynamics of these organelles involves interactions with the nucleolus. The later has been found to play a substantial role in the compensatory response that evolved in eurythermal fish to adapt to the cyclic seasonal habitat changes, i.e., temperature and photoperiod. Contrary to being constitutive, rRNA synthesis is dramatically regulated between summer and winter, thus affecting ribosomal biogenesis which plays a central role in the acclimatization process. To examine whether CBs, up to now, never described in fish, were also sustaining the phenotypic plasticity observed in nuclei of fish undergoing seasonal acclimatization, we identified these organelles both, by transmission electronic microscopy and immunodetection with the marker protein p80-coilin. We found transcripts in all tissues analyzed. Furthermore we assessed that p80-coilin gene expression was always higher in summer-acclimatized fish when compared to that adapted to the cold season, indicating that p80-coilin expression is modulated upon seasonal acclimatization. Concurrently, CBs were more frequently found in summer-acclimatized carp which suggests that the organization of CBs is involved in adaptive processes and contribute to the phenotypic plasticity of fish cell nuclei observed concomitantly with profound reprogramming of nucleolar components and regulation of ribosomal rRNAs.

  12. Experimental evolution of phenotypic plasticity: how predictive are cross-environment genetic correlations?

    PubMed

    Czesak, Mary Ellen; Fox, Charles W; Wolf, Jason B

    2006-09-01

    Genetic correlations are often predictive of correlated responses of one trait to selection on another trait. There are examples, however, in which genetic correlations are not predictive of correlated responses. We examine how well a cross-environment genetic correlation predicts correlated responses to selection and the evolution of phenotypic plasticity in the seed beetle Stator limbatus. This beetle exhibits adaptive plasticity in egg size by laying large eggs on a resistant host and small eggs on a high-quality host. From a half-sib analysis, the cross-environment genetic correlation estimate was large and positive (rA=0.99). However, an artificial-selection experiment on egg size found that the realized genetic correlations were positive but asymmetrical; that is, they depended on both the host on which selection was imposed and the direction of selection. The half-sib estimate poorly predicted the evolution of egg size plasticity; plasticity evolved when selection was imposed on one host but did not evolve when selection was imposed on the other host. We use a simple two-locus additive genetic model to explore the conditions that can generate the observed realized genetic correlation and the observed pattern of plasticity evolution. Our model and experimental results indicate that the ability of genetic correlations to predict correlated responses to selection depends on the underlying genetic architecture producing the genetic correlation.

  13. Phenotypic plasticity in opsin expression in a butterfly compound eye complements sex role reversal

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Animals often display phenotypic plasticity in morphologies and behaviors that result in distinct adaptations to fluctuating seasonal environments. The butterfly Bicyclus anynana has two seasonal forms, wet and dry, that vary in wing ornament brightness and in the identity of the sex that performs the most courting and choosing. Rearing temperature is the cue for producing these alternative seasonal forms. We hypothesized that, barring any developmental constraints, vision should be enhanced in the choosy individuals but diminished in the non-choosy individuals due to physiological costs. As a proxy of visual performance we measured eye size, facet lens size, and sensitivity to light, e.g., the expression levels of all opsins, in males and females of both seasonal forms. Results We found that B. anynana eyes displayed significant sexual dimorphism and phenotypic plasticity for both morphology and opsin expression levels, but not all results conformed to our prediction. Males had larger eyes than females across rearing temperatures, and increases in temperature produced larger eyes in both sexes, mostly via increases in facet number. Ommatidia were larger in the choosy dry season (DS) males and transcript levels for all three opsins were significantly lower in the less choosy DS females. Conclusions Opsin level plasticity in females, and ommatidia size plasticity in males supported our visual plasticity hypothesis but males appear to maintain high visual function across both seasons. We discuss our results in the context of distinct sexual and natural selection pressures that may be facing each sex in the wild in each season. PMID:23194112

  14. Phenotypic plasticity allows the Mediterranean parsley frog Pelodytes punctatus to exploit two temporal niches under continuous gene flow.

    PubMed

    Jourdan-Pineau, Helene; David, Patrice; Crochet, Pierre-Andre

    2012-02-01

    Environmental changes, such as climate change, lead to the opening of new niches. In such situations, species that adapt to new niches can survive and/or expand their ranges. However, gene flow can hamper genetic adaptation to new environments. Alternatively, recent models have highlighted the importance of phenotypic plasticity in tracking environmental change. Here, we investigate whether phenotypic plasticity or genetic evolution (or both) allows an amphibian species to exploit two divergent climatic niches. In the Mediterranean region, the parsley frog Pelodytes punctatus breeds both in spring, as do most other species, and in autumn, a temporal niche not exploited by most other species, but which may become increasingly important with global warming. Conditions of development are dramatically different between the two seasons and deeply impact tadpole life-history traits. To determine whether these temporal niches are exploited by two genetically differentiated subpopulations, or whether the bimodal phenology arises in a panmictic population displaying plastic life-history traits, we use two complementary approaches. We measure both molecular genetic differentiation and quantitative-trait differentiation between spring and autumn cohorts, using microsatellites and common garden experiments, respectively. Seasonal cohorts were not genetically differentiated and differences in tadpole life history between cohorts were not maintained in laboratory conditions. We conclude that phenotypic plasticity, rather than genetic adaptation, allows Parsley frog to exploit two contrasting temporal niches.

  15. The Relative Importance of Genetic Diversity and Phenotypic Plasticity in Determining Invasion Success of a Clonal Weed in the USA and China.

    PubMed

    Geng, Yupeng; van Klinken, Rieks D; Sosa, Alejandro; Li, Bo; Chen, Jiakuan; Xu, Cheng-Yuan

    2016-01-01

    Phenotypic plasticity has been proposed as an important adaptive strategy for clonal plants in heterogeneous habitats. Increased phenotypic plasticity can be especially beneficial for invasive clonal plants, allowing them to colonize new environments even when genetic diversity is low. However, the relative importance of genetic diversity and phenotypic plasticity for invasion success remains largely unknown. Here, we performed molecular marker analyses and a common garden experiment to investigate the genetic diversity and phenotypic plasticity of the globally important weed Alternanthera philoxeroides in response to different water availability (terrestrial vs. aquatic habitats). This species relies predominantly on clonal propagation in introduced ranges. We therefore expected genetic diversity to be restricted in the two sampled introduced ranges (the USA and China) when compared to the native range (Argentina), but that phenotypic plasticity may allow the species' full niche range to nonetheless be exploited. We found clones from China had very low genetic diversity in terms of both marker diversity and quantitative variation when compared with those from the USA and Argentina, probably reflecting different introduction histories. In contrast, similar patterns of phenotypic plasticity were found for clones from all three regions. Furthermore, despite the different levels of genetic diversity, bioclimatic modeling suggested that the full potential bioclimatic distribution had been invaded in both China and USA. Phenotypic plasticity, not genetic diversity, was therefore critical in allowing A. philoxeroides to invade diverse habitats across broad geographic areas.

  16. The Relative Importance of Genetic Diversity and Phenotypic Plasticity in Determining Invasion Success of a Clonal Weed in the USA and China

    PubMed Central

    Geng, Yupeng; van Klinken, Rieks D.; Sosa, Alejandro; Li, Bo; Chen, Jiakuan; Xu, Cheng-Yuan

    2016-01-01

    Phenotypic plasticity has been proposed as an important adaptive strategy for clonal plants in heterogeneous habitats. Increased phenotypic plasticity can be especially beneficial for invasive clonal plants, allowing them to colonize new environments even when genetic diversity is low. However, the relative importance of genetic diversity and phenotypic plasticity for invasion success remains largely unknown. Here, we performed molecular marker analyses and a common garden experiment to investigate the genetic diversity and phenotypic plasticity of the globally important weed Alternanthera philoxeroides in response to different water availability (terrestrial vs. aquatic habitats). This species relies predominantly on clonal propagation in introduced ranges. We therefore expected genetic diversity to be restricted in the two sampled introduced ranges (the USA and China) when compared to the native range (Argentina), but that phenotypic plasticity may allow the species' full niche range to nonetheless be exploited. We found clones from China had very low genetic diversity in terms of both marker diversity and quantitative variation when compared with those from the USA and Argentina, probably reflecting different introduction histories. In contrast, similar patterns of phenotypic plasticity were found for clones from all three regions. Furthermore, despite the different levels of genetic diversity, bioclimatic modeling suggested that the full potential bioclimatic distribution had been invaded in both China and USA. Phenotypic plasticity, not genetic diversity, was therefore critical in allowing A. philoxeroides to invade diverse habitats across broad geographic areas. PMID:26941769

  17. The Relative Importance of Genetic Diversity and Phenotypic Plasticity in Determining Invasion Success of a Clonal Weed in the USA and China.

    PubMed

    Geng, Yupeng; van Klinken, Rieks D; Sosa, Alejandro; Li, Bo; Chen, Jiakuan; Xu, Cheng-Yuan

    2016-01-01

    Phenotypic plasticity has been proposed as an important adaptive strategy for clonal plants in heterogeneous habitats. Increased phenotypic plasticity can be especially beneficial for invasive clonal plants, allowing them to colonize new environments even when genetic diversity is low. However, the relative importance of genetic diversity and phenotypic plasticity for invasion success remains largely unknown. Here, we performed molecular marker analyses and a common garden experiment to investigate the genetic diversity and phenotypic plasticity of the globally important weed Alternanthera philoxeroides in response to different water availability (terrestrial vs. aquatic habitats). This species relies predominantly on clonal propagation in introduced ranges. We therefore expected genetic diversity to be restricted in the two sampled introduced ranges (the USA and China) when compared to the native range (Argentina), but that phenotypic plasticity may allow the species' full niche range to nonetheless be exploited. We found clones from China had very low genetic diversity in terms of both marker diversity and quantitative variation when compared with those from the USA and Argentina, probably reflecting different introduction histories. In contrast, similar patterns of phenotypic plasticity were found for clones from all three regions. Furthermore, despite the different levels of genetic diversity, bioclimatic modeling suggested that the full potential bioclimatic distribution had been invaded in both China and USA. Phenotypic plasticity, not genetic diversity, was therefore critical in allowing A. philoxeroides to invade diverse habitats across broad geographic areas. PMID:26941769

  18. Rethinking phenotypic plasticity and its consequences for individuals, populations and species

    PubMed Central

    Forsman, A

    2015-01-01

    Much research has been devoted to identify the conditions under which selection favours flexible individuals or genotypes that are able to modify their growth, development and behaviour in response to environmental cues, to unravel the mechanisms of plasticity and to explore its influence on patterns of diversity among individuals, populations and species. The consequences of developmental plasticity and phenotypic flexibility for the performance and ecological success of populations and species have attracted a comparatively limited but currently growing interest. Here, I re-emphasize that an increased understanding of the roles of plasticity in these contexts requires a ‘whole organism' (rather than ‘single trait') approach, taking into consideration that organisms are integrated complex phenotypes. I further argue that plasticity and genetic polymorphism should be analysed and discussed within a common framework. I summarize predictions from theory on how phenotypic variation stemming from developmental plasticity and phenotypic flexibility may affect different aspects of population-level performance. I argue that it is important to distinguish between effects associated with greater interindividual phenotypic variation resulting from plasticity, and effects mediated by variation among individuals in the capacity to express plasticity and flexibility as such. Finally, I claim that rigorous testing of predictions requires methods that allow for quantifying and comparing whole organism plasticity, as well as the ability to experimentally manipulate the level of and capacity for developmental plasticity and phenotypic flexibility independent of genetic variation. PMID:25293873

  19. Sperm competition risk generates phenotypic plasticity in ovum fertilizability.

    PubMed

    Firman, Renée C; Simmons, Leigh W

    2013-12-01

    Theory predicts that sperm competition will generate sexual conflict that favours increased ovum defences against polyspermy. A recent study on house mice has shown that ovum resistance to fertilization coevolves in response to increased sperm fertilizing capacity. However, the capacity for the female gamete to adjust its fertilizability as a strategic response to sperm competition risk has never, to our knowledge, been studied. We sourced house mice (Mus domesticus) from natural populations that differ in the level of sperm competition and sperm fertilizing capacity, and manipulated the social experience of females during their sexual development to simulate conditions of either a future 'risk' or 'no risk' of sperm competition. Consistent with coevolutionary predictions, we found lower fertilization rates in ova produced by females from a high sperm competition population compared with ova from a low sperm competition population, indicating that these populations are divergent in the fertilizability of their ova. More importantly, females exposed to a 'risk' of sperm competition produced ova that had greater resistance to fertilization than ova produced by females reared in an environment with 'no risk'. Consequently, we show that variation in sperm competition risk during development generates phenotypic plasticity in ova fertilizability, which allows females to prepare for prevailing conditions during their reproductive life.

  20. Sperm competition risk generates phenotypic plasticity in ovum fertilizability

    PubMed Central

    Firman, Renée C.; Simmons, Leigh W.

    2013-01-01

    Theory predicts that sperm competition will generate sexual conflict that favours increased ovum defences against polyspermy. A recent study on house mice has shown that ovum resistance to fertilization coevolves in response to increased sperm fertilizing capacity. However, the capacity for the female gamete to adjust its fertilizability as a strategic response to sperm competition risk has never, to our knowledge, been studied. We sourced house mice (Mus domesticus) from natural populations that differ in the level of sperm competition and sperm fertilizing capacity, and manipulated the social experience of females during their sexual development to simulate conditions of either a future ‘risk’ or ‘no risk’ of sperm competition. Consistent with coevolutionary predictions, we found lower fertilization rates in ova produced by females from a high sperm competition population compared with ova from a low sperm competition population, indicating that these populations are divergent in the fertilizability of their ova. More importantly, females exposed to a ‘risk’ of sperm competition produced ova that had greater resistance to fertilization than ova produced by females reared in an environment with ‘no risk’. Consequently, we show that variation in sperm competition risk during development generates phenotypic plasticity in ova fertilizability, which allows females to prepare for prevailing conditions during their reproductive life. PMID:24132308

  1. Fitness of multidimensional phenotypes in dynamic adaptive landscapes.

    PubMed

    Laughlin, Daniel C; Messier, Julie

    2015-08-01

    Phenotypic traits influence species distributions, but ecology lacks established links between multidimensional phenotypes and fitness for predicting species responses to environmental change. The common focus on single traits rather than multiple trait combinations limits our understanding of their adaptive value, and intraspecific trait covariation has been neglected in ecology despite its importance in evolutionary theory and its likely impact on species distributions. Here, we extend the adaptive landscape framework to ecological sorting of multidimensional phenotypes across environments and discuss how two analytical approaches can be used to quantify fitness as a function of the interaction between the phenotype and the environment. We encourage ecologists to consider how phenotypic integration will constrain species responses to environmental change.

  2. Adaptive divergence in body size overrides the effects of plasticity across natural habitats in the brown trout

    PubMed Central

    Rogell, Björn; Dannewitz, Johan; Palm, Stefan; Dahl, Jonas; Petersson, Erik; Laurila, Anssi

    2013-01-01

    The evolution of life-history traits is characterized by trade-offs between different selection pressures, as well as plasticity across environmental conditions. Yet, studies on local adaptation are often performed under artificial conditions, leaving two issues unexplored: (i) how consistent are laboratory inferred local adaptations under natural conditions and (ii) how much phenotypic variation is attributed to phenotypic plasticity and to adaptive evolution, respectively, across environmental conditions? We reared fish from six locally adapted (domesticated and wild) populations of anadromous brown trout (Salmo trutta) in one semi-natural and three natural streams and recorded a key life-history trait (body size at the end of first growth season). We found that population-specific reaction norms were close to parallel across different streams and QST was similar – and larger than FST – within all streams, indicating a consistency of local adaptation in body size across natural environments. The amount of variation explained by population origin exceeded the variation across stream environments, indicating that genetic effects derived from adaptive processes have a stronger effect on phenotypic variation than plasticity induced by environmental conditions. These results suggest that plasticity does not “swamp” the phenotypic variation, and that selection may thus be efficient in generating genetic change. PMID:23919140

  3. Phenotypic clines, plasticity, and morphological trade-offs in an intertidal snail.

    PubMed

    Trussell, G C

    2000-02-01

    Understanding the genetic and environmental bases of phenotypic variation and how they covary on local and broad geographic scales is an important goal of evolutionary ecology. Such information can shed light on how organisms adapt to different and changing environments and how life-history trade-offs arise. Surveys of phenotypic variation in 25 Littorina obtusata populations across an approximately 400-km latitudinal gradient in the Gulf of Maine revealed pronounced clines. The shells of snails from northern habitats weighed less and were thinner and weaker in compression than those of conspecifics from southern habitats. In contrast, body size (as measured by soft tissue mass) followed an opposite pattern; northern snails weighed more than southern snails. A reciprocal transplant between a northern and southern habitat revealed substantial plasticity in shell form and body mass and their respective measures of growth. Southern snails transplanted to the northern habitat produced lighter, thinner shells and more body mass than controls raised in their native habitat. In contrast, northern snails transplanted to the southern site produced heavier, thicker shells and less body mass than controls raised in their native habitat. Patterns of final phenotypic variation for all traits were consistent with cogradient variation (i.e., a positive covariance between genetic and environmental influences). However, growth in shell traits followed a countergradient pattern (i.e., a negative covariance between genetic and environmental influences). Interestingly, body growth followed a cogradient pattern, which may reflect constraints imposed by cogradient variation in final shell size and thickness. This result suggests the existence of potential life-history trade-offs associated with increased shell production. Differences in L. obtusata shell form, body mass, and their respective measures of growth are likely induced by geographic differences in both water temperature and

  4. Functional and Phenotypic Plasticity of CD4+ T Cell Subsets

    PubMed Central

    Caza, Tiffany; Landas, Steve

    2015-01-01

    The remarkable plasticity of CD4+ T cells allows individuals to respond to environmental stimuli in a context-dependent manner. A balance of CD4+ T cell subsets is critical to mount responses against pathogen challenges to prevent inappropriate activation, to maintain tolerance, and to participate in antitumor immune responses. Specification of subsets is a process beginning in intrathymic development and continuing within the circulation. It is highly flexible to adapt to differences in nutrient availability and the tissue microenvironment. CD4+ T cell subsets have significant cross talk, with the ability to “dedifferentiate” given appropriate environmental signals. This ability is dependent on the metabolic status of the cell, with mTOR acting as the rheostat. Autoimmune and antitumor immune responses are regulated by the balance between regulatory T cells and Th17 cells. When a homeostatic balance of subsets is not maintained, immunopathology can result. CD4+ T cells carry complex roles within tumor microenvironments, with context-dependent immune responses influenced by oncogenic drivers and the presence of inflammation. Here, we examine the signals involved in CD4+ T cell specification towards each subset, interconnectedness of cytokine networks, impact of mTOR signaling, and cellular metabolism in lineage specification and provide a supplement describing techniques to study these processes. PMID:26583116

  5. Evolution of phenotypic plasticity and environmental tolerance of a labile quantitative character in a fluctuating environment.

    PubMed

    Lande, R

    2014-05-01

    Quantitative genetic models of evolution of phenotypic plasticity are used to derive environmental tolerance curves for a population in a changing environment, providing a theoretical foundation for integrating physiological and community ecology with evolutionary genetics of plasticity and norms of reaction. Plasticity is modelled for a labile quantitative character undergoing continuous reversible development and selection in a fluctuating environment. If there is no cost of plasticity, a labile character evolves expected plasticity equalling the slope of the optimal phenotype as a function of the environment. This contrasts with previous theory for plasticity influenced by the environment at a critical stage of early development determining a constant adult phenotype on which selection acts, for which the expected plasticity is reduced by the environmental predictability over the discrete time lag between development and selection. With a cost of plasticity in a labile character, the expected plasticity depends on the cost and on the environmental variance and predictability averaged over the continuous developmental time lag. Environmental tolerance curves derived from this model confirm traditional assumptions in physiological ecology and provide new insights. Tolerance curve width increases with larger environmental variance, but can only evolve within a limited range. The strength of the trade-off between tolerance curve height and width depends on the cost of plasticity. Asymmetric tolerance curves caused by male sterility at high temperature are illustrated. A simple condition is given for a large transient increase in plasticity and tolerance curve width following a sudden change in average environment.

  6. Neuronal plasticity: adaptation and readaptation to the environment of space.

    PubMed

    Correia, M J

    1998-11-01

    While there have been few documented permanent neurological changes resulting from space travel, there is a growing literature which suggests that neural plasticity sometimes occurs within peripheral and central vestibular pathways during and following spaceflight. This plasticity probably has adaptive value within the context of the space environment, but it can be maladaptive upon return to the terrestrial environment. Fortunately, the maladaptive responses resulting from neuronal plasticity diminish following return to earth. However, the literature suggests that the longer the space travel, the more difficult the readaptation. With the possibility of extended space voyages and extended stays on board the international space station, it seems worthwhile to review examples of plastic vestibular responses and changes in the underlying neural substrates. Studies and facilities needed for space station investigation of plastic changes in the neural substrates are suggested.

  7. Neuronal plasticity: adaptation and readaptation to the environment of space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Correia, M. J.

    1998-01-01

    While there have been few documented permanent neurological changes resulting from space travel, there is a growing literature which suggests that neural plasticity sometimes occurs within peripheral and central vestibular pathways during and following spaceflight. This plasticity probably has adaptive value within the context of the space environment, but it can be maladaptive upon return to the terrestrial environment. Fortunately, the maladaptive responses resulting from neuronal plasticity diminish following return to earth. However, the literature suggests that the longer the space travel, the more difficult the readaptation. With the possibility of extended space voyages and extended stays on board the international space station, it seems worthwhile to review examples of plastic vestibular responses and changes in the underlying neural substrates. Studies and facilities needed for space station investigation of plastic changes in the neural substrates are suggested. Copyright 1998 Elsevier Science B.V.

  8. Stress relief may promote the evolution of greater phenotypic plasticity in exotic invasive species: a hypothesis

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Qiao Q; Pan, Xiao Y; Fan, Zhi W; Peng, Shao L

    2015-01-01

    Invasion ecologists have often found that exotic invaders evolve to be more plastic than conspecific populations from their native range. However, an open question is why some exotic invaders can even evolve to be more plastic given that there may be costs to being plastic. Investigation into the benefits and costs of plasticity suggests that stress may constrain the expression of plasticity (thereby reducing the benefits of plasticity) and exacerbate the costs of plasticity (although this possibility might not be generally applicable). Therefore, evolution of adaptive plasticity is more likely to be constrained in stressful environments. Upon introduction to a new range, exotic species may experience more favorable growth conditions (e.g., because of release from natural enemies). Therefore, we hypothesize that any factors mitigating stress in the introduced range may promote exotic invaders to evolve increased adaptive plasticity by reducing the costs and increasing the benefits of plasticity. Empirical evidence is largely consistent with this hypothesis. This hypothesis contributes to our understanding of why invasive species are often found to be more competitive in a subset of environments. Tests of this hypothesis may not only help us understand what caused increased plasticity in some exotic invaders, but could also tell us if costs (unless very small) are more likely to inhibit the evolution of adaptive plasticity in stressful environments in general. PMID:25859323

  9. The biology of developmental plasticity and the Predictive Adaptive Response hypothesis

    PubMed Central

    Bateson, Patrick; Gluckman, Peter; Hanson, Mark

    2014-01-01

    Many forms of developmental plasticity have been observed and these are usually beneficial to the organism. The Predictive Adaptive Response (PAR) hypothesis refers to a form of developmental plasticity in which cues received in early life influence the development of a phenotype that is normally adapted to the environmental conditions of later life. When the predicted and actual environments differ, the mismatch between the individual's phenotype and the conditions in which it finds itself can have adverse consequences for Darwinian fitness and, later, for health. Numerous examples exist of the long-term effects of cues indicating a threatening environment affecting the subsequent phenotype of the individual organism. Other examples consist of the long-term effects of variations in environment within a normal range, particularly in the individual's nutritional environment. In mammals the cues to developing offspring are often provided by the mother's plane of nutrition, her body composition or stress levels. This hypothetical effect in humans is thought to be important by some scientists and controversial by others. In resolving the conflict, distinctions should be drawn between PARs induced by normative variations in the developmental environment and the ill effects on development of extremes in environment such as a very poor or very rich nutritional environment. Tests to distinguish between different developmental processes impacting on adult characteristics are proposed. Many of the mechanisms underlying developmental plasticity involve molecular epigenetic processes, and their elucidation in the context of PARs and more widely has implications for the revision of classical evolutionary theory. PMID:24882817

  10. Whole chromosome aneuploidy: big mutations drive adaptation by phenotypic leap

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Guangbo; Rubinstein, Boris; Li, Rong

    2012-01-01

    Despite its wide existence, the adaptive role of aneuploidy (the abnormal state of having unequal number of different chromosomes) has been a subject of debate. Cellular aneuploidy has been associated with enhanced resistance to stress, whereas on the organismal level it is detrimental to multi-cellular species. Certain aneuploid karyotypes are deleterious for specific environments, but karyotype diversity in a population potentiates adaptive evolution. To reconcile these paradoxical observations, this review distinguishes the role of aneuploidy in cellular versus organismal evolution. Further, it proposes a population genetics perspective to examine the behavior of aneuploidy on a populational versus individual level. By altering the copy number of a significant portion of the genome, aneuploidy introduces large phenotypic leap that enables small cell populations to explore a wide phenotypic landscape, from which adaptive traits can be selected. The production of chromosome number variation can be further increased by stress- or mutation-induced chromosomal instability, fueling rapid cellular adaptation. PMID:22926916

  11. Transcriptome analysis of predator- and prey-induced phenotypic plasticity in the Hokkaido salamander (Hynobius retardatus).

    PubMed

    Matsunami, Masatoshi; Kitano, Jun; Kishida, Osamu; Michimae, Hirofumi; Miura, Toru; Nishimura, Kinya

    2015-06-01

    Predator- and prey-induced phenotypic plasticity is widely observed among amphibian species. Although ecological factors inducing diverse phenotypic responses have been extensively characterized, we know little about the molecular bases of variation in phenotypic plasticity. Larvae of the Hokkaido salamander, Hynobius retardatus, exhibit two distinct morphs: the presence of their prey, Rana pirica tadpoles, induces a broad-headed attack morph, and the presence of predatory dragonfly nymphs (Aeshna nigroflava) induces a defence morph with enlarged external gills and a high tail. To compare the genes involved in predator- and prey-induced phenotypic plasticity, we carried out a de novo transcriptome analysis of Hokkaido salamander larvae exposed to either prey or predator individuals. First, we found that the number of genes involved in the expression of the defence morph was approximately five times the number involved in the expression of the attack morph. This result is consistent with the fact that the predator-induced plasticity involves more drastic morphological changes than the prey-induced plasticity. Second, we found that particular sets of genes were upregulated during the induction of both the attack and defence morphs, but others were specific to the expression of one or the other morph. Because both shared and unique molecular mechanisms were used in the expression of each morph, the evolution of a new plastic phenotype might involve both the co-option of pre-existing molecular mechanisms and the acquisition of novel regulatory mechanisms. PMID:25943778

  12. Transcriptome analysis of predator- and prey-induced phenotypic plasticity in the Hokkaido salamander (Hynobius retardatus).

    PubMed

    Matsunami, Masatoshi; Kitano, Jun; Kishida, Osamu; Michimae, Hirofumi; Miura, Toru; Nishimura, Kinya

    2015-06-01

    Predator- and prey-induced phenotypic plasticity is widely observed among amphibian species. Although ecological factors inducing diverse phenotypic responses have been extensively characterized, we know little about the molecular bases of variation in phenotypic plasticity. Larvae of the Hokkaido salamander, Hynobius retardatus, exhibit two distinct morphs: the presence of their prey, Rana pirica tadpoles, induces a broad-headed attack morph, and the presence of predatory dragonfly nymphs (Aeshna nigroflava) induces a defence morph with enlarged external gills and a high tail. To compare the genes involved in predator- and prey-induced phenotypic plasticity, we carried out a de novo transcriptome analysis of Hokkaido salamander larvae exposed to either prey or predator individuals. First, we found that the number of genes involved in the expression of the defence morph was approximately five times the number involved in the expression of the attack morph. This result is consistent with the fact that the predator-induced plasticity involves more drastic morphological changes than the prey-induced plasticity. Second, we found that particular sets of genes were upregulated during the induction of both the attack and defence morphs, but others were specific to the expression of one or the other morph. Because both shared and unique molecular mechanisms were used in the expression of each morph, the evolution of a new plastic phenotype might involve both the co-option of pre-existing molecular mechanisms and the acquisition of novel regulatory mechanisms.

  13. Unimpaired Neuro-Adaptive Plasticity in an Elderly Astronaut

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Paloski, William H.; Black, F. Owen; Metter, E. Jeffrey; Dawson, David L. (Technical Monitor)

    1999-01-01

    Quantitative analyses of a 77 year old astronaut's balance control performances on a standardized test battery revealed few differences between his neuro-adaptive responses to space flight and those of a group of younger astronauts tested following missions of similar duration. This finding suggests that the physiological changes associated with age do not necessarily impair adaptive plasticity in the human following removal and subsequent reintroduction of gravity.

  14. The contribution of phenotypic plasticity to complementary light capture in plant mixtures.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Junqi; van der Werf, Wopke; Anten, Niels P R; Vos, Jan; Evers, Jochem B

    2015-09-01

    Interspecific differences in functional traits are a key factor for explaining the positive diversity-productivity relationship in plant communities. However, the role of intraspecific variation attributable to phenotypic plasticity in diversity-productivity relationships has largely been overlooked. By taking a wheat (Triticum aestivum)-maize (Zea mays) intercrop as an elementary example of mixed vegetation, we show that plasticity in plant traits is an important factor contributing to complementary light capture in species mixtures. We conceptually separated net biodiversity effect into the effect attributable to interspecific trait differences and species distribution (community structure effect), and the effect attributable to phenotypic plasticity. Using a novel plant architectural modelling approach, whole-vegetation light capture was simulated for scenarios with and without plasticity based on empirical plant trait data. Light capture was 23% higher in the intercrop with plasticity than the expected value from monocultures, of which 36% was attributable to community structure and 64% was attributable to plasticity. For wheat, plasticity in tillering was the main reason for increased light capture, whereas for intercropped maize, plasticity induced a major reduction in light capture. The results illustrate the potential of plasticity for enhancing resource acquisition in mixed stands, and indicate the importance of plasticity in the performance of species-diverse plant communities.

  15. Ecotypic differentiation and phenotypic plasticity in reproductive traits of Armadillidium vulgare (Isopoda: Oniscidea).

    PubMed

    Hassall, Mark; Helden, Alvin; Goldson, Andrew; Grant, Alastair

    2005-03-01

    site with more stable temperatures showed less plasticity to temperature changes than members of the population from the site with greater temperature fluctuations. It is concluded that the observed microevolutionary processes and phenotypic plasticity have adaptative value as responses to spatial and temporal heterogeneity in environmental conditions. PMID:15599769

  16. Relaxed Genetic Constraint is Ancestral to the Evolution of Phenotypic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Leichty, Aaron R.; Pfennig, David W.; Jones, Corbin D.; Pfennig, Karin S.

    2012-01-01

    Phenotypic plasticity––the capacity of a single genotype to produce different phenotypes in response to varying environmental conditions––is widespread. Yet, whether, and how, plasticity impacts evolutionary diversification is unclear. According to a widely discussed hypothesis, plasticity promotes rapid evolution because genes expressed differentially across different environments (i.e., genes with “biased” expression) experience relaxed genetic constraint and thereby accumulate variation faster than do genes with unbiased expression. Indeed, empirical studies confirm that biased genes evolve faster than unbiased genes in the same genome. An alternative hypothesis holds, however, that the relaxed constraint and faster evolutionary rates of biased genes may be a precondition for, rather than a consequence of, plasticity’s evolution. Here, we evaluated these alternative hypotheses by characterizing evolutionary rates of biased and unbiased genes in two species of frogs that exhibit a striking form of phenotypic plasticity. We also characterized orthologs of these genes in four species of frogs that had diverged from the two plastic species before the plasticity evolved. We found that the faster evolutionary rates of biased genes predated the evolution of the plasticity. Furthermore, biased genes showed greater expression variance than did unbiased genes, suggesting that they may be more dispensable. Phenotypic plasticity may therefore evolve when dispensable genes are co-opted for novel function in environmentally induced phenotypes. Thus, relaxed genetic constraint may be a cause––not a consequence––of the evolution of phenotypic plasticity, and thereby contribute to the evolution of novel traits. PMID:22526866

  17. Stress hormones mediate predator-induced phenotypic plasticity in amphibian tadpoles

    PubMed Central

    Middlemis Maher, Jessica; Werner, Earl E.; Denver, Robert J.

    2013-01-01

    Amphibian tadpoles display extensive anti-predator phenotypic plasticity, reducing locomotory activity and, with chronic predator exposure, developing relatively smaller trunks and larger tails. In many vertebrates, predator exposure alters activity of the neuroendocrine stress axis. We investigated predator-induced effects on stress hormone production and the mechanistic link to anti-predator defences in Rana sylvatica tadpoles. Whole-body corticosterone (CORT) content was positively correlated with predator biomass in natural ponds. Exposure to caged predators in mesocosms caused a reduction in CORT by 4 hours, but increased CORT after 4 days. Tadpoles chronically exposed to exogenous CORT developed larger tails relative to their trunks, matching morphological changes induced by predator chemical cue; this predator effect was blocked by the corticosteroid biosynthesis inhibitor metyrapone. Tadpole tail explants treated in vitro with CORT increased tissue weight, suggesting that CORT acts directly on the tail. Short-term treatment of tadpoles with CORT increased predation mortality, likely due to increased locomotory activity. However, long-term CORT treatment enhanced survivorship, likely due to induced morphology. Our findings support the hypothesis that tadpole physiological and behavioural/morphological responses to predation are causally interrelated. Tadpoles initially suppress CORT and behaviour to avoid capture, but increase CORT with longer exposure, inducing adaptive phenotypic changes. PMID:23466985

  18. Phenotypic plasticity or speciation? A case from a clonal marine organism

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

    adaptational responses of each lineage to the environmental demands of each habitat. Conclusion The extensive distribution and ample morphological variation of Eunicea flexuosa corresponds to two distinct genetic lineages with narrower distributions and more rigid phenotypic plasticity than the original description. The accepted description sensu Bayer (1961) of E. flexuosa is a complex of at least two distinct genetic lineages, adapted to different habitats and do not exchange genetic material despite living in sympatry. The present study highlights the importance of correctly defining species, because the unknowingly use of species complexes can overestimate geographical distribution, population abundance, and physiological tolerance. PMID:18271961

  19. What can aquatic gastropods tell us about phenotypic plasticity? A review and meta-analysis

    PubMed Central

    Bourdeau, P E; Butlin, R K; Brönmark, C; Edgell, T C; Hoverman, J T; Hollander, J

    2015-01-01

    There have been few attempts to synthesise the growing body of literature on phenotypic plasticity to reveal patterns and generalities about the extent and magnitude of plastic responses. Here, we conduct a review and meta-analysis of published literature on phenotypic plasticity in aquatic (marine and freshwater) gastropods, a common system for studying plasticity. We identified 96 studies, using pre-determined search terms, published between 1985 and November 2013. The literature was dominated by studies of predator-induced shell form, snail growth rates and life history parameters of a few model taxa, accounting for 67% of all studies reviewed. Meta-analyses indicated average plastic responses in shell thickness, shell shape, and growth and fecundity of freshwater species was at least three times larger than in marine species. Within marine gastropods, species with planktonic development had similar average plastic responses to species with benthic development. We discuss these findings in the context of the role of costs and limits of phenotypic plasticity and environmental heterogeneity as important constraints on the evolution of plasticity. We also consider potential publication biases and discuss areas for future research, indicating well-studied areas and important knowledge gaps. PMID:26219231

  20. What can aquatic gastropods tell us about phenotypic plasticity? A review and meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Bourdeau, P E; Butlin, R K; Brönmark, C; Edgell, T C; Hoverman, J T; Hollander, J

    2015-10-01

    There have been few attempts to synthesise the growing body of literature on phenotypic plasticity to reveal patterns and generalities about the extent and magnitude of plastic responses. Here, we conduct a review and meta-analysis of published literature on phenotypic plasticity in aquatic (marine and freshwater) gastropods, a common system for studying plasticity. We identified 96 studies, using pre-determined search terms, published between 1985 and November 2013. The literature was dominated by studies of predator-induced shell form, snail growth rates and life history parameters of a few model taxa, accounting for 67% of all studies reviewed. Meta-analyses indicated average plastic responses in shell thickness, shell shape, and growth and fecundity of freshwater species was at least three times larger than in marine species. Within marine gastropods, species with planktonic development had similar average plastic responses to species with benthic development. We discuss these findings in the context of the role of costs and limits of phenotypic plasticity and environmental heterogeneity as important constraints on the evolution of plasticity. We also consider potential publication biases and discuss areas for future research, indicating well-studied areas and important knowledge gaps. PMID:26219231

  1. Phenotypic plasticity alone cannot explain climate-induced change in avian migration timing.

    PubMed

    Buskirk, Josh; Mulvihill, Robert S; Leberman, Robert C

    2012-10-01

    Recent climate change has been linked to shifts in the timing of life-cycle events in many organisms, but there is debate over the degree to which phenological changes are caused by evolved genetic responses of populations or by phenotypic plasticity of individuals. We estimated plasticity of spring arrival date in 27 species of bird that breed in the vicinity of an observatory in eastern North America. For 2441 individuals detected in multiple years, arrival occurred earlier during warm years, especially in species that migrate short distances. Phenotypic plasticity averaged -0.93 days °C(-1) ± 0.70 (95% CI). However, plasticity accounted for only 13-25% of the climate-induced trend in phenology observed over 46 years. Although our approach probably underestimates the full scope of plasticity, the data suggest that part of the response to environmental change has been caused by microevolution. The estimated evolutionary rates are plausible (0.016 haldanes). PMID:23145329

  2. Plasticity versus Adaptation of Ambient-Temperature Flowering Response.

    PubMed

    Pajoro, Alice; Verhage, Leonie; Immink, Richard G H

    2016-01-01

    It is challenging to understand how plants adapt flowering time to novel environmental conditions, such as global warming, while maintaining plasticity in response to daily fluctuating temperatures. A recent study shows a role for transposons and highlights the need to investigate how these different responses evolved. PMID:26698930

  3. Plasticity versus Adaptation of Ambient-Temperature Flowering Response.

    PubMed

    Pajoro, Alice; Verhage, Leonie; Immink, Richard G H

    2016-01-01

    It is challenging to understand how plants adapt flowering time to novel environmental conditions, such as global warming, while maintaining plasticity in response to daily fluctuating temperatures. A recent study shows a role for transposons and highlights the need to investigate how these different responses evolved.

  4. Adaptive responses and invasion: the role of plasticity and evolution in snail shell morphology

    PubMed Central

    Kistner, Erica J; Dybdahl, Mark F

    2013-01-01

    Invasive species often exhibit either evolved or plastic adaptations in response to spatially varying environmental conditions. We investigated whether evolved or plastic adaptation was driving variation in shell morphology among invasive populations of the New Zealand mud snail (Potamopyrgus antipodarum) in the western United States. We found that invasive populations exhibit considerable shell shape variation and inhabit a variety of flow velocity habitats. We investigated the importance of evolution and plasticity by examining variation in shell morphological traits 1) between the parental and F1 generations for each population and 2) among populations of the first lab generation (F1) in a common garden, full-sib design using Canonical Variate Analyses (CVA). We compared the F1 generation to the parental lineages and found significant differences in overall shell shape indicating a plastic response. However, when examining differences among the F1 populations, we found that they maintained among-population shell shape differences, indicating a genetic response. The F1 generation exhibited a smaller shell morph more suited to the low-flow common garden environment within a single generation. Our results suggest that phenotypic plasticity in conjunction with evolution may be driving variation in shell morphology of this widespread invasive snail. PMID:23467920

  5. Phenotypic plasticity of winter wheat heading date and grain yield across the U.S. Great Plains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Phenotypic plasticity describes the range of phenotypes produced by a single genotype under varying environmental conditions. We evaluated the extent of phenotypic variation and plasticity in thermal time to heading and grain yield in 299 hard winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) genotypes representa...

  6. Phenotypic plasticity and its genetic regulation for yield, nitrogen fixation and δ13C in chickpea crops under varying water regimes.

    PubMed

    Sadras, Victor O; Lake, Lachlan; Li, Yongle; Farquharson, Elizabeth A; Sutton, Tim

    2016-07-01

    We measured yield components, nitrogen fixation, soil nitrogen uptake and carbon isotope composition (δ(13)C) in a collection of chickpea genotypes grown in environments where water availability was the main source of yield variation. We aimed to quantify the phenotypic plasticity of these traits using variance ratios, and to explore their genetic basis using FST genome scan. Fifty-five genes in three genomic regions were found to be under selection for plasticity of yield; 54 genes in four genomic regions for the plasticity of seeds per m(2); 48 genes in four genomic regions for the plasticity of δ(13)C; 54 genes in two genomic regions for plasticity of flowering time; 48 genes in five genomic regions for plasticity of nitrogen fixation and 49 genes in three genomic regions for plasticity of nitrogen uptake from soil. Plasticity of yield was related to plasticity of nitrogen uptake from soil, and unrelated to plasticity of nitrogen fixation, highlighting the need for closer attention to nitrogen uptake in legumes. Whereas the theoretical link between δ(13)C and transpiration efficiency is strong, the actual link with yield is erratic due to trade-offs and scaling issues. Genes associated with plasticity of δ(13)C were identified that may help to untangle the δ(13)C-yield relationship. Combining a plasticity perspective to deal with complex G×E interactions with FST genome scan may help understand and improve both crop adaptation to stress and yield potential. PMID:27296246

  7. Phenotypic plasticity and its genetic regulation for yield, nitrogen fixation and δ13C in chickpea crops under varying water regimes.

    PubMed

    Sadras, Victor O; Lake, Lachlan; Li, Yongle; Farquharson, Elizabeth A; Sutton, Tim

    2016-07-01

    We measured yield components, nitrogen fixation, soil nitrogen uptake and carbon isotope composition (δ(13)C) in a collection of chickpea genotypes grown in environments where water availability was the main source of yield variation. We aimed to quantify the phenotypic plasticity of these traits using variance ratios, and to explore their genetic basis using FST genome scan. Fifty-five genes in three genomic regions were found to be under selection for plasticity of yield; 54 genes in four genomic regions for the plasticity of seeds per m(2); 48 genes in four genomic regions for the plasticity of δ(13)C; 54 genes in two genomic regions for plasticity of flowering time; 48 genes in five genomic regions for plasticity of nitrogen fixation and 49 genes in three genomic regions for plasticity of nitrogen uptake from soil. Plasticity of yield was related to plasticity of nitrogen uptake from soil, and unrelated to plasticity of nitrogen fixation, highlighting the need for closer attention to nitrogen uptake in legumes. Whereas the theoretical link between δ(13)C and transpiration efficiency is strong, the actual link with yield is erratic due to trade-offs and scaling issues. Genes associated with plasticity of δ(13)C were identified that may help to untangle the δ(13)C-yield relationship. Combining a plasticity perspective to deal with complex G×E interactions with FST genome scan may help understand and improve both crop adaptation to stress and yield potential.

  8. Latitudinal and longitudinal clines of phenotypic plasticity in the invasive herb Solidago canadensis in China.

    PubMed

    Li, Junmin; Du, Leshan; Guan, Wenbin; Yu, Fei-Hai; van Kleunen, Mark

    2016-11-01

    Phenotypic plasticity is thought to be important for plants in variable environments. The climatic variability hypothesis poses that populations at higher latitudes, due to the stronger variation in temperature, there should be more plastic in response to temperature than populations at lower latitudes. Similarly, populations at locations with stronger precipitation fluctuations should be more plastic in response to water availability than populations at locations with less variable precipitation. We sampled seven and nine populations of Solidago canadensis, a North American native that is invasive in China, along a latitudinal (temperature variability) and a longitudinal (precipitation variability) gradient, respectively, in China, and grew them under two temperature treatments and two water-availability treatments, respectively. Among the four traits with significant variation in plasticity among populations in response to temperature, plasticity of leaf length-to-width ratio was significantly positively correlated with latitude and temperature seasonality of the populations. In addition, root/shoot ratio and water-use efficiency showed significant variation in plasticity among populations in response to water availability, and plasticities of these two traits were significantly negatively correlated with longitude and positively correlated with precipitation seasonality. The observed geographic clines in plasticity suggest that phenotypic plasticity of S. canadensis may have evolved rapidly in regions with different climatic conditions, and this may have contributed to the spread of this invasive species.

  9. The ecology and evolution of animal medication: genetically fixed response versus phenotypic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Choisy, Marc; de Roode, Jacobus C

    2014-08-01

    Animal medication against parasites can occur either as a genetically fixed (constitutive) or phenotypically plastic (induced) behavior. Taking the tritrophic interaction between the monarch butterfly Danaus plexippus, its protozoan parasite Ophryocystis elektroscirrha, and its food plant Asclepias spp. as a test case, we develop a game-theory model to identify the epidemiological (parasite prevalence and virulence) and environmental (plant toxicity and abundance) conditions that predict the evolution of genetically fixed versus phenotypically plastic forms of medication. Our model shows that the relative benefits (the antiparasitic properties of medicinal food) and costs (side effects of medicine, the costs of searching for medicine, and the costs of plasticity itself) crucially determine whether medication is genetically fixed or phenotypically plastic. Our model suggests that animals evolve phenotypic plasticity when parasite risk (a combination of virulence and prevalence and thus a measure of the strength of parasite-mediated selection) is relatively low to moderately high and genetically fixed medication when parasite risk becomes very high. The latter occurs because at high parasite risk, the costs of plasticity are outweighed by the benefits of medication. Our model provides a simple and general framework to study the conditions that drive the evolution of alternative forms of animal medication.

  10. Utilizing intraspecific variation in phenotypic plasticity to bolster agricultural and forest productivity under climate change.

    PubMed

    Aspinwall, Michael J; Loik, Michael E; Resco de Dios, Victor; Tjoelker, Mark G; Payton, Paxton R; Tissue, David T

    2015-09-01

    Climate change threatens the ability of agriculture and forestry to meet growing global demands for food, fibre and wood products. Information gathered from genotype-by-environment interactions (G × E), which demonstrate intraspecific variation in phenotypic plasticity (the ability of a genotype to alter its phenotype in response to environmental change), may prove important for bolstering agricultural and forest productivity under climate change. Nonetheless, very few studies have explicitly quantified genotype plasticity-productivity relationships in agriculture or forestry. Here, we conceptualize the importance of intraspecific variation in agricultural and forest species plasticity, and discuss the physiological and genetic factors contributing to intraspecific variation in phenotypic plasticity. Our discussion highlights the need for an integrated understanding of the mechanisms of G × E, more extensive assessments of genotypic responses to climate change under field conditions, and explicit testing of genotype plasticity-productivity relationships. Ultimately, further investigation of intraspecific variation in phenotypic plasticity in agriculture and forestry may prove important for identifying genotypes capable of increasing or sustaining productivity under more extreme climatic conditions.

  11. Phenotypic plasticity, the Baldwin effect, and the speeding up of evolution: the computational roots of an illusion.

    PubMed

    Santos, Mauro; Szathmáry, Eörs; Fontanari, José F

    2015-04-21

    An increasing number of dissident voices claim that the standard neo-Darwinian view of genes as 'leaders' and phenotypes as 'followers' during the process of adaptive evolution should be turned on its head. This idea is older than the rediscovery of Mendel's laws of inheritance, with the turn-of-the-twentieth-century notion eventually labeled as the 'Baldwin effect' as one of the many ways in which the standard neo-Darwinian view can be turned around. A condition for this effect is that environmentally induced variation such as phenotypic plasticity or learning is crucial for the initial establishment of a trait. This gives the additional time for natural selection to act on genetic variation and the adaptive trait can be eventually encoded in the genotype. An influential paper published in the late 1980s claimed the Baldwin effect to happen in computer simulations, and avowed that it was crucial to solve a difficult adaptive task. This generated much excitement among scholars in various disciplines that regard neo-Darwinian accounts to explain the evolutionary emergence of high-order phenotypic traits such as consciousness or language almost hopeless. Here, we use analytical and computational approaches to show that a standard population genetics treatment can easily crack what the scientific community has granted as an unsolvable adaptive problem without learning. Evolutionary psychologists and linguists have invoked the (claimed) Baldwin effect to make wild assertions that should not be taken seriously. What the Baldwin effect needs are plausible case-histories.

  12. Diet-induced phenotypic plasticity in European eel (Anguilla anguilla).

    PubMed

    De Meyer, Jens; Christiaens, Joachim; Adriaens, Dominique

    2016-02-01

    Two phenotypes are present within the European eel population: broad-heads and narrow-heads. The expression of these phenotypes has been linked to several factors, such as diet and differential growth. The exact factors causing this dimorphism, however, are still unknown. In this study, we performed a feeding experiment on glass eels from the moment they start to feed. Eels were either fed a hard diet, which required biting and spinning behavior, or a soft diet, which required suction feeding. We found that the hard feeders develop a broader head and a larger adductor mandibulae region than eels that were fed a soft diet, implying that the hard feeders are capable of larger bite forces. Next to this, soft feeders develop a sharper and narrower head, which could reduce hydrodynamic drag, allowing more rapid strikes towards their prey. Both phenotypes were found in a control group, which were given a combination of both diets. These phenotypes were, however, not as extreme as the hard or the soft feeding group, indicating that some specimens are more likely to consume hard prey and others soft prey, but that they do not selectively eat one of both diets. In conclusion, we found that diet is a major factor influencing head shape in European eel and this ability to specialize in feeding on hard or soft prey could decrease intra-specific competition in European eel populations.

  13. Diet-induced phenotypic plasticity in European eel (Anguilla anguilla).

    PubMed

    De Meyer, Jens; Christiaens, Joachim; Adriaens, Dominique

    2016-02-01

    Two phenotypes are present within the European eel population: broad-heads and narrow-heads. The expression of these phenotypes has been linked to several factors, such as diet and differential growth. The exact factors causing this dimorphism, however, are still unknown. In this study, we performed a feeding experiment on glass eels from the moment they start to feed. Eels were either fed a hard diet, which required biting and spinning behavior, or a soft diet, which required suction feeding. We found that the hard feeders develop a broader head and a larger adductor mandibulae region than eels that were fed a soft diet, implying that the hard feeders are capable of larger bite forces. Next to this, soft feeders develop a sharper and narrower head, which could reduce hydrodynamic drag, allowing more rapid strikes towards their prey. Both phenotypes were found in a control group, which were given a combination of both diets. These phenotypes were, however, not as extreme as the hard or the soft feeding group, indicating that some specimens are more likely to consume hard prey and others soft prey, but that they do not selectively eat one of both diets. In conclusion, we found that diet is a major factor influencing head shape in European eel and this ability to specialize in feeding on hard or soft prey could decrease intra-specific competition in European eel populations. PMID:26847560

  14. Phenotypic Plasticity of Southern Ocean Diatoms: Key to Success in the Sea Ice Habitat?

    PubMed Central

    Sackett, Olivia; Petrou, Katherina; Reedy, Brian; De Grazia, Adrian; Hill, Ross; Doblin, Martina; Beardall, John; Ralph, Peter; Heraud, Philip

    2013-01-01

    Diatoms are the primary source of nutrition and energy for the Southern Ocean ecosystem. Microalgae, including diatoms, synthesise biological macromolecules such as lipids, proteins and carbohydrates for growth, reproduction and acclimation to prevailing environmental conditions. Here we show that three key species of Southern Ocean diatom (Fragilariopsis cylindrus, Chaetoceros simplex and Pseudo-nitzschia subcurvata) exhibited phenotypic plasticity in response to salinity and temperature regimes experienced during the seasonal formation and decay of sea ice. The degree of phenotypic plasticity, in terms of changes in macromolecular composition, was highly species-specific and consistent with each species’ known distribution and abundance throughout sea ice, meltwater and pelagic habitats, suggesting that phenotypic plasticity may have been selected for by the extreme variability of the polar marine environment. We argue that changes in diatom macromolecular composition and shifts in species dominance in response to a changing climate have the potential to alter nutrient and energy fluxes throughout the Southern Ocean ecosystem. PMID:24363795

  15. Plasticity in reproduction and growth among 52 range-wide populations of a Mediterranean conifer: adaptive responses to environmental stress.

    PubMed

    Santos-Del-Blanco, L; Bonser, S P; Valladares, F; Chambel, M R; Climent, J

    2013-09-01

    A plastic response towards enhanced reproduction is expected in stressful environments, but it is assumed to trade off against vegetative growth and efficiency in the use of available resources deployed in reproduction [reproductive efficiency (RE)]. Evidence supporting this expectation is scarce for plants, particularly for long-lived species. Forest trees such as Mediterranean pines provide ideal models to study the adaptive value of allocation to reproduction vs. vegetative growth given their among-population differentiation for adaptive traits and their remarkable capacity to cope with dry and low-fertility environments. We studied 52 range-wide Pinus halepensis populations planted into two environmentally contrasting sites during their initial reproductive stage. We investigated the effect of site, population and their interaction on vegetative growth, threshold size for female reproduction, reproductive-vegetative size relationships and RE. We quantified correlations among traits and environmental variables to identify allocation trade-offs and ecotypic trends. Genetic variation for plasticity was high for vegetative growth, whereas it was nonsignificant for reproduction. Size-corrected reproduction was enhanced in the more stressful site supporting the expectation for adverse conditions to elicit plastic responses in reproductive allometry. However, RE was unrelated with early reproductive investment. Our results followed theoretical predictions and support that phenotypic plasticity for reproduction is adaptive under stressful environments. Considering expectations of increased drought in the Mediterranean, we hypothesize that phenotypic plasticity together with natural selection on reproductive traits will play a relevant role in the future adaptation of forest tree species.

  16. Testing adaptive plasticity to UV: costs and benefits of stem elongation and light-induced phenolics.

    PubMed

    Weinig, Cynthia; Gravuer, Kelly A; Kane, Nolan C; Schmitt, Johanna

    2004-12-01

    On exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV), many plant species both reduce stem elongation and increase production of phenolic compounds that absorb in the UV region of the spectrum. To demonstrate that such developmental plasticity to UV is adaptive, it is necessary to show that the induced phenotype is both beneficial in inductive environments and maladaptive in non-inductive environments. We measured selection on stem elongation and phenolic content of seedlings of Impatiens capensis transplanted into ambient-UV and UV-removal treatments. We extended the range of phenotypes expressed, and thus the opportunity for selection in each UV treatment, by pretreating seedlings with either a low ratio of red:far-red wavelengths (R:FR), which induced stem elongation and reduced phenolic concentrations, or high R:FR, which had the opposite effect on these two phenotypic traits. Reduced stem length relative to biomass was advantageous for elongated plants under ambient UV, whereas increased elongation was favored in the UV-removal treatment. Selection favored an increase in the level of phenolics induced by UV in the ambient-UV treatment, but a decrease in phenolics in the absence of UV. These results are consistent with the hypotheses that reduced elongation and increased phenolic concentrations serve a UV-protective function and provide the first explicit demonstration in a wild species that plasticity of these traits to UV is adaptive. The observed cost to phenolics in the absence of UV may explain why many species plastically upregulate phenolic production when exposed to UV, rather than evolve constitutively high levels of these compounds. Finally, pretreatment with low R:FR simulating foliar shade did not exacerbate the fitness impact of UV exposure when plants had several weeks to acclimate to UV. This observation suggests that the evolution of adaptive shade avoidance responses to low R:FR in crowded stands will not be constrained by increased sensitivity to UV in

  17. Selection in a fluctuating environment leads to decreased genetic variation and facilitates the evolution of phenotypic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Hallsson, L R; Björklund, M

    2012-07-01

    Changes in the environment are expected to induce changes in the quantitative genetic variation, which influences the ability of a population to adapt to environmental change. Furthermore, environmental changes are not constant in time, but fluctuate. Here, we investigate the effect of rapid, continuous and/or fluctuating temperature changes in the seed beetle Callosobruchus maculatus, using an evolution experiment followed by a split-brood experiment. In line with expectations, individuals responded in a plastic way and had an overall higher potential to respond to selection after a rapid change in the environment. After selection in an environment with increasing temperature, plasticity remained unchanged (or decreased) and environmental variation decreased, especially when fluctuations were added; these results were unexpected. As expected, the genetic variation decreased after fluctuating selection. Our results suggest that fluctuations in the environment have major impact on the response of a population to environmental change; in a highly variable environment with low predictability, a plastic response might not be beneficial and the response is genetically and environmentally canalized resulting in a low potential to respond to selection and low environmental sensitivity. Interestingly, we found greater variation for phenotypic plasticity after selection, suggesting that the potential for plasticity to evolve is facilitated after exposure to environmental fluctuations. Our study highlights that environmental fluctuations should be considered when investigating the response of a population to environmental change.

  18. Differential Expression of Ecdysone Receptor Leads to Variation in Phenotypic Plasticity across Serial Homologs

    PubMed Central

    Tong, Xiaoling; Bear, Ashley; Liew, Seng Fatt; Bhardwaj, Shivam; Wasik, Bethany R.; Dinwiddie, April; Bastianelli, Carole; Cheong, Wei Fun; Wenk, Markus R.; Cao, Hui

    2015-01-01

    Bodies are often made of repeated units, or serial homologs, that develop using the same core gene regulatory network. Local inputs and modifications to this network allow serial homologs to evolve different morphologies, but currently we do not understand which modifications allow these repeated traits to evolve different levels of phenotypic plasticity. Here we describe variation in phenotypic plasticity across serial homologous eyespots of the butterfly Bicyclus anynana, hypothesized to be under selection for similar or different functions in the wet and dry seasonal forms. Specifically, we document the presence of eyespot size and scale brightness plasticity in hindwing eyespots hypothesized to vary in function across seasons, and reduced size plasticity and absence of brightness plasticity in forewing eyespots hypothesized to have the same function across seasons. By exploring the molecular and physiological causes of this variation in plasticity across fore and hindwing serial homologs we discover that: 1) temperature experienced during the wandering stages of larval development alters titers of an ecdysteroid hormone, 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E), in the hemolymph of wet and dry seasonal forms at that stage; 2) the 20E receptor (EcR) is differentially expressed in the forewing and hindwing eyespot centers of both seasonal forms during this critical developmental stage; and 3) manipulations of EcR signaling disproportionately affected hindwing eyespots relative to forewing eyespots. We propose that differential EcR expression across forewing and hindwing eyespots at a critical stage of development explains the variation in levels of phenotypic plasticity across these serial homologues. This finding provides a novel signaling pathway, 20E, and a novel molecular candidate, EcR, for the regulation of levels of phenotypic plasticity across body parts or serial homologs. PMID:26405828

  19. Differential Expression of Ecdysone Receptor Leads to Variation in Phenotypic Plasticity across Serial Homologs.

    PubMed

    Monteiro, Antónia; Tong, Xiaoling; Bear, Ashley; Liew, Seng Fatt; Bhardwaj, Shivam; Wasik, Bethany R; Dinwiddie, April; Bastianelli, Carole; Cheong, Wei Fun; Wenk, Markus R; Cao, Hui; Prudic, Kathleen L

    2015-01-01

    Bodies are often made of repeated units, or serial homologs, that develop using the same core gene regulatory network. Local inputs and modifications to this network allow serial homologs to evolve different morphologies, but currently we do not understand which modifications allow these repeated traits to evolve different levels of phenotypic plasticity. Here we describe variation in phenotypic plasticity across serial homologous eyespots of the butterfly Bicyclus anynana, hypothesized to be under selection for similar or different functions in the wet and dry seasonal forms. Specifically, we document the presence of eyespot size and scale brightness plasticity in hindwing eyespots hypothesized to vary in function across seasons, and reduced size plasticity and absence of brightness plasticity in forewing eyespots hypothesized to have the same function across seasons. By exploring the molecular and physiological causes of this variation in plasticity across fore and hindwing serial homologs we discover that: 1) temperature experienced during the wandering stages of larval development alters titers of an ecdysteroid hormone, 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E), in the hemolymph of wet and dry seasonal forms at that stage; 2) the 20E receptor (EcR) is differentially expressed in the forewing and hindwing eyespot centers of both seasonal forms during this critical developmental stage; and 3) manipulations of EcR signaling disproportionately affected hindwing eyespots relative to forewing eyespots. We propose that differential EcR expression across forewing and hindwing eyespots at a critical stage of development explains the variation in levels of phenotypic plasticity across these serial homologues. This finding provides a novel signaling pathway, 20E, and a novel molecular candidate, EcR, for the regulation of levels of phenotypic plasticity across body parts or serial homologs. PMID:26405828

  20. Differential Expression of Ecdysone Receptor Leads to Variation in Phenotypic Plasticity across Serial Homologs.

    PubMed

    Monteiro, Antónia; Tong, Xiaoling; Bear, Ashley; Liew, Seng Fatt; Bhardwaj, Shivam; Wasik, Bethany R; Dinwiddie, April; Bastianelli, Carole; Cheong, Wei Fun; Wenk, Markus R; Cao, Hui; Prudic, Kathleen L

    2015-01-01

    Bodies are often made of repeated units, or serial homologs, that develop using the same core gene regulatory network. Local inputs and modifications to this network allow serial homologs to evolve different morphologies, but currently we do not understand which modifications allow these repeated traits to evolve different levels of phenotypic plasticity. Here we describe variation in phenotypic plasticity across serial homologous eyespots of the butterfly Bicyclus anynana, hypothesized to be under selection for similar or different functions in the wet and dry seasonal forms. Specifically, we document the presence of eyespot size and scale brightness plasticity in hindwing eyespots hypothesized to vary in function across seasons, and reduced size plasticity and absence of brightness plasticity in forewing eyespots hypothesized to have the same function across seasons. By exploring the molecular and physiological causes of this variation in plasticity across fore and hindwing serial homologs we discover that: 1) temperature experienced during the wandering stages of larval development alters titers of an ecdysteroid hormone, 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E), in the hemolymph of wet and dry seasonal forms at that stage; 2) the 20E receptor (EcR) is differentially expressed in the forewing and hindwing eyespot centers of both seasonal forms during this critical developmental stage; and 3) manipulations of EcR signaling disproportionately affected hindwing eyespots relative to forewing eyespots. We propose that differential EcR expression across forewing and hindwing eyespots at a critical stage of development explains the variation in levels of phenotypic plasticity across these serial homologues. This finding provides a novel signaling pathway, 20E, and a novel molecular candidate, EcR, for the regulation of levels of phenotypic plasticity across body parts or serial homologs.

  1. Latitudinal patterns in phenotypic plasticity: the case of seasonal flexibility in lizards' fat body size.

    PubMed

    Aguilar-Kirigin, Álvaro J; Naya, Daniel E

    2013-11-01

    Several studies published over the last years suggest that the ability of many species to cope with global change will be closely related to the current amount of plasticity for fitness-related traits. Thus, disentangling general patterns in phenotypic flexibility, which could be then included in models aimed to predict changes in species distribution, represent a central goal in the current ecological agenda. The climatic variability hypothesis (CVH) could be considered a timely and promising hypothesis since it provides an explicit link between climatic and geographic variables and phenotypic plasticity. Specifically, the CVH states that as the range of climatic fluctuation experienced by terrestrial animals increases with latitude, individuals at higher latitudes should present greater levels of phenotypic flexibility. Within this framework, here we evaluate the existence of latitudinal patterns in fat body size flexibility--estimated as the difference between maximum and minimum fat body size values observed throughout a year--for 59 lizard species, comprising the first evaluation of the CVH for a trait, other than thermic or metabolic characters, in ectothermic species. Conventional and phylogenetic analyses indicated a positive relationship between fat body size flexibility and latitude, and also between flexibility and temperature variability indexes. Together with previous findings our results suggest that: (1) latitudinal pattern for fitness-related traits, other than thermal characters, are beginning to emerge; (2) latitude is usually a better predictor of phenotypic plasticity than putative climatic variables; (3) hemispheric differences in climatic variability appears to be correlated with hemispheric differences in phenotypic plasticity.

  2. Revisiting the adaptive and maladaptive effects of crossmodal plasticity.

    PubMed

    Heimler, B; Weisz, N; Collignon, O

    2014-12-26

    One of the most striking demonstrations of experience-dependent plasticity comes from studies of sensory-deprived individuals (e.g., blind or deaf), showing that brain regions deprived of their natural inputs change their sensory tuning to support the processing of inputs coming from the spared senses. These mechanisms of crossmodal plasticity have been traditionally conceptualized as having a double-edged sword effect on behavior. On one side, crossmodal plasticity is conceived as adaptive for the development of enhanced behavioral skills in the remaining senses of early-deaf or blind individuals. On the other side, crossmodal plasticity raises crucial challenges for sensory restoration and is typically conceived as maladaptive since its presence may prevent optimal recovery in sensory-re-afferented individuals. In the present review we stress that this dichotomic vision is oversimplified and we emphasize that the notions of the unavoidable adaptive/maladaptive effects of crossmodal reorganization for sensory compensation/restoration may actually be misleading. For this purpose we critically review the findings from the blind and deaf literatures, highlighting the complementary nature of these two fields of research. The integrated framework we propose here has the potential to impact on the way rehabilitation programs for sensory recovery are carried out, with the promising prospect of eventually improving their final outcomes. PMID:25139761

  3. Jack of all trades, master of some? On the role of phenotypic plasticity in plant invasions.

    PubMed

    Richards, Christina L; Bossdorf, Oliver; Muth, Norris Z; Gurevitch, Jessica; Pigliucci, Massimo

    2006-08-01

    Invasion biologists often suggest that phenotypic plasticity plays an important role in successful plant invasions. Assuming that plasticity enhances ecological niche breadth and therefore confers a fitness advantage, recent studies have posed two main hypotheses: (1) invasive species are more plastic than non-invasive or native ones; (2) populations in the introduced range of an invasive species have evolved greater plasticity than populations in the native range. These two hypotheses largely reflect the disparate interests of ecologists and evolutionary biologists. Because these sciences are typically interested in different temporal and spatial scales, we describe what is required to assess phenotypic plasticity at different levels. We explore the inevitable tradeoffs of experiments conducted at the genotype vs. species level, outline components of experimental design required to identify plasticity at different levels, and review some examples from the recent literature. Moreover, we suggest that a successful invader may benefit from plasticity as either (1) a Jack-of-all-trades, better able to maintain fitness in unfavourable environments; (2) a Master-of-some, better able to increase fitness in favourable environments; or (3) a Jack-and-master that combines some level of both abilities. This new framework can be applied when testing both ecological or evolutionary oriented hypotheses, and therefore promises to bridge the gap between the two perspectives.

  4. Phenotypic plasticity of sun and shade ecotypes of Stellaria longipes in response to light quality signaling, gibberellins and auxin.

    PubMed

    Kurepin, Leonid V; Pharis, Richard P; Neil Emery, R J; Reid, David M; Chinnappa, C C

    2015-09-01

    Stellaria longipes plant communities (ecotypes) occur in several environmentally distinct habitats along the eastern slopes of southern Alberta's Rocky Mountains. One ecotype occurs in a prairie habitat at ∼1000 m elevation where Stellaria plants grow in an environment in which the light is filtered by taller neighbouring vegetation, i.e. sunlight with a low red to far-red (R/FR) ratio. This ecotype exhibits a high degree of phenotypic plasticity by increasing stem elongation in response to the low R/FR ratio light signal. Another Stellaria ecotype occurs nearby at ∼2400 m elevation in a much cooler alpine habitat, one where plants rarely experience low R/FR ratio shade light. Stem elongation of plants is largely regulated by gibberellins (GAs) and auxin, indole-3-acetic acid (IAA). Shoots of the prairie ecotype plants show increased IAA levels under low R/FR ratio light and they also increase their stem growth in response to applied IAA. The alpine ecotype plants show neither response. Plants from both ecotypes produce high levels of growth-active GA1 under low R/FR ratio light, though they differ appreciably in their catabolism of GA1. The alpine ecotype plants exhibit very high levels of GA8, the inactive product of GA1 metabolism, under both normal and low R/FR ratio light. Alpine origin plants may de-activate GA1 by conversion to GA8 via a constitutively high level of expression of the GA2ox gene, thereby maintaining their dwarf phenotype and exhibiting a reduced phenotypic plasticity in terms of shoot elongation. In contrast, prairie plants exhibit a high degree of phenotypic plasticity, using low R/FR ratio light-mediated changes in GA and IAA concentrations to increase shoot elongation, thereby accessing direct sunlight to optimize photosynthesis. There thus appear to be complex adaptation strategies for the two ecotypes, ones which involve modifications in the homeostasis of endogenous hormones.

  5. Parallel ionoregulatory adjustments underlie phenotypic plasticity and evolution of Drosophila cold tolerance.

    PubMed

    MacMillan, Heath A; Ferguson, Laura V; Nicolai, Annegret; Donini, Andrew; Staples, James F; Sinclair, Brent J

    2015-02-01

    Low temperature tolerance is the main predictor of variation in the global distribution and performance of insects, yet the molecular mechanisms underlying cold tolerance variation are poorly known, and it is unclear whether the mechanisms that improve cold tolerance within the lifetime of an individual insect are similar to those that underlie evolved differences among species. The accumulation of cold-induced injuries by hemimetabolous insects is associated with loss of Na(+) and K(+) homeostasis. Here we show that this model holds true for Drosophila; cold exposure increases haemolymph [K(+)] in D. melanogaster, and cold-acclimated flies maintain low haemolymph [Na(+)] and [K(+)], both at rest and during a cold exposure. This pattern holds across 24 species of the Drosophila phylogeny, where improvements in cold tolerance have been consistently paired with reductions in haemolymph [Na(+)] and [K(+)]. Cold-acclimated D. melanogaster have low activity of Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase, which may contribute to the maintenance of low haemolymph [Na(+)] and underlie improvements in cold tolerance. Modifications to ion balance are associated with both phenotypic plasticity within D. melanogaster and evolutionary differences in cold tolerance across the Drosophila phylogeny, which suggests that adaptation and acclimation of cold tolerance in insects may occur through similar mechanisms. Cold-tolerant flies maintain haemolymph osmolality despite low haemolymph [Na(+)] and [K(+)], possibly through modest accumulations of organic osmolytes. We propose that this could have served as an evolutionary route by which chill-susceptible insects developed more extreme cold tolerance strategies.

  6. Phenotypically plastic traits regulate caste formation and soldier function in polyembryonic wasps.

    PubMed

    Smith, M S; Milton, I; Strand, M R

    2010-12-01

    Polyembryonic encyrtid wasps are parasitoids that have evolved a clonal form of embryogenesis and a caste system where some progeny become reproducing wasps whereas others develop into a sterile soldier caste. Theory based on the biology of Copidosoma floridanum predicts that the primary role of soldier larvae is to mediate conflict over sex ratio, which also favours female-biased soldier production. Other data, however, suggest that female-biased soldier production reflects a developmental constraint. Here, we assessed whether female-biased soldier function by polyembryonic wasps reflects sex-specific adaptation or constraint by conducting comparative studies with Copidosoma bakeri, a species that produces clutch sizes similar to C. floridanum yet rarely produces broods associated with sex ratio conflict. Our results indicate that the oviposition behaviour of adults, development of progeny and function of soldier larvae differ greatly between C. bakeri and C. floridanum. These findings indicate that caste formation and soldier function in polyembryonic encyrtid wasps are regulated by phenotypically plastic traits. Our results further suggest that the primary function of the soldier caste in some species is defence of host resources from competitors whereas in others it is the resolution of sex ratio conflict.

  7. Phenotypic plasticity of the maize root system in response to heterogeneous nitrogen availability.

    PubMed

    Yu, Peng; White, Philip J; Hochholdinger, Frank; Li, Chunjian

    2014-10-01

    Mineral nutrients are distributed in a non-uniform manner in the soil. Plasticity in root responses to the availability of mineral nutrients is believed to be important for optimizing nutrient acquisition. The response of root architecture to heterogeneous nutrient availability has been documented in various plant species, and the molecular mechanisms coordinating these responses have been investigated particularly in Arabidopsis, a model dicotyledonous plant. Recently, progress has been made in describing the phenotypic plasticity of root architecture in maize, a monocotyledonous crop. This article reviews aspects of phenotypic plasticity of maize root system architecture, with special emphasis on describing (1) the development of its complex root system; (2) phenotypic responses in root system architecture to heterogeneous N availability; (3) the importance of phenotypic plasticity for N acquisition; (4) different regulation of root growth and nutrients uptake by shoot; and (5) root traits in maize breeding. This knowledge will inform breeding strategies for root traits enabling more efficient acquisition of soil resources and synchronizing crop growth demand, root resource acquisition and fertilizer application during crop growing season, thereby maximizing crop yields and nutrient-use efficiency and minimizing environmental pollution. PMID:25143250

  8. Phenotypic plasticity in Scenedesmus incrassatulus (Chlorophyceae) in response to heavy metals stress.

    PubMed

    Peña-Castro, Julián Mario; Martínez-Jerónimo, Fernando; Esparza-García, Fernando; Cañizares-Villanueva, Rosa Olivia

    2004-12-01

    The microalgae genus Scenedesmus is commonly found in freshwater bodies, wastewater facilities and water polluted with heavy metals. Phenotypic plasticity in Scenedesmus has been documented in response to a wide variety of conditions; however, heavy metals have not been comprehensively documented as phenotypic plasticity inducers. In this study, we report the phenotypic plasticity of Scenedesmus incrassatulus (a non-spiny, four-cell coenobium forming species) in response to EC(50) value of copper, cadmium and hexavalent chromium. S. incrassatulus was grown in batch cultures in the presence of each metal. Chlorophyll-a content, cell size, parameters derived from the schematic energy-flux model for photosystem II, and morphotype expressions were recorded. Divalent cation metals induced unicellular forms, and hexavalent chromium produced out-of-shape coenobia corresponding to various stages of autospore formation. The changes induced by divalent metals were interpreted as phenotypic plasticity, because they were always associated to population doublings and were reversible when toxicant pressure was removed (only for Cu). Copper was the best inductor of unicellular forms and also affected significantly all the photosynthetic parameters measured. The developed morphotypes could confer ecological advantages to S. incrassatulus in metal stressed environments.

  9. Phenotypic plasticity in Scenedesmus incrassatulus (Chlorophyceae) in response to heavy metals stress.

    PubMed

    Peña-Castro, Julián Mario; Martínez-Jerónimo, Fernando; Esparza-García, Fernando; Cañizares-Villanueva, Rosa Olivia

    2004-12-01

    The microalgae genus Scenedesmus is commonly found in freshwater bodies, wastewater facilities and water polluted with heavy metals. Phenotypic plasticity in Scenedesmus has been documented in response to a wide variety of conditions; however, heavy metals have not been comprehensively documented as phenotypic plasticity inducers. In this study, we report the phenotypic plasticity of Scenedesmus incrassatulus (a non-spiny, four-cell coenobium forming species) in response to EC(50) value of copper, cadmium and hexavalent chromium. S. incrassatulus was grown in batch cultures in the presence of each metal. Chlorophyll-a content, cell size, parameters derived from the schematic energy-flux model for photosystem II, and morphotype expressions were recorded. Divalent cation metals induced unicellular forms, and hexavalent chromium produced out-of-shape coenobia corresponding to various stages of autospore formation. The changes induced by divalent metals were interpreted as phenotypic plasticity, because they were always associated to population doublings and were reversible when toxicant pressure was removed (only for Cu). Copper was the best inductor of unicellular forms and also affected significantly all the photosynthetic parameters measured. The developed morphotypes could confer ecological advantages to S. incrassatulus in metal stressed environments. PMID:15519408

  10. Heterochronic phenotypic plasticity with lack of genetic differentiation in the southeastern Pacific squat lobster Pleuroncodes monodon.

    PubMed

    Haye, Pilar A; Salinas, Pilar; Acuña, Enzo; Poulin, Elie

    2010-01-01

    Two forms of the squat lobster Pleuroncodes monodon can be found along the Pacific coast of South America: a smaller pelagic and a larger benthic form that live respectively in the northern and southern areas of the geographic distribution of the species. The morphological and life history differences between the pelagic and benthic forms could be explained either by genetic differentiation or phenotypic plasticity. In the latter case it would correspond to a heterochronic phenotypic plasticity that is fixed in different environments (phenotype fixation). The aim of this study was to evaluate whether the two forms are genetically differentiated or not; and thus to infer the underlying basis-heritable or plastic-of the existence of the two forms. Based on barcoding data of mitochondrial DNA (the COI gene), we show that haplotypes from individuals of the pelagic and benthic forms comprise a single genetic unit without genetic differentiation. Moreover, the data suggest that all studied individuals share a common demographic history of recent and sudden population expansion. These results strongly suggest that the differences between the two forms are due to phenotypic plasticity.

  11. Life history as a constraint on plasticity: developmental timing is correlated with phenotypic variation in birds.

    PubMed

    Snell-Rood, E C; Swanson, E M; Young, R L

    2015-10-01

    Understanding why organisms vary in developmental plasticity has implications for predicting population responses to changing environments and the maintenance of intraspecific variation. The epiphenotype hypothesis posits that the timing of development can constrain plasticity-the earlier alternate phenotypes begin to develop, the greater the difference that can result amongst the final traits. This research extends this idea by considering how life history timing shapes the opportunity for the environment to influence trait development. We test the prediction that the earlier an individual begins to actively interact with and explore their environment, the greater the opportunity for plasticity and thus variation in foraging traits. This research focuses on life history variation across four groups of birds using museum specimens and measurements from the literature. We reasoned that greater phenotypic plasticity, through either environmental effects or genotype-by-environment interactions in development, would be manifest in larger trait ranges (bills and tarsi) within species. Among shorebirds and ducks, we found that species with relatively shorter incubation times tended to show greater phenotypic variation. Across warblers and sparrows, we found little support linking timing of flight and trait variation. Overall, our results also suggest a pattern between body size and trait variation, consistent with constraints on egg size that might result in larger species having more environmental influences on development. Taken together, our results provide some support for the hypothesis that variation in life histories affects how the environment shapes development, through either the expression of plasticity or the release of cryptic genetic variation.

  12. Phenotypic plasticity, QTL mapping and genomic characterization of bud set in black poplar

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The genetic control of important adaptive traits, such as bud set, is still poorly understood in most forest trees species. Poplar is an ideal model tree to study bud set because of its indeterminate shoot growth. Thus, a full-sib family derived from an intraspecific cross of P. nigra with 162 clonally replicated progeny was used to assess the phenotypic plasticity and genetic variation of bud set in two sites of contrasting environmental conditions. Results Six crucial phenological stages of bud set were scored. Night length appeared to be the most important signal triggering the onset of growth cessation. Nevertheless, the effect of other environmental factors, such as temperature, increased during the process. Moreover, a considerable role of genotype × environment (G × E) interaction was found in all phenological stages with the lowest temperature appearing to influence the sensitivity of the most plastic genotypes. Descriptors of growth cessation and bud onset explained the largest part of phenotypic variation of the entire process. Quantitative trait loci (QTL) for these traits were detected. For the four selected traits (the onset of growth cessation (date2.5), the transition from shoot to bud (date1.5), the duration of bud formation (subproc1) and bud maturation (subproc2)) eight and sixteen QTL were mapped on the maternal and paternal map, respectively. The identified QTL, each one characterized by small or modest effect, highlighted the complex nature of traits involved in bud set process. Comparison between map location of QTL and P. trichocarpa genome sequence allowed the identification of 13 gene models, 67 bud set-related expressional and six functional candidate genes (CGs). These CGs are functionally related to relevant biological processes, environmental sensing, signaling, and cell growth and development. Some strong QTL had no obvious CGs, and hold great promise to identify unknown genes that affect bud set. Conclusions This study

  13. Phenotypic plasticity and longevity in plants and animals: cause and effect?

    PubMed

    Borges, Renee M

    2009-10-01

    Immobile plants and immobile modular animals outlive unitary animals. This paper discusses competing but not necessarily mutually exclusive theories to explain this extreme longevity, especially from the perspective of phenotypic plasticity. Stem cell immortality, vascular autonomy, and epicormic branching are some important features of the phenotypic plasticity of plants that contribute to their longevity. Monocarpy versus polycarpy can also influence the kind of senescent processes experienced by plants. How density-dependent phenomena affecting the establishment of juveniles in these immobile organisms can influence the evolution of senescence, and consequently longevity, is reviewed and discussed. Whether climate change scenarios will favour long-lived or short-lived organisms, with their attendant levels of plasticity, is also presented.

  14. Evidence of weaker phenotypic plasticity by prey to novel cues from non-native predators.

    PubMed

    Hollander, Johan; Bourdeau, Paul E

    2016-08-01

    A central question in evolutionary biology is how coevolutionary history between predator and prey influences their interactions. Contemporary global change and range expansion of exotic organisms impose a great challenge for prey species, which are increasingly exposed to invading non-native predators, with which they share no evolutionary history. Here, we complete a comprehensive survey of empirical studies of coevolved and naive predator-prey interactions to assess whether a shared evolutionary history with predators influences the magnitude of predator-induced defenses mounted by prey. Using marine bivalves and gastropods as model prey, we found that coevolved prey and predator-naive prey showed large discrepancies in magnitude of predator-induced phenotypic plasticity. Although naive prey, predominantly among bivalve species, did exhibit some level of plasticity - prey exposed to native predators showed significantly larger amounts of phenotypic plasticity. We discuss these results and the implications they may have for native communities and ecosystems. PMID:27551388

  15. Flood induced phenotypic plasticity in amphibious genus Elatine (Elatinaceae).

    PubMed

    Molnár V, Attila; Tóth, János Pál; Sramkó, Gábor; Horváth, Orsolya; Popiela, Agnieszka; Mesterházy, Attila; Lukács, Balázs András

    2015-01-01

    Vegetative characters are widely used in the taxonomy of the amphibious genus Elatine L. However, these usually show great variation not just between species but between their aquatic and terrestrial forms. In the present study we examine the variation of seed and vegetative characters in nine Elatine species (E. brachysperma, E. californica, E. gussonei, E. hexandra, E. hungarica, E. hydropiper, E. macropoda, E. orthosperma and E. triandra) to reveal the extension of plasticity induced by the amphibious environment, and to test character reliability for species identification. Cultivated plant clones were kept under controlled conditions exposed to either aquatic or terrestrial environmental conditions. Six vegetative characters (length of stem, length of internodium, length of lamina, width of lamina, length of petioles, length of pedicel) and four seed characters (curvature, number of pits / lateral row, 1st and 2nd dimension) were measured on 50 fruiting stems of the aquatic and on 50 stems of the terrestrial form of the same clone. MDA, NPMANOVA Random Forest classification and cluster analysis were used to unravel the morphological differences between aquatic and terrestrial forms. The results of MDA cross-validated and Random Forest classification clearly indicated that only seed traits are stable within species (i.e., different forms of the same species keep similar morphology). Consequently, only seed morphology is valuable for taxonomic purposes since vegetative traits are highly influenced by environmental factors. PMID:26713235

  16. Flood induced phenotypic plasticity in amphibious genus Elatine (Elatinaceae)

    PubMed Central

    Sramkó, Gábor; Horváth, Orsolya; Popiela, Agnieszka; Mesterházy, Attila; Lukács, Balázs András

    2015-01-01

    Vegetative characters are widely used in the taxonomy of the amphibious genus Elatine L. However, these usually show great variation not just between species but between their aquatic and terrestrial forms. In the present study we examine the variation of seed and vegetative characters in nine Elatine species (E. brachysperma, E. californica, E. gussonei, E. hexandra, E. hungarica, E. hydropiper, E. macropoda, E. orthosperma and E. triandra) to reveal the extension of plasticity induced by the amphibious environment, and to test character reliability for species identification. Cultivated plant clones were kept under controlled conditions exposed to either aquatic or terrestrial environmental conditions. Six vegetative characters (length of stem, length of internodium, length of lamina, width of lamina, length of petioles, length of pedicel) and four seed characters (curvature, number of pits / lateral row, 1st and 2nd dimension) were measured on 50 fruiting stems of the aquatic and on 50 stems of the terrestrial form of the same clone. MDA, NPMANOVA Random Forest classification and cluster analysis were used to unravel the morphological differences between aquatic and terrestrial forms. The results of MDA cross-validated and Random Forest classification clearly indicated that only seed traits are stable within species (i.e., different forms of the same species keep similar morphology). Consequently, only seed morphology is valuable for taxonomic purposes since vegetative traits are highly influenced by environmental factors. PMID:26713235

  17. Plastic and Heritable Components of Phenotypic Variation in Nucella lapillus: An Assessment Using Reciprocal Transplant and Common Garden Experiments

    PubMed Central

    Pascoal, Sonia; Carvalho, Gary; Creer, Simon; Rock, Jenny; Kawaii, Kei; Mendo, Sonia; Hughes, Roger

    2012-01-01

    Assessment of plastic and heritable components of phenotypic variation is crucial for understanding the evolution of adaptive character traits in heterogeneous environments. We assessed the above in relation to adaptive shell morphology of the rocky intertidal snail Nucella lapillus by reciprocal transplantation of snails between two shores differing in wave action and rearing snails of the same provenance in a common garden. Results were compared with those reported for similar experiments conducted elsewhere. Microsatellite variation indicated limited gene flow between the populations. Intrinsic growth rate was greater in exposed-site than sheltered-site snails, but the reverse was true of absolute growth rate, suggesting heritable compensation for reduced foraging opportunity at the exposed site. Shell morphology of reciprocal transplants partially converged through plasticity toward that of native snails. Shell morphology of F2s in the common garden partially retained characteristics of the P-generation, suggesting genetic control. A maternal effect was revealed by greater resemblance of F1s than F2s to the P-generation. The observed synergistic effects of plastic, maternal and genetic control of shell-shape may be expected to maximise fitness when environmental characteristics become unpredictable through dispersal. PMID:22299035

  18. Life-history trait plasticity and its relationships with plant adaptation and insect fitness: a case study on the aphid Sitobion avenae.

    PubMed

    Dai, Peng; Shi, Xiaoqin; Liu, Deguang; Ge, Zhaohong; Wang, Da; Dai, Xinjia; Yi, Zhihao; Meng, Xiuxiang

    2016-01-01

    Phenotypic plasticity has recently been considered a powerful means of adaptation, but its relationships with corresponding life-history characters and plant specialization levels of insects have been controversial. To address the issues, Sitobion avenae clones from three plants in two areas were compared. Varying amounts of life-history trait plasticity were found among S. avenae clones on barley, oat and wheat. In most cases, developmental durations and their corresponding plasticities were found to be independent, and fecundities and their plasticities were correlated characters instead. The developmental time of first instar nymphs for oat and wheat clones, but not for barley clones, was found to be independent from its plasticity, showing environment-specific effects. All correlations between environments were found to be positive, which could contribute to low plasticity in S. avenae. Negative correlations between trait plasticities and fitness of test clones suggest that lower plasticity could have higher adaptive value. Correlations between plasticity and specialization indices were identified for all clones, suggesting that plasticity might evolve as a by-product of adaptation to certain environments. The divergence patterns of life-history plasticities in S. avenae, as well as the relationships among plasticity, specialization and fitness, could have significant implications for evolutionary ecology of this aphid.

  19. Life-history trait plasticity and its relationships with plant adaptation and insect fitness: a case study on the aphid Sitobion avenae.

    PubMed

    Dai, Peng; Shi, Xiaoqin; Liu, Deguang; Ge, Zhaohong; Wang, Da; Dai, Xinjia; Yi, Zhihao; Meng, Xiuxiang

    2016-01-01

    Phenotypic plasticity has recently been considered a powerful means of adaptation, but its relationships with corresponding life-history characters and plant specialization levels of insects have been controversial. To address the issues, Sitobion avenae clones from three plants in two areas were compared. Varying amounts of life-history trait plasticity were found among S. avenae clones on barley, oat and wheat. In most cases, developmental durations and their corresponding plasticities were found to be independent, and fecundities and their plasticities were correlated characters instead. The developmental time of first instar nymphs for oat and wheat clones, but not for barley clones, was found to be independent from its plasticity, showing environment-specific effects. All correlations between environments were found to be positive, which could contribute to low plasticity in S. avenae. Negative correlations between trait plasticities and fitness of test clones suggest that lower plasticity could have higher adaptive value. Correlations between plasticity and specialization indices were identified for all clones, suggesting that plasticity might evolve as a by-product of adaptation to certain environments. The divergence patterns of life-history plasticities in S. avenae, as well as the relationships among plasticity, specialization and fitness, could have significant implications for evolutionary ecology of this aphid. PMID:27426961

  20. Life-history trait plasticity and its relationships with plant adaptation and insect fitness: a case study on the aphid Sitobion avenae

    PubMed Central

    Dai, Peng; Shi, Xiaoqin; Liu, Deguang; Ge, Zhaohong; Wang, Da; Dai, Xinjia; Yi, Zhihao; Meng, Xiuxiang

    2016-01-01

    Phenotypic plasticity has recently been considered a powerful means of adaptation, but its relationships with corresponding life-history characters and plant specialization levels of insects have been controversial. To address the issues, Sitobion avenae clones from three plants in two areas were compared. Varying amounts of life-history trait plasticity were found among S. avenae clones on barley, oat and wheat. In most cases, developmental durations and their corresponding plasticities were found to be independent, and fecundities and their plasticities were correlated characters instead. The developmental time of first instar nymphs for oat and wheat clones, but not for barley clones, was found to be independent from its plasticity, showing environment-specific effects. All correlations between environments were found to be positive, which could contribute to low plasticity in S. avenae. Negative correlations between trait plasticities and fitness of test clones suggest that lower plasticity could have higher adaptive value. Correlations between plasticity and specialization indices were identified for all clones, suggesting that plasticity might evolve as a by-product of adaptation to certain environments. The divergence patterns of life-history plasticities in S. avenae, as well as the relationships among plasticity, specialization and fitness, could have significant implications for evolutionary ecology of this aphid. PMID:27426961

  1. Synaptic plasticity enables adaptive self-tuning critical networks.

    PubMed

    Stepp, Nigel; Plenz, Dietmar; Srinivasa, Narayan

    2015-01-01

    During rest, the mammalian cortex displays spontaneous neural activity. Spiking of single neurons during rest has been described as irregular and asynchronous. In contrast, recent in vivo and in vitro population measures of spontaneous activity, using the LFP, EEG, MEG or fMRI suggest that the default state of the cortex is critical, manifested by spontaneous, scale-invariant, cascades of activity known as neuronal avalanches. Criticality keeps a network poised for optimal information processing, but this view seems to be difficult to reconcile with apparently irregular single neuron spiking. Here, we simulate a 10,000 neuron, deterministic, plastic network of spiking neurons. We show that a combination of short- and long-term synaptic plasticity enables these networks to exhibit criticality in the face of intrinsic, i.e. self-sustained, asynchronous spiking. Brief external perturbations lead to adaptive, long-term modification of intrinsic network connectivity through long-term excitatory plasticity, whereas long-term inhibitory plasticity enables rapid self-tuning of the network back to a critical state. The critical state is characterized by a branching parameter oscillating around unity, a critical exponent close to -3/2 and a long tail distribution of a self-similarity parameter between 0.5 and 1. PMID:25590427

  2. Synaptic Plasticity Enables Adaptive Self-Tuning Critical Networks

    PubMed Central

    Stepp, Nigel; Plenz, Dietmar; Srinivasa, Narayan

    2015-01-01

    During rest, the mammalian cortex displays spontaneous neural activity. Spiking of single neurons during rest has been described as irregular and asynchronous. In contrast, recent in vivo and in vitro population measures of spontaneous activity, using the LFP, EEG, MEG or fMRI suggest that the default state of the cortex is critical, manifested by spontaneous, scale-invariant, cascades of activity known as neuronal avalanches. Criticality keeps a network poised for optimal information processing, but this view seems to be difficult to reconcile with apparently irregular single neuron spiking. Here, we simulate a 10,000 neuron, deterministic, plastic network of spiking neurons. We show that a combination of short- and long-term synaptic plasticity enables these networks to exhibit criticality in the face of intrinsic, i.e. self-sustained, asynchronous spiking. Brief external perturbations lead to adaptive, long-term modification of intrinsic network connectivity through long-term excitatory plasticity, whereas long-term inhibitory plasticity enables rapid self-tuning of the network back to a critical state. The critical state is characterized by a branching parameter oscillating around unity, a critical exponent close to -3/2 and a long tail distribution of a self-similarity parameter between 0.5 and 1. PMID:25590427

  3. Phenotyping for drought adaptation in wheat using physiological traits.

    PubMed

    Monneveux, Philippe; Jing, Ruilian; Misra, Satish C

    2012-01-01

    Wheat (Triticum spp) is one of the first domesticated food crops. It represents the first source of calories (after rice) and an important source of proteins in developing countries. As a result of the Green Revolution, wheat yield sharply increased due to the use of improved varieties, irrigation, pesticides, and fertilizers. The rate of increase in world wheat production, however, slowed after 1980, except in China, India, and Pakistan. Being adapted to a wide range of moisture conditions, wheat is grown on more land area worldwide than any other crop, including in drought prone areas. In these marginal rain-fed environments where at least 60 m ha of wheat is grown, amount and distribution of rainfall are the predominant factors influencing yield variability. Intensive work has been carried out in the area of drought adaptation over the last decades. Breeding strategies for drought tolerance improvement include: definition of the target environment, choice and characterization of the testing environment, water stress management and characterization, and use of phenotyping traits with high heritability. The use of integrative traits, facilitated by the development and application of new technologies (thermal imaging, spectral reflectance, stable isotopes) is facilitating high throughput phenotyping and indirect selection, consequently favoring yield improvement in drought prone environments. PMID:23181021

  4. Comparative studies on phenotypic plasticity of two herbs, Changium smyrnioides and Anthriscus sylvestris.

    PubMed

    Chang, Jie; Guan, Bao-hua; Ge, Ying; Chan, Yuk-sing Gilbert

    2004-06-01

    The endangered medicinal herb, Changium smyrnioides can only be found in deciduous forest gaps within the middle to northern subtropical broad-leaved evergreen forest zone of China. The considerable plasticity of its shoot and root structure helps it to capture light more effectively in winter and early spring, and to adapt to the soil moisture conditions in its narrow habitat. Another medicinal plant, Anthriscus sylvestris, is of similar economic importance but commonly dis-tributed widely. In contrast to C. smyrnioides, it has low structural plasticity. It is also specialized to adapt to the moist and sunny environment, where habitat, such as the banks of creeks and rivers, is abundant.

  5. Phenotypic plasticity alone cannot explain climate-induced change in avian migration timing

    PubMed Central

    Buskirk, Josh; Mulvihill, Robert S; Leberman, Robert C

    2012-01-01

    Recent climate change has been linked to shifts in the timing of life-cycle events in many organisms, but there is debate over the degree to which phenological changes are caused by evolved genetic responses of populations or by phenotypic plasticity of individuals. We estimated plasticity of spring arrival date in 27 species of bird that breed in the vicinity of an observatory in eastern North America. For 2441 individuals detected in multiple years, arrival occurred earlier during warm years, especially in species that migrate short distances. Phenotypic plasticity averaged −0.93 days °C−1 ± 0.70 (95% CI). However, plasticity accounted for only 13–25% of the climate-induced trend in phenology observed over 46 years. Although our approach probably underestimates the full scope of plasticity, the data suggest that part of the response to environmental change has been caused by microevolution. The estimated evolutionary rates are plausible (0.016 haldanes). PMID:23145329

  6. Echinoderms Display Morphological and Behavioural Phenotypic Plasticity in Response to Their Trophic Environment

    PubMed Central

    Hughes, Adam D.; Brunner, Lars; Cook, Elizabeth J.; Kelly, Maeve S.; Wilson, Ben

    2012-01-01

    The trophic interactions of sea urchins are known to be the agents of phase shifts in benthic marine habitats such as tropical and temperate reefs. In temperate reefs, the grazing activity of sea urchins has been responsible for the destruction of kelp forests and the formation of ‘urchin barrens’, a rocky habitat dominated by crustose algae and encrusting invertebrates. Once formed, these urchin barrens can persist for decades. Trophic plasticity in the sea urchin may contribute to the stability and resilience of this alternate stable state by increasing diet breadth in sea urchins. This plasticity promotes ecological connectivity and weakens species interactions and so increases ecosystem stability. We test the hypothesis that sea urchins exhibit trophic plasticity using an approach that controls for other typically confounding environmental and genetic factors. To do this, we exposed a genetically homogenous population of sea urchins to two very different trophic environments over a period of two years. The sea urchins exhibited a wide degree of phenotypic trophic plasticity when exposed to contrasting trophic environments. The two populations developed differences in their gross morphology and the test microstructure. In addition, when challenged with unfamiliar prey, the response of each group was different. We show that sea urchins exhibit significant morphological and behavioural phenotypic plasticity independent of their environment or their nutritional status. PMID:22870211

  7. Echinoderms display morphological and behavioural phenotypic plasticity in response to their trophic environment.

    PubMed

    Hughes, Adam D; Brunner, Lars; Cook, Elizabeth J; Kelly, Maeve S; Wilson, Ben

    2012-01-01

    The trophic interactions of sea urchins are known to be the agents of phase shifts in benthic marine habitats such as tropical and temperate reefs. In temperate reefs, the grazing activity of sea urchins has been responsible for the destruction of kelp forests and the formation of 'urchin barrens', a rocky habitat dominated by crustose algae and encrusting invertebrates. Once formed, these urchin barrens can persist for decades. Trophic plasticity in the sea urchin may contribute to the stability and resilience of this alternate stable state by increasing diet breadth in sea urchins. This plasticity promotes ecological connectivity and weakens species interactions and so increases ecosystem stability. We test the hypothesis that sea urchins exhibit trophic plasticity using an approach that controls for other typically confounding environmental and genetic factors. To do this, we exposed a genetically homogenous population of sea urchins to two very different trophic environments over a period of two years. The sea urchins exhibited a wide degree of phenotypic trophic plasticity when exposed to contrasting trophic environments. The two populations developed differences in their gross morphology and the test microstructure. In addition, when challenged with unfamiliar prey, the response of each group was different. We show that sea urchins exhibit significant morphological and behavioural phenotypic plasticity independent of their environment or their nutritional status. PMID:22870211

  8. A conceptual review of mate choice: stochastic demography, within-sex phenotypic plasticity, and individual flexibility.

    PubMed

    Ah-King, Malin; Gowaty, Patricia Adair

    2016-07-01

    Mate choice hypotheses usually focus on trait variation of chosen individuals. Recently, mate choice studies have increasingly attended to the environmental circumstances affecting variation in choosers' behavior and choosers' traits. We reviewed the literature on phenotypic plasticity in mate choice with the goal of exploring whether phenotypic plasticity can be interpreted as individual flexibility in the context of the switch point theorem, SPT (Gowaty and Hubbell 2009). We found >3000 studies; 198 were empirical studies of within-sex phenotypic plasticity, and sixteen showed no evidence of mate choice plasticity. Most studies reported changes from choosy to indiscriminate behavior of subjects. Investigators attributed changes to one or more causes including operational sex ratio, adult sex ratio, potential reproductive rate, predation risk, disease risk, chooser's mating experience, chooser's age, chooser's condition, or chooser's resources. The studies together indicate that "choosiness" of potential mates is environmentally and socially labile, that is, induced - not fixed - in "the choosy sex" with results consistent with choosers' intrinsic characteristics or their ecological circumstances mattering more to mate choice than the traits of potential mates. We show that plasticity-associated variables factor into the simpler SPT variables. We propose that it is time to complete the move from questions about within-sex plasticity in the choosy sex to between- and within-individual flexibility in reproductive decision-making of both sexes simultaneously. Currently, unanswered empirical questions are about the force of alternative constraints and opportunities as inducers of individual flexibility in reproductive decision-making, and the ecological, social, and developmental sources of similarities and differences between individuals. To make progress, we need studies (1) of simultaneous and symmetric attention to individual mate preferences and subsequent

  9. A conceptual review of mate choice: stochastic demography, within-sex phenotypic plasticity, and individual flexibility.

    PubMed

    Ah-King, Malin; Gowaty, Patricia Adair

    2016-07-01

    Mate choice hypotheses usually focus on trait variation of chosen individuals. Recently, mate choice studies have increasingly attended to the environmental circumstances affecting variation in choosers' behavior and choosers' traits. We reviewed the literature on phenotypic plasticity in mate choice with the goal of exploring whether phenotypic plasticity can be interpreted as individual flexibility in the context of the switch point theorem, SPT (Gowaty and Hubbell 2009). We found >3000 studies; 198 were empirical studies of within-sex phenotypic plasticity, and sixteen showed no evidence of mate choice plasticity. Most studies reported changes from choosy to indiscriminate behavior of subjects. Investigators attributed changes to one or more causes including operational sex ratio, adult sex ratio, potential reproductive rate, predation risk, disease risk, chooser's mating experience, chooser's age, chooser's condition, or chooser's resources. The studies together indicate that "choosiness" of potential mates is environmentally and socially labile, that is, induced - not fixed - in "the choosy sex" with results consistent with choosers' intrinsic characteristics or their ecological circumstances mattering more to mate choice than the traits of potential mates. We show that plasticity-associated variables factor into the simpler SPT variables. We propose that it is time to complete the move from questions about within-sex plasticity in the choosy sex to between- and within-individual flexibility in reproductive decision-making of both sexes simultaneously. Currently, unanswered empirical questions are about the force of alternative constraints and opportunities as inducers of individual flexibility in reproductive decision-making, and the ecological, social, and developmental sources of similarities and differences between individuals. To make progress, we need studies (1) of simultaneous and symmetric attention to individual mate preferences and subsequent

  10. Induced responses to competition and herbivory: natural selection on multi-trait phenotypic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Boege, Karina

    2010-09-01

    Herbivory and competition are two of the most common biotic stressors for plants. When occurring simultaneously, responses to one interaction can constrain the induction of responses to the other interaction due to resource limitation and other interactive effects. Thus, to maximize fitness when interacting with competitors and herbivores, plants are likely to express particular combinations of plastic responses. This study reports the interactive effects of herbivory and competition on responses induced in Tithonia tubaeformis plants and describes how natural selection acts on particular plastic responses and on their different combinations. Competition induced a stem elongation response, expressed through an increase in height and mean internode length, together with a decrease in basal diameter. Interestingly, realized resistance increased in both competition and herbivory treatments, suggesting a plastic response in both constitutive and induced resistance traits. Particular combinations of plastic responses defined three plant phenotypes: vigorous, elongated, and resistant plants. The ecological context in which plants grew modified the traits and the particular combinations of plastic responses that were favored by selection. Vigorous plants were favored by selection in all environments, except when they were damaged by herbivores in the absence of neighbors. The combination of responses defining an elongated plant phenotype was favored by selection in crowded conditions. Resistance was negatively selected in the absence of competition and herbivory but favored in the presence of both interactions. In addition, contextual analyses detected that population structure in heterogeneous environments can also influence the outcomes of selection. These findings suggest that natural selection can act on particular combinations of plastic responses, which may allow plants to adjust their phenotypes to those that promote greater fitness under particular ecological

  11. Stem cell plasticity revisited: The continuum marrow model and phenotypic changes mediated by microvesicles

    PubMed Central

    Quesenberry, Peter J.; Dooner, Mark S.; Aliotta, Jason M.

    2010-01-01

    The phenotype of marrow hematopoietic stem cells is determined by cell cycle state and microvesicle entry into the stem cells. The stem cell population is continually changing based on cell cycle transit and thus can only be defined on a population basis. Purification of marrow stem cells only addresses the heterogeneity of these populations. When whole marrow is studied, the long-term repopulating stem cells are in active cell cycle. However, with some variability, when highly purified stem cells are studied, the cells appear to be dormant. Thus, the study of purified stem cells is intrinsically misleading. Tissue-derived microvesicles enhanced by injury effect the phenotype of different cell classes. We propose that previously described stem cell plasticity is due to microvesicle modulation. We further propose a stem cell population model in which the individual cell phenotypes continually changes, but the population phenotype is relatively stable. This, in turn, is modulated by microvesicle and microenvironmental influences. PMID:20382199

  12. Adaptive Transgenerational Plasticity in Plants: Case Studies, Mechanisms, and Implications for Natural Populations

    PubMed Central

    Herman, Jacob J.; Sultan, Sonia E.

    2011-01-01

    Plants respond to environmental conditions not only by plastic changes to their own development and physiology, but also by altering the phenotypes expressed by their offspring. This transgenerational plasticity was initially considered to entail only negative effects of stressful parental environments, such as production of smaller seeds by resource- or temperature-stressed parent plants, and was therefore viewed as environmental noise. Recent evolutionary ecology studies have shown that in some cases, these inherited environmental effects can include specific growth adjustments that are functionally adaptive to the parental conditions that induced them, which can range from contrasting states of controlled laboratory environments to the complex habitat variation encountered by natural plant populations. Preliminary findings suggest that adaptive transgenerational effects can be transmitted by means of diverse mechanisms including changes to seed provisioning and biochemistry, and epigenetic modifications such as DNA methylation that can persist across multiple generations. These non-genetically inherited adaptations can influence the ecological breadth and evolutionary dynamics of plant taxa and promote the spread of invasive plants. Interdisciplinary studies that join mechanistic and evolutionary ecology approaches will be an important source of future insights. PMID:22639624

  13. Adaptive plasticity in vestibular influences on cardiovascular control

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yates, B. J.; Holmes, M. J.; Jian, B. J.

    2000-01-01

    Data collected in both human subjects and animal models indicate that the vestibular system influences the control of blood pressure. In animals, peripheral vestibular lesions diminish the capacity to rapidly and accurately make cardiovascular adjustments to changes in posture. Thus, one role of vestibulo-cardiovascular influences is to elicit changes in blood distribution in the body so that stable blood pressure is maintained during movement. However, deficits in correcting blood pressure following vestibular lesions diminish over time, and are less severe when non-labyrinthine sensory cues regarding body position in space are provided. These observations show that pathways that mediate vestibulo-sympathetic reflexes can be subject to plastic changes. This review considers the adaptive plasticity in cardiovascular responses elicited by the central vestibular system. Recent data indicate that the posterior cerebellar vermis may play an important role in adaptation of these responses, such that ablation of the posterior vermis impairs recovery of orthostatic tolerance following subsequent vestibular lesions. Furthermore, recent experiments suggest that non-labyrinthine inputs to the central vestibular system may be important in controlling blood pressure during movement, particularly following vestibular dysfunction. A number of sensory inputs appear to be integrated to produce cardiovascular adjustments during changes in posture. Although loss of any one of these inputs does not induce lability in blood pressure, it is likely that maximal blood pressure stability is achieved by the integration of a variety of sensory cues signaling body position in space.

  14. Eco-evolutionary dynamics of plant-herbivore communities: incorporating plant phenotypic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Ohgushi, Takayuki

    2016-04-01

    The interplay between evolution and ecological communities is critical for the integration of different levels of biological organization. Recent work has begun to unveil the importance of plant phenotypic plasticity and plant-herbivore (co)evolution to link plant evolution and associated insect communities. Specifically, herbivore-induced plant traits (i.e., plastic phenotypes) have significant effects on the structure and diversity of herbivore communities, which can in turn promote the evolution of not only the focal plant but also insect community members. Here, I will provide a conceptual framework on the eco-evolutionary dynamics of plant-herbivore communities to understand how biological organizations are integrated in plant-insect interactions. Research on eco-evolutionary dynamics of plant-herbivore communities will undoubtedly enrich understanding of a wide range of plant-insect interactions. PMID:27436645

  15. Plasticity as Phenotype: G x E Interaction in a Freshwater Snail

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brunkow, P. E.; Calloway, S. A.

    2005-05-01

    Plasticity in morphological development allows species to accommodate environmental variation experienced during growth; however, genetic variation for phenotypic plasticity per se has been relatively under-studied. We utilized the well-documented plastic response of shell development to predator cues in a freshwater snail to quantify genetic variation for plasticity in growth rate and shell shape. Field-caught pairs of snails reproduced in the laboratory to create families of full siblings, which were then divided and allowed to grow in control and predator cue treatments. Predator (crayfish) cues had significant effects on both size-corrected growth rate and shell shape; family identity also significantly affected both final shell shape and growth rate. The interaction between predator treatment and family identity significantly affected snail growth rate but not final shell shape, suggesting genetic variation in the plastic response to predator cues for a physiological variable (growth rate) but not for a variable known to mechanically reduce the risk of predation (shell shape), at least in this population of snails. The possibility that risk of multiple modes of predation (i.e., both fish and crayfish) in some populations might maintain genetic variation in morphological plasticity is discussed.

  16. The other side of phenotypic plasticity: a developmental system that generates an invariant phenotype despite environmental variation.

    PubMed

    Braendle, Christian; Felix, Marie-Anne

    2009-10-01

    Understanding how the environment impacts development is of central interest in developmental and evolutionary biology. On the one hand, we would like to understand how the environment induces phenotypic changes (the study of phenotypic plasticity). On the other hand, we may ask how a development system maintains a stable and precise phenotypic output despite the presence of environmental variation. We study such developmental robustness to environmental variation using vulval cell fate patterning in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as a study system. Here we review both mechanistic and evolutionary aspects of these studies, focusing on recently obtained experimental results. First, we present evidence indicating that vulval formation is under stabilizing selection. Second, we discuss quantitative data on the precision and variability in the output of the vulval developmental system in different environments and different genetic backgrounds. Third, we illustrate how environmental and genetic variation modulate the cellular and molecular processes underlying the formation of the vulva. Fourth, we discuss the evolutionary significance of environmental sensitivity of this developmental system.

  17. Ecological opportunity and phenotypic plasticity interact to promote character displacement and species coexistence.

    PubMed

    Pfennig, David W; Rice, Amber M; Martin, Ryan A

    2006-03-01

    We investigated the roles of resource availability and phenotypic plasticity in promoting ecological character displacement (i.e., trait evolution stemming from resource competition between species). Because ecological character displacement generates new populations that differ in resource use, this process should only occur when exploitable resources are available. We tested this hypothesis in two species of spadefoot toads (Spea bombifrons and S. multiplicata) whose tadpoles use phenotypic plasticity to develop into either an omnivore morph, which specializes on detritus, or a physically distinctive carnivore morph, which specializes on shrimp. Both species grow best on shrimp, but when reared together, S. bombifrons outcompetes S. multiplicata for shrimp and S. multiplicata outcompetes S. bombifrons for detritus. We found that when each species occurred alone in the field, they produced similar proportions of omnivores and carnivores. When the two species occurred together, however, they underwent ecological character displacement in larval development, with S. multiplicata producing mostly omnivores, and S. bombifrons producing mostly carnivores. We combined observations of natural populations with experiments to evaluate whether such character displacement was only possible when both shrimp and detritus were relatively abundant. Mixed-species ponds contained abundant detritus and shrimp, in contrast with nearby pure-species ponds, which were deficient in one resource. Experiments revealed that S. multiplicata competed poorly when detritus was rare and that S. bombifrons competed poorly when shrimp was rare. In nature, when one of these two resources was scarce, one species was missing, perhaps through competitive exclusion by the species that was the superior competitor for the remaining resource. Thus, ecological character displacement and, therefore, coexistence of close competitors, was only possible when diverse resources were available. Finally, even if

  18. Rapid Evolution of Phenotypic Plasticity and Shifting Thresholds of Genetic Assimilation in the Nematode Caenorhabditis remanei

    PubMed Central

    Sikkink, Kristin L.; Reynolds, Rose M.; Ituarte, Catherine M.; Cresko, William A.; Phillips, Patrick C.

    2014-01-01

    Many organisms can acclimate to new environments through phenotypic plasticity, a complex trait that can be heritable, subject to selection, and evolve. However, the rate and genetic basis of plasticity evolution remain largely unknown. We experimentally evolved outbred populations of the nematode Caenorhabditis remanei under an acute heat shock during early larval development. When raised in a nonstressful environment, ancestral populations were highly sensitive to a 36.8° heat shock and exhibited high mortality. However, initial exposure to a nonlethal high temperature environment resulted in significantly reduced mortality during heat shock (hormesis). Lines selected for heat shock resistance rapidly evolved the capacity to withstand heat shock in the native environment without any initial exposure to high temperatures, and early exposure to high temperatures did not lead to further increases in heat resistance. This loss of plasticity would appear to have resulted from the genetic assimilation of the heat induction response in the noninducing environment. However, analyses of transcriptional variation via RNA-sequencing from the selected populations revealed no global changes in gene regulation correlated with the observed changes in heat stress resistance. Instead, assays of the phenotypic response across a broader range of temperatures revealed that the induced plasticity was not fixed across environments, but rather the threshold for the response was shifted to higher temperatures over evolutionary time. These results demonstrate that apparent genetic assimilation can result from shifting thresholds of induction across environments and that analysis of the broader environmental context is critically important for understanding the evolution of phenotypic plasticity. PMID:24727288

  19. The Genome of Pseudomonas fluorescens Strain R124 Demonstrates Phenotypic Adaptation to the Mineral Environment

    PubMed Central

    Barton, Michael D.; Petronio, Michael; Giarrizzo, Juan G.; Bowling, Bethany V.

    2013-01-01

    Microbial adaptation to environmental conditions is a complex process, including acquisition of positive traits through horizontal gene transfer or the modification of existing genes through duplication and/or mutation. In this study, we examined the adaptation of a Pseudomonas fluorescens isolate (R124) from the nutrient-limited mineral environment of a silica cave in comparison with P. fluorescens isolates from surface soil and the rhizosphere. Examination of metal homeostasis gene pathways demonstrated a high degree of conservation, suggesting that such systems remain functionally similar across chemical environments. The examination of genomic islands unique to our strain revealed the presence of genes involved in carbohydrate metabolism, aromatic carbon metabolism, and carbon turnover, confirmed through phenotypic assays, suggesting the acquisition of potentially novel mechanisms for energy metabolism in this strain. We also identified a twitching motility phenotype active at low-nutrient concentrations that may allow alternative exploratory mechanisms for this organism in a geochemical environment. Two sets of candidate twitching motility genes are present within the genome, one on the chromosome and one on a plasmid; however, a plasmid knockout identified the functional gene as being present on the chromosome. This work highlights the plasticity of the Pseudomonas genome, allowing the acquisition of novel nutrient-scavenging pathways across diverse geochemical environments while maintaining a core of functional stress response genes. PMID:23995634

  20. Phenotypic plasticity in reproductive traits: Evidence from a viviparous snake. [Thamnophis marcianus

    SciTech Connect

    Ford, N.B.; Seigel, R.A. )

    1989-12-01

    A number of recent studies have indicated that life history characteristics (e.g., number of offspring, offspring size, age at sexual maturity) are strongly affected by proximate environmental factors such as prey availability. Evaluating this phenotypic plasticity will be crucial to a complete understanding of the evolution of life history traits, because the occurrence of such variability casts doubt on the common assumption that the values of life history characteristics expressed in nature are the outcome of long-term natural selection. In this study, the authors manipulated the diets of a captive-bred colony of the viviparous snake Thamnophis marcianus to determine to what degree the reproductive characteristics of this species were determined by food intake. They found that both number of offspring and clutch mass were significantly affected by prey availability, but that relative clutch mass and offspring size were fixed relative to diet. The data suggest that like other organisms, T. marcianus shows a gradient in phenotypic plasticity, with some traits more canalized than others. Therefore, intraspecific comparisons of life history characteristics should not be made without information on which traits are subject to phenotypic plasticity.

  1. Experimentally evolved and phenotypically plastic responses to enforced monogamy in a hermaphroditic flatworm.

    PubMed

    Janicke, T; Sandner, P; Ramm, S A; Vizoso, D B; Schärer, L

    2016-09-01

    Sexual selection is considered a potent evolutionary force in all sexually reproducing organisms, but direct tests in terms of experimental evolution of sexual traits are still lacking for simultaneously hermaphroditic animals. Here, we tested how evolution under enforced monogamy affected a suite of reproductive traits (including testis area, sex allocation, genital morphology, sperm morphology and mating behaviour) in the outcrossing hermaphroditic flatworm Macrostomum lignano, using an assay that also allowed the assessment of phenotypically plastic responses to group size. The experiment comprised 32 independent selection lines that evolved under either monogamy or polygamy for 20 generations. While we did not observe an evolutionary shift in sex allocation, we detected effects of the selection regime for two male morphological traits. Specifically, worms evolving under enforced monogamy had a distinct shape of the male copulatory organ and produced sperm with shorter appendages. Many traits that did not evolve under enforced monogamy showed phenotypic plasticity in response to group size. Notably, individuals that grew up in larger groups had a more male-biased sex allocation and produced slightly longer sperm than individuals raised in pairs. We conclude that, in this flatworm, enforced monogamy induced moderate evolutionary but substantial phenotypically plastic responses.

  2. When to rely on maternal effects and when on phenotypic plasticity?

    PubMed Central

    Kuijper, Bram; Hoyle, Rebecca B.

    2015-01-01

    Existing insight suggests that maternal effects have a substantial impact on evolution, yet these predictions assume that maternal effects themselves are evolutionarily constant. Hence, it is poorly understood how natural selection shapes maternal effects in different ecological circumstances. To overcome this, the current study derives an evolutionary model of maternal effects in a quantitative genetics context. In constant environments, we show that maternal effects evolve to slight negative values that result in a reduction of the phenotypic variance (canalization). By contrast, in populations experiencing abrupt change, maternal effects transiently evolve to positive values for many generations, facilitating the transmission of beneficial maternal phenotypes to offspring. In periodically fluctuating environments, maternal effects evolve according to the autocorrelation between maternal and offspring environments, favoring positive maternal effects when change is slow, and negative maternal effects when change is rapid. Generally, the strongest maternal effects occur for traits that experience very strong selection and for which plasticity is severely constrained. By contrast, for traits experiencing weak selection, phenotypic plasticity enhances the evolutionary scope of maternal effects, although maternal effects attain much smaller values throughout. As weak selection is common, finding substantial maternal influences on offspring phenotypes may be more challenging than anticipated. PMID:25809121

  3. Phenotypic plasticity as an index of drought tolerance in three Patagonian steppe grasses

    PubMed Central

    Couso, L. L.; Fernández, R. J.

    2012-01-01

    Background and Aims Despite general agreement regarding the adaptive importance of plasticity, evidence for the role of environmental resource availability in plants is scarce. In arid and semi-arid environments, the persistence and dominance of perennial species depends on their capacity to tolerate drought: tolerance could be given on one extreme by fixed traits and, on the other, by plastic traits. To understand drought tolerance of species it is necessary to know the plasticity of their water economy-related traits, i.e. the position in the fixed–plastic continuum. Methods Three conspicuous co-existing perennial grasses from a Patagonian steppe were grown under controlled conditions with four levels of steady-state water availability. Evaluated traits were divided into two groups. The first was associated with potential plant performance and correlated with fitness, and included above-ground biomass, total biomass, tillering and tiller density at harvest. The second group consisted of traits associated with mechanisms of plant adjustment to environmental changes and included root biomass, shoot/root ratio, tiller biomass, length of total elongated leaf, length of yellow tissue divided by time and final length divided by the time taken to reach final length. Key Results and Conclusions The most plastic species along this drought gradient was the most sensitive to drought, whereas the least plastic and slowest growing was the most tolerant. This negative relationship between tolerance and plasticity was true for fitness-related traits but was trait-dependent for underlying traits. Remarkably, the most tolerant species had the highest positive plasticity (i.e. opposite to the default response to stress) in an underlying trait, directly explaining its drought resistance: it increased absolute root biomass. The niche differentiation axis that allows the coexistence of species in this group of perennial dryland grasses, all limited by soil surface moisture, would

  4. Distinguishing adaptive plasticity from vulnerability in the aging hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Gray, D T; Barnes, C A

    2015-11-19

    Hippocampal circuits are among the best described networks in the mammalian brain, particularly with regard to the alterations that arise during normal aging. Decades of research indicate multiple points of vulnerability in aging neural circuits, and it has been proposed that each of these changes make a contribution to observed age-related cognitive deficits. Another view has been relatively overlooked - namely that some of these changes arise in adaptive response to protect network function in aged animals. This possibility leads to a rather different view on the biological variation of function in the brain of older individuals. Using the hippocampus as a model neural circuit we discuss how, in normally aged animals, some age-related changes may arise through processes of neural plasticity that serve to enhance network function rather than to hinder it. Conceptually disentangling the initial age-related vulnerabilities from changes that result in adaptive response will be a major challenge for the future research on brain aging. We suggest that a reformulation of how normal aging could be understood from an adaptive perspective will lead to a deeper understanding of the secrets behind successful brain aging and our recent cultural successes in facilitating these processes.

  5. Rat alveolar type I cells proliferate, express OCT-4, and exhibit phenotypic plasticity in vitro.

    PubMed

    Gonzalez, Robert F; Allen, Lennell; Dobbs, Leland G

    2009-12-01

    Alveolar type I (TI) cells are large, squamous cells that cover 95-99% of the internal surface area of the lung. Although TI cells are believed to be terminally differentiated, incapable of either proliferation or phenotypic plasticity, TI cells in vitro both proliferate and express phenotypic markers of other differentiated cell types. Rat TI cells isolated in purities of >99% proliferate in culture, with a sixfold increase in cell number before the cells reach confluence; >50% of the cultured TI cells are Ki67+. At cell densities of 1-2 cells/well, approximately 50% of the cells had the capacity to form colonies. Under the same conditions, type II cells do not proliferate. Cultured TI cells express RTI40 and aquaporin 5, phenotypic markers of the TI cell phenotype. By immunofluorescence, Western blotting, and Q-PCR, TI cells express OCT-4A (POU5F1), a transcription factor associated with maintenance of the pluripotent state in stem cells. Based on the expression patterns of various marker proteins, TI cells are distinct from either of two recently described putative pulmonary multipotent cell populations, the bronchoalveolar stem cell or the OCT-4+ stem/progenitor cell. Although TI cells in adult rat lung tissue do not express either surfactant protein C (SP-C) or CC10, respective markers of the TII and Clara cell phenotypes, in culture TI cells can be induced to express both SP-C and CC10. Together, the findings that TI cells proliferate and exhibit phenotypic plasticity in vitro raise the possibility that TI cells may have similar properties in vivo. PMID:19717550

  6. Predator-induced phenotypic plasticity within- and across-generations: a challenge for theory?

    PubMed Central

    Walsh, Matthew R.; Cooley, Frank; Biles, Kelsey; Munch, Stephan B.

    2015-01-01

    Much work has shown that the environment can induce non-genetic changes in phenotype that span multiple generations. Theory predicts that predictable environmental variation selects for both increased within- and across-generation responses. Yet, to the best of our knowledge, there are no empirical tests of this prediction. We explored the relationship between within- versus across-generation plasticity by evaluating the influence of predator cues on the life-history traits of Daphnia ambigua. We measured the duration of predator-induced transgenerational effects, determined when transgenerational responses are induced, and quantified the cues that activate transgenerational plasticity. We show that predator exposure during embryonic development causes earlier maturation and increased reproductive output. Such effects are detectable two generations removed from predator exposure and are similar in magnitude in response to exposure to cues emitted by injured conspecifics. Moreover, all experimental contexts and traits yielded a negative correlation between within- versus across-generation responses. That is, responses to predator cues within- and across-generations were opposite in sign and magnitude. Although many models address transgenerational plasticity, none of them explain this apparent negative relationship between within- and across-generation plasticities. Our results highlight the need to refine the theory of transgenerational plasticity. PMID:25392477

  7. Neuromorphic adaptive plastic scalable electronics: analog learning systems.

    PubMed

    Srinivasa, Narayan; Cruz-Albrecht, Jose

    2012-01-01

    Decades of research to build programmable intelligent machines have demonstrated limited utility in complex, real-world environments. Comparing their performance with biological systems, these machines are less efficient by a factor of 1 million1 billion in complex, real-world environments. The Systems of Neuromorphic Adaptive Plastic Scalable Electronics (SyNAPSE) program is a multifaceted Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) project that seeks to break the programmable machine paradigm and define a new path for creating useful, intelligent machines. Since real-world systems exhibit infinite combinatorial complexity, electronic neuromorphic machine technology would be preferable in a host of applications, but useful and practical implementations still do not exist. HRL Laboratories LLC has embarked on addressing these challenges, and, in this article, we provide an overview of our project and progress made thus far.

  8. Adaptive plasticity in the otolith-ocular reflex.

    PubMed

    Koizuka, Izumi

    2003-02-01

    This review focuses on the plasticity in the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR), especially in the otolith-ocular reflex (OOR). The VOR is a mechanism for the production of rapid compensatory eye movements during head movements. The VOR is under adaptive control which corrects VOR performance when visual-vestibular mismatch arises during head movements. It has been demonstrated that chronic exposure to certain visual environments, those generated by magnifying lenses and reversing prisms, alter the gain and phase of VOR in the dark in numerous species. Most experiments concerning such modification of the VOR have used semicircular canal stimulation. The VOR consists of the semicircular-ocular reflex (ScOR) and the OOR. There are few results regarding the relationship between the gain of the ScOR and the OOR. This review summarizes the studies on plasticity in the OOR. In addition, the difficulty in evaluating the OOR using current conventional methods including earth horizontal axis (EHA) rotation, off-vertical axis rotation (OVAR) and linear sled, is discussed. We believe that the ScOR and the OOR share common neural pathways in such a way that a change in the synaptic efficacy of one pathway is accompanied by a change in the other.

  9. Parallel adaptive mesh refinement techniques for plasticity problems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barry, W. J.; Jones, M. T.; Plassmann, P. E.

    1997-01-01

    The accurate modeling of the nonlinear properties of materials can be computationally expensive. Parallel computing offers an attractive way for solving such problems; however, the efficient use of these systems requires the vertical integration of a number of very different software components, we explore the solution of two- and three-dimensional, small-strain plasticity problems. We consider a finite-element formulation of the problem with adaptive refinement of an unstructured mesh to accurately model plastic transition zones. We present a framework for the parallel implementation of such complex algorithms. This framework, using libraries from the SUMAA3d project, allows a user to build a parallel finite-element application without writing any parallel code. To demonstrate the effectiveness of this approach on widely varying parallel architectures, we present experimental results from an IBM SP parallel computer and an ATM-connected network of Sun UltraSparc workstations. The results detail the parallel performance of the computational phases of the application during the process while the material is incrementally loaded.

  10. Phenotypic plasticity of sun and shade ecotypes of Stellaria longipes in response to light quality signaling, gibberellins and auxin.

    PubMed

    Kurepin, Leonid V; Pharis, Richard P; Neil Emery, R J; Reid, David M; Chinnappa, C C

    2015-09-01

    Stellaria longipes plant communities (ecotypes) occur in several environmentally distinct habitats along the eastern slopes of southern Alberta's Rocky Mountains. One ecotype occurs in a prairie habitat at ∼1000 m elevation where Stellaria plants grow in an environment in which the light is filtered by taller neighbouring vegetation, i.e. sunlight with a low red to far-red (R/FR) ratio. This ecotype exhibits a high degree of phenotypic plasticity by increasing stem elongation in response to the low R/FR ratio light signal. Another Stellaria ecotype occurs nearby at ∼2400 m elevation in a much cooler alpine habitat, one where plants rarely experience low R/FR ratio shade light. Stem elongation of plants is largely regulated by gibberellins (GAs) and auxin, indole-3-acetic acid (IAA). Shoots of the prairie ecotype plants show increased IAA levels under low R/FR ratio light and they also increase their stem growth in response to applied IAA. The alpine ecotype plants show neither response. Plants from both ecotypes produce high levels of growth-active GA1 under low R/FR ratio light, though they differ appreciably in their catabolism of GA1. The alpine ecotype plants exhibit very high levels of GA8, the inactive product of GA1 metabolism, under both normal and low R/FR ratio light. Alpine origin plants may de-activate GA1 by conversion to GA8 via a constitutively high level of expression of the GA2ox gene, thereby maintaining their dwarf phenotype and exhibiting a reduced phenotypic plasticity in terms of shoot elongation. In contrast, prairie plants exhibit a high degree of phenotypic plasticity, using low R/FR ratio light-mediated changes in GA and IAA concentrations to increase shoot elongation, thereby accessing direct sunlight to optimize photosynthesis. There thus appear to be complex adaptation strategies for the two ecotypes, ones which involve modifications in the homeostasis of endogenous hormones. PMID:26113156

  11. Phenotypic plasticity in blood-oxygen transport in highland and lowland deer mice.

    PubMed

    Tufts, Danielle M; Revsbech, Inge G; Cheviron, Zachary A; Weber, Roy E; Fago, Angela; Storz, Jay F

    2013-04-01

    In vertebrates living at high altitude, arterial hypoxemia may be ameliorated by reversible changes in the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood (regulated by erythropoiesis) and/or changes in blood-oxygen affinity (regulated by allosteric effectors of hemoglobin function). These hematological traits often differ between taxa that are native to different elevational zones, but it is often unknown whether the observed physiological differences reflect fixed, genetically based differences or environmentally induced acclimatization responses (phenotypic plasticity). Here, we report measurements of hematological traits related to blood-O2 transport in populations of deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) that are native to high- and low-altitude environments. We conducted a common-garden breeding experiment to assess whether altitude-related physiological differences were attributable to developmental plasticity and/or physiological plasticity during adulthood. Under conditions prevailing in their native habitats, high-altitude deer mice from the Rocky Mountains exhibited a number of pronounced hematological differences relative to low-altitude conspecifics from the Great Plains: higher hemoglobin concentrations, higher hematocrits, higher erythrocytic concentrations of 2,3-diphosphoglycerate (an allosteric regulator of hemoglobin-oxygen affinity), lower mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentrations and smaller red blood cells. However, these differences disappeared after 6 weeks of acclimation to normoxia at low altitude. The measured traits were also indistinguishable between the F1 progeny of highland and lowland mice, indicating that there were no persistent differences in phenotype that could be attributed to developmental plasticity. These results indicate that the naturally occurring hematological differences between highland and lowland mice are environmentally induced and are largely attributable to physiological plasticity during adulthood. PMID:23239893

  12. Phenotypic plasticity of stem water potential correlates with crop load in horticultural trees.

    PubMed

    Sadras, Victor O; Trentacoste, Eduardo R

    2011-05-01

    Conceptual models accounting for the influence of source:sink ratio on water relations of trees are theoretically relevant from a physiological perspective and practically important for irrigation scheduling. Midday stem water potential of horticultural trees often declines with increasing crop load but the actual response depends on environmental, management and plant factors. Here we advance a quantitative synthesis of the response of stem water potential to crop load from the perspective of phenotypic plasticity, defined as 'the amount by which the expression of individual characteristics of a genotype are changed by different environments'. Data sets of stem water potential for contrasting crop loads were compiled for apple (Malus domestica L. Borkh.), olive (Olea europea L.), peach (Prunus persica L.), pear (Pyrus communis L.) and plum (Prunus domestica L.). Phenotypic plasticity of stem water potential was calculated as the slope of the linear regression between stem water potential for each crop load and the environmental mean of stem water potential across crop loads. Regression lines for trees with different crop load diverged with decreasing environmental mean stem water potential. For the pooled data, plasticity of stem water potential was a linear function of relative crop load. This represents a significant shift in perspective: the effect of crop load on the trait per se (stem water potential) is environmentally contingent, but the effect of crop load on the plasticity of the trait is not. We conclude that research on the effects of crop load on tree water relations would return more robust results if plant traits are considered from the dual perspective of the trait per se and its plasticity.

  13. Melanoma brain colonization involves the emergence of a brain-adaptive phenotype

    PubMed Central

    Nygaard, Vigdis; Prasmickaite, Lina; Vasiliauskaite, Kotryna; Clancy, Trevor; Hovig, Eivind

    2014-01-01

    The brain offers a unique microenvironment that plays an important role in the establishment and progression of metastasis. However, the molecular determinants that promote development of melanoma brain metastases are largely unknown. Utilizing two species of immune-compromised animals, with in vivo cultivated metastatic tissues along with their corresponding host tissues in a metastasis model, we here identify molecular events associated with melanoma brain metastases. We find that the transcriptional changes in the melanoma cells, as induced by the brain-microenvironment in both host species, reveal the opportunistic nature of melanoma in this biological context in rewiring the molecular framework of key molecular players with their associated biological processes. Specifically, we identify the existence of a neuron-like melanoma phenotype, which includes synaptic characteristics and a neurotransmission-like circuit involving glutamate. Regulation of gene transcription and neuron-like plasticity by Ca2+-dependent signaling appear to occur through glutamate receptor activation. The brain-adaptive phenotype was found as more prominent in the early metastatic growth phases compared to a later phase, emphasizing a temporal requirement of critical events in the successful colonization of the brain. Analysis of the host tissue uncovered a cooperative inflammatory microenvironment formed by activated host cells that permitted melanoma growth at the expense of the host organism. Combined experimental and computational approaches clearly highlighted genes and signaling pathways being shared with neurodegenerative diseases. Importantly, the identification of essential molecular networks that operate to promote the brain-adaptive phenotype is of clinical relevance, as they represent leads to urgently needed therapeutic targets. PMID:25593989

  14. Extreme phenotypic variation in Cetraria aculeata (lichenized Ascomycota): adaptation or incidental modification?

    PubMed Central

    Pérez-Ortega, Sergio; Fernández-Mendoza, Fernando; Raggio, José; Vivas, Mercedes; Ascaso, Carmen; Sancho, Leopoldo G.; Printzen, Christian; de los Ríos, Asunción

    2012-01-01

    Background and Aims Phenotypic variability is a successful strategy in lichens for colonizing different habitats. Vagrancy has been reported as a specific adaptation for lichens living in steppe habitats around the world. Among the facultatively vagrant species, the cosmopolitan Cetraria aculeata apparently forms extremely modified vagrant thalli in steppe habitats of Central Spain. The aim of this study was to investigate whether these changes are phenotypic plasticity (a single genotype producing different phenotypes), by characterizing the anatomical and ultrastructural changes observed in vagrant morphs, and measuring differences in ecophysiological performance. Methods Specimens of vagrant and attached populations of C. aculeata were collected on the steppes of Central Spain. The fungal internal transcribed spacer (ITS), glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GPD) and the large sub-unit of the mitochondrial ribosomal DNA (mtLSUm), and the algal ITS and actin were studied within a population genetics framework. Semi-thin and ultrathin sections were analysed by means of optical, scanning electron and transmission electron microscopy. Gas exchange and chlorophyll fluorescence were used to compare the physiological performance of both morphs. Key Results and Conclusions Vagrant and attached morphs share multilocus haplotypes which may indicate that they belong to the same species in spite of their completely different anatomy. However, differentiation tests suggested that vagrant specimens do not represent a random sub-set of the surrounding population. The morphological differences were related to anatomical and ultrastructural differences. Large intercalary growth rates of thalli after the loss of the basal–apical thallus polarity may be the cause of the increased growth shown by vagrant specimens. The anatomical and morphological changes lead to greater duration of ecophysiological activity in vagrant specimens. Although the anatomical and physiological

  15. Evolutionary Influences of Plastic Behavioral Responses Upon Environmental Challenges in an Adaptive Radiation.

    PubMed

    Foster, Susan A; Wund, Matthew A; Baker, John A

    2015-09-01

    At the end of the 19th century, the suggestion was made by several scientists, including J. M. Baldwin, that behavioral responses to environmental change could both rescue populations from extinction (Baldwin Effect) and influence the course of subsequent evolution. Here we provide the historical and theoretical background for this argument and offer evidence of the importance of these ideas for understanding how animals (and other organisms that exhibit behavior) will respond to the rapid environmental changes caused by human activity. We offer examples from long-term research on the evolution of behavioral and other phenotypes in the adaptive radiation of the threespine stickleback fish (Gasterosteus aculeatus), a radiation in which it is possible to infer ancestral patterns of behavioral plasticity relative to the post-glacial freshwater radiation in northwestern North America, and to use patterns of parallelism and contemporary evolution to understand adaptive causes of responses to environmental modification. Our work offers insights into the complexity of cognitive responses to environmental change, and into the importance of examining multiple aspects of the phenotype simultaneously, if we are to understand how behavioral shifts contribute to the persistence of populations and to subsequent evolution. We conclude by discussing the origins of apparent novelties induced by environmental shifts, and the importance of accounting for geographic variation within species if we are to accurately anticipate the effects of anthropogenic environmental modification on the persistence and evolution of animals. PMID:26163679

  16. Evolutionary Influences of Plastic Behavioral Responses Upon Environmental Challenges in an Adaptive Radiation.

    PubMed

    Foster, Susan A; Wund, Matthew A; Baker, John A

    2015-09-01

    At the end of the 19th century, the suggestion was made by several scientists, including J. M. Baldwin, that behavioral responses to environmental change could both rescue populations from extinction (Baldwin Effect) and influence the course of subsequent evolution. Here we provide the historical and theoretical background for this argument and offer evidence of the importance of these ideas for understanding how animals (and other organisms that exhibit behavior) will respond to the rapid environmental changes caused by human activity. We offer examples from long-term research on the evolution of behavioral and other phenotypes in the adaptive radiation of the threespine stickleback fish (Gasterosteus aculeatus), a radiation in which it is possible to infer ancestral patterns of behavioral plasticity relative to the post-glacial freshwater radiation in northwestern North America, and to use patterns of parallelism and contemporary evolution to understand adaptive causes of responses to environmental modification. Our work offers insights into the complexity of cognitive responses to environmental change, and into the importance of examining multiple aspects of the phenotype simultaneously, if we are to understand how behavioral shifts contribute to the persistence of populations and to subsequent evolution. We conclude by discussing the origins of apparent novelties induced by environmental shifts, and the importance of accounting for geographic variation within species if we are to accurately anticipate the effects of anthropogenic environmental modification on the persistence and evolution of animals.

  17. Phenotypic plasticity of the introduced New Zealand mud snail, Potamopyrgus antipodarum, compared to sympatric native snails.

    PubMed

    Levri, Edward P; Krist, Amy C; Bilka, Rachel; Dybdahl, Mark F

    2014-01-01

    Phenotypic plasticity is likely to be important in determining the invasive potential of a species, especially if invasive species show greater plasticity or tolerance compared to sympatric native species. Here in two separate experiments we compare reaction norms in response to two environmental variables of two clones of the New Zealand mud snail, Potamopyrgus antipodarum, isolated from the United States, (one invasive and one not yet invasive) with those of two species of native snails that are sympatric with the invader, Fossaria bulimoides group and Physella gyrina group. We placed juvenile snails in environments with high and low conductivity (300 and 800 mS) in one experiment, and raised them at two different temperatures (16 °C and 22 °C) in a second experiment. Growth rate and mortality were measured over the course of 8 weeks. Mortality rates were higher in the native snails compared to P. antipodarum across all treatments, and variation in conductivity influenced mortality. In both experiments, reaction norms did not vary significantly between species. There was little evidence that the success of the introduced species is a result of greater phenotypic plasticity to these variables compared to the sympatric native species.

  18. Phenotypic plasticity mediates climate change responses among invasive and indigenous arthropods

    PubMed Central

    Chown, Steven L; Slabber, Sarette; McGeoch, Melodie A; Janion, Charlene; Leinaas, Hans Petter

    2007-01-01

    Synergies between global change and biological invasion have been identified as a major potential threat to global biodiversity and human welfare. The global change-type drought characteristic of many temperate terrestrial ecosystems is especially significant because it will apparently favour invasive over indigenous species, adding to the burden of conservation and compromising ecosystem service delivery. However, the nature of and mechanisms underlying this synergy remain poorly explored. Here we show that in a temperate terrestrial ecosystem, invasive and indigenous springtail species differ in the form of their phenotypic plasticity such that warmer conditions promote survival of desiccation in the invasive species and reduce it in the indigenous ones. These differences are consistent with significant declines in the densities of indigenous species and little change in those of invasive species in a manipulative field experiment that mimicked climate change trends. We suggest that it is not so much the extent of phenotypic plasticity that distinguishes climate change responses among these invasive and indigenous species, as the form that this plasticity takes. Nonetheless, this differential physiological response provides support for the idea that in temperate terrestrial systems experiencing global change-type drought, invasive species may well be at an advantage relative to their indigenous counterparts. PMID:17686728

  19. Phenotypic plasticity of native vs. invasive purple loosestrife: a two-state multivariate approach.

    PubMed

    Chun, Young Jin; Collyer, Michael L; Moloney, Kirk A; Nason, John D

    2007-06-01

    The differences in phenotypic plasticity between invasive (North American) and native (German) provenances of the invasive plant Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife) were examined using a multivariate reaction norm approach testing two important attributes of reaction norms described by multivariate vectors of phenotypic change: the magnitude and direction of mean trait differences between environments. Data were collected for six life history traits from native and invasive plants using a split-plot design with experimentally manipulated water and nutrient levels. We found significant differences between native and invasive plants in multivariate phenotypic plasticity for comparisons between low and high water treatments within low nutrient levels, between low and high nutrient levels within high water treatments, and for comparisons that included both a water and nutrient level change. The significant genotype x environment (G x E) effects support the argument that invasiveness of purple loosestrife is closely associated with the interaction of high levels of soil nutrient and flooding water regime. Our results indicate that native and invasive plants take different strategies for growth and reproduction; native plants flowered earlier and allocated more to flower production, while invasive plants exhibited an extended period of vegetative growth before flowering to increase height and allocation to clonal reproduction, which may contribute to increased fitness and invasiveness in subsequent years.

  20. The Baldwin effect and genetic assimilation: revisiting two mechanisms of evolutionary change mediated by phenotypic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Crispo, Erika

    2007-11-01

    Two different, but related, evolutionary theories pertaining to phenotypic plasticity were proposed by James Mark Baldwin and Conrad Hal Waddington. Unfortunately, these theories are often confused with one another. Baldwin's notion of organic selection posits that plasticity influences whether an individual will survive in a new environment, thus dictating the course of future evolution. Heritable variations can then be selected upon to direct phenotypic evolution (i.e., "orthoplasy"). The combination of these two processes (organic selection and orthoplasy) is now commonly referred to as the "Baldwin effect." Alternately, Waddington's genetic assimilation is a process whereby an environmentally induced phenotype, or "acquired character," becomes canalized through selection acting upon the developmental system. Genetic accommodation is a modern term used to describe the process of heritable changes that occur in response to a novel induction. Genetic accommodation is a key component of the Baldwin effect, and genetic assimilation is a type of genetic accommodation. I here define both the Baldwin effect and genetic assimilation in terms of genetic accommodation, describe cases in which either should occur in nature, and propose that each could play a role in evolutionary diversification.

  1. Proteomics to assess the role of phenotypic plasticity in aquatic organisms exposed to pollution and global warming.

    PubMed

    Silvestre, Frédéric; Gillardin, Virginie; Dorts, Jennifer

    2012-11-01

    Nowadays, the unprecedented rates of anthropogenic changes in ecosystems suggest that organisms have to migrate to new distributional ranges or to adapt commensurately quickly to new conditions to avoid becoming extinct. Pollution and global warming are two of the most important threats aquatic organisms will have to face in the near future. If genetic changes in a population in response to natural selection are extensively studied, the role of acclimation through phenotypic plasticity (the property of a given genotype to produce different phenotypes in response to particular environmental conditions) in a species to deal with new environmental conditions remains largely unknown. Proteomics is the extensive study of the protein complement of a genome. It is dynamic and depends on the specific tissue, developmental stage, and environmental conditions. As the final product of gene expression, it is subjected to several regulatory steps from gene transcription to the functional protein. Consequently, there is a discrepancy between the abundance of mRNA and the abundance of the corresponding protein. Moreover, proteomics is closer to physiology and gives a more functional knowledge of the regulation of gene expression than does transcriptomics. The study of protein-expression profiles, however, gives a better portrayal of the cellular phenotype and is considered as a key link between the genotype and the organismal phenotype. Under new environmental conditions, we can observe a shift of the protein-expression pattern defining a new cellular phenotype that can possibly improve the fitness of the organism. It is now necessary to define a proteomic norm of reaction for organisms acclimating to environmental stressors. Its link to fitness will give new insights into how organisms can evolve in a changing environment. The proteomic literature bearing on chronic exposure to pollutants and on acclimation to heat stress in aquatic organisms, as well as potential application of

  2. Proteomics to assess the role of phenotypic plasticity in aquatic organisms exposed to pollution and global warming.

    PubMed

    Silvestre, Frédéric; Gillardin, Virginie; Dorts, Jennifer

    2012-11-01

    Nowadays, the unprecedented rates of anthropogenic changes in ecosystems suggest that organisms have to migrate to new distributional ranges or to adapt commensurately quickly to new conditions to avoid becoming extinct. Pollution and global warming are two of the most important threats aquatic organisms will have to face in the near future. If genetic changes in a population in response to natural selection are extensively studied, the role of acclimation through phenotypic plasticity (the property of a given genotype to produce different phenotypes in response to particular environmental conditions) in a species to deal with new environmental conditions remains largely unknown. Proteomics is the extensive study of the protein complement of a genome. It is dynamic and depends on the specific tissue, developmental stage, and environmental conditions. As the final product of gene expression, it is subjected to several regulatory steps from gene transcription to the functional protein. Consequently, there is a discrepancy between the abundance of mRNA and the abundance of the corresponding protein. Moreover, proteomics is closer to physiology and gives a more functional knowledge of the regulation of gene expression than does transcriptomics. The study of protein-expression profiles, however, gives a better portrayal of the cellular phenotype and is considered as a key link between the genotype and the organismal phenotype. Under new environmental conditions, we can observe a shift of the protein-expression pattern defining a new cellular phenotype that can possibly improve the fitness of the organism. It is now necessary to define a proteomic norm of reaction for organisms acclimating to environmental stressors. Its link to fitness will give new insights into how organisms can evolve in a changing environment. The proteomic literature bearing on chronic exposure to pollutants and on acclimation to heat stress in aquatic organisms, as well as potential application of

  3. Epigenetic basis of morphological variation and phenotypic plasticity in Arabidopsis thaliana.

    PubMed

    Kooke, Rik; Johannes, Frank; Wardenaar, René; Becker, Frank; Etcheverry, Mathilde; Colot, Vincent; Vreugdenhil, Dick; Keurentjes, Joost J B

    2015-02-01

    Epigenetics is receiving growing attention in the plant science community. Epigenetic modifications are thought to play a particularly important role in fluctuating environments. It is hypothesized that epigenetics contributes to plant phenotypic plasticity because epigenetic modifications, in contrast to DNA sequence variation, are more likely to be reversible. The population of decrease in DNA methylation 1-2 (ddm1-2)-derived epigenetic recombinant inbred lines (epiRILs) in Arabidopsis thaliana is well suited for studying this hypothesis, as DNA methylation differences are maximized and DNA sequence variation is minimized. Here, we report on the extensive heritable epigenetic variation in plant growth and morphology in neutral and saline conditions detected among the epiRILs. Plant performance, in terms of branching and leaf area, was both reduced and enhanced by different quantitative trait loci (QTLs) in the ddm1-2 inherited epigenotypes. The variation in plasticity associated significantly with certain genomic regions in which the ddm1-2 inherited epigenotypes caused an increased sensitivity to environmental changes, probably due to impaired genetic regulation in the epiRILs. Many of the QTLs for morphology and plasticity overlapped, suggesting major pleiotropic effects. These findings indicate that epigenetics contributes substantially to variation in plant growth, morphology, and plasticity, especially under stress conditions.

  4. Epigenetic Basis of Morphological Variation and Phenotypic Plasticity in Arabidopsis thaliana

    PubMed Central

    Kooke, Rik; Johannes, Frank; Wardenaar, René; Becker, Frank; Etcheverry, Mathilde; Colot, Vincent; Vreugdenhil, Dick; Keurentjes, Joost J.B.

    2015-01-01

    Epigenetics is receiving growing attention in the plant science community. Epigenetic modifications are thought to play a particularly important role in fluctuating environments. It is hypothesized that epigenetics contributes to plant phenotypic plasticity because epigenetic modifications, in contrast to DNA sequence variation, are more likely to be reversible. The population of decrease in DNA methylation 1-2 (ddm1-2)-derived epigenetic recombinant inbred lines (epiRILs) in Arabidopsis thaliana is well suited for studying this hypothesis, as DNA methylation differences are maximized and DNA sequence variation is minimized. Here, we report on the extensive heritable epigenetic variation in plant growth and morphology in neutral and saline conditions detected among the epiRILs. Plant performance, in terms of branching and leaf area, was both reduced and enhanced by different quantitative trait loci (QTLs) in the ddm1-2 inherited epigenotypes. The variation in plasticity associated significantly with certain genomic regions in which the ddm1-2 inherited epigenotypes caused an increased sensitivity to environmental changes, probably due to impaired genetic regulation in the epiRILs. Many of the QTLs for morphology and plasticity overlapped, suggesting major pleiotropic effects. These findings indicate that epigenetics contributes substantially to variation in plant growth, morphology, and plasticity, especially under stress conditions. PMID:25670769

  5. Phenotypic plasticity in age at first reproduction of female northern sea otters (Enhydra lutris kenyoni)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Von Biela, V.R.; Gill, V.A.; Bodkin, J.L.; Burns, Jennifer M.

    2009-01-01

    Life-history theory predicts that within a species, reproduction and survival rates will differ among populations that differ in resource availability or predation rates through phenotypic plasticity. When populations are near carrying capacity (K) or when they are declining due to reduced prey resources, the average age at 1st reproduction (average AFR) is predicted to be older than in populations below K. Differences between the trajectories of northern sea otter (Enhydra lutris kenyoni) populations in Alaska provides an opportunity to examine phenotypic plasticity. Using premolar teeth or reproductive tracts, we estimated average AFR from demographically distinct populations of sea otters in Alaska. We obtained samples from 2 populations near K, Prince William Sound (PWS) and the Aleutian Archipelago (archived samples), and from 2populations below K, the Kodiak Archipelago and Sitka. The average AFR was lower in populations below K (3.60 years ??0.16 SD)compared to those near K (4.21 ?? 0.13 years, P <0.001), and differed among all populations, with the Aleutian population possessing the oldest average AFR (4.29 ?? 0.09 years) followed by PWS (4.05 ?? 0.24 years), Sitka (3.80 ?? 0.21 years), and Kodiak (3.19 ?? 0.37 years). The difference in average AFR among populations supports life-history theory and provides evidence of phenotypic plasticity in sea otters. Our findings highlight the value of using average AFR as a tool for monitoring mammalian populations. ?? 2009 American Society of Mammalogists.

  6. OBESITY/HYPERLEPTINEMIC PHENOTYPE IMPAIRS STRUCTURAL AND FUNCTIONAL PLASTICITY IN THE RAT HIPPOCAMPUS

    PubMed Central

    Grillo, Claudia A.; Piroli, Gerardo G.; Junor, Lorain; Wilson, Steven P.; Mott, David D.; Wilson, Marlene A.; Reagan, Lawrence P.

    2011-01-01

    Epidemiological studies estimate that greater than 60% of the adult US population may be categorized as either overweight or obese and there is a growing appreciation that the complications of obesity extend to the central nervous system (CNS). While the vast majority of these studies have focused upon the hypothalamus, more recent studies suggest that the complications of obesity may also affect the structural and functional integrity of the hippocampus. A potential contributor to obesity-related CNS abnormalities is the adipocyte-derived hormone leptin. In this regard, decreases in CNS leptin activity may contribute to deficits in hippocampal synaptic plasticity and suggest that leptin resistance, a well described phenomenon in the hypothalamus, may also be observed in the hippocampus. Unfortunately, the myriad of metabolic and endocrine abnormalities in diabetes/obesity phenotypes makes it challenging to assess the role of leptin in hippocampal neuroplasticity deficits associated with obesity models. To address this question, we examined hippocampal morphological and behavioral plasticity following lentivirus-mediated downregulation of hypothalamic insulin receptors (hypo-IRAS). Hypo-IRAS rats exhibit increases in body weight, adiposity, plasma leptin and triglyceride levels. As such, hypo-IRAS rats develop a phenotype that is consistent with features of the metabolic syndrome. In addition, hippocampal morphological plasticity and performance of hippocampal-dependent tasks are adversely affected in hypo-IRAS rats. Leptin-mediated signaling is also decreased in hypo-IRAS rats. We will discuss these findings in the context of how hyperleptinemia and hypertriglyceridemia may represent mechanistic mediators of the neurological consequences of impaired hippocampal synaptic plasticity in obesity. PMID:21354191

  7. Phenotypic Plasticity and Integration in the Mangrove Rivulus (Kryptolebias marmoratus): A Prospectus

    PubMed Central

    Earley, Ryan L.; Hanninen, Amanda F.; Fuller, Adam; Garcia, Mark J.; Lee, Elizabeth A.

    2012-01-01

    The mangrove rivulus (Kryptolebias marmoratus) is a small fish native to mangrove ecosystems in Florida, the Caribbean, Central America, and South America. This species is one of only two self-fertilizing, hermaphroditic vertebrates capable of producing offspring that are genetically identical to both the parent and all siblings. Long bouts of selfing result in individuals with completely homozygous genotypes, effectively allowing for the production of “clones.” Rivulus is also extremely sensitive to environmental change, both during development and adulthood. Life-history traits, behavior, physiology, morphology, and even sexual phenotype are shaped to a large extent by the interaction of genes with the environment, and many of these traits appear to co-vary. True reaction norms can be generated for this species in much the same way as has been done for clonally reproducing invertebrates and plants that have contributed immensely to our understanding of the evolution of phenotypic plasticity. That is, rivulus provides the opportunity to place individuals with identical genotypes in many different environments at any point during ontogeny or adulthood. In addition, rivulus populations are characterized by high genotypic diversity, a luxury not afforded by many clonal vertebrates, which allows us to evaluate variation among genotypes in the shape of reaction norms and in patterns of covariance among traits. We provide background information on phenotypic plasticity and phenotypic integration, coupled with a description of characteristics that we feel qualify rivulus as a potentially powerful model in which to study the evolution of reaction norms and covariance among traits. PMID:22990587

  8. Leaf damage decreases fitness and constrains phenotypic plasticity to drought of a perennial herb

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gianoli, Ernesto; Quezada, Iván M.; Suárez, Lorena H.

    2009-09-01

    Mediterranean-type ecosystems are increasingly prone to drought stress. Herbivory might limit plant functional responses to water shortage. This may occur as a result of plant resource depletion or due to the fact that leaf damage and drought may elicit opposite phenotypic responses. We evaluated the impact of herbivory on plant fitness in the field, and the effects of leaf damage on phenotypic plasticity to reduced soil moisture in a greenhouse. The study species was Convolvulus demissus, a perennial herb endemic to central Chile, which has a Mediterranean-type climate. Controlled herbivory by chrysomelid beetles (natural herbivores) in the field had a negative impact on plant fitness, estimated as number of fruits. Whereas reduced soil moisture alone did not affect seedling survival, damaged seedlings (simulated herbivory) had greater mortality when growing under water shortage. The hypothesis that herbivory would constrain phenotypic plasticity was supported by significant statistical interactions between leaf damage and soil moisture, followed by inspections of reaction norms. This was verified both overall (all phenotypic traits taken together, MANOVA) and in four of the six traits evaluated (ANOVAs). When plants were damaged, the reaction norms in response to low soil moisture of water use efficiency, root:shoot ratio and xylem water potential showed reduced slopes. While undamaged plants increased root biomass in response to low moisture, the opposite trend was found for damaged plants. The simultaneous occurrence of herbivory and drought events might curtail recruitment in plant populations of central Chile and other Mediterranean-type ecosystems due to the inability of damaged seedlings to show functional responses to low soil moisture. This finding is of ecological significance in view of current and projected trends of increased aridity in these ecosystems.

  9. Adaptive behavior of neighboring neurons during adaptation-induced plasticity of orientation tuning in V1

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background Sensory neurons display transient changes of their response properties following prolonged exposure to an appropriate stimulus (adaptation). In adult cat primary visual cortex, orientation-selective neurons shift their preferred orientation after being adapted to a non-preferred orientation. The direction of those shifts, towards (attractive) or away (repulsive) from the adapter depends mostly on adaptation duration. How the adaptive behavior of a neuron is related to that of its neighbors remains unclear. Results Here we show that in most cases (75%), cells shift their preferred orientation in the same direction as their neighbors. We also found that cells shifting preferred orientation differently from their neighbors (25%) display three interesting properties: (i) larger variance of absolute shift amplitude, (ii) wider tuning bandwidth and (iii) larger range of preferred orientations among the cluster of cells. Several response properties of V1 neurons depend on their location within the cortical orientation map. Our results suggest that recording sites with both attractive and repulsive shifts following adaptation may be located in close proximity to iso-orientation domain boundaries or pinwheel centers. Indeed, those regions have a more diverse orientation distribution of local inputs that could account for the three properties above. On the other hand, sites with all cells shifting their preferred orientation in the same direction could be located within iso-orientation domains. Conclusions Our results suggest that the direction and amplitude of orientation preference shifts in V1 depend on location within the orientation map. This anisotropy of adaptation-induced plasticity, comparable to that of the visual cortex itself, could have important implications for our understanding of visual adaptation at the psychophysical level. PMID:20003453

  10. Simulated herbivory does not constrain phenotypic plasticity to shade through ontogeny in a relict tree.

    PubMed

    Pardo, A; García, F M; Valladares, F; Pulido, F

    2016-07-01

    Ecological limits to phenotypic plasticity (PP), induced by simultaneous biotic and abiotic factors, can prevent organisms from exhibiting optimal plasticity, and in turn lead to decreased fitness. Herbivory is an important biotic stressor and may limit plant functional responses to challenging environmental conditions such as shading. In this study we investigated whether plant functional responses and PP to shade are constrained by herbivory, and whether such constraints are due to direct effects based on resource limitation by considering ontogeny. We used as a model system the relict tree Prunus lusitanica and implemented an indoor experiment to quantify the response of saplings of different ages to shade and herbivory. We measured five functional traits and quantitatively calculated PP. Results showed that herbivory did not constrain functional responses or PP to shade except for shoot:root ratio (SR), which, despite showing a high PP in damaged saplings, decreased under shade instead of increasing. Damaged saplings of older age did not exhibit reduced constraints on functional responses to shade and generally presented a lower PP than damaged saplings of younger age. Our findings suggest that herbivory-mediated constraints on plant plasticity to shade may not be as widespread as previously thought. Nonetheless, the negative effect of herbivory on SR plastic expression to shade could be detrimental for plant fitness. Finally, our results suggest a secondary role of direct effects (resource-based) on P. lusitanica plasticity limitation. Further studies should quantify plant resources in order to gain a better understanding of this seldom-explored subject.

  11. Phenotypic plasticity and similarity among gall morphotypes on a superhost, Baccharis reticularia (Asteraceae).

    PubMed

    Formiga, A T; Silveira, F A O; Fernandes, G W; Isaias, R M S

    2015-03-01

    Understanding factors that modulate plant development is still a challenging task in plant biology. Although research has highlighted the role of abiotic and biotic factors in determining final plant structure, we know little of how these factors combine to produce specific developmental patterns. Here, we studied patterns of cell and tissue organisation in galled and non-galled organs of Baccharis reticularia, a Neotropical shrub that hosts over ten species of galling insects. We employed qualitative and quantitative approaches to understand patterns of growth and differentiation in its four most abundant gall morphotypes. We compared two leaf galls induced by sap-sucking Hemiptera and stem galls induced by a Lepidopteran and a Dipteran, Cecidomyiidae. The hypotheses tested were: (i) the more complex the galls, the more distinct they are from their non-galled host; (ii) galls induced on less plastic host organs, e.g. stems, develop under more morphogenetic constraints and, therefore, should be more similar among themselves than galls induced on more plastic organs. We also evaluated the plant sex preference of gall-inducing insects for oviposition. Simple galls were qualitative and quantitatively more similar to non-galled organs than complex galls, thereby supporting the first hypothesis. Unexpectedly, stem galls had more similarities between them than to their host organ, hence only partially supporting the second hypothesis. Similarity among stem galls may be caused by the restrictive pattern of host stems. The opposite trend was observed for host leaves, which generate either similar or distinct gall morphotypes due to their higher phenotypic plasticity. The Relative Distance of Plasticity Index for non-galled stems and stem galls ranged from 0.02 to 0.42. Our results strongly suggest that both tissue plasticity and gall inducer identity interact to determine plant developmental patterns, and therefore, final gall structure.

  12. The role of adaptive trans-generational plasticity in biological invasions of plants.

    PubMed

    Dyer, Andrew R; Brown, Cynthia S; Espeland, Erin K; McKay, John K; Meimberg, Harald; Rice, Kevin J

    2010-03-01

    High-impact biological invasions often involve establishment and spread in disturbed, high-resource patches followed by establishment and spread in biotically or abiotically stressful areas. Evolutionary change may be required for the second phase of invasion (establishment and spread in stressful areas) to occur. When species have low genetic diversity and short selection history, within-generation phenotypic plasticity is often cited as the mechanism through which spread across multiple habitat types can occur. We show that trans-generational plasticity (TGP) can result in pre-adapted progeny that exhibit traits associated with increased fitness both in high-resource patches and in stressful conditions. In the invasive sedge, Cyperus esculentus, maternal plants growing in nutrient-poor patches can place disproportional number of propagules into nutrient-rich patches. Using the invasive annual grass, Aegilops triuncialis, we show that maternal response to soil conditions can confer greater stress tolerance in seedlings in the form of greater photosynthetic efficiency. We also show TGP for a phenological shift in a low resource environment that results in greater stress tolerance in progeny. These lines of evidence suggest that the maternal environment can have profound effects on offspring success and that TGP may play a significant role in some plant invasions.

  13. The role of adaptive trans-generational plasticity in biological invasions of plants.

    PubMed

    Dyer, Andrew R; Brown, Cynthia S; Espeland, Erin K; McKay, John K; Meimberg, Harald; Rice, Kevin J

    2010-03-01

    High-impact biological invasions often involve establishment and spread in disturbed, high-resource patches followed by establishment and spread in biotically or abiotically stressful areas. Evolutionary change may be required for the second phase of invasion (establishment and spread in stressful areas) to occur. When species have low genetic diversity and short selection history, within-generation phenotypic plasticity is often cited as the mechanism through which spread across multiple habitat types can occur. We show that trans-generational plasticity (TGP) can result in pre-adapted progeny that exhibit traits associated with increased fitness both in high-resource patches and in stressful conditions. In the invasive sedge, Cyperus esculentus, maternal plants growing in nutrient-poor patches can place disproportional number of propagules into nutrient-rich patches. Using the invasive annual grass, Aegilops triuncialis, we show that maternal response to soil conditions can confer greater stress tolerance in seedlings in the form of greater photosynthetic efficiency. We also show TGP for a phenological shift in a low resource environment that results in greater stress tolerance in progeny. These lines of evidence suggest that the maternal environment can have profound effects on offspring success and that TGP may play a significant role in some plant invasions. PMID:25567918

  14. The role of adaptive trans-generational plasticity in biological invasions of plants

    PubMed Central

    Dyer, Andrew R; Brown, Cynthia S; Espeland, Erin K; McKay, John K; Meimberg, Harald; Rice, Kevin J

    2010-01-01

    High-impact biological invasions often involve establishment and spread in disturbed, high-resource patches followed by establishment and spread in biotically or abiotically stressful areas. Evolutionary change may be required for the second phase of invasion (establishment and spread in stressful areas) to occur. When species have low genetic diversity and short selection history, within-generation phenotypic plasticity is often cited as the mechanism through which spread across multiple habitat types can occur. We show that trans-generational plasticity (TGP) can result in pre-adapted progeny that exhibit traits associated with increased fitness both in high-resource patches and in stressful conditions. In the invasive sedge, Cyperus esculentus, maternal plants growing in nutrient-poor patches can place disproportional number of propagules into nutrient-rich patches. Using the invasive annual grass, Aegilops triuncialis, we show that maternal response to soil conditions can confer greater stress tolerance in seedlings in the form of greater photosynthetic efficiency. We also show TGP for a phenological shift in a low resource environment that results in greater stress tolerance in progeny. These lines of evidence suggest that the maternal environment can have profound effects on offspring success and that TGP may play a significant role in some plant invasions. PMID:25567918

  15. The influence of abiotic stress and phenotypic plasticity on the distribution of invasive Alternanthera philoxeroides along a riparian zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pan, Xiaoyun; Geng, Yupeng; Zhang, Wenju; Li, Bo; Chen, Jiakuan

    2006-11-01

    Relatively few studies have compared invasibility and species invasiveness among microhabitats within communities, synchronously. We surveyed the abundance and performance of non-native Alternanthera philoxeroides (Mart.) Griseb. (alligator weed), its co-occurring native congener, Alternanthera sessilis (L.) DC. (sessile joyweed), and other species in a wetland community along a riparian zone in southeast China to test the hypotheses that: i) degree of invasion differs between different types of microhabitats within the community; and ii) microhabitat types that differ in invasibility also differ in soil resource availability or in sediment characteristics likely to affect resource availability; iii) phenotypic plasticity of A. philoxeroides may play a key role in its adaptation to diverse habitats as can be concluded from its extremely low genetic diversity in China. The study riparian zone comprises different types of microhabitats including wet abandoned field, swamp, marsh dunes and gravel dunes. Consistent with these hypotheses, cover of A. philoxeroides was high in abandoned fields (73 ± 2.9%) and swamps (94 ± 1.3%), which had high soil nutrients and water availability. On the contrary, cover of native A. sessilis was relatively high in marsh dunes and grave dunes, which had coarse gravel surfaces, low soil nutrients and low water availability. A. philoxeroides showed greater morphological plasticity in response to habitat variation. In abiotically harsh habitats, stems had limited growth, and were prostrate with weak adventitious roots at nodes, forming thin, scattered patches. In the two richer habitats, the highly branched plants spread over the water or soil surface, supporting dense stronger leaf-bearing stems which grew vertically. The growth pattern of A. sessilis among microhabitats did not exhibit significant variations. These results suggest that morphological plasticity and microhabitat types with high soil resources may facilitate invasions of A

  16. Is C4 photosynthesis less phenotypically plastic than C3 photosynthesis?

    PubMed

    Sage, Rowan F; McKown, Athena D

    2006-01-01

    C4 photosynthesis is a complex specialization that enhances carbon gain in hot, often arid habitats where photorespiration rates can be high. Certain features unique to C4 photosynthesis may reduce the potential for phenotypic plasticity and photosynthetic acclimation to environmental change relative to what is possible with C3 photosynthesis. During acclimation, the structural and physiological integrity of the mesophyll-bundle sheath (M-BS) complex has to be maintained if C4 photosynthesis is to function efficiently in the new environment. Disruption of the M-BS structure could interfere with metabolic co-ordination between the C3 and C4 cycles, decrease metabolite flow rate between the tissues, increase CO2 leakage from the bundle sheath, and slow enzyme activity. C4 plants have substantial acclimation potential, but in most cases lag behind the acclimation responses in C3 plants. For example, some C4 species are unable to maintain high quantum yields when grown in low-light conditions. Others fail to reduce carboxylase content in shade, leaving substantial over-capacity of Rubisco and PEP carboxylase in place. Shade-tolerant C4 grasses lack the capacity for maintaining a high state of photosynthetic induction following sunflecks, and thus may be poorly suited to exploit subsequent sunflecks compared with C3 species. In total, the evidence indicates that C4 photosynthesis is less phenotypically plastic than C3 photosynthesis, and this may contribute to the more restricted ecological and geographical distribution of C4 plants across the Earth.

  17. Convergent evolution of neuroendocrine control of phenotypic plasticity in pupal colour in butterflies

    PubMed Central

    Starnecker, G.; Hazel, W.

    1999-01-01

    Phenotypic plasticity in pupal colour occurs in three families of butterflies (the Nymphalidae, Papilionidae and Pieridae), typically in species whose pupation sites vary unpredictably in colour. In all species studied to date, larvae ready for pupation respond to environmental cues associated with the colour of their pupation sites and moult into cryptic light (yellow–green) or dark (brown–black) pupae. In nymphalids and pierids, pupal colour is controlled by a neuroendocrine factor, pupal melanization-reducing factor (PMRF), the release of which inhibits the melanization of the pupal cuticle resulting in light pupae. In contrast, the neuroendocrine factor controlling pupal colour in papilionid butterflies results in the production of brown pupae. PMRF was extracted from the ventral nerve chains of the peacock butterfly Inachis io (Nymphalidae) and black swallowtail butterfly Papilio polyxenes (Papilionidae). When injected into pre-pupae, the extracts resulted in yellow pupae in I. io but brown pupae in P. polyxenes. These results suggest that the same neuroendocrine factor controls the plasticity in pupal colour, but that plasticity in pupal colour in these species has evolved independently (convergently).

  18. Phenotypic plasticity in the spawning traits of bigheaded carp (Hypophthalmichthys spp.) in novel ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Coulter, Alison A.; Keller, Doug; Amberg, Jon J.; Bailey, Elizabeth J.; Goforth, Reuben R.

    2013-01-01

    1. Bigheaded carp, including both silver (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) and bighead (H. nobilis) carp, are successful invasive fishes that threaten global freshwater biodiversity. High phenotypic plasticity probably contributes to their success in novel ecosystems, although evidence of plasticity in several spawning traits has hitherto been largely anecdotal or speculative. 2. We collected drifting eggs from a Midwestern U.S.A. river from June to September 2011 and from April to June 2012 to investigate the spawning traits of bigheaded carp in novel ecosystems. 3. Unlike reports from the native range, the presence of drifting bigheaded carp eggs was not related to changes in hydrological regime or mean daily water temperature. Bigheaded carp also exhibited protracted spawning, since we found drifting eggs throughout the summer and as late as 1 September 2011. Finally, we detected bigheaded carp eggs in a river reach where the channel is c. 30 m wide with a catchment area of 4579 km2, the smallest stream in which spawning has yet been documented. 4. Taken with previous observations of spawning traits that depart from those observed within the native ranges of both bighead and silver carp, our findings provide direct evidence that bigheaded carp exhibit plastic spawning traits in novel ecosystems that may facilitate invasion and establishment in a wider range of river conditions than previously envisaged.

  19. Antarctic climate change: extreme events disrupt plastic phenotypic response in Adélie penguins.

    PubMed

    Lescroël, Amélie; Ballard, Grant; Grémillet, David; Authier, Matthieu; Ainley, David G

    2014-01-01

    In the context of predicted alteration of sea ice cover and increased frequency of extreme events, it is especially timely to investigate plasticity within Antarctic species responding to a key environmental aspect of their ecology: sea ice variability. Using 13 years of longitudinal data, we investigated the effect of sea ice concentration (SIC) on the foraging efficiency of Adélie penguins (Pygoscelis adeliae) breeding in the Ross Sea. A 'natural experiment' brought by the exceptional presence of giant icebergs during 5 consecutive years provided unprecedented habitat variation for testing the effects of extreme events on the relationship between SIC and foraging efficiency in this sea-ice dependent species. Significant levels of phenotypic plasticity were evident in response to changes in SIC in normal environmental conditions. Maximum foraging efficiency occurred at relatively low SIC, peaking at 6.1% and decreasing with higher SIC. The 'natural experiment' uncoupled efficiency levels from SIC variations. Our study suggests that lower summer SIC than currently observed would benefit the foraging performance of Adélie penguins in their southernmost breeding area. Importantly, it also provides evidence that extreme climatic events can disrupt response plasticity in a wild seabird population. This questions the predictive power of relationships built on past observations, when not only the average climatic conditions are changing but the frequency of extreme climatic anomalies is also on the rise.

  20. Phenotypic plasticity toward water regime: response of leaf growth and underlying candidate genes in Populus.

    PubMed

    Bizet, François; Bogeat-Triboulot, Marie-Béatrice; Montpied, Pierre; Christophe, Angélique; Ningre, Nathalie; Cohen, David; Hummel, Irène

    2015-05-01

    Phenotypic plasticity is considered as an important mechanism for plants to cope with environmental challenges. Leaf growth is one of the first macroscopic processes to be impacted by modification of soil water availability. In this study, we intended to analyze and compare plasticity at different scales. We examined the differential effect of water regime (optimal, moderate water deprivation and recovery) on growth and on the expression of candidate genes in leaves of different growth stages. Candidates were selected to assess components of growth response: abscisic acid signaling, water transport, cell wall modification and stomatal development signaling network. At the tree scale, the four studied poplar hybrids responded similarly to water regime. Meanwhile, leaf growth response was under genotype × environment interaction. Patterns of candidate gene expression enriched our knowledge about their functionality in poplars. For most candidates, transcript levels were strongly structured according to leaf growth performance while response to water regime was clearly dependent on genotype. The use of an index of plasticity revealed that the magnitude of the response was higher for gene expression than for macroscopic traits. In addition, the ranking of poplar genotypes for macroscopic traits well paralleled the one for gene expression.

  1. Antarctic climate change: extreme events disrupt plastic phenotypic response in Adélie penguins.

    PubMed

    Lescroël, Amélie; Ballard, Grant; Grémillet, David; Authier, Matthieu; Ainley, David G

    2014-01-01

    In the context of predicted alteration of sea ice cover and increased frequency of extreme events, it is especially timely to investigate plasticity within Antarctic species responding to a key environmental aspect of their ecology: sea ice variability. Using 13 years of longitudinal data, we investigated the effect of sea ice concentration (SIC) on the foraging efficiency of Adélie penguins (Pygoscelis adeliae) breeding in the Ross Sea. A 'natural experiment' brought by the exceptional presence of giant icebergs during 5 consecutive years provided unprecedented habitat variation for testing the effects of extreme events on the relationship between SIC and foraging efficiency in this sea-ice dependent species. Significant levels of phenotypic plasticity were evident in response to changes in SIC in normal environmental conditions. Maximum foraging efficiency occurred at relatively low SIC, peaking at 6.1% and decreasing with higher SIC. The 'natural experiment' uncoupled efficiency levels from SIC variations. Our study suggests that lower summer SIC than currently observed would benefit the foraging performance of Adélie penguins in their southernmost breeding area. Importantly, it also provides evidence that extreme climatic events can disrupt response plasticity in a wild seabird population. This questions the predictive power of relationships built on past observations, when not only the average climatic conditions are changing but the frequency of extreme climatic anomalies is also on the rise. PMID:24489657

  2. Antarctic Climate Change: Extreme Events Disrupt Plastic Phenotypic Response in Adélie Penguins

    PubMed Central

    Lescroël, Amélie; Ballard, Grant; Grémillet, David; Authier, Matthieu; Ainley, David G.

    2014-01-01

    In the context of predicted alteration of sea ice cover and increased frequency of extreme events, it is especially timely to investigate plasticity within Antarctic species responding to a key environmental aspect of their ecology: sea ice variability. Using 13 years of longitudinal data, we investigated the effect of sea ice concentration (SIC) on the foraging efficiency of Adélie penguins (Pygoscelis adeliae) breeding in the Ross Sea. A ‘natural experiment’ brought by the exceptional presence of giant icebergs during 5 consecutive years provided unprecedented habitat variation for testing the effects of extreme events on the relationship between SIC and foraging efficiency in this sea-ice dependent species. Significant levels of phenotypic plasticity were evident in response to changes in SIC in normal environmental conditions. Maximum foraging efficiency occurred at relatively low SIC, peaking at 6.1% and decreasing with higher SIC. The ‘natural experiment’ uncoupled efficiency levels from SIC variations. Our study suggests that lower summer SIC than currently observed would benefit the foraging performance of Adélie penguins in their southernmost breeding area. Importantly, it also provides evidence that extreme climatic events can disrupt response plasticity in a wild seabird population. This questions the predictive power of relationships built on past observations, when not only the average climatic conditions are changing but the frequency of extreme climatic anomalies is also on the rise. PMID:24489657

  3. Extensive phenotypic plasticity of a Red Sea coral over a strong latitudinal temperature gradient suggests limited acclimatization potential to warming.

    PubMed

    Sawall, Yvonne; Al-Sofyani, Abdulmoshin; Hohn, Sönke; Banguera-Hinestroza, Eulalia; Voolstra, Christian R; Wahl, Martin

    2015-03-10

    Global warming was reported to cause growth reductions in tropical shallow water corals in both, cooler and warmer, regions of the coral species range. This suggests regional adaptation with less heat-tolerant populations in cooler and more thermo-tolerant populations in warmer regions. Here, we investigated seasonal changes in the in situ metabolic performance of the widely distributed hermatypic coral Pocillopora verrucosa along 12° latitudes featuring a steep temperature gradient between the northern (28.5°N, 21-27°C) and southern (16.5°N, 28-33°C) reaches of the Red Sea. Surprisingly, we found little indication for regional adaptation, but strong indications for high phenotypic plasticity: Calcification rates in two seasons (winter, summer) were found to be highest at 28-29°C throughout all populations independent of their geographic location. Mucus release increased with temperature and nutrient supply, both being highest in the south. Genetic characterization of the coral host revealed low inter-regional variation and differences in the Symbiodinium clade composition only at the most northern and most southern region. This suggests variable acclimatization potential to ocean warming of coral populations across the Red Sea: high acclimatization potential in northern populations, but limited ability to cope with ocean warming in southern populations already existing at the upper thermal margin for corals.

  4. Extensive phenotypic plasticity of a Red Sea coral over a strong latitudinal temperature gradient suggests limited acclimatization potential to warming.

    PubMed

    Sawall, Yvonne; Al-Sofyani, Abdulmoshin; Hohn, Sönke; Banguera-Hinestroza, Eulalia; Voolstra, Christian R; Wahl, Martin

    2015-01-01

    Global warming was reported to cause growth reductions in tropical shallow water corals in both, cooler and warmer, regions of the coral species range. This suggests regional adaptation with less heat-tolerant populations in cooler and more thermo-tolerant populations in warmer regions. Here, we investigated seasonal changes in the in situ metabolic performance of the widely distributed hermatypic coral Pocillopora verrucosa along 12° latitudes featuring a steep temperature gradient between the northern (28.5°N, 21-27°C) and southern (16.5°N, 28-33°C) reaches of the Red Sea. Surprisingly, we found little indication for regional adaptation, but strong indications for high phenotypic plasticity: Calcification rates in two seasons (winter, summer) were found to be highest at 28-29°C throughout all populations independent of their geographic location. Mucus release increased with temperature and nutrient supply, both being highest in the south. Genetic characterization of the coral host revealed low inter-regional variation and differences in the Symbiodinium clade composition only at the most northern and most southern region. This suggests variable acclimatization potential to ocean warming of coral populations across the Red Sea: high acclimatization potential in northern populations, but limited ability to cope with ocean warming in southern populations already existing at the upper thermal margin for corals. PMID:25754672

  5. Extraordinary Adaptive Plasticity of Colorado Potato Beetle: "Ten-Striped Spearman" in the Era of Biotechnological Warfare.

    PubMed

    Cingel, Aleksandar; Savić, Jelena; Lazarević, Jelica; Ćosić, Tatjana; Raspor, Martin; Smigocki, Ann; Ninković, Slavica

    2016-09-13

    Expanding from remote areas of Mexico to a worldwide scale, the ten-striped insect, the Colorado potato beetle (CPB, Leptinotarsa decemlineata Say), has risen from being an innocuous beetle to a prominent global pest. A diverse life cycle, phenotypic plasticity, adaptation to adverse conditions, and capability to detoxify or tolerate toxins make this insect appear to be virtually "indestructible". With increasing advances in molecular biology, tools of biotechnological warfare were deployed to combat CPB. In the last three decades, genetically modified potato has created a new challenge for the beetle. After reviewing hundreds of scientific papers dealing with CPB control, it became clear that even biotechnological means of control, if used alone, would not defeat the Colorado potato beetle. This control measure once again appears to be provoking the potato beetle to exhibit its remarkable adaptability. Nonetheless, the potential for adaptation to these techniques has increased our knowledge of this pest and thus opened possibilities for devising more sustainable CPB management programs.

  6. The diapause decision as a cascade switch for adaptive developmental plasticity in body mass in a butterfly.

    PubMed

    Gotthard, Karl; Berger, D

    2010-06-01

    Switch-induced developmental plasticity, such as the diapause decision in insects, is a major form of adaptation to variable environments. As individuals that follow alternative developmental pathways will experience different selective environments the diapause decision may evolve to a cascade switch that induces additional adaptive developmental differences downstream of the diapause decision. Here, we show that individuals following alternative developmental pathways in a Swedish population of the butterfly, Pararge aegeria, display differential optimization of adult body mass as a likely response to predictable differences in thermal conditions during reproduction. In a more northern population where this type of selection is absent no similar difference in adult mass among pathways was found. We conclude that the diapause decision in the southern population appears to act as a cascade switch, coordinating development downstream of the diapause decision, to produce adult phenotypes adapted to the typical thermal conditions of their expected reproductive period.

  7. Phenotypic Plasticity and Integration in Response to Flooded Conditions in Natural Accessions of Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh (Brassicaceae)

    PubMed Central

    PIGLIUCCI, MASSIMO; KOLODYNSKA, ANNA

    2002-01-01

    Flood response is a crucial component of the life strategy of many plants, but it is seldom studied in non‐flooded tolerant species, even though they may be subjected to stressful environmental conditions. Phenotypic plasticity in reaction to environmental stress affects the whole plant phenotype and can alter the character correlations that constitute the phenotypic architecture of the individual, yet few studies have investigated the lability of phenotypic integration to water regime. Moreover, little has been done to date to quantify the sort of selective pressures that different components of a plant’s phenotype may be experiencing under contrasting water regimes. Genetic differentiation and phenotypic plasticity at the single‐trait and multivariate levels were investigated in 47 accessions of the weedy plant Arabidopsis thaliana, and the relationship of plastic characters to reproductive fitness was quantified. Results indicate that these plants tend to be highly genetically differentiated for all traits, in agreement with predictions made on the basis of environmental variation and mating system. Varied patterns of apparent selection under flooded and non‐flooded conditions were also uncovered, suggesting trade‐offs in allocation between roots and above‐ground biomass, as well as between leaves and reproductive structures. While the major components of the plants’ multivariate phenotypic architecture were not significantly affected by environmental changes, many of the details were different under flooded and non‐flooded conditions. PMID:12197517

  8. Metabolic Plasticity of Metastatic Breast Cancer Cells: Adaptation to Changes in the Microenvironment1

    PubMed Central

    Simões, Rui V.; Serganova, Inna S.; Kruchevsky, Natalia; Leftin, Avigdor; Shestov, Alexander A.; Thaler, Howard T.; Sukenick, George; Locasale, Jason W.; Blasberg, Ronald G.; Koutcher, Jason A.; Ackerstaff, Ellen

    2015-01-01

    Cancer cells adapt their metabolism during tumorigenesis. We studied two isogenic breast cancer cells lines (highly metastatic 4T1; nonmetastatic 67NR) to identify differences in their glucose and glutamine metabolism in response to metabolic and environmental stress. Dynamic magnetic resonance spectroscopy of 13C-isotopomers showed that 4T1 cells have higher glycolytic and tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle flux than 67NR cells and readily switch between glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) in response to different extracellular environments. OXPHOS activity increased with metastatic potential in isogenic cell lines derived from the same primary breast cancer: 4T1 > 4T07 and 168FARN (local micrometastasis only) > 67NR. We observed a restricted TCA cycle flux at the succinate dehydrogenase step in 67NR cells (but not in 4T1 cells), leading to succinate accumulation and hindering OXPHOS. In the four isogenic cell lines, environmental stresses modulated succinate dehydrogenase subunit A expression according to metastatic potential. Moreover, glucose-derived lactate production was more glutamine dependent in cell lines with higher metastatic potential. These studies show clear differences in TCA cycle metabolism between 4T1 and 67NR breast cancer cells. They indicate that metastases-forming 4T1 cells are more adept at adjusting their metabolism in response to environmental stress than isogenic, nonmetastatic 67NR cells. We suggest that the metabolic plasticity and adaptability are more important to the metastatic breast cancer phenotype than rapid cell proliferation alone, which could 1) provide a new biomarker for early detection of this phenotype, possibly at the time of diagnosis, and 2) lead to new treatment strategies of metastatic breast cancer by targeting mitochondrial metabolism. PMID:26408259

  9. How flexible is phenotypic plasticity? Developmental windows for trait induction and reversal.

    PubMed

    Hoverman, Jason T; Relyea, Rick A

    2007-03-01

    Inducible defenses allow prey to modulate their phenotypic responses to the level of predation risk in the environment and reduce the cost of constitutive defenses. Inherent in this statement is that prey must alter their phenotypes during development in order to form these defenses. This has lead many ecologists and evolutionary biologists to call for studies that examine developmental plasticity to provide insights into the importance of development in controlling the trajectories of trait formation, the integration of phenotypes over ontogeny, and the establishment of developmental windows for trait formation and reversal. By moving away from studies that focus on a single point in development, we can obtain a more complete understanding of the phenotypic decisions and limitations of prey. We exposed freshwater snails (Helisoma trivolvis) to environments in which predatory water bugs (Belostoma flumineum) were always absent, always present, or added and removed at different points in development. We discovered that snails formed morphological defenses against water bugs. Importantly, after the initial induction of defenses, snails showed similar developmental trajectories as snails reared without predators. Further, the snails possessed wide developmental windows for inducible defenses that extended past sexual maturity. However, being induced later in development appeared to have an associated cost (i.e., decreased shell thickness) that was not found when water bugs were always present. This epiphenotype (i.e., new shell formation as an extension of the current shell) suggests that resource limitation plays an important role in responses to temporal variation in predation risk and may have critical ecological costs that limit the benefits of the inducible defense. Lastly, the ability of snails to completely reverse their defenses was limited to early in ontogeny due to the constraints associated with modular growth of shell material. In sum, we demonstrate that

  10. Inherent phenotypic plasticity facilitates progression of head and neck cancer: Endotheliod characteristics enable angiogenesis and invasion

    SciTech Connect

    Tong, Meng; Han, Byungdo B.; Holpuch, Andrew S.; Pei, Ping; He, Lingli; Mallery, Susan R.

    2013-04-15

    The presence of the EMT (epithelial-mesenchymal transition), EndMT (endothelial-mesenchymal transition) and VM (vasculogenic mimicry) demonstrates the multidirectional extent of phenotypic plasticity in cancers. Previous findings demonstrating the crosstalk between head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) imply that HNSCC cells share some functional commonalities with endothelial cells. Our current results reveal that cultured HNSCC cells not only possess endothelial-specific markers, but also display endotheliod functional features including low density lipoprotein uptake, formation of tube-like structures on Matrigel and growth state responsiveness to VEGF and endostatin. HNSCC cell subpopulations are also highly responsive to transforming growth factor-β1 and express its auxiliary receptor, endoglin. Furthermore, the endotheliod characteristics observed in vitro recapitulate phenotypic features observed in human HNSCC tumors. Conversely, cultured normal human oral keratinocytes and intact or ulcerated human oral epithelia do not express comparable endotheliod characteristics, which imply that assumption of endotheliod features is restricted to transformed keratinocytes. In addition, this phenotypic state reciprocity facilitates HNSCC progression by increasing production of factors that are concurrently pro-proliferative and pro-angiogenic, conserving cell energy stores by LDL internalization and enhancing cell mobility. Finally, recognition of this endotheliod phenotypic transition provides a solid rationale to evaluate the antitumorigenic potential of therapeutic agents formerly regarded as exclusively angiostatic in scope. - Highlights: ► HNSCC tumor cells express endothelial specific markers VE-cadherin, CD31 and vimentin. ► Similarly, cultured HNSCC cells retain expression of these markers. ► HNSCC cells demonstrate functional endotheliod characteristics i.e. AcLDL uptake. ► HNSCC cell

  11. Phenotypic plasticity of invasive Alternanthera philoxeroides in relation to different water availability, compared to its native congener

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geng, Yu-Peng; Pan, Xiao-Yun; Xu, Cheng-Yuan; Zhang, Wen-Ju; Li, Bo; Chen, Jia-Kuan

    2006-11-01

    Phenotypic plasticity and genetic differentiation are two possible mechanisms that plants use to cope with varying environments. Although alligator weed ( Alternanthera philoxeroides) possesses very low genetic diversity, this alien weed has successfully invaded diverse habitats with considerably varying water availability (from swamps to dry lands) in China. In contrast, its native congener ( Alternanthera sessilis) has a much narrower ecological breadth, and is usually found in moist habitats. To understand the mechanisms underlying the contrasting pattern, we performed a greenhouse experiment to compare the reaction norms of alligator weed with those of its native congener, in which water availability was manipulated. Our results revealed that the two congeners had similar direction of phenotypic plasticity. However, A. philoxeroides showed greater plasticity in amount than did A. sessilis in many traits examined during the switch from wet to drought treatment. Nearly all of the phenotypic variance in A. philoxeroides could be ascribed to plasticity, while A. sessilis had a much higher fraction of phenotypic variance that could be explained by genotypic variation. These interspecific differences in plastic responses to variable water availability partially explained the difference in spatial distribution of the two congeners.

  12. Phenotypic plasticity and the perception-action-cognition-environment paradigm in neurodevelopmental genetic disorders.

    PubMed

    Dan, Bernard; Pelc, Karine; de Meirleir, Linda; Cheron, Guy

    2015-04-01

    Careful study of the phenotype can have implications at several levels, namely clinical diagnosis, pathophysiological reasoning, management planning, and outcome measurement. Behavioural phenotypes involve cognition, communication, social skills, and motor control. They can be documented in a host of neurodevelopmental conditions and approached with the recently refined perception-action-cognition-environment (PACE) paradigm, which focuses on the neurodevelopmental processes that underlie learning and adaption to the environment through perception, action, and cognitive processing. Although this paradigm was originally developed in the context of cerebral palsy, it can be applied along developmental trajectories in several neurogenetic conditions, including Down syndrome, fragile X syndrome, Rett syndrome, Angelman syndrome, and Williams syndrome, to name but a few. It must be recognized, however, that relevant, valid tools for assessment and management strategies still need to be developed. PMID:25690118

  13. Phenotypic plasticity and the perception-action-cognition-environment paradigm in neurodevelopmental genetic disorders.

    PubMed

    Dan, Bernard; Pelc, Karine; de Meirleir, Linda; Cheron, Guy

    2015-04-01

    Careful study of the phenotype can have implications at several levels, namely clinical diagnosis, pathophysiological reasoning, management planning, and outcome measurement. Behavioural phenotypes involve cognition, communication, social skills, and motor control. They can be documented in a host of neurodevelopmental conditions and approached with the recently refined perception-action-cognition-environment (PACE) paradigm, which focuses on the neurodevelopmental processes that underlie learning and adaption to the environment through perception, action, and cognitive processing. Although this paradigm was originally developed in the context of cerebral palsy, it can be applied along developmental trajectories in several neurogenetic conditions, including Down syndrome, fragile X syndrome, Rett syndrome, Angelman syndrome, and Williams syndrome, to name but a few. It must be recognized, however, that relevant, valid tools for assessment and management strategies still need to be developed.

  14. Extrafloral nectary phenotypic plasticity is damage- and resource-dependent in Vicia faba.

    PubMed

    Mondor, Edward B; Tremblay, Michelle N; Messing, Russell H

    2006-12-22

    Phenotypic plasticity enables many damaged plants to increase nectar secretion rates from extrafloral nectaries (EFNs), or in the case of broad bean, Vicia faba L. to produce additional EFNs, to attract natural enemies of herbivores. While plants benefit greatly from these defensive mutualisms, the costs of producing EFNs are largely unknown. We hypothesized that if EFN production is costly, then damaged plants with high resource levels would be able to produce more EFNs than plants that are resource-limited. Here, we show that this indirect inducible defence does follow this general pattern. Vicia faba enriched with 6 or 12 g of 14:14:14 NPK fertilizer increased EFN numbers after leaf damage by 46 and 60%, respectively, compared with nutrient-poor plants. Thus, EFN production is both damage- and resource-dependent. Analogous to direct defences, production of EFNs may limit the overall loss of leaf tissue when risk of herbivory increases. PMID:17148294

  15. Phenotypic plasticity in sex allocation for a simultaneously hermaphroditic coral reef fish

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hart, M. K.; Svoboda, A.; Mancilla Cortez, D.

    2011-06-01

    Phenotypic plasticity can facilitate reproductive strategies that maximize mating success in variable environments and lead to differences in sex allocation among populations. For simultaneous hermaphrodites with sperm competition, including Serranus tortugarum a small coral reef fish, proportional male allocation (testis in total gonad) is often greater where local density or mating group size is higher. We tested whether S. tortugarum reduced male allocation when transplanted from a higher density site to a lower density site. After 4 months, transplants mirrored the sex-allocation patterns of the resident population on their new reef. Transplants had significantly lower male allocation than representatives from their source population, largely as a result of reduced testis mass relative to body size.

  16. Is There a Relationship between DNA Methylation and Phenotypic Plasticity in Invertebrates?

    PubMed Central

    Roberts, Steven B.; Gavery, Mackenzie R.

    2011-01-01

    There is a significant amount of variation in DNA methylation characteristics across organisms. Likewise, the biological role of DNA methylation varies across taxonomic lineages. The complexity of DNA methylation patterns in invertebrates has only recently begun to be characterized in-depth. In some invertebrate species that have been examined to date, methylated DNA is found primarily within coding regions and patterning is closely associated with gene function. Here we provide a perspective on the potential role of DNA methylation in these invertebrates with a focus on how limited methylation may contribute to increased phenotypic plasticity in highly fluctuating environments. Specifically, limited methylation could facilitate a variety of transcriptional opportunities including access to alternative transcription start sites, increasing sequence mutations, exon skipping, and transient methylation. PMID:22232607

  17. Short-term phenotypic plasticity in long-chain cuticular hydrocarbons.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Melissa L; Simmons, Leigh W

    2011-10-22

    Cuticular hydrocarbons provide arthropods with the chemical equivalent of the visually extravagant plumage of birds. Their long chain length, together with the number and variety of positions in which methyl branches and double bonds occur, provide cuticular hydrocarbons with an extraordinary level of information content. Here, we demonstrate phenotypic plasticity in an individual's cuticular hydrocarbon profile. Using solid-phase microextraction, a chemical technique that enables multiple sampling of the same individual, we monitor short-term changes in cuticular hydrocarbon profiles of individual crickets, Teleogryllus oceanicus, in response to a social challenge. We experimentally manipulate the dominance status of males and find that dominant males, on losing fights with other dominant males, change their hydrocarbon profile to more closely resemble that of a subordinate. This result demonstrates that cuticular hydrocarbons can be far more responsive to changes in social dominance than previously realized.

  18. Short-term phenotypic plasticity in long-chain cuticular hydrocarbons.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Melissa L; Simmons, Leigh W

    2011-10-22

    Cuticular hydrocarbons provide arthropods with the chemical equivalent of the visually extravagant plumage of birds. Their long chain length, together with the number and variety of positions in which methyl branches and double bonds occur, provide cuticular hydrocarbons with an extraordinary level of information content. Here, we demonstrate phenotypic plasticity in an individual's cuticular hydrocarbon profile. Using solid-phase microextraction, a chemical technique that enables multiple sampling of the same individual, we monitor short-term changes in cuticular hydrocarbon profiles of individual crickets, Teleogryllus oceanicus, in response to a social challenge. We experimentally manipulate the dominance status of males and find that dominant males, on losing fights with other dominant males, change their hydrocarbon profile to more closely resemble that of a subordinate. This result demonstrates that cuticular hydrocarbons can be far more responsive to changes in social dominance than previously realized. PMID:21367785

  19. Rice Root Architectural Plasticity Traits and Genetic Regions for Adaptability to Variable Cultivation and Stress Conditions.

    PubMed

    Sandhu, Nitika; Raman, K Anitha; Torres, Rolando O; Audebert, Alain; Dardou, Audrey; Kumar, Arvind; Henry, Amelia

    2016-08-01

    Future rice (Oryza sativa) crops will likely experience a range of growth conditions, and root architectural plasticity will be an important characteristic to confer adaptability across variable environments. In this study, the relationship between root architectural plasticity and adaptability (i.e. yield stability) was evaluated in two traditional × improved rice populations (Aus 276 × MTU1010 and Kali Aus × MTU1010). Forty contrasting genotypes were grown in direct-seeded upland and transplanted lowland conditions with drought and drought + rewatered stress treatments in lysimeter and field studies and a low-phosphorus stress treatment in a Rhizoscope study. Relationships among root architectural plasticity for root dry weight, root length density, and percentage lateral roots with yield stability were identified. Selected genotypes that showed high yield stability also showed a high degree of root plasticity in response to both drought and low phosphorus. The two populations varied in the soil depth effect on root architectural plasticity traits, none of which resulted in reduced grain yield. Root architectural plasticity traits were related to 13 (Aus 276 population) and 21 (Kali Aus population) genetic loci, which were contributed by both the traditional donor parents and MTU1010. Three genomic loci were identified as hot spots with multiple root architectural plasticity traits in both populations, and one locus for both root architectural plasticity and grain yield was detected. These results suggest an important role of root architectural plasticity across future rice crop conditions and provide a starting point for marker-assisted selection for plasticity. PMID:27342311

  20. Ecology and Evolution of Phenotypic Plasticity in the Penis and Cirri of Barnacles.

    PubMed

    Hoch, J Matthew; Schneck, Daniel T; Neufeld, Christopher J

    2016-10-01

    Most barnacles are sessile, simultaneous hermaphrodites that reproduce by copulation. This is achieved through the extension of a muscular penis, famous for being the proportionally largest in the animal kingdom. The penis is a long cylindrical or conical organ, composed of a series of folded rings, allowing it to stretch to great lengths. The penises are covered with chemosensory setae allowing them to seek out receptive neighbors. For many species, the condition of the penis changes seasonally. In the most extreme circumstances, it degenerates and is shed during the first post-mating molt and is re-grown for the next mating season. Barnacle penises have been shown to exhibit phenotypic plasticity in response to many different challenges. When exposed to heavy waves, diameter is increased by thickening both the cuticle and muscles. When mates are far, length increases by adding ringed annulations. Experiments have shown that these plastic traits are modular, capable of changing independently from each other and that they improve mating ability. Alternate strategies to increase reproductive ability by barnacles include the production of dwarf and complemental males, sperm casting and sperm leakage, and aerial copulation. All of these mating strategies may have important implications for the study of reproductive biology, life history, and sex allocation theory.

  1. Genetic variability and phenotypic plasticity of metric thoracic traits in an invasive drosophilid in America.

    PubMed

    Bitner-Mathé, Blanche Christine; David, Jean Robert

    2015-08-01

    Thermal phenotypic plasticity of 5 metric thoracic traits (3 related to size and 2 to pigmentation) was investigated in Zaprionus indianus with an isofemale line design. Three of these traits are investigated for the first time in a drosophilid, i.e. thorax width and width of pigmented longitudinal white and black stripes. The reaction norms of white and black stripes were completely different: white stripes were insensitive to growth temperature while the black stripes exhibited a strong linear decrease with increasing temperatures. Thorax width exhibited a concave reaction norm, analogous but not identical to those of wing length and thorax length: the temperatures of maximum value were different, the highest being for thorax width. All traits exhibited a significant heritable variability and a low evolvability. Sexual dimorphism was very variable among traits, being nil for white stripes and thorax width, and around 1.13 for black stripes. The ratio thorax length to thorax width (an elongation index) was always >1, showing that males have a more rounded thorax at all temperatures. Black stripes revealed a significant increase of sexual dimorphism with increasing temperature. Shape indices, i.e. ratios between size traits all exhibited a linear decrease with temperature, the least sensitive being the elongation index. All these results illustrate the complexity of developmental processes but also the analytical strength of biometrical plasticity studies in an eco-devo perspective.

  2. Heterogeneity and phenotypic plasticity of glial cells in the mammalian enteric nervous system.

    PubMed

    Boesmans, Werend; Lasrado, Reena; Vanden Berghe, Pieter; Pachnis, Vassilis

    2015-02-01

    Enteric glial cells are vital for the autonomic control of gastrointestinal homeostasis by the enteric nervous system. Several different functions have been assigned to enteric glial cells but whether these are performed by specialized subtypes with a distinctive phenotype and function remains elusive. We used Mosaic Analysis with Double Markers and inducible lineage tracing to characterize the morphology and dynamic molecular marker expression of enteric GLIA in the myenteric plexus. Functional analysis in individually identified enteric glia was performed by Ca(2+) imaging. Our experiments have identified four morphologically distinct subpopulations of enteric glia in the gastrointestinal tract of adult mice. Marker expression analysis showed that the majority of glia in the myenteric plexus co-express glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), S100β, and Sox10. However, a considerable fraction (up to 80%) of glia outside the myenteric ganglia, did not label for these markers. Lineage tracing experiments suggest that these alternative combinations of markers reflect dynamic gene regulation rather than lineage restrictions. At the functional level, the three myenteric glia subtypes can be distinguished by their differential response to adenosine triphosphate. Together, our studies reveal extensive heterogeneity and phenotypic plasticity of enteric glial cells and set a framework for further investigations aimed at deciphering their role in digestive function and disease.

  3. Phenotypic plasticity of the basidiomata of Thelephora sp. (Thelephoraceae) in tropical forest habitats.

    PubMed

    Ramirez-Lópezl, Itzel; Ríos, Margarita Villegas; Cano-Santana, Zenón

    2013-03-01

    Phenotypic plasticity in macroscopic fungi has been poorly studied in comparison to plants or animals and only general aspects of these changes have been described. In this work, the phenotypic variation in the basidiomata of Thelephora sp. (Thelephoraceae) was examined, as well as some aspects of its ecology and habitat, using 24 specimens collected in the tropical forests of the Chamela Biological Station, Jalisco, Mexico. Our observations showed that this taxon has clavarioid basidiomata that can become resupinate during development and growth if they are in contact with rocks, litter or live plants, establishing in the latter only an epiphytic relationship. This tropical species may form groups of up to 139 basidiomata over an area of 32.2m2, and in both types of vegetation (tropical sub-evergreen and deciduous forest) were primarily located on steep (>20 degree) South-facing slopes. It is found under closed canopy in both tropical forests, but its presence in sub-evergreen forests is greater than expected.

  4. Adaptive plasticity during the development of colour vision.

    PubMed

    Wagner, Hans-Joachim; Kröger, Ronald H H

    2005-07-01

    spinule dynamics were both affected in the blue light group. This observation rules out the role of spinules as sites of chromatic feedback synapses. The light-evoked responses of H2 horizontal cells were also sensitive to spectral deprivation showing a shift of the neutral point towards short wavelengths in the blue rearing group. Interestingly, we also found an intensity effect because in the group reared in bright white light the neutral point was more towards longer wavelength than in the dim light group. Like the changes in the cones, the reactions of horizontal cells to spectral deprivation in the long wave domain can be characterised as compensatory. We also tested the spectral sensitivity of the various experimental groups of blue acara in visually evoked behaviour using the optomotor response paradigm. In this case, the changes in the relative spectral sensitivity were more complex and could not be explained by a simple extrapolation of the adaptive and compensatory processes in the outer retina. We conclude that the inner retina, and/or the optic tectum are also involved and react to the changes of the spectral environment. In summary, we have shown a considerable developmental plasticity in the colour vision system of the blue acara, where epigenetic adaptive processes at various levels of the visual system respond to the specific spectral composition of the surroundings and provide a powerful mechanism to ensure functional colour vision in different visual environments. We suggest that processes involving an active fine-tuning of the photoreceptors and the postreceptoral processing of chromatic information during ontogenetic development are a general feature of all colour vision systems. Such mechanisms would establish a functional balance between the various chromatic channels. This appears to be an essential condition for the cognitive systems to extract the relevant and stable information from the unstable and changing stimulus situation. PMID:15845347

  5. Optimality and adaptation of phenotypically switching cells in fluctuating environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belete, Merzu Kebede; Balázsi, Gábor

    2015-12-01

    Stochastic switching between alternative phenotypic states is a common cellular survival strategy during unforeseen environmental fluctuations. Cells can switch between different subpopulations that proliferate at different rates in different environments. Optimal population growth is typically assumed to occur when phenotypic switching rates match environmental switching rates. However, it is not well understood how this optimum behaves as a function of the growth rates of phenotypically different cells. In this study, we use mathematical and computational models to test how the actual parameters associated with optimal population growth differ from those assumed to be optimal. We find that the predicted optimum is practically always valid if the environmental durations are long. However, the regime of validity narrows as environmental durations shorten, especially if subpopulation growth rate differences differ from each other (are asymmetric) in two environments. Furthermore, we study the fate of mutants with switching rates previously predicted to be optimal. We find that mutants which match their phenotypic switching rates with the environmental ones can only sweep the population if the assumed optimum is valid, but not otherwise.

  6. Skeletal muscle calcineurin: influence of phenotype adaptation and atrophy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spangenburg, E. E.; Williams, J. H.; Roy, R. R.; Talmadge, R. J.; Spangenberg, E. E. (Principal Investigator)

    2001-01-01

    Calcineurin (CaN) has been implicated as a signaling molecule that can transduce physiological stimuli (e.g., contractile activity) into molecular signals that initiate slow-fiber phenotypic gene expression and muscle growth. To determine the influence of muscle phenotype and atrophy on CaN levels in muscle, the levels of soluble CaN in rat muscles of varying phenotype, as assessed by myosin heavy chain (MHC)-isoform proportions, were determined by Western blotting. CaN levels were significantly greater in the plantaris muscle containing predominantly fast (IIx and IIb) MHC isoforms, compared with the soleus (predominantly type I MHC) or vastus intermedius (VI, contains all 4 adult MHC isoforms). Three months after a complete spinal cord transection (ST), the CaN levels in the VI muscle were significantly reduced, despite a significant increase in fast MHC isoforms. Surprisingly, the levels of CaN in the VI were highly correlated with muscle mass but not MHC isoform proportions in ST and control rats. These data demonstrate that CaN levels in skeletal muscle are highly correlated to muscle mass and that the normal relationship with phenotype is lost after ST.

  7. Optimality and adaptation of phenotypically switching cells in fluctuating environments.

    PubMed

    Belete, Merzu Kebede; Balázsi, Gábor

    2015-12-01

    Stochastic switching between alternative phenotypic states is a common cellular survival strategy during unforeseen environmental fluctuations. Cells can switch between different subpopulations that proliferate at different rates in different environments. Optimal population growth is typically assumed to occur when phenotypic switching rates match environmental switching rates. However, it is not well understood how this optimum behaves as a function of the growth rates of phenotypically different cells. In this study, we use mathematical and computational models to test how the actual parameters associated with optimal population growth differ from those assumed to be optimal. We find that the predicted optimum is practically always valid if the environmental durations are long. However, the regime of validity narrows as environmental durations shorten, especially if subpopulation growth rate differences differ from each other (are asymmetric) in two environments. Furthermore, we study the fate of mutants with switching rates previously predicted to be optimal. We find that mutants which match their phenotypic switching rates with the environmental ones can only sweep the population if the assumed optimum is valid, but not otherwise.

  8. Gene Expression Variability Underlies Adaptive Resistance in Phenotypically Heterogeneous Bacterial Populations.

    PubMed

    Erickson, Keesha E; Otoupal, Peter B; Chatterjee, Anushree

    2015-11-13

    The root cause of the antibiotic resistance crisis is the ability of bacteria to evolve resistance to a multitude of antibiotics and other environmental toxins. The regulation of adaptation is difficult to pinpoint due to extensive phenotypic heterogeneity arising during evolution. Here, we investigate the mechanisms underlying general bacterial adaptation by evolving wild-type Escherichia coli populations to dissimilar chemical toxins. We demonstrate the presence of extensive inter- and intrapopulation phenotypic heterogeneity across adapted populations in multiple traits, including minimum inhibitory concentration, growth rate, and lag time. To search for a common response across the heterogeneous adapted populations, we measured gene expression in three stress-response networks: the mar regulon, the general stress response, and the SOS response. While few genes were differentially expressed, clustering revealed that interpopulation gene expression variability in adapted populations was distinct from that of unadapted populations. Notably, we observed both increases and decreases in gene expression variability upon adaptation. Sequencing select genes revealed that the observed gene expression trends are not necessarily attributable to genetic changes. To further explore the connection between gene expression variability and adaptation, we propagated single-gene knockout and CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) interference strains and quantified impact on adaptation to antibiotics. We identified significant correlations that suggest genes with low expression variability have greater impact on adaptation. This study provides evidence that gene expression variability can be used as an indicator of bacterial adaptive resistance, even in the face of the pervasive phenotypic heterogeneity underlying adaptation. PMID:27623410

  9. Host-Specific Phenotypic Plasticity of the Turtle Barnacle Chelonibia testudinaria: A Widespread Generalist Rather than a Specialist

    PubMed Central

    Chu, Ka Hou; Cheng, I-Jiunn; Chan, Benny K. K.

    2013-01-01

    Turtle barnacles are common epibionts on marine organisms. Chelonibia testudinaria is specific on marine turtles whereas C. patula is a host generalist, but rarely found on turtles. It has been questioned why C. patula, being abundant on a variety of live substrata, is almost absent from turtles. We evaluated the genetic (mitochondrial COI, 16S and 12S rRNA, and amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP)) and morphological differentiation of C. testudinaia and C. patula from different hosts, to determine the mode of adaptation exhibited by Chelonibia species on different hosts. The two taxa demonstrate clear differences in shell morphology and length of 4–6th cirri, but very similar in arthropodal characters. Moreover, we detected no genetic differentiation in mitochondrial DNA and AFLP analyses. Outlier detection infers insignificant selection across loci investigated. Based on combined morphological and molecular evidence, we proposed that C. testudinaria and C. patula are conspecific, and the two morphs with contrasting shell morphologies and cirral length found on different host are predominantly shaped by developmental plasticity in response to environmental setting on different hosts. Chelonibia testudinaria is, thus, a successful general epibiotic fouler and the phenotypic responses postulated can increase the fitness of the animals when they attach on hosts with contrasting life-styles. PMID:23469208

  10. Clinal adaptation and adaptive plasticity in Artemisia californica: implications for the response of a foundation species to predicted climate change.

    PubMed

    Pratt, Jessica D; Mooney, Kailen A

    2013-08-01

    Local adaptation and plasticity pose significant obstacles to predicting plant responses to future climates. Although local adaptation and plasticity in plant functional traits have been documented for many species, less is known about population-level variation in plasticity and whether such variation is driven by adaptation to environmental variation. We examined clinal variation in traits and performance - and plastic responses to environmental change - for the shrub Artemisia californica along a 700 km gradient characterized (from south to north) by a fourfold increase in precipitation and a 61% decrease in interannual precipitation variation. Plants cloned from five populations along this gradient were grown for 3 years in treatments approximating the precipitation regimes of the north and south range margins. Most traits varying among populations did so clinally; northern populations (vs. southern) had higher water-use efficiencies and lower growth rates, C : N ratios and terpene concentrations. Notably, there was variation in plasticity for plant performance that was strongly correlated with source site interannual precipitation variability. The high-precipitation treatment (vs. low) increased growth and flower production more for plants from southern populations (181% and 279%, respectively) than northern populations (47% and 20%, respectively). Overall, precipitation variability at population source sites predicted 86% and 99% of variation in plasticity in growth and flowering, respectively. These striking, clinal patterns in plant traits and plasticity are indicative of adaptation to both the mean and variability of environmental conditions. Furthermore, our analysis of long-term coastal climate data in turn indicates an increase in interannual precipitation variation consistent with most global change models and, unexpectedly, this increased variation is especially pronounced at historically stable, northern sites. Our findings demonstrate the

  11. Clinal adaptation and adaptive plasticity in Artemisia californica: implications for the response of a foundation species to predicted climate change.

    PubMed

    Pratt, Jessica D; Mooney, Kailen A

    2013-08-01

    Local adaptation and plasticity pose significant obstacles to predicting plant responses to future climates. Although local adaptation and plasticity in plant functional traits have been documented for many species, less is known about population-level variation in plasticity and whether such variation is driven by adaptation to environmental variation. We examined clinal variation in traits and performance - and plastic responses to environmental change - for the shrub Artemisia californica along a 700 km gradient characterized (from south to north) by a fourfold increase in precipitation and a 61% decrease in interannual precipitation variation. Plants cloned from five populations along this gradient were grown for 3 years in treatments approximating the precipitation regimes of the north and south range margins. Most traits varying among populations did so clinally; northern populations (vs. southern) had higher water-use efficiencies and lower growth rates, C : N ratios and terpene concentrations. Notably, there was variation in plasticity for plant performance that was strongly correlated with source site interannual precipitation variability. The high-precipitation treatment (vs. low) increased growth and flower production more for plants from southern populations (181% and 279%, respectively) than northern populations (47% and 20%, respectively). Overall, precipitation variability at population source sites predicted 86% and 99% of variation in plasticity in growth and flowering, respectively. These striking, clinal patterns in plant traits and plasticity are indicative of adaptation to both the mean and variability of environmental conditions. Furthermore, our analysis of long-term coastal climate data in turn indicates an increase in interannual precipitation variation consistent with most global change models and, unexpectedly, this increased variation is especially pronounced at historically stable, northern sites. Our findings demonstrate the

  12. Genetic Adaptation vs. Ecophysiological Plasticity of Photosynthetic-Related Traits in Young Picea glauca Trees along a Regional Climatic Gradient.

    PubMed

    Benomar, Lahcen; Lamhamedi, Mohammed S; Rainville, André; Beaulieu, Jean; Bousquet, Jean; Margolis, Hank A

    2016-01-01

    Assisted population migration (APM) is the intentional movement of populations within a species range to sites where future environmental conditions are projected to be more conducive to growth. APM has been proposed as a proactive adaptation strategy to maintain forest productivity and to reduce the vulnerability of forest ecosystems to projected climate change. The validity of such a strategy will depend on the adaptation capacity of populations, which can partially be evaluated by the ecophysiological response of different genetic sources along a climatic gradient. This adaptation capacity results from the compromise between (i) the degree of genetic adaptation of seed sources to their environment of origin and (ii) the phenotypic plasticity of functional trait which can make it possible for transferred seed sources to positively respond to new growing conditions. We examined phenotypic variation in morphophysiological traits of six seed sources of white spruce (Picea glauca [Moench] Voss) along a regional climatic gradient in Québec, Canada. Seedlings from the seed sources were planted at three forest sites representing a mean annual temperature (MAT) gradient of 2.2°C. During the second growing season, we measured height growth (H2014) and traits related to resources use efficiency and photosynthetic rate (A max). All functional traits showed an adaptive response to the climatic gradient. Traits such as H2014, A max, stomatal conductance (g s ), the ratio of mesophyll to stomatal conductance, water use efficiency, and photosynthetic nitrogen-use efficiency showed significant variation in both physiological plasticity due to the planting site and seed source variation related to local genetic adaptation. However, the amplitude of seed source variation was much less than that related to plantation sites in the area investigated. The six seed sources showed a similar level of physiological plasticity. H2014, A max and g s , but not carboxylation capacity (V

  13. Genetic Adaptation vs. Ecophysiological Plasticity of Photosynthetic-Related Traits in Young Picea glauca Trees along a Regional Climatic Gradient

    PubMed Central

    Benomar, Lahcen; Lamhamedi, Mohammed S.; Rainville, André; Beaulieu, Jean; Bousquet, Jean; Margolis, Hank A.

    2016-01-01

    Assisted population migration (APM) is the intentional movement of populations within a species range to sites where future environmental conditions are projected to be more conducive to growth. APM has been proposed as a proactive adaptation strategy to maintain forest productivity and to reduce the vulnerability of forest ecosystems to projected climate change. The validity of such a strategy will depend on the adaptation capacity of populations, which can partially be evaluated by the ecophysiological response of different genetic sources along a climatic gradient. This adaptation capacity results from the compromise between (i) the degree of genetic adaptation of seed sources to their environment of origin and (ii) the phenotypic plasticity of functional trait which can make it possible for transferred seed sources to positively respond to new growing conditions. We examined phenotypic variation in morphophysiological traits of six seed sources of white spruce (Picea glauca [Moench] Voss) along a regional climatic gradient in Québec, Canada. Seedlings from the seed sources were planted at three forest sites representing a mean annual temperature (MAT) gradient of 2.2°C. During the second growing season, we measured height growth (H2014) and traits related to resources use efficiency and photosynthetic rate (Amax). All functional traits showed an adaptive response to the climatic gradient. Traits such as H2014, Amax, stomatal conductance (gs), the ratio of mesophyll to stomatal conductance, water use efficiency, and photosynthetic nitrogen-use efficiency showed significant variation in both physiological plasticity due to the planting site and seed source variation related to local genetic adaptation. However, the amplitude of seed source variation was much less than that related to plantation sites in the area investigated. The six seed sources showed a similar level of physiological plasticity. H2014, Amax and gs, but not carboxylation capacity (Vcmax), were

  14. Morphological change and phenotypic plasticity in native and non-native pumpkinseed sunfish in response to competition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yavno, Stan; Rooke, Anna C.; Fox, Michael G.

    2014-06-01

    Non-indigenous species are oftentimes exposed to ecosystems with unfamiliar species, and organisms that exhibit a high degree of phenotypic plasticity may be better able to contend with the novel competitors that they may encounter during range expansion. In this study, differences in morphological plasticity were investigated using young-of-year pumpkinseed sunfish ( Lepomis gibbosus) from native North American and non-native European populations. Two Canadian populations, isolated from bluegill sunfish ( L. macrochirus) since the last glaciation, and two Spanish populations, isolated from bluegill since their introduction in Europe, were reared in a common environment using artificial enclosures. Fish were subjected to allopatric (without bluegill) or sympatric (with bluegill) conditions, and differences in plasticity were tested through a MANOVA of discriminant function scores. All pumpkinseed populations exhibited dietary shifts towards more benthivorous prey when held with bluegill. Differences between North American and European populations were observed in body dimensions, gill raker length and pelvic fin position. Sympatric treatments induced an increase in body width and a decrease in caudal peduncle length in native fish; non-native fish exhibited longer caudal peduncle lengths when held in sympatry with bluegill. Overall, phenotypic plasticity influenced morphological divergence less than genetic factors, regardless of population. Contrary to predictions, pumpkinseeds from Europe exhibited lower levels of phenotypic plasticity than Canadian populations, suggesting that European pumpkinseeds are more canalized than their North American counterparts.

  15. Muscle and bone plasticity after spinal cord injury: Review of adaptations to disuse and to electrical muscle stimulation

    PubMed Central

    Dudley-Javoroski, Shauna; Shields, Richard K.

    2009-01-01

    The paralyzed musculoskeletal system retains a remarkable degree of plasticity after spinal cord injury (SCI). In response to reduced activity, muscle atrophies and shifts toward a fast-fatigable phenotype arising from numerous changes in histochemistry and metabolic enzymes. The loss of routine gravitational and muscular loads removes a critical stimulus for maintenance of bone mineral density (BMD), precipitating neurogenic osteoporosis in paralyzed limbs. The primary adaptations of bone to reduced use are demineralization of epiphyses and thinning of the diaphyseal cortical wall. Electrical stimulation of paralyzed muscle markedly reduces deleterious post-SCI adaptations. Recent studies demonstrate that physiological levels of electrically induced muscular loading hold promise for preventing post-SCI BMD decline. Rehabilitation specialists will be challenged to develop strategies to prevent or reverse musculoskeletal deterioration in anticipation of a future cure for SCI. Quantifying the precise dose of stress needed to efficiently induce a therapeutic effect on bone will be paramount to the advancement of rehabilitation strategies. PMID:18566946

  16. Catch Me if You Can: Adaptation from Standing Genetic Variation to a Moving Phenotypic Optimum

    PubMed Central

    Matuszewski, Sebastian; Hermisson, Joachim; Kopp, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Adaptation lies at the heart of Darwinian evolution. Accordingly, numerous studies have tried to provide a formal framework for the description of the adaptive process. Of these, two complementary modeling approaches have emerged: While so-called adaptive-walk models consider adaptation from the successive fixation of de novo mutations only, quantitative genetic models assume that adaptation proceeds exclusively from preexisting standing genetic variation. The latter approach, however, has focused on short-term evolution of population means and variances rather than on the statistical properties of adaptive substitutions. Our aim is to combine these two approaches by describing the ecological and genetic factors that determine the genetic basis of adaptation from standing genetic variation in terms of the effect-size distribution of individual alleles. Specifically, we consider the evolution of a quantitative trait to a gradually changing environment. By means of analytical approximations, we derive the distribution of adaptive substitutions from standing genetic variation, that is, the distribution of the phenotypic effects of those alleles from the standing variation that become fixed during adaptation. Our results are checked against individual-based simulations. We find that, compared to adaptation from de novo mutations, (i) adaptation from standing variation proceeds by the fixation of more alleles of small effect and (ii) populations that adapt from standing genetic variation can traverse larger distances in phenotype space and, thus, have a higher potential for adaptation if the rate of environmental change is fast rather than slow. PMID:26038348

  17. Genotypic and phenotypic variation as stress adaptations in temperate tree species: a review of several case studies.

    PubMed

    Abrams, Marc D.

    1994-01-01

    Species that occupy large geographic ranges or a variety of habitats within a limited area deal with contrasting environmental conditions by genotypic and phenotypic variation. My students and I have studied these forms of ecophysiological variation in temperate tree species in eastern North America by means of a series of field and greenhouse experiments, including controlled studies with Cercis canadensis L., Fraxinus pennsylvanica Marsh., Acer rubrum L., Prunus serotina Ehrh. and Quercus rubra L., in relation to drought stress. These studies have included measurements of gas exchange, tissue water relations and leaf morphology, and have identified genotypic variation at the biome and individual community levels. Xeric genotypes generally had higher net photosynthesis and leaf conductance and lower osmotic and water potentials at incipient wilting than mesic genotypes during drought. Xeric genotypes also produced leaves with greater thickness, leaf mass per area and stomatal density and smaller area than the mesic genotypes, suggesting general coordination among leaf morphology, gas exchange and tissue water relations. Leaf phenotypic plasticity to different light environments occurred in virtually every study species, which represented a wide array of ecological tolerances. In a study of interactions of genotypes with environment, shade plants, but not sun plants, exhibited osmotic adjustment during drought and shade plants had smaller reductions in photosynthesis with decreasing leaf water potential. In that study, sun, but not shade, plants had significant genotypic differences in leaf structure, but with certain variables phenotypic variation exceeded genotype variation. Thus, genotypic variation was not expressed in all phenotypes, and phenotypes responded differentially to stress. Overall, these studies indicate the importance of genotypic and phenotypic variation as stress adaptations in temperate tree species among both distant and nearby sites of

  18. Morphological divergence and flow-induced phenotypic plasticity in a native fish from anthropogenically altered stream habitats

    PubMed Central

    Franssen, Nathan R; Stewart, Laura K; Schaefer, Jacob F

    2013-01-01

    Understanding population-level responses to human-induced changes to habitats can elucidate the evolutionary consequences of rapid habitat alteration. Reservoirs constructed on streams expose stream fishes to novel selective pressures in these habitats. Assessing the drivers of trait divergence facilitated by these habitats will help identify evolutionary and ecological consequences of reservoir habitats. We tested for morphological divergence in a stream fish that occupies both stream and reservoir habitats. To assess contributions of genetic-level differences and phenotypic plasticity induced by flow variation, we spawned and reared individuals from both habitats types in flow and no flow conditions. Body shape significantly and consistently diverged in reservoir habitats compared with streams; individuals from reservoirs were shallower bodied with smaller heads compared with individuals from streams. Significant population-level differences in morphology persisted in offspring but morphological variation compared with field-collected individuals was limited to the head region. Populations demonstrated dissimilar flow-induced phenotypic plasticity when reared under flow, but phenotypic plasticity in response to flow variation was an unlikely explanation for observed phenotypic divergence in the field. Our results, together with previous investigations, suggest the environmental conditions currently thought to drive morphological change in reservoirs (i.e., predation and flow regimes) may not be the sole drivers of phenotypic change. PMID:24363894

  19. Elastic, not plastic species: Frozen plasticity theory and the origin of adaptive evolution in sexually reproducing organisms

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Darwin's evolutionary theory could easily explain the evolution of adaptive traits (organs and behavioral patterns) in asexual but not in sexual organisms. Two models, the selfish gene theory and frozen plasticity theory were suggested to explain evolution of adaptive traits in sexual organisms in past 30 years. Results The frozen plasticity theory suggests that sexual species can evolve new adaptations only when their members are genetically uniform, i.e. only after a portion of the population of the original species had split off, balanced on the edge of extinction for several generations, and then undergone rapid expansion. After a short period of time, estimated on the basis of paleontological data to correspond to 1-2% of the duration of the species, polymorphism accumulates in the gene pool due to frequency-dependent selection; and thus, in each generation, new mutations occur in the presence of different alleles and therefore change their selection coefficients from generation to generation. The species ceases to behave in an evolutionarily plastic manner and becomes evolutionarily elastic on a microevolutionary time-scale and evolutionarily frozen on a macroevolutionary time-scale. It then exists in this state until such changes accumulate in the environment that the species becomes extinct. Conclusion Frozen plasticity theory, which includes the Darwinian model of evolution as a special case - the evolution of species in a plastic state, not only offers plenty of new predictions to be tested, but also provides explanations for a much broader spectrum of known biological phenomena than classic evolutionary theories. Reviewers This article was reviewed by Rob Knight, Fyodor Kondrashov and Massimo Di Giulio (nominated by David H. Ardell). PMID:20067646

  20. Multiple sites of adaptive plasticity in the owl's auditory localization pathway.

    PubMed

    DeBello, William M; Knudsen, Eric I

    2004-08-01

    In the midbrain auditory localization pathway of the barn owl, a map of auditory space is relayed from the external nucleus of the inferior colliculus (ICX) to the deep and intermediate layers of the optic tectum (OT) and from these layers to the superficial layers. Within the OT, the auditory space map aligns with a visual map of space. Raising young barn owls with a prismatic displacement of the visual field leads to progressive changes in auditory tuning in the OT that tend to realign the auditory space map with the prismatically displaced visual space map. The only known site of this adaptive plasticity is in the ICX, in which the auditory system first creates a map of space. In this study, we identified an additional site of plasticity in the OT. In owls that experienced prisms beginning late in the juvenile period, adaptive shifts in auditory tuning in the superficial layers of the OT exceeded the adaptive shifts that occurred in the deep layers of the OT or in the ICX. Anatomical results from these owls demonstrated that the topography of intrinsic OT connections was systematically altered in the adaptive direction. In juvenile owls, plasticity in the OT increased as plasticity in the ICX decreased. Because plasticity at both sites has been shown to decline substantially in adults, these results suggest that an age-dependent decrease in auditory map plasticity occurs first in the ICX and later at the higher level, in the OT. PMID:15295019

  1. Endocrine mechanisms, behavioral phenotypes and plasticity: known relationships and open questions

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Behavior of wild vertebrate individuals can vary in response to environmental or social factors. Such within-individual behavioral variation is often mediated by hormonal mechanisms. Hormones also serve as a basis for among-individual variations in behavior including animal personalities and the degree of responsiveness to environmental and social stimuli. How do relationships between hormones and behavioral traits evolve to produce such behavioral diversity within and among individuals? Answering questions about evolutionary processes generating among-individual variation requires characterizing how specific hormones are related to variation in specific behavioral traits, whether observed hormonal variation is related to individual fitness and, whether hormonal traits are consistent (repeatable) aspects of an individual's phenotype. With respect to within-individual variation, we need to improve our insight into the nature of the quantitative relationships between hormones and the traits they regulate, which in turn will determine how they may mediate behavioral plasticity of individuals. To address these questions, we review the actions of two steroid hormones, corticosterone and testosterone, in mediating changes in vertebrate behavior, focusing primarily on birds. In the first part, we concentrate on among-individual variation and present examples for how variation in corticosterone concentrations can relate to behaviors such as exploration of novel environments and parental care. We then review studies on correlations between corticosterone variation and fitness, and on the repeatability over time of corticosterone concentrations. At the end of this section, we suggest that further progress in our understanding of evolutionary patterns in the hormonal regulation of behavior may require, as one major tool, reaction norm approaches to characterize hormonal phenotypes as well as their responses to environments. In the second part, we discuss types of quantitative

  2. Toward a nonhuman primate model of fetal programming: phenotypic plasticity of the common marmoset fetoplacental complex

    PubMed Central

    Rutherford, Julienne N.

    2012-01-01

    Nonhuman primate models offer unique opportunities as animal models in the study of developmental programming and the role of the placenta in developmental processes. All primates share fundamental similarities in life history and reproductive biology. Thus, insights gleaned from studies of nonhuman primates have a higher degree of biological salience to human biology than do studies of rodents or agricultural animals. The common marmoset monkey is a small-bodied primate from South America that produces litters of dizygotic fetuses that share a single placental mass. This natural variation allows us to model different intrauterine conditions and associated fetoplacental phenotypes. The marmoset placenta is phenotypically plastic according to litter size. Triplet litters are characterized by low individual fetal weights and significantly more efficient placentas and attendant alterations to the microscopic architecture and endocrine function, thus modeling a nutrient restricted intrauterine environment. Consistent with this model, triplet neonates experience a higher risk of perinatal mortality and an increased likelihood of elevated adult weight. Recent evidence has shown that the intrauterine experience of females has an impact on their own pregnancy outcomes in adulthood: triplet females experience significantly greater pregnancy loss than do twin females. The marmoset monkey thus represents a potential powerful nonhuman primate model of multiple pregnancies, restrictive prenatal experiences, and differential reproductive outcomes in adulthood, which may have important implications for studying the impact of in vitro fertilization on adult reproductive health. It is still too early to determine exactly what developmental pathways lead to this disparity or what specific role the placenta plays; future work on this front will be critical to establish the marmoset as an important model of fetal programming of reproductive function in adulthood and across generations

  3. Predicting adaptive phenotypes from multilocus genotypes in Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) using random forest.

    PubMed

    Holliday, Jason A; Wang, Tongli; Aitken, Sally

    2012-09-01

    Climate is the primary driver of the distribution of tree species worldwide, and the potential for adaptive evolution will be an important factor determining the response of forests to anthropogenic climate change. Although association mapping has the potential to improve our understanding of the genomic underpinnings of climatically relevant traits, the utility of adaptive polymorphisms uncovered by such studies would be greatly enhanced by the development of integrated models that account for the phenotypic effects of multiple single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and their interactions simultaneously. We previously reported the results of association mapping in the widespread conifer Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis). In the current study we used the recursive partitioning algorithm 'Random Forest' to identify optimized combinations of SNPs to predict adaptive phenotypes. After adjusting for population structure, we were able to explain 37% and 30% of the phenotypic variation, respectively, in two locally adaptive traits--autumn budset timing and cold hardiness. For each trait, the leading five SNPs captured much of the phenotypic variation. To determine the role of epistasis in shaping these phenotypes, we also used a novel approach to quantify the strength and direction of pairwise interactions between SNPs and found such interactions to be common. Our results demonstrate the power of Random Forest to identify subsets of markers that are most important to climatic adaptation, and suggest that interactions among these loci may be widespread.

  4. Beyond the Sensorimotor Plasticity: Cognitive Expansion of Prism Adaptation in Healthy Individuals

    PubMed Central

    Michel, Carine

    2016-01-01

    Sensorimotor plasticity allows us to maintain an efficient motor behavior in reaction to environmental changes. One of the classical models for the study of sensorimotor plasticity is prism adaptation. It consists of pointing to visual targets while wearing prismatic lenses that shift the visual field laterally. The conditions of the development of the plasticity and the sensorimotor after-effects have been extensively studied for more than a century. However, the interest taken in this phenomenon was considerably increased since the demonstration of neglect rehabilitation following prism adaptation by Rossetti et al. (1998). Mirror effects, i.e., simulation of neglect in healthy individuals, were observed for the first time by Colent et al. (2000). The present review focuses on the expansion of prism adaptation to cognitive functions in healthy individuals during the last 15 years. Cognitive after-effects have been shown in numerous tasks even in those that are not intrinsically spatial in nature. Altogether, these results suggest the existence of a strong link between low-level sensorimotor plasticity and high-level cognitive functions and raise important questions about the mechanisms involved in producing unexpected cognitive effects following prism adaptation. Implications for the functional mechanisms and neuroanatomical network of prism adaptation are discussed to explain how sensorimotor plasticity may affect cognitive processes. PMID:26779088

  5. Ontogenetic loss of phenotypic plasticity of age at metamorphosis in tadpoles

    SciTech Connect

    Hensley, F.R. )

    1993-12-01

    Amphibian larvae exhibit phenotypic plasticity in size at metamorphosis and duration of the larval period. I used Pseudacris crucifer tadpoles to test two models for predicting tadpole age and size at metamorphosis under changing environmental conditions. The Wilbur-Collins model states that metamorphosis is initiated as a function of a tadpole's size and relative growth rate, and predicts that changes in growth rate throughout the larval period affect age and size at metamorphosis. An alternative model, the fixed-rate model, states that age at metamorphosis is fixed early in larval life, and subsequent changes in growth rate will have no effect on the length of the larval period. My results confirm that food supplies affect both age and size at metamorphosis, but developmental rates became fixed at approximately Gosner (1960) stages 35-37. Neither model completely predicted these results. I suggest that the generally accepted Wilbur-Collins model is improved by incorporating a point of fixed developmental timing. Growth trajectories predicted from this modified model fit the results of this study better than trajectories based on either of the original models. The results of this study suggests a constraint that limits the simultaneous optimization of age and size at metamorphosis. 32 refs., 5 figs., 1 tab.

  6. Does the white clover response to sulphur availability correspond to phenotypic or ontogenetic plasticity?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Varin, Sébastien; Leveel, Benjamen; Lemauviel-Lavenant, Servane; Cliquet, Jean-Bernard

    2009-05-01

    White clover ( Trifolium repens L.) is a key species in grasslands. Its performance in grassland communities is strongly linked to nitrogen (N) availability. A decrease in soil sulphur (S) content has appeared in the last few decades in grasslands in Northern Europe and this could change the behaviour of white clover. S is essential for plants and particularly for legumes through its effect upon nitrogen fixation. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of S deficiency on white clover fitness, analysing its plasticity in a time course of growth. Three concentrations of SO 42-, "Low S" (0.009 mM), "Medium S" (0.384 mM) and "High S" (1.509 mM), were used to grow plants in a hydroponic system. S availability modified biomasses significantly only at the end of the experiment (11 weeks). Medium S appeared optimal while Low S induced a lower aboveground dry mass. An appropriate S availability (Medium S) not only increased S content but also increased N content by stimulating N 2 fixation. Plant growth analysis using growth fitted curves and the calculation of RGR revealed that S effects on biomass corresponded to the production of different phenotypes and not to a growth delay. This work shows that the acceleration growth phase (49-56 days) is a key period for the nutritional needs of white clover and should be the best period for a sulphur fertilisation regime that aims to enhance white clover fitness.

  7. Extrafloral nectary phenotypic plasticity is damage- and resource-dependent in Vicia faba

    PubMed Central

    Mondor, Edward B; Tremblay, Michelle N; Messing, Russell H

    2006-01-01

    Phenotypic plasticity enables many damaged plants to increase nectar secretion rates from extrafloral nectaries (EFNs), or in the case of broad bean, Vicia faba L., to produce additional EFNs, to attract natural enemies of herbivores. While plants benefit greatly from these defensive mutualisms, the costs of producing EFNs are largely unknown. We hypothesized that if EFN production is costly, then damaged plants with high resource levels would be able to produce more EFNs than plants that are resource-limited. Here, we show that this indirect inducible defence does follow this general pattern. Vicia faba enriched with 6 or 12 g of 14 : 14 : 14 NPK fertilizer increased EFN numbers after leaf damage by 46 and 60%, respectively, compared with nutrient-poor plants. Thus, EFN production is both damage- and resource-dependent. Analogous to direct defences, production of EFNs may limit the overall loss of leaf tissue when risk of herbivory increases. PMID:17148294

  8. Selection on outlier loci and their association with adaptive phenotypes in Littorina saxatilis contact zones.

    PubMed

    Hollander, J; Galindo, J; Butlin, R K

    2015-02-01

    A fundamental issue in speciation research is to evaluate phenotypic variation and the genomics driving the evolution of reproductive isolation between sister taxa. Above all, hybrid zones are excellent study systems for researchers to examine the association of genetic differentiation, phenotypic variation and the strength of selection. We investigated two contact zones in the marine gastropod Littorina saxatilis and utilized landmark-based geometric morphometric analysis together with amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers to assess phenotypic and genomic divergence between ecotypes under divergent selection. From genetic markers, we calculated the cline width, linkage disequilibrium and the average effective selection on a locus. Additionally, we conducted an association analysis linking the outlier loci and phenotypic variation between ecotypes and show that a proportion of outlier loci are associated with key adaptive phenotypic traits. PMID:25439395

  9. Crest evolution in newts: implications for reconstruction methods, sexual selection, phenotypic plasticity and the origin of novelties.

    PubMed

    Wiens, J J; Sparreboom, M; Arntzen, J W

    2011-10-01

    The dorsal crest of newts (Salamandridae) is a novel, phenotypically plastic, sexually selected trait that may evolve in association with complex courtship behaviours. We estimated a near-comprehensive, time-calibrated phylogeny for salamandrids and analysed the evolution of their crests and display behaviour. Different models give conflicting reconstructions for crest evolution, showing that likelihood can estimate incorrect ancestral states with strong statistical support. The best-fitting model suggests that crests evolved once and were lost repeatedly, supporting the hypothesis that sexually selected traits may be frequently lost. We demonstrate the correlated evolution of crests and courtship behaviour and show that species with larger numbers of crest-related traits have larger repertoires of behaviours. We also show that phenotypically plastic morphological traits can be maintained over long macroevolutionary timescales (∼25-48 Myr). Finally, we use salamandrids to address how novel structures may arise, and support a model involving the expansion and subdivision of pre-existing structures.

  10. Mating system plasticity promotes persistence and adaptation of colonizing populations of hermaphroditic angiosperms.

    PubMed

    Peterson, Megan L; Kay, Kathleen M

    2015-01-01

    Persistence and adaptation in novel environments are limited by small population size, strong selection, and maladaptive gene flow. Mating system plasticity is common in angiosperms and may provide both demographic and genetic benefits that promote niche evolution, including reproductive assurance and isolation from maladaptive gene flow. Yet increased self-fertilization may also cause inbreeding depression, accumulation of deleterious mutations, and reduced adaptive potential. Here we use individual-based simulations to examine the consequences of mating system plasticity for persistence and adaptation in a novel environment that imposes selection on a quantitative trait. We examine the joint evolution of local adaptation, inbreeding depression, and genetic load. We find that a plastic shift to a mixed mating system generally promotes niche evolution by decreasing the risk of extinction, providing isolation from maladaptive gene flow, and temporarily increasing genetic variance in the trait under selection, whereas obligate self-fertilization reduces adaptive potential. These effects are most pronounced under conditions of mate limitation, strong selection, or maladaptive gene flow. Our results highlight the diverse demographic and genetic consequences of self-fertilization and support the potential role for plastic shifts in mating system to promote niche evolution in flowering plants.

  11. Urbanization and its effects on personality traits: a result of microevolution or phenotypic plasticity?

    PubMed

    Miranda, Ana Catarina; Schielzeth, Holger; Sonntag, Tanja; Partecke, Jesko

    2013-09-01

    Human-altered environmental conditions affect many species at the global scale. An extreme form of anthropogenic alteration is the existence and rapid increase of urban areas. A key question, then, is how species cope with urbanization. It has been suggested that rural and urban conspecifics show differences in behaviour and personality. However, (i) a generalization of this phenomenon has never been made; and (ii) it is still unclear whether differences in personality traits between rural and urban conspecifics are the result of phenotypic plasticity or of intrinsic differences. In a literature review, we show that behavioural differences between rural and urban conspecifics are common and taxonomically widespread among animals, suggesting a significant ecological impact of urbanization on animal behaviour. In order to gain insight into the mechanisms leading to behavioural differences in urban individuals, we hand-raised and kept European blackbirds (Turdus merula) from a rural and a nearby urban area under common-garden conditions. Using these birds, we investigated individual variation in two behavioural responses to the presence of novel objects: approach to an object in a familiar area (here defined as neophilia), and avoidance of an object in a familiar foraging context (defined as neophobia). Neophilic and neophobic behaviours were mildly correlated and repeatable even across a time period of one year, indicating stable individual behavioural strategies. Blackbirds from the urban population were more neophobic and seasonally less neophilic than blackbirds from the nearby rural area. These intrinsic differences in personality traits are likely the result of microevolutionary changes, although we cannot fully exclude early developmental influences.

  12. Phenotypic plasticity and interpopulation differences in life history traits of Armadillidium vulgare (Isopoda:Oniscidae).

    PubMed

    Hassall, Mark; Helden, Alvin; Benton, Timothy

    2003-09-01

    The hypothesis that the balance of trade-offs between survivorship, growth and reproductive allocation in the terrestrial isopod Armadillidium vulgare will change when resource input is increased has been investigated experimentally. When the quality of food available was increased, by adding a mixture of litter from herbaceous dicotyledonous plants to a background low-quality food of dead grasses, survivorship was found to be the most phenotypically plastic trait, increasing by 168%. Growth rates increased by 99% but reproductive allocation by only 21%. In the field, members of a population from a site with more high-quality food grew more than twice as fast as those from a site where less high-quality food was available. The population from the site with higher food availability, contrary to predictions from the laboratory study, did not survive as well as that from the site with less available high-quality food. This may be because the site that is more favourable for growth has a more stressful physical environment due to much bigger temperature fluctuations, which are known to be an important cause of mortality in this species. When individuals from both populations were reared under controlled laboratory conditions, both the parental and F1 generations from the poor growth environment survived better than those from the good growth habitat. However, even when given an excess of high-quality food those from the poor growth environment continued to grow more slowly and had a lower reproductive allocation than those from the site with higher food availability. We conclude that microevolutionary changes may have occurred in the balance of resource allocation between survivorship, growth and reproductive allocation, to favour higher survivorship during the longer prereproductive period at the site where growth to the threshold size for reproduction takes longer. PMID:12827489

  13. Urbanization and its effects on personality traits: a result of microevolution or phenotypic plasticity?

    PubMed

    Miranda, Ana Catarina; Schielzeth, Holger; Sonntag, Tanja; Partecke, Jesko

    2013-09-01

    Human-altered environmental conditions affect many species at the global scale. An extreme form of anthropogenic alteration is the existence and rapid increase of urban areas. A key question, then, is how species cope with urbanization. It has been suggested that rural and urban conspecifics show differences in behaviour and personality. However, (i) a generalization of this phenomenon has never been made; and (ii) it is still unclear whether differences in personality traits between rural and urban conspecifics are the result of phenotypic plasticity or of intrinsic differences. In a literature review, we show that behavioural differences between rural and urban conspecifics are common and taxonomically widespread among animals, suggesting a significant ecological impact of urbanization on animal behaviour. In order to gain insight into the mechanisms leading to behavioural differences in urban individuals, we hand-raised and kept European blackbirds (Turdus merula) from a rural and a nearby urban area under common-garden conditions. Using these birds, we investigated individual variation in two behavioural responses to the presence of novel objects: approach to an object in a familiar area (here defined as neophilia), and avoidance of an object in a familiar foraging context (defined as neophobia). Neophilic and neophobic behaviours were mildly correlated and repeatable even across a time period of one year, indicating stable individual behavioural strategies. Blackbirds from the urban population were more neophobic and seasonally less neophilic than blackbirds from the nearby rural area. These intrinsic differences in personality traits are likely the result of microevolutionary changes, although we cannot fully exclude early developmental influences. PMID:23681984

  14. Norway maple displays greater seasonal growth and phenotypic plasticity to light than native sugar maple.

    PubMed

    Paquette, Alain; Fontaine, Bastien; Berninger, Frank; Dubois, Karine; Lechowicz, Martin J; Messier, Christian; Posada, Juan M; Valladares, Fernando; Brisson, Jacques

    2012-11-01

    Norway maple (Acer platanoides L), which is among the most invasive tree species in forests of eastern North America, is associated with reduced regeneration of the related native species, sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh) and other native flora. To identify traits conferring an advantage to Norway maple, we grew both species through an entire growing season under simulated light regimes mimicking a closed forest understorey vs. a canopy disturbance (gap). Dynamic shade-houses providing a succession of high-intensity direct-light events between longer periods of low, diffuse light were used to simulate the light regimes. We assessed seedling height growth three times in the season, as well as stem diameter, maximum photosynthetic capacity, biomass allocation above- and below-ground, seasonal phenology and phenotypic plasticity. Given the north European provenance of Norway maple, we also investigated the possibility that its growth in North America might be increased by delayed fall senescence. We found that Norway maple had significantly greater photosynthetic capacity in both light regimes and grew larger in stem diameter than sugar maple. The differences in below- and above-ground biomass, stem diameter, height and maximum photosynthesis were especially important in the simulated gap where Norway maple continued extension growth during the late fall. In the gap regime sugar maple had a significantly higher root : shoot ratio that could confer an advantage in the deepest shade of closed understorey and under water stress or browsing pressure. Norway maple is especially invasive following canopy disturbance where the opposite (low root : shoot ratio) could confer a competitive advantage. Considering the effects of global change in extending the potential growing season, we anticipate that the invasiveness of Norway maple will increase in the future.

  15. Adaptive transgenerational plasticity in an annual plant: grandparental and parental drought stress enhance performance of seedlings in dry soil.

    PubMed

    Herman, Jacob J; Sultan, Sonia E; Horgan-Kobelski, Tim; Riggs, Charlotte

    2012-07-01

    Stressful parental (usually maternal) environments can dramatically influence expression of traits in offspring, in some cases resulting in phenotypes that are adaptive to the inducing stress. The ecological and evolutionary impact of such transgenerational plasticity depends on both its persistence across generations and its adaptive value. Few studies have examined both aspects of transgenerational plasticity within a given system. Here we report the results of a growth-chamber study of adaptive transgenerational plasticity across two generations, using the widespread annual plant Polygonum persicaria as a naturally evolved model system. We grew five inbred Polygonum genetic lines in controlled dry vs. moist soil environments for two generations in a fully factorial design, producing replicate individuals of each genetic line with all permutations of grandparental and parental environment. We then measured the effects of these two-generational stress histories on traits critical for functioning in dry soil, in a third (grandchild) generation of seedling offspring raised in the dry treatment. Both grandparental and parental moisture environment significantly influenced seedling development: seedlings of drought-stressed grandparents or parents produced longer root systems that extended deeper and faster into dry soil compared with seedlings of the same genetic lines whose grandparents and/or parents had been amply watered. Offspring of stressed individuals also grew to a greater biomass than offspring of nonstressed parents and grandparents. Importantly, the effects of drought were cumulative over the course of two generations: when both grandparents and parents were drought-stressed, offspring had the greatest provisioning, germinated earliest, and developed into the largest seedlings with the most extensive root systems. Along with these functionally appropriate developmental effects, seedlings produced after two previous drought-stressed generations had

  16. Does it pay to delay? Flesh flies show adaptive plasticity in reproductive timing.

    PubMed

    Wessels, Frank J; Kristal, Ross; Netter, Fleta; Hatle, John D; Hahn, Daniel A

    2011-02-01

    Life-history plasticity is widespread among organisms. However, an important question is whether it is adaptive. Most models for plasticity in life-history timing predict that animals, once they have reached the minimal nutritional threshold under poor conditions, will accelerate development or time to reproduction. Adaptive delays in reproduction are not common, especially in short-lived species. Examples of adaptive reproductive delays exist in mammalian populations experiencing strong interspecific (e.g., predation) and intraspecific (e.g., infanticide) competition. But are there other environmental factors that may trigger an adaptive delay in reproductive timing? We show that the short-lived flesh fly Sarcophaga crassipalpis will delay reproduction under nutrient-poor conditions, even though it has already met the minimal nutritional threshold for reproduction. We test whether this delay strategy is an adaptive response allowing the scavenger time to locate more resources by experimentally providing supplemental protein pulses (early, mid and late) throughout the reproductive delay period. Flies receiving additional protein produced more and larger eggs, demonstrating a benefit of the delay. In addition, by tracking the allocation of carbon from the pulses using stable isotopes, we show that flies receiving earlier pulses incorporated more carbon into eggs and somatic tissue than those given a later pulse. These results indicate that the reproductive delay in S. crassipalpis is consistent with adaptive post-threshold plasticity, a nutritionally linked reproductive strategy that has not been reported previously in an invertebrate species.

  17. The Antarctic hemoglobinless icefish, fifty five years later: a unique cardiocirculatory interplay of disaptation and phenotypic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Garofalo, F; Pellegrino, D; Amelio, D; Tota, B

    2009-09-01

    The teleostean Channichthyidae (icefish), endemic stenotherms of the Antarctic waters, perennially at or near freezing, represent a unique example of disaptation among adult vertebrates for their loss of functional traits, particularly hemoglobin (Hb) and, in some species, cardiac myoglobin (Mb), once considered to be essential-life oxygen-binding chromoproteins. Conceivably, this stably frigid, oxygen-rich habitat has permitted high tolerance of disaptation, followed by subsequent adaptive recovery based on gene expression reprogramming and compensatory responses, including an alternative cardio-circulatory design, Hb-free blood and Mb-free cardiac muscle. This review revisits the functional significance of the multilevel cardio-circulatory compensations (hypervolemia, near-zero hematocrit and low blood viscosity, large bore capillaries, increased vascularity with great capacitance, cardiomegaly with very large cardiac output, high blood flow with low systemic pressure and systemic resistance) that counteract the challenge of hypoxemic hypoxia by increasing peripheral oxygen transcellular movement for aerobic tissues, including the myocardium. Reconsidered in the context of recent knowledge on both polar cold adaptation and the new questions related to the advent of nitric oxide (NO) biology, these compensations can be interpreted either according to the "loss-without-penalty" alternative, or in the context of an excessive environmental oxygen supply at low cellular cost and oxygen requirement in the cold. Therefore, rather than reflecting oxygen limitation, several traits may indicate structural overcompensation of oxygen supply reductions at cell/tissue levels. At the multilevel cardio-circulatory adjustments, NO is revealing itself as a major integrator, compensating disaptation with functional phenotypic plasticity, as illustrated by the heart paradigm. Beside NOS-dependent NO generation, recent knowledge concerning Hb/Mb interplay with NO and nitrite has

  18. Individual-based models for adaptive diversification in high-dimensional phenotype spaces.

    PubMed

    Ispolatov, Iaroslav; Madhok, Vaibhav; Doebeli, Michael

    2016-02-01

    Most theories of evolutionary diversification are based on equilibrium assumptions: they are either based on optimality arguments involving static fitness landscapes, or they assume that populations first evolve to an equilibrium state before diversification occurs, as exemplified by the concept of evolutionary branching points in adaptive dynamics theory. Recent results indicate that adaptive dynamics may often not converge to equilibrium points and instead generate complicated trajectories if evolution takes place in high-dimensional phenotype spaces. Even though some analytical results on diversification in complex phenotype spaces are available, to study this problem in general we need to reconstruct individual-based models from the adaptive dynamics generating the non-equilibrium dynamics. Here we first provide a method to construct individual-based models such that they faithfully reproduce the given adaptive dynamics attractor without diversification. We then show that a propensity to diversify can be introduced by adding Gaussian competition terms that generate frequency dependence while still preserving the same adaptive dynamics. For sufficiently strong competition, the disruptive selection generated by frequency-dependence overcomes the directional evolution along the selection gradient and leads to diversification in phenotypic directions that are orthogonal to the selection gradient. PMID:26598329

  19. Individual-based models for adaptive diversification in high-dimensional phenotype spaces.

    PubMed

    Ispolatov, Iaroslav; Madhok, Vaibhav; Doebeli, Michael

    2016-02-01

    Most theories of evolutionary diversification are based on equilibrium assumptions: they are either based on optimality arguments involving static fitness landscapes, or they assume that populations first evolve to an equilibrium state before diversification occurs, as exemplified by the concept of evolutionary branching points in adaptive dynamics theory. Recent results indicate that adaptive dynamics may often not converge to equilibrium points and instead generate complicated trajectories if evolution takes place in high-dimensional phenotype spaces. Even though some analytical results on diversification in complex phenotype spaces are available, to study this problem in general we need to reconstruct individual-based models from the adaptive dynamics generating the non-equilibrium dynamics. Here we first provide a method to construct individual-based models such that they faithfully reproduce the given adaptive dynamics attractor without diversification. We then show that a propensity to diversify can be introduced by adding Gaussian competition terms that generate frequency dependence while still preserving the same adaptive dynamics. For sufficiently strong competition, the disruptive selection generated by frequency-dependence overcomes the directional evolution along the selection gradient and leads to diversification in phenotypic directions that are orthogonal to the selection gradient.

  20. Molecular phenotyping of maternally mediated parallel adaptive divergence within Rana arvalis and Rana temporaria.

    PubMed

    Shu, Longfei; Laurila, Anssi; Suter, Marc J-F; Räsänen, Katja

    2016-09-01

    When similar selection acts on the same traits in multiple species or populations, parallel evolution can result in similar phenotypic changes, yet the underlying molecular architecture of parallel phenotypic divergence can be variable. Maternal effects can influence evolution at ecological timescales and facilitate local adaptation, but their contribution to parallel adaptive divergence is unclear. In this study, we (i) tested for variation in embryonic acid tolerance in a common garden experiment and (ii) used molecular phenotyping of egg coats to investigate the molecular basis of maternally mediated parallel adaptive divergence in two amphibian species (Rana arvalis and Rana temporaria). Our results on three R. arvalis and two R. temporaria populations show that adaptive divergence in embryonic acid tolerance is mediated via maternally derived egg coats in both species. We find extensive polymorphism in egg jelly coat glycoproteins within both species and that acid-tolerant clutches have more negatively charged egg jelly - indicating that the glycosylation status of the jelly coat proteins is under divergent selection in acidified environments, likely due to its impact on jelly water balance. Overall, these data provide evidence for parallel mechanisms of adaptive divergence in two species. Our study highlights the importance of studying intraspecific molecular variation in egg coats and, specifically, their glycoproteins, to increase understanding of underlying forces maintaining variation in jelly coats. PMID:27482650

  1. Staphylococcus aureus Metabolic Adaptations during the Transition from a Daptomycin Susceptibility Phenotype to a Daptomycin Nonsusceptibility Phenotype

    PubMed Central

    Gaupp, Rosmarie; Lei, Shulei; Reed, Joseph M.; Peisker, Henrik; Boyle-Vavra, Susan; Bayer, Arnold S.; Bischoff, Markus; Herrmann, Mathias; Daum, Robert S.

    2015-01-01

    Staphylococcus aureus is a major cause of nosocomial and community-acquired infections. The success of S. aureus as a pathogen is due in part to its many virulence determinants and resistance to antimicrobials. In particular, methicillin-resistant S. aureus has emerged as a major cause of infections and led to increased use of the antibiotics vancomycin and daptomycin, which has increased the isolation of vancomycin-intermediate S. aureus and daptomycin-nonsusceptible S. aureus strains. The most common mechanism by which S. aureus acquires intermediate resistance to antibiotics is by adapting its physiology and metabolism to permit growth in the presence of these antibiotics, a process known as adaptive resistance. To better understand the physiological and metabolic changes associated with adaptive resistance, six daptomycin-susceptible and -nonsusceptible isogenic strain pairs were examined for changes in growth, competitive fitness, and metabolic alterations. Interestingly, daptomycin nonsusceptibility coincides with a slightly delayed transition to the postexponential growth phase and alterations in metabolism. Specifically, daptomycin-nonsusceptible strains have decreased tricarboxylic acid cycle activity, which correlates with increased synthesis of pyrimidines and purines and increased carbon flow to pathways associated with wall teichoic acid and peptidoglycan biosynthesis. Importantly, these data provided an opportunity to alter the daptomycin nonsusceptibility phenotype by manipulating bacterial metabolism, a first step in developing compounds that target metabolic pathways that can be used in combination with daptomycin to reduce treatment failures. PMID:25963986

  2. Effects of Sowing Date on Phenotypic Plasticity of Fitness-Related Traits in Two Annual Weeds on the Songnen Plain of China

    PubMed Central

    Li, Haiyan; Lindquist, John L.; Yang, Yunfei

    2015-01-01

    Background Phenotypic plasticity of fitness-related traits is vital for plant species to adapt to variable environments. Chenopodium glaucum L. and Amaranthus retroflexus L. are two common weed species globally. Understanding the plasticity in life-history traits, especially in reproductive allocation, within and among these species is important for predicting their success and for managing them in different environments. Methodology/Principal Findings Seeds of the two plant species were sown every 10 days from 26 Jun to 15 Aug. Life-history and fitness-related traits of both phenology and morphology were measured, and dry biomass of roots, stems, leaves, and reproductive tissues was determined at physiological maturity. Length of reproductive and total life period of the two species differed among six sowing-date treatments. Later germinating plants led to relatively reduced total life period, size, and earlier reproduction than earlier germinating plants. The ratio of reproductive biomass to total plant biomass increased with later planting dates in C. glaucum but declined in A. retroflexus. Mature plant height, crown diameter, and reproductive tissue biomass, and seed production of C. glaucum and A. retroflexus increased with delayed reproductive period. Both species displayed true plasticity in reproductive allocation. However, the sowing date had a far greater effect on rate of vegetative growth than on allocation to reproduction. Conclusions/Significance The fitness of both C. glaucum and A. retroflexus populations have an apparent increase when the period between germination and seed production is much longer. However, C. glaucum appears better adapted to later sowing than A. retroflexus. Controlling seedlings prior to reproduction will alleviate the negative effect not only in the present year but also in future years. PMID:26023915

  3. Extraordinary Adaptive Plasticity of Colorado Potato Beetle: “Ten-Striped Spearman” in the Era of Biotechnological Warfare

    PubMed Central

    Cingel, Aleksandar; Savić, Jelena; Lazarević, Jelica; Ćosić, Tatjana; Raspor, Martin; Smigocki, Ann; Ninković, Slavica

    2016-01-01

    Expanding from remote areas of Mexico to a worldwide scale, the ten-striped insect, the Colorado potato beetle (CPB, Leptinotarsa decemlineata Say), has risen from being an innocuous beetle to a prominent global pest. A diverse life cycle, phenotypic plasticity, adaptation to adverse conditions, and capability to detoxify or tolerate toxins make this insect appear to be virtually “indestructible”. With increasing advances in molecular biology, tools of biotechnological warfare were deployed to combat CPB. In the last three decades, genetically modified potato has created a new challenge for the beetle. After reviewing hundreds of scientific papers dealing with CPB control, it became clear that even biotechnological means of control, if used alone, would not defeat the Colorado potato beetle. This control measure once again appears to be provoking the potato beetle to exhibit its remarkable adaptability. Nonetheless, the potential for adaptation to these techniques has increased our knowledge of this pest and thus opened possibilities for devising more sustainable CPB management programs. PMID:27649141

  4. Extraordinary Adaptive Plasticity of Colorado Potato Beetle: "Ten-Striped Spearman" in the Era of Biotechnological Warfare.

    PubMed

    Cingel, Aleksandar; Savić, Jelena; Lazarević, Jelica; Ćosić, Tatjana; Raspor, Martin; Smigocki, Ann; Ninković, Slavica

    2016-01-01

    Expanding from remote areas of Mexico to a worldwide scale, the ten-striped insect, the Colorado potato beetle (CPB, Leptinotarsa decemlineata Say), has risen from being an innocuous beetle to a prominent global pest. A diverse life cycle, phenotypic plasticity, adaptation to adverse conditions, and capability to detoxify or tolerate toxins make this insect appear to be virtually "indestructible". With increasing advances in molecular biology, tools of biotechnological warfare were deployed to combat CPB. In the last three decades, genetically modified potato has created a new challenge for the beetle. After reviewing hundreds of scientific papers dealing with CPB control, it became clear that even biotechnological means of control, if used alone, would not defeat the Colorado potato beetle. This control measure once again appears to be provoking the potato beetle to exhibit its remarkable adaptability. Nonetheless, the potential for adaptation to these techniques has increased our knowledge of this pest and thus opened possibilities for devising more sustainable CPB management programs. PMID:27649141

  5. Keeping your options open: Maintenance of thermal plasticity during adaptation to a stable environment.

    PubMed

    Fragata, Inês; Lopes-Cunha, Miguel; Bárbaro, Margarida; Kellen, Bárbara; Lima, Margarida; Faria, Gonçalo S; Seabra, Sofia G; Santos, Mauro; Simões, Pedro; Matos, Margarida

    2016-01-01

    Phenotypic plasticity may allow species to cope with environmental variation. The study of thermal plasticity and its evolution helps understanding how populations respond to variation in temperature. In the context of climate change, it is essential to realize the impact of historical differences in the ability of populations to exhibit a plastic response to thermal variation and how it evolves during colonization of new environments. We have analyzed the real-time evolution of thermal reaction norms of adult and juvenile traits in Drosophila subobscura populations from three locations of Europe in the laboratory. These populations were kept at a constant temperature of 18ºC, and were periodically assayed at three experimental temperatures (13ºC, 18ºC, and 23ºC). We found initial differentiation between populations in thermal plasticity as well as evolutionary convergence in the shape of reaction norms for some adult traits, but not for any of the juvenile traits. Contrary to theoretical expectations, an overall better performance of high latitude populations across temperatures in early generations was observed. Our study shows that the evolution of thermal plasticity is trait specific, and that a new stable environment did not limit the ability of populations to cope with environmental challenges.

  6. Field phenotyping strategies and breeding for adaptation of rice to drought.

    PubMed

    Fischer, Ken S; Fukai, Shu; Kumar, Arvind; Leung, Hei; Jongdee, Boonrat

    2012-01-01

    This paper is a section of the book "Drought phenotyping in crops: from theory to practice" (Monneveux Philippe and Ribaut Jean-Marcel eds, published by CGIAR Generation Challenge Programme. Texcoco, Mexico). The section describes recent experience in drought phenotyping in rice which is one of the most drought-susceptible crops. The section contains genetic and genomic resources for drought adaptation and methods for selection of drought-resistant varieties in rice. In appendix, there is experience from Thailand on integration of direct selection for grain yield and physiological traits to confer drought resistance.

  7. Field Phenotyping Strategies and Breeding for Adaptation of Rice to Drought†

    PubMed Central

    Fischer, Ken S.; Fukai, Shu; Kumar, Arvind; Leung, Hei; Jongdee, Boonrat

    2012-01-01

    This paper is a section of the book “Drought phenotyping in crops: from theory to practice” (Monneveux Philippe and Ribaut Jean-Marcel eds, published by CGIAR Generation Challenge Programme. Texcoco, Mexico). The section describes recent experience in drought phenotyping in rice which is one of the most drought-susceptible crops. The section contains genetic and genomic resources for drought adaptation and methods for selection of drought-resistant varieties in rice. In appendix, there is experience from Thailand on integration of direct selection for grain yield and physiological traits to confer drought resistance. PMID:22934036

  8. Neurobiological mechanisms of adaptative plasticity. A possible contribution to cybernetic studies.

    PubMed

    Giaquinto, S

    1990-10-01

    Cybernetics can take advantages of future development in the field of Plasticity. The adaptative abilities of the nervous tissue, which is capable to modify its own functional organization and cope with pathological events, are triggered by communication within a network carrying memorized variations in the functional activity of the system induced by external inputs. Plasticity is served by anatomical modifications, as well as by neurophysiological processes. Regeneration, reactive synaptogenesis, functional reorganization, redundancy, equipotentiality are discussed. Some of these mechanisms are still unclear in the human and probably far-fetched. Personal EEG contribution argues against redundancy and equipotentiality. PMID:2082721

  9. Limited plasticity in the phenotypic variance-covariance matrix for male advertisement calls in the black field cricket, Teleogryllus commodus.

    PubMed

    Pitchers, W R; Brooks, R; Jennions, M D; Tregenza, T; Dworkin, I; Hunt, J

    2013-05-01

    Phenotypic integration and plasticity are central to our understanding of how complex phenotypic traits evolve. Evolutionary change in complex quantitative traits can be predicted using the multivariate breeders' equation, but such predictions are only accurate if the matrices involved are stable over evolutionary time. Recent study, however, suggests that these matrices are temporally plastic, spatially variable and themselves evolvable. The data available on phenotypic variance-covariance matrix (P) stability are sparse, and largely focused on morphological traits. Here, we compared P for the structure of the complex sexual advertisement call of six divergent allopatric populations of the Australian black field cricket, Teleogryllus commodus. We measured a subset of calls from wild-caught crickets from each of the populations and then a second subset after rearing crickets under common-garden conditions for three generations. In a second experiment, crickets from each population were reared in the laboratory on high- and low-nutrient diets and their calls recorded. In both experiments, we estimated P for call traits and used multiple methods to compare them statistically (Flury hierarchy, geometric subspace comparisons and random skewers). Despite considerable variation in means and variances of individual call traits, the structure of P was largely conserved among populations, across generations and between our rearing diets. Our finding that P remains largely stable, among populations and between environmental conditions, suggests that selection has preserved the structure of call traits in order that they can function as an integrated unit.

  10. Limited plasticity in the phenotypic variance-covariance matrix for male advertisement calls in the black field cricket, Teleogryllus commodus.

    PubMed

    Pitchers, W R; Brooks, R; Jennions, M D; Tregenza, T; Dworkin, I; Hunt, J

    2013-05-01

    Phenotypic integration and plasticity are central to our understanding of how complex phenotypic traits evolve. Evolutionary change in complex quantitative traits can be predicted using the multivariate breeders' equation, but such predictions are only accurate if the matrices involved are stable over evolutionary time. Recent study, however, suggests that these matrices are temporally plastic, spatially variable and themselves evolvable. The data available on phenotypic variance-covariance matrix (P) stability are sparse, and largely focused on morphological traits. Here, we compared P for the structure of the complex sexual advertisement call of six divergent allopatric populations of the Australian black field cricket, Teleogryllus commodus. We measured a subset of calls from wild-caught crickets from each of the populations and then a second subset after rearing crickets under common-garden conditions for three generations. In a second experiment, crickets from each population were reared in the laboratory on high- and low-nutrient diets and their calls recorded. In both experiments, we estimated P for call traits and used multiple methods to compare them statistically (Flury hierarchy, geometric subspace comparisons and random skewers). Despite considerable variation in means and variances of individual call traits, the structure of P was largely conserved among populations, across generations and between our rearing diets. Our finding that P remains largely stable, among populations and between environmental conditions, suggests that selection has preserved the structure of call traits in order that they can function as an integrated unit. PMID:23530814

  11. New Insights on the Maternal Diet Induced-Hypertension: Potential Role of the Phenotypic Plasticity and Sympathetic-Respiratory Overactivity

    PubMed Central

    Costa-Silva, João H.; de Brito-Alves, José L.; Barros, Monique Assis de V.; Nogueira, Viviane Oliveira; Paulino-Silva, Kássya M.; de Oliveira-Lira, Allan; Nobre, Isabele G.; Fragoso, Jéssica; Leandro, Carol G.

    2015-01-01

    Systemic arterial hypertension (SAH) is an important risk factor for cardiovascular disease and affects worldwide population. Current environment including life style coupled with genetic programming have been attributed to the rising incidence of hypertension. Besides, environmental conditions during perinatal development such as maternal malnutrition can program changes in the integration among renal, neural, and endocrine system leading to hypertension. This phenomenon is termed phenotypic plasticity and refers to the adjustment of a phenotype in response to environmental stimuli without genetic change, following a novel or unusual input during development. Human and animal studies indicate that fetal exposure to an adverse maternal environment may alter the renal morphology and physiology that contribute to the development of hypertension. Recently, it has been shown that the maternal protein restriction alter the central control of SAH by a mechanism that include respiratory dysfunction and enhanced sympathetic-respiratory coupling at early life, which may contribute to adult hypertension. This review will address the new insights on the maternal diet induced-hypertension that include the potential role of the phenotypic plasticity, specifically the perinatal protein malnutrition, and sympathetic-respiratory overactivity. PMID:26635631

  12. Limited plasticity in the phenotypic variance-covariance matrix for male advertisement calls in the black field cricket, Teleogryllus commodus

    PubMed Central

    Pitchers, W. R.; Brooks, R.; Jennions, M. D.; Tregenza, T.; Dworkin, I.; Hunt, J.

    2013-01-01

    Phenotypic integration and plasticity are central to our understanding of how complex phenotypic traits evolve. Evolutionary change in complex quantitative traits can be predicted using the multivariate breeders’ equation, but such predictions are only accurate if the matrices involved are stable over evolutionary time. Recent work, however, suggests that these matrices are temporally plastic, spatially variable and themselves evolvable. The data available on phenotypic variance-covariance matrix (P) stability is sparse, and largely focused on morphological traits. Here we compared P for the structure of the complex sexual advertisement call of six divergent allopatric populations of the Australian black field cricket, Teleogryllus commodus. We measured a subset of calls from wild-caught crickets from each of the populations and then a second subset after rearing crickets under common-garden conditions for three generations. In a second experiment, crickets from each population were reared in the laboratory on high- and low-nutrient diets and their calls recorded. In both experiments, we estimated P for call traits and used multiple methods to compare them statistically (Flury hierarchy, geometric subspace comparisons and random skewers). Despite considerable variation in means and variances of individual call traits, the structure of P was largely conserved among populations, across generations and between our rearing diets. Our finding that P remains largely stable, among populations and between environmental conditions, suggests that selection has preserved the structure of call traits in order that they can function as an integrated unit. PMID:23530814

  13. Effects of the source:sink ratio on the phenotypic plasticity of stem water potential in olive (Olea europaea L.).

    PubMed

    Trentacoste, Eduardo R; Sadras, Víctor Oscar; Puertas, Carlos Marcelo

    2011-06-01

    The aims of this work were to quantify (i) the effect of the source:sink ratio on stem water potential (SWP) and (ii) the phenotypic plasticity of SWP and its relationship to oil yield components in olive. Trees with a 3-fold variation in the source:sink ratio (crown volume/fruit number per tree) were monitored in 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 in a fully irrigated orchard in Mendoza, Argentina. The combination of rainfall, irrigation, and evaporative demand led to a steady SWP largely above -1.65 MPa in 2007-2008 and a marked seasonal decline from -1.13 MPa to -2.04 MPa in trees with a medium and low source:sink ratio in 2008-2009. Plasticity was quantified as the slope of the norm of reaction for each trait. Across seasons, trees with a high source:sink ratio had a higher SWP than their counterparts with a medium and low source:sink ratio. Plasticity of SWP was highest in olives with a low source:sink ratio (slope=1.28) and lowest for trees with a high source:sink ratio (slope=0.76). The average SWP for each source:sink ratio and season was unrelated to both the source:sink ratio and yield components. On the other hand, the plasticity of SWP was positively associated with fruit number and negatively associated with the source:sink ratio, fruit weight, and fruit oil weight. The plasticity of the SWP was unrelated to SWP per se. It is concluded that understanding the effect of the source:sink ratio on plant water relations would benefit from a dual perspective considering the trait per se and its plasticity. A dual approach would also allow for more robust plant-based indicators for irrigation.

  14. Phenotypic divergence of the common toad (Bufo bufo) along an altitudinal gradient: evidence for local adaptation.

    PubMed

    Luquet, E; Léna, J-P; Miaud, C; Plénet, S

    2015-01-01

    Variation in the environment can induce different patterns of genetic and phenotypic differentiation among populations. Both neutral processes and selection can influence phenotypic differentiation. Altitudinal phenotypic variation is of particular interest in disentangling the interplay between neutral processes and selection in the dynamics of local adaptation processes but remains little explored. We conducted a common garden experiment to study the phenotypic divergence in larval life-history traits among nine populations of the common toad (Bufo bufo) along an altitudinal gradient in France. We further used correlation among population pairwise estimates of quantitative trait (QST) and neutral genetic divergence (FST from neutral microsatellite markers), as well as altitudinal difference, to estimate the relative role of divergent selection and neutral genetic processes in phenotypic divergence. We provided evidence for a neutral genetic differentiation resulting from both isolation by distance and difference in altitude. We found evidence for phenotypic divergence along the altitudinal gradient (faster development, lower growth rate and smaller metamorphic size). The correlation between pairwise QSTs-FSTs and altitude differences suggested that this phenotypic differentiation was most likely driven by altitude-mediated selection rather than by neutral genetic processes. Moreover, we found different divergence patterns for larval traits, suggesting that different selective agents may act on these traits and/or selection on one trait may constrain the evolution on another through genetic correlation. Our study highlighted the need to design more integrative studies on the common toad to unravel the underlying processes of phenotypic divergence and its selective agents in the context of environmental clines.

  15. Mechanism of a plastic phenotypic response: predator-induced shell thickening in the intertidal gastropod Littorina obtusata.

    PubMed

    Brookes, J I; Rochette, Rémy

    2007-05-01

    Phenotypic plasticity has been the object of considerable interest over the past several decades, but in few cases are mechanisms underlying plastic responses well understood. For example, it is unclear whether predator-induced changes in gastropod shell morphology represent an active physiological response or a by-product of reduced feeding. We address this question by manipulating feeding and growth of intertidal snails, Littorina obtusata, using two approaches: (i) exposure to predation cues from green crabs Carcinus maenas and (ii) reduced food availability, and quantifying growth in shell length, shell mass, and body mass, as well as production of faecal material and shell micro-structural characteristics (mineralogy and organic fraction) after 96 days. We demonstrate that L. obtusata actively increases calcification rate in response to predation threat, and that this response entails energetic and developmental costs. That this induced response is not strictly tied to the animal's behaviour should enhance its evolutionary potential. PMID:17465912

  16. Light and Nutrient Dependent Responses in Secondary Metabolites of Plantago lanceolata Offspring Are Due to Phenotypic Plasticity in Experimental Grasslands.

    PubMed

    Miehe-Steier, Annegret; Roscher, Christiane; Reichelt, Michael; Gershenzon, Jonathan; Unsicker, Sybille B

    2015-01-01

    A few studies in the past have shown that plant diversity in terms of species richness and functional composition can modify plant defense chemistry. However, it is not yet clear to what extent genetic differentiation of plant chemotypes or phenotypic plasticity in response to diversity-induced variation in growth conditions or a combination of both is responsible for this pattern. We collected seed families of ribwort plantain (Plantago lanceolata) from six-year old experimental grasslands of varying plant diversity (Jena Experiment). The offspring of these seed families was grown under standardized conditions with two levels of light and nutrients. The iridoid glycosides, catalpol and aucubin, and verbascoside, a caffeoyl phenylethanoid glycoside, were measured in roots and shoots. Although offspring of different seed families differed in the tissue concentrations of defensive metabolites, plant diversity in the mothers' environment did not explain the variation in the measured defensive metabolites of P. lanceolata offspring. However secondary metabolite levels in roots and shoots were strongly affected by light and nutrient availability. Highest concentrations of iridoid glycosides and verbascoside were found under high light conditions, and nutrient availability had positive effects on iridoid glycoside concentrations in plants grown under high light conditions. However, verbascoside concentrations decreased under high levels of nutrients irrespective of light. The data from our greenhouse study show that phenotypic plasticity in response to environmental variation rather than genetic differentiation in response to plant community diversity is responsible for variation in secondary metabolite concentrations of P. lanceolata in the six-year old communities of the grassland biodiversity experiment. Due to its large phenotypic plasticity P. lanceolata has the potential for a fast and efficient adjustment to varying environmental conditions in plant communities of

  17. Light and Nutrient Dependent Responses in Secondary Metabolites of Plantago lanceolata Offspring Are Due to Phenotypic Plasticity in Experimental Grasslands

    PubMed Central

    Miehe-Steier, Annegret; Roscher, Christiane; Reichelt, Michael; Gershenzon, Jonathan; Unsicker, Sybille B.

    2015-01-01

    A few studies in the past have shown that plant diversity in terms of species richness and functional composition can modify plant defense chemistry. However, it is not yet clear to what extent genetic differentiation of plant chemotypes or phenotypic plasticity in response to diversity-induced variation in growth conditions or a combination of both is responsible for this pattern. We collected seed families of ribwort plantain (Plantago lanceolata) from six-year old experimental grasslands of varying plant diversity (Jena Experiment). The offspring of these seed families was grown under standardized conditions with two levels of light and nutrients. The iridoid glycosides, catalpol and aucubin, and verbascoside, a caffeoyl phenylethanoid glycoside, were measured in roots and shoots. Although offspring of different seed families differed in the tissue concentrations of defensive metabolites, plant diversity in the mothers' environment did not explain the variation in the measured defensive metabolites of P. lanceolata offspring. However secondary metabolite levels in roots and shoots were strongly affected by light and nutrient availability. Highest concentrations of iridoid glycosides and verbascoside were found under high light conditions, and nutrient availability had positive effects on iridoid glycoside concentrations in plants grown under high light conditions. However, verbascoside concentrations decreased under high levels of nutrients irrespective of light. The data from our greenhouse study show that phenotypic plasticity in response to environmental variation rather than genetic differentiation in response to plant community diversity is responsible for variation in secondary metabolite concentrations of P. lanceolata in the six-year old communities of the grassland biodiversity experiment. Due to its large phenotypic plasticity P. lanceolata has the potential for a fast and efficient adjustment to varying environmental conditions in plant communities of

  18. Light and Nutrient Dependent Responses in Secondary Metabolites of Plantago lanceolata Offspring Are Due to Phenotypic Plasticity in Experimental Grasslands.

    PubMed

    Miehe-Steier, Annegret; Roscher, Christiane; Reichelt, Michael; Gershenzon, Jonathan; Unsicker, Sybille B

    2015-01-01

    A few studies in the past have shown that plant diversity in terms of species richness and functional composition can modify plant defense chemistry. However, it is not yet clear to what extent genetic differentiation of plant chemotypes or phenotypic plasticity in response to diversity-induced variation in growth conditions or a combination of both is responsible for this pattern. We collected seed families of ribwort plantain (Plantago lanceolata) from six-year old experimental grasslands of varying plant diversity (Jena Experiment). The offspring of these seed families was grown under standardized conditions with two levels of light and nutrients. The iridoid glycosides, catalpol and aucubin, and verbascoside, a caffeoyl phenylethanoid glycoside, were measured in roots and shoots. Although offspring of different seed families differed in the tissue concentrations of defensive metabolites, plant diversity in the mothers' environment did not explain the variation in the measured defensive metabolites of P. lanceolata offspring. However secondary metabolite levels in roots and shoots were strongly affected by light and nutrient availability. Highest concentrations of iridoid glycosides and verbascoside were found under high light conditions, and nutrient availability had positive effects on iridoid glycoside concentrations in plants grown under high light conditions. However, verbascoside concentrations decreased under high levels of nutrients irrespective of light. The data from our greenhouse study show that phenotypic plasticity in response to environmental variation rather than genetic differentiation in response to plant community diversity is responsible for variation in secondary metabolite concentrations of P. lanceolata in the six-year old communities of the grassland biodiversity experiment. Due to its large phenotypic plasticity P. lanceolata has the potential for a fast and efficient adjustment to varying environmental conditions in plant communities of

  19. Phenotypic and genotypic adaptation of aerobic heterotrophic sediment bacterial communities to mercury stress.

    PubMed Central

    Barkay, T; Olson, B H

    1986-01-01

    The effects of mercury contamination of lake sediments on the phenotypic and genotypic mercury resistance of the indigenous heterotrophic aerobic bacterial communities were investigated. Strong positive correlations between mercury sediment concentration and the frequency of the gene coding for mercury volatilization (mer) (r = 0.96) or the phenotypic mercury resistance (r = 0.86) of the studied communities suggested that the inheritance via selection or genetic exchange of the mer gene had promoted bacterial adaptation to mercury. Failure to detect the mer gene in one mercury-contaminated sediment where phenotypic expression was low suggested that other mechanisms of resistance may partially determine the presence of mercury-resistant organisms in mercury-contaminated sediment or that the mercury in this particular sediment was very chemically limited in its availability to the microorganisms. PMID:3753001

  20. Adaptive, convergent origins of the pygmy phenotype in African rainforest hunter-gatherers

    PubMed Central

    Perry, George H.; Foll, Matthieu; Grenier, Jean-Christophe; Patin, Etienne; Nédélec, Yohann; Pacis, Alain; Barakatt, Maxime; Gravel, Simon; Zhou, Xiang; Nsobya, Sam L.; Excoffier, Laurent; Quintana-Murci, Lluis; Dominy, Nathaniel J.; Barreiro, Luis B.

    2014-01-01

    The evolutionary history of the human pygmy phenotype (small body size), a characteristic of African and Southeast Asian rainforest hunter-gatherers, is largely unknown. Here we use a genome-wide admixture mapping analysis to identify 16 genomic regions that are significantly associated with the pygmy phenotype in the Batwa, a rainforest hunter-gatherer population from Uganda (east central Africa). The identified genomic regions have multiple attributes that provide supporting evidence of genuine association with the pygmy phenotype, including enrichments for SNPs previously associated with stature variation in Europeans and for genes with growth hormone receptor and regulation functions. To test adaptive evolutionary hypotheses, we computed the haplotype-based integrated haplotype score (iHS) statistic and the level of population differentiation (FST) between the Batwa and their agricultural neighbors, the Bakiga, for each genomic SNP. Both |iHS| and FST values were significantly higher for SNPs within the Batwa pygmy phenotype-associated regions than the remainder of the genome, a signature of polygenic adaptation. In contrast, when we expanded our analysis to include Baka rainforest hunter-gatherers from Cameroon and Gabon (west central Africa) and Nzebi and Nzime neighboring agriculturalists, we did not observe elevated |iHS| or FST values in these genomic regions. Together, these results suggest adaptive and at least partially convergent origins of the pygmy phenotype even within Africa, supporting the hypothesis that small body size confers a selective advantage for tropical rainforest hunter-gatherers but raising questions about the antiquity of this behavior. PMID:25136101

  1. Phenotypic plasticity in growth and fecundity induced by strong population fluctuations affects reproductive traits of female fish.

    PubMed

    Karjalainen, Juha; Urpanen, Olli; Keskinen, Tapio; Huuskonen, Hannu; Sarvala, Jouko; Valkeajärvi, Pentti; Marjomäki, Timo J

    2016-02-01

    Fish are known for their high phenotypic plasticity in life-history traits in relation to environmental variability, and this is particularly pronounced among salmonids in the Northern Hemisphere. Resource limitation leads to trade-offs in phenotypic plasticity between life-history traits related to the reproduction, growth, and survival of individual fish, which have consequences for the age and size distributions of populations, as well as their dynamics and productivity. We studied the effect of plasticity in growth and fecundity of vendace females on their reproductive traits using a series of long-term incubation experiments. The wild parental fish originated from four separate populations with markedly different densities, and hence naturally induced differences in their growth and fecundity. The energy allocation to somatic tissues and eggs prior to spawning served as a proxy for total resource availability to individual females, and its effects on offspring survival and growth were analyzed. Vendace females allocated a rather constant proportion of available energy to eggs (per body mass) despite different growth patterns depending on the total resources in the different lakes; investment into eggs thus dictated the share remaining for growth. The energy allocation to eggs per mass was higher in young than in old spawners and the egg size and the relative fecundity differed between them: Young females produced more and smaller eggs and larvae than old spawners. In contrast to earlier observations of salmonids, a shortage of maternal food resources did not increase offspring size and survival. Vendace females in sparse populations with ample resources and high growth produced larger eggs and larvae. Vendace accommodate strong population fluctuations by their high plasticity in growth and fecundity, which affect their offspring size and consequently their recruitment and productivity, and account for their persistence and resilience in the face of high

  2. Bayesian approach increases accuracy when selecting cowpea genotypes with high adaptability and phenotypic stability.

    PubMed

    Barroso, L M A; Teodoro, P E; Nascimento, M; Torres, F E; Dos Santos, A; Corrêa, A M; Sagrilo, E; Corrêa, C C G; Silva, F A; Ceccon, G

    2016-01-01

    This study aimed to verify that a Bayesian approach could be used for the selection of upright cowpea genotypes with high adaptability and phenotypic stability, and the study also evaluated the efficiency of using informative and minimally informative a priori distributions. Six trials were conducted in randomized blocks, and the grain yield of 17 upright cowpea genotypes was assessed. To represent the minimally informative a priori distributions, a probability distribution with high variance was used, and a meta-analysis concept was adopted to represent the informative a priori distributions. Bayes factors were used to conduct comparisons between the a priori distributions. The Bayesian approach was effective for selection of upright cowpea genotypes with high adaptability and phenotypic stability using the Eberhart and Russell method. Bayes factors indicated that the use of informative a priori distributions provided more accurate results than minimally informative a priori distributions. PMID:26985961

  3. Bayesian approach increases accuracy when selecting cowpea genotypes with high adaptability and phenotypic stability.

    PubMed

    Barroso, L M A; Teodoro, P E; Nascimento, M; Torres, F E; Dos Santos, A; Corrêa, A M; Sagrilo, E; Corrêa, C C G; Silva, F A; Ceccon, G

    2016-03-11

    This study aimed to verify that a Bayesian approach could be used for the selection of upright cowpea genotypes with high adaptability and phenotypic stability, and the study also evaluated the efficiency of using informative and minimally informative a priori distributions. Six trials were conducted in randomized blocks, and the grain yield of 17 upright cowpea genotypes was assessed. To represent the minimally informative a priori distributions, a probability distribution with high variance was used, and a meta-analysis concept was adopted to represent the informative a priori distributions. Bayes factors were used to conduct comparisons between the a priori distributions. The Bayesian approach was effective for selection of upright cowpea genotypes with high adaptability and phenotypic stability using the Eberhart and Russell method. Bayes factors indicated that the use of informative a priori distributions provided more accurate results than minimally informative a priori distributions.

  4. Adaptive Thermogenesis in Resistance to Obesity Therapies: Issues in Quantifying Thrifty Energy Expenditure Phenotypes in Humans.

    PubMed

    Dulloo, Abdul G; Schutz, Yves

    2015-06-01

    Dieting and exercise are likely to remain the core approaches in the management of obesity in the foreseeable future despite their well-documented failures for achieving long-term weight loss. Explanations for such poor prognosis are centered on patient's self-regulatory failure and lack of compliance to the prescribed diet or exercise regimen. While a role for physiological adaptations leading to diminished rates of heat production has also been advocated, there are considerable uncertainties about the quantitative importance of such regulated heat production (i.e., adaptive thermogenesis) to the less-than-expected weight loss and ease for weight regain. This paper first reviews the most compelling evidence of what is often considered as weight loss-induced adaptive thermogenesis in various compartments of daily energy expenditure. It then discusses the major limitations and issues in quantifying such thrifty energy expenditure phenotypes and underscores the plausibility of diminished core temperature as a thrifty metabolic trait in resistance to weight loss. Although an accurate quantification of adaptive thermogenesis will have to await the applications of deep body composition phenotyping and better discrimination of physical activity energy expenditures, the magnitude of diminished energy expenditure in response to weight loss in certain individuals is large enough to support the concept that adaptive thermogenesis contribute importantly to their resistance to obesity therapies.

  5. Adaptive Thermogenesis in Resistance to Obesity Therapies: Issues in Quantifying Thrifty Energy Expenditure Phenotypes in Humans.

    PubMed

    Dulloo, Abdul G; Schutz, Yves

    2015-06-01

    Dieting and exercise are likely to remain the core approaches in the management of obesity in the foreseeable future despite their well-documented failures for achieving long-term weight loss. Explanations for such poor prognosis are centered on patient's self-regulatory failure and lack of compliance to the prescribed diet or exercise regimen. While a role for physiological adaptations leading to diminished rates of heat production has also been advocated, there are considerable uncertainties about the quantitative importance of such regulated heat production (i.e., adaptive thermogenesis) to the less-than-expected weight loss and ease for weight regain. This paper first reviews the most compelling evidence of what is often considered as weight loss-induced adaptive thermogenesis in various compartments of daily energy expenditure. It then discusses the major limitations and issues in quantifying such thrifty energy expenditure phenotypes and underscores the plausibility of diminished core temperature as a thrifty metabolic trait in resistance to weight loss. Although an accurate quantification of adaptive thermogenesis will have to await the applications of deep body composition phenotyping and better discrimination of physical activity energy expenditures, the magnitude of diminished energy expenditure in response to weight loss in certain individuals is large enough to support the concept that adaptive thermogenesis contribute importantly to their resistance to obesity therapies. PMID:26627218

  6. Generalized in situ adaptive tabulation for constitutive model evaluation in plasticity

    SciTech Connect

    Arsenlis, A; Barton, N; Becker, R; Rudd, R

    2005-04-28

    A database storage, search and retrieval method of constitutive model responses for use in plasticity simulations is developed to increase the computational efficiency of finite element simulations employing complex non-linear material models. The method is based in the in situ adaptive tabulation method that has been successfully applied in the field of combustion chemistry, but is significantly modified to better handle the system of equations in plasticity. When using the database, the material response is estimated by a linear extrapolation from an appropriate database entry. This is shown to provide a response with an acceptable error tolerance. Two different example problems are chosen to demonstrate the behavior of the constitutive model estimation technique: a dynamic shock simulation, and a quasi-static inhomogeneous deformation simulation. This generalized in situ adaptive tabulation method shows promise for enabling simulations with complex multi-physics and multi-length scale constitutive descriptions.

  7. Self-Adaptive Spike-Time-Dependent Plasticity of Metal-Oxide Memristors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prezioso, M.; Merrikh Bayat, F.; Hoskins, B.; Likharev, K.; Strukov, D.

    2016-02-01

    Metal-oxide memristors have emerged as promising candidates for hardware implementation of artificial synapses - the key components of high-performance, analog neuromorphic networks - due to their excellent scaling prospects. Since some advanced cognitive tasks require spiking neuromorphic networks, which explicitly model individual neural pulses (“spikes”) in biological neural systems, it is crucial for memristive synapses to support the spike-time-dependent plasticity (STDP). A major challenge for the STDP implementation is that, in contrast to some simplistic models of the plasticity, the elementary change of a synaptic weight in an artificial hardware synapse depends not only on the pre-synaptic and post-synaptic signals, but also on the initial weight (memristor’s conductance) value. Here we experimentally demonstrate, for the first time, an STDP behavior that ensures self-adaptation of the average memristor conductance, making the plasticity stable, i.e. insensitive to the initial state of the devices. The experiments have been carried out with 200-nm Al2O3/TiO2-x memristors integrated into 12 × 12 crossbars. The experimentally observed self-adaptive STDP behavior has been complemented with numerical modeling of weight dynamics in a simple system with a leaky-integrate-and-fire neuron with a random spike-train input, using a compact model of memristor plasticity, fitted for quantitatively correct description of our memristors.

  8. Self-Adaptive Spike-Time-Dependent Plasticity of Metal-Oxide Memristors

    PubMed Central

    Prezioso, M.; Merrikh Bayat, F.; Hoskins, B.; Likharev, K.; Strukov, D.

    2016-01-01

    Metal-oxide memristors have emerged as promising candidates for hardware implementation of artificial synapses – the key components of high-performance, analog neuromorphic networks - due to their excellent scaling prospects. Since some advanced cognitive tasks require spiking neuromorphic networks, which explicitly model individual neural pulses (“spikes”) in biological neural systems, it is crucial for memristive synapses to support the spike-time-dependent plasticity (STDP). A major challenge for the STDP implementation is that, in contrast to some simplistic models of the plasticity, the elementary change of a synaptic weight in an artificial hardware synapse depends not only on the pre-synaptic and post-synaptic signals, but also on the initial weight (memristor’s conductance) value. Here we experimentally demonstrate, for the first time, an STDP behavior that ensures self-adaptation of the average memristor conductance, making the plasticity stable, i.e. insensitive to the initial state of the devices. The experiments have been carried out with 200-nm Al2O3/TiO2−x memristors integrated into 12 × 12 crossbars. The experimentally observed self-adaptive STDP behavior has been complemented with numerical modeling of weight dynamics in a simple system with a leaky-integrate-and-fire neuron with a random spike-train input, using a compact model of memristor plasticity, fitted for quantitatively correct description of our memristors. PMID:26893175

  9. Cardiac hypertrophy, arrhythmogenicity and the new myocardial phenotype. II. The cellular adaptational process.

    PubMed

    Swynghedauw, B; Chevalier, B; Charlemagne, D; Mansier, P; Carré, F

    1997-07-01

    Ventricular fibrosis is not the only structural determinant of arrhythmias in left ventricular hypertrophy. In an experimental model of compensatory cardiac hypertrophy (CCH) the degree of cardiac hypertrophy is also independently linked to ventricular arrhythmias. Cardiac hypertrophy reflects the level of adaptation, and matches the adaptational modifications of the myocardial phenotype. We suggest that these modifications have detrimental aspects. The increased action potential (AP) and QT duration and the prolonged calcium transient both favour spontaneous calcium oscillations, and both are potentially arrhythmogenic and linked to phenotypic changes in membrane proteins. To date, only two ionic currents have been studied in detail: Ito is depressed (likely the main determinant in AP durations), and If, the pacemaker current, is induced in the overloaded ventricular myocytes. In rat CCH, the two components of the sarcoplasmic reticulum, namely Ca(2+)-ATPase and ryanodine receptors, are down-regulated in parallel. Nevertheless, while the inward calcium current is unchanged, the functionally linked duo composed of the Na+/Ca2+ exchanged and (Na+, K+)-ATPase, is less active. Such an imbalance may explain the prolonged calcium transient. The changes in heart rate variability provide information about the state of the autonomic nervous system and has prognostic value even in CCH. Transgenic studies have demonstrated that the myocardial adrenergic and muscarinic receptor content is also a determining factor. During CCH, several phenotypic membrane changes participate in the slowing of contraction velocity and are thus adaptational. They also have a detrimental counterpart and, together with fibrosis, favour arrhythmias. PMID:9302342

  10. Strong mutator phenotype drives faster adaptation from growth on glucose to growth on acetate in Salmonella.

    PubMed

    Le Bars, Hervé; Bonnaure-Mallet, Martine; Barloy-Hubler, Frédérique; Jolivet-Gougeon, Anne; Bousarghin, Latifa

    2014-10-01

    The metabolic adaptation of strong mutator strains was studied to better understand the link between the strong mutator phenotype and virulence. Analysis of the growth curves of isogenic strains of Salmonella, which were previously grown in M63 glucose media, revealed that the exponential phase of growth was reached earlier in an M63 acetate medium with strong mutator strains (mutated in mutS or in mutL) than with normomutator strains (P<0.05). Complemented strains confirmed the direct role of the strong mutator phenotype in this faster metabolic adaptation to the assimilation of acetate. In a mixed cell population, proliferation of strong mutators over normomutators was observed when the carbon source was switched from glucose to acetate. These results add to the sparse body of knowledge about strong mutators and highlight the selective advantage conferred by the strong mutator phenotype to adapt to a switch of carbon source in the environment. This work may provide clinically useful information given that there is a high prevalence of strong mutators among pathogenic strains of Salmonella and that acetate is the principal short chain fatty acid of the human terminal ileum and colon where Salmonella infection is localized.

  11. Control of phenotypic plasticity of smooth muscle cells by bone morphogenetic protein signaling through the myocardin-related transcription factors.

    PubMed

    Lagna, Giorgio; Ku, Manching M; Nguyen, Peter H; Neuman, Nicole A; Davis, Brandi N; Hata, Akiko

    2007-12-21

    Vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs), unlike other muscle cells, do not terminally differentiate. In response to injury, VSMCs change phenotype, proliferate, and migrate as part of the repair process. Dysregulation of this plasticity program contributes to the pathogenesis of several vascular disorders, such as atherosclerosis, restenosis, and hypertension. The discovery of mutations in the gene encoding BMPRII, the type II subunit of the receptor for bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs), in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) provided an indication that BMP signaling may affect the homeostasis of VSMCs and their phenotype modulation. Here we report that BMP signaling potently induces SMC-specific genes in pluripotent cells and prevents dedifferentiation of arterial SMCs. The BMP-induced phenotype switch requires intact RhoA/ROCK signaling but is not blocked by inhibitors of the TGFbeta and PI3K/Akt pathways. Furthermore, nuclear localization and recruitment of the myocardin-related transcription factors (MRTF-A and MRTF-B) to a smooth muscle alpha-actin promoter is observed in response to BMP treatment. Thus, BMP signaling modulates VSMC phenotype via cross-talk with the RhoA/MRTFs pathway, and may contribute to the development of the pathological characteristics observed in patients with PAH and other obliterative vascular diseases. PMID:17947237

  12. The life of a dead ant: the expression of an adaptive extended phenotype.

    PubMed

    Andersen, Sandra B; Gerritsma, Sylvia; Yusah, Kalsum M; Mayntz, David; Hywel-Jones, Nigel L; Billen, Johan; Boomsma, Jacobus J; Hughes, David P

    2009-09-01

    Specialized parasites are expected to express complex adaptations to their hosts. Manipulation of host behavior is such an adaptation. We studied the fungus Ophiocordyceps unilateralis, a locally specialized parasite of arboreal Camponotus leonardi ants. Ant-infecting Ophiocordyceps are known to make hosts bite onto vegetation before killing them. We show that this represents a fine-tuned fungal adaptation: an extended phenotype. Dead ants were found under leaves, attached by their mandibles, on the northern side of saplings approximately 25 cm above the soil, where temperature and humidity conditions were optimal for fungal growth. Experimental relocation confirmed that parasite fitness was lower outside this manipulative zone. Host resources were rapidly colonized and further secured by extensive internal structuring. Nutritional composition analysis indicated that such structuring allows the parasite to produce a large fruiting body for spore production. Our findings suggest that the osmotrophic lifestyle of fungi may have facilitated novel exploitation strategies. PMID:19627240

  13. [Responses of Agriophyllum squarrosum phenotypic plasticity to the changes of soil nutrient and moisture contents and population density].

    PubMed

    Huang, Ying-xin; Zhao, Xue-yong; Zhang, Hong-xuan; Luo, Ya-yong; Mao, Wei

    2008-12-01

    This paper studied the phenotypic plasticity of Agriophyllum squarrosum under effects of soil nutrient and moisture contents and population density. The results showed that with the increase of soil nutrient content, the root/shoot ratio of A. squarrosum was decreased from 0.135 to 0.073. However, soil moisture content and population density had less effect on the root/shoot ratio. The plasticity of reproductive allocation of A. squarrosum as responding to the changes of soil nutrient and moisture contents was a "real plasticity", and the allocation was negatively correlated with soil nutrient content but positively correlated with soil moisture content. When soil nutrient content was high or moisture content was low, the reproductive allocation of A. squarrosum changed larger with plant size. Population density had no effects on the reproductive allocation, while plant size conditioned the allocation. Among the three test affecting factors, soil nutrient content had the greatest effects on the morphological characters and biomass of A. squarrosum.

  14. A Critical Period for Postnatal Adaptive Plasticity in a Model of Motor Axon Miswiring

    PubMed Central

    Castiblanco-Urbina, Maria A.; Winzeck, Stefan; Sundermeier, Julia; Theis, Fabian J.; Fouad, Karim; Huber, Andrea B.

    2015-01-01

    The correct wiring of neuronal circuits is of crucial importance for precise neuromuscular functionality. Therefore, guidance cues provide tight spatiotemporal control of axon growth and guidance. Mice lacking the guidance cue Semaphorin 3F (Sema3F) display very specific axon wiring deficits of motor neurons in the medial aspect of the lateral motor column (LMCm). While these deficits have been investigated extensively during embryonic development, it remained unclear how Sema3F mutant mice cope with these errors postnatally. We therefore investigated whether these animals provide a suitable model for the exploration of adaptive plasticity in a system of miswired neuronal circuitry. We show that the embryonically developed wiring deficits in Sema3F mutants persist until adulthood. As a consequence, these mutants display impairments in motor coordination that improve during normal postnatal development, but never reach wildtype levels. These improvements in motor coordination were boosted to wildtype levels by housing the animals in an enriched environment starting at birth. In contrast, a delayed start of enriched environment housing, at 4 weeks after birth, did not similarly affect motor performance of Sema3F mutants. These results, which are corroborated by neuroanatomical analyses, suggest a critical period for adaptive plasticity in neuromuscular circuitry. Interestingly, the formation of perineuronal nets, which are known to close the critical period for plastic changes in other systems, was not altered between the different housing groups. However, we found significant changes in the number of excitatory synapses on limb innervating motor neurons. Thus, we propose that during the early postnatal phase, when perineuronal nets have not yet been formed around spinal motor neurons, housing in enriched environment conditions induces adaptive plasticity in the motor system by the formation of additional synaptic contacts, in order to compensate for coordination

  15. Comparing differences in species sensitivity to toxicants: Phenotypic plasticity versus concentration-response relationships

    SciTech Connect

    Kammenga, J.E.; Riksen, J.A.G.

    1996-09-01

    The comparison of species sensitivity to toxicants is classically derived from differences in the concentration-response relationships of a sensitive trait such as reproduction. The authors tested this general concept by conceiving the concentration-response relationship as a plastic response to a range of discrete environments. Using a demographic model based on life-cycle experiments for two nematode species (Plectus acuminatus and Heterocephalobus pauciannulatus) they related copper-induced plasticity in reproduction to changes in fitness, which was defined as the population growth rate. Daily reproduction (n{sub t}) in P. acuminatus was more sensitive to copper (EC20 = 48 {micro}M) than in H. pauciannulatus (EC20 = 138 {micro}M). However, the relationship between plasticity in n{sub t} and fitness showed that for both species, fitness was reduced with 5%. These findings imply that P. acuminatus and H. pauciannulatus are equally susceptible to toxicant-induced changes in n{sub t} despite their differences in EC20 values for reproduction. It may be concluded that differences in susceptibility of species to toxicants are not only determined by the effect on sensitive traits but also by the relationship between plasticity in this trait and fitness.

  16. Dynamic genetic linkage of intermediate blood pressure phenotypes during postural adaptations in a founder population

    PubMed Central

    Arenas, I. A.; Tremblay, J.; Deslauriers, B.; Sandoval, J.; Šeda, O.; Gaudet, D.; Merlo, E.; Kotchen, T.; Cowley, A. W.

    2013-01-01

    Blood pressure (BP) is a dynamic phenotype that varies rapidly to adjust to changing environmental conditions. Standing upright is a recent evolutionary trait, and genetic factors that influence postural adaptations may contribute to BP variability. We studied the effect of posture on the genetics of BP and intermediate BP phenotypes. We included 384 sib-pairs in 64 sib-ships from families ascertained by early-onset hypertension and dyslipidemia. Blood pressure, three hemodynamic and seven neuroendocrine intermediate BP phenotypes were measured with subjects lying supine and standing upright. The effect of posture on estimates of heritability and genetic covariance was investigated in full pedigrees. Linkage was conducted on 196 candidate genes by sib-pair analyses, and empirical estimates of significance were obtained. A permutation algorithm was implemented to study the postural effect on linkage. ADRA1A, APO, CAST, CORIN, CRHR1, EDNRB, FGF2, GC, GJA1, KCNB2, MMP3, NPY, NR3C2, PLN, TGFBR2, TNFRSF6, and TRHR showed evidence of linkage with any phenotype in the supine position and not upon standing, whereas AKR1B1, CD36, EDNRA, F5, MMP9, PKD2, PON1, PPARG, PPARGC1A, PRKCA, and RET were specifically linked to standing phenotypes. Genetic profiling was undertaken to show genetic interactions among intermediate BP phenotypes and genes specific to each posture. When investigators perform genetic studies exclusively on a single posture, important genetic components of BP are missed. Supine and standing BPs have distinct genetic signatures. Standardized maneuvers influence the results of genetic investigations into BP, thus reflecting its dynamic regulation. PMID:23269701

  17. Rice Root Architectural Plasticity Traits and Genetic Regions for Adaptability to Variable Cultivation and Stress Conditions1[OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Sandhu, Nitika; Raman, K. Anitha; Torres, Rolando O.; Audebert, Alain; Dardou, Audrey; Kumar, Arvind; Henry, Amelia

    2016-01-01

    Future rice (Oryza sativa) crops will likely experience a range of growth conditions, and root architectural plasticity will be an important characteristic to confer adaptability across variable environments. In this study, the relationship between root architectural plasticity and adaptability (i.e. yield stability) was evaluated in two traditional × improved rice populations (Aus 276 × MTU1010 and Kali Aus × MTU1010). Forty contrasting genotypes were grown in direct-seeded upland and transplanted lowland conditions with drought and drought + rewatered stress treatments in lysimeter and field studies and a low-phosphorus stress treatment in a Rhizoscope study. Relationships among root architectural plasticity for root dry weight, root length density, and percentage lateral roots with yield stability were identified. Selected genotypes that showed high yield stability also showed a high degree of root plasticity in response to both drought and low phosphorus. The two populations varied in the soil depth effect on root architectural plasticity traits, none of which resulted in reduced grain yield. Root architectural plasticity traits were related to 13 (Aus 276 population) and 21 (Kali Aus population) genetic loci, which were contributed by both the traditional donor parents and MTU1010. Three genomic loci were identified as hot spots with multiple root architectural plasticity traits in both populations, and one locus for both root architectural plasticity and grain yield was detected. These results suggest an important role of root architectural plasticity across future rice crop conditions and provide a starting point for marker-assisted selection for plasticity. PMID:27342311

  18. An Adaptive Fisher’s Combination Method for Joint Analysis of Multiple Phenotypes in Association Studies

    PubMed Central

    Liang, Xiaoyu; Wang, Zhenchuan; Sha, Qiuying; Zhang, Shuanglin

    2016-01-01

    Currently, the analyses of most genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have been performed on a single phenotype. There is increasing evidence showing that pleiotropy is a widespread phenomenon in complex diseases. Therefore, using only one single phenotype may lose statistical power to identify the underlying genetic mechanism. There is an increasing need to develop and apply powerful statistical tests to detect association between multiple phenotypes and a genetic variant. In this paper, we develop an Adaptive Fisher’s Combination (AFC) method for joint analysis of multiple phenotypes in association studies. The AFC method combines p-values obtained in standard univariate GWAS by using the optimal number of p-values which is determined by the data. We perform extensive simulations to evaluate the performance of the AFC method and compare the power of our method with the powers of TATES, Tippett’s method, Fisher’s combination test, MANOVA, MultiPhen, and SUMSCORE. Our simulation studies show that the proposed method has correct type I error rates and is either the most powerful test or comparable with the most powerful test. Finally, we illustrate our proposed methodology by analyzing whole-genome genotyping data from a lung function study. PMID:27694844

  19. Neuromagnetic correlates of adaptive plasticity across the hand-face border in human primary somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Muret, Dollyane; Daligault, Sébastien; Dinse, Hubert R; Delpuech, Claude; Mattout, Jérémie; Reilly, Karen T; Farnè, Alessandro

    2016-04-01

    It is well established that permanent or transient reduction of somatosensory inputs, following hand deafferentation or anesthesia, induces plastic changes across the hand-face border, supposedly responsible for some altered perceptual phenomena such as tactile sensations being referred from the face to the phantom hand. It is also known that transient increase of hand somatosensory inputs, via repetitive somatosensory stimulation (RSS) at a fingertip, induces local somatosensory discriminative improvement accompanied by cortical representational changes in the primary somatosensory cortex (SI). We recently demonstrated that RSS at the tip of the right index finger induces similar training-independent perceptual learning across the hand-face border, improving somatosensory perception at the lips (Muret D, Dinse HR, Macchione S, Urquizar C, Farnè A, Reilly KT.Curr Biol24: R736-R737, 2014). Whether neural plastic changes across the hand-face border accompany such remote and adaptive perceptual plasticity remains unknown. Here we used magnetoencephalography to investigate the electrophysiological correlates underlying RSS-induced behavioral changes across the hand-face border. The results highlight significant changes in dipole location after RSS both for the stimulated finger and for the lips. These findings reveal plastic changes that cross the hand-face border after an increase, instead of a decrease, in somatosensory inputs.

  20. Contemporary Parallel Diversification, Antipredator Adaptations and Phenotypic Integration in an Aquatic Isopod

    PubMed Central

    Eroukhmanoff, Fabrice; Svensson, Erik I.

    2009-01-01

    It is increasingly being recognized that predation can be a strong diversifying agent promoting ecological divergence. Adaptations against different predatory regimes can emerge over short periods of time and include many different traits. We studied antipredator adaptations in two ecotypes of an isopod (Asellus aquaticus) that have, diverged in parallel in two Swedish lakes over the last two decades. We quantified differences in escape speed, morphology and behavior for isopods from different ecotypes present in these lakes. Isopods from the source habitat (reed) coexist with mainly invertebrate predators. They are more stream-profiled and have higher escape speeds than isopods in the newly colonized stonewort habitat, which has higher density of fish predators. Stonewort isopods also show more cautious behaviors and had higher levels of phenotypic integration between coloration and morphological traits than the reed isopods. Colonization of a novel habitat with a different predation regime has thus strengthened the correlations between pigmentation and morphology and weakened escape performance. The strong signature of parallelism for these phenotypic traits indicates that divergence is likely to be adaptive and is likely to have been driven by differences in predatory regimes. Furthermore, our results indicate that physical performance, behavior and morphology can change rapidly and in concert as new habitats are colonized. PMID:19587791

  1. Genetic analyses, phenotypic adaptability and stability in sugarcane genotypes for commercial cultivation in Pernambuco.

    PubMed

    Dutra Filho, J A; Junior, T C; Simões Neto, D E

    2015-01-01

    In the present study, we assessed the agro-industrial performance of 22 sugarcane genotypes adaptable to edaphoclimatic conditions in production microregions in the State of Pernambuco, Brazil, and we recommended the commercial cultivation of select genotypes. The variables analyzed were as follows: sucrose percentage in cane juice, tonnage of saccharose per hectare (TPH), sugarcane tonnage per hectare (TCH), fiber, solid soluble contents, total recoverable sugar tonnage (ATR), and total recoverable sugar tonnage per hectare (ATR t/ha). A randomized block design with 4 repeats was used. Combined variance of the experiments, genetic parameter estimates, and environment stratification were analyzed. Phenotypic adaptability and stability were analyzed using the Annicchiarico and Wricke methods and analysis of variance. Genetic gain was estimated using the classic index and sum of ranks. Genotype selection was efficient for TPH, TCH, and ATR t/ha. Genotypes presented a great potential for improvement and a similar response pattern in Litoral Norte and Mata Sul microregions for TPH and TCH and Litoral Norte and Litoral Sul microregions for ATR t/ha. Genotypes SP78-4764, RB813804, and SP79-101 showed better productivity and phenotypic adaptability and stability, according to the Wricke and Annicchiarico methods. These genotypes can be recommended for cultivation in the sugarcane belt in the State of Pernambuco. PMID:26505357

  2. Electro-bending characterization of adaptive 3D fiber reinforced plastics based on shape memory alloys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ashir, Moniruddoza; Hahn, Lars; Kluge, Axel; Nocke, Andreas; Cherif, Chokri

    2016-03-01

    The industrial importance of fiber reinforced plastics (FRPs) is growing steadily in recent years, which are mostly used in different niche products, has been growing steadily in recent years. The integration of sensors and actuators in FRP is potentially valuable for creating innovative applications and therefore the market acceptance of adaptive FRP is increasing. In particular, in the field of highly stressed FRP, structural integrated systems for continuous component parts monitoring play an important role. This presented work focuses on the electro-mechanical characterization of adaptive three-dimensional (3D)FRP with integrated textile-based actuators. Here, the friction spun hybrid yarn, consisting of shape memory alloy (SMA) in wire form as core, serves as an actuator. Because of the shape memory effect, the SMA-hybrid yarn returns to its original shape upon heating that also causes the deformation of adaptive 3D FRP. In order to investigate the influences of the deformation behavior of the adaptive 3D FRP, investigations in this research are varied according to the structural parameters such as radius of curvature of the adaptive 3D FRP, fabric types and number of layers of the fabric in the composite. Results show that reproducible deformations can be realized with adaptive 3D FRP and that structural parameters have a significant impact on the deformation capability.

  3. Adaptive mechanisms and genomic plasticity for drought tolerance identified in European black poplar (Populus nigra L.)

    PubMed Central

    Viger, Maud; Smith, Hazel K.; Cohen, David; Dewoody, Jennifer; Trewin, Harriet; Steenackers, Marijke; Bastien, Catherine; Taylor, Gail

    2016-01-01

    Summer droughts are likely to increase in frequency and intensity across Europe, yet long-lived trees may have a limited ability to tolerate drought. It is therefore critical that we improve our understanding of phenotypic plasticity to drought in natural populations for ecologically and economically important trees such as Populus nigra L. A common garden experiment was conducted using ∼500 wild P. nigra trees, collected from 11 river populations across Europe. Phenotypic variation was found across the collection, with southern genotypes from Spain and France characterized by small leaves and limited biomass production. To examine the relationship between phenotypic variation and drought tolerance, six genotypes with contrasting leaf morphologies were subjected to a water deficit experiment. ‘North eastern’ genotypes were collected at wet sites and responded to water deficit with reduced biomass growth, slow stomatal closure and reduced water use efficiency (WUE) assessed by Δ13C. In contrast, ‘southern’ genotypes originating from arid sites showed rapid stomatal closure, improved WUE and limited leaf loss. Transcriptome analyses of a genotype from Spain (Sp2, originating from an arid site) and another from northern Italy (Ita, originating from a wet site) revealed dramatic differences in gene expression response to water deficit. Transcripts controlling leaf development and stomatal patterning, including SPCH, ANT, ER, AS1, AS2, PHB, CLV1, ERL1–3 and TMM, were down-regulated in Ita but not in Sp2 in response to drought. PMID:27174702

  4. Adaptive mechanisms and genomic plasticity for drought tolerance identified in European black poplar (Populus nigra L.).

    PubMed

    Viger, Maud; Smith, Hazel K; Cohen, David; Dewoody, Jennifer; Trewin, Harriet; Steenackers, Marijke; Bastien, Catherine; Taylor, Gail

    2016-07-01

    Summer droughts are likely to increase in frequency and intensity across Europe, yet long-lived trees may have a limited ability to tolerate drought. It is therefore critical that we improve our understanding of phenotypic plasticity to drought in natural populations for ecologically and economically important trees such as Populus nigra L. A common garden experiment was conducted using ∼500 wild P. nigra trees, collected from 11 river populations across Europe. Phenotypic variation was found across the collection, with southern genotypes from Spain and France characterized by small leaves and limited biomass production. To examine the relationship between phenotypic variation and drought tolerance, six genotypes with contrasting leaf morphologies were subjected to a water deficit experiment. 'North eastern' genotypes were collected at wet sites and responded to water deficit with reduced biomass growth, slow stomatal closure and reduced water use efficiency (WUE) assessed by Δ(13)C. In contrast, 'southern' genotypes originating from arid sites showed rapid stomatal closure, improved WUE and limited leaf loss. Transcriptome analyses of a genotype from Spain (Sp2, originating from an arid site) and another from northern Italy (Ita, originating from a wet site) revealed dramatic differences in gene expression response to water deficit. Transcripts controlling leaf development and stomatal patterning, including SPCH, ANT, ER, AS1, AS2, PHB, CLV1, ERL1-3 and TMM, were down-regulated in Ita but not in Sp2 in response to drought. PMID:27174702

  5. MUTZ-3 derived Langerhans cells in human skin equivalents show differential migration and phenotypic plasticity after allergen or irritant exposure

    SciTech Connect

    Kosten, Ilona J.; Spiekstra, Sander W.; Gruijl, Tanja D. de; Gibbs, Susan

    2015-08-15

    After allergen or irritant exposure, Langerhans cells (LC) undergo phenotypic changes and exit the epidermis. In this study we describe the unique ability of MUTZ-3 derived Langerhans cells (MUTZ-LC) to display similar phenotypic plasticity as their primary counterparts when incorporated into a physiologically relevant full-thickness skin equivalent model (SE-LC). We describe differences and similarities in the mechanisms regulating LC migration and plasticity upon allergen or irritant exposure. The skin equivalent consisted of a reconstructed epidermis containing primary differentiated keratinocytes and CD1a{sup +} MUTZ-LC on a primary fibroblast-populated dermis. Skin equivalents were exposed to a panel of allergens and irritants. Topical exposure to sub-toxic concentrations of allergens (nickel sulfate, resorcinol, cinnamaldehyde) and irritants (Triton X-100, SDS, Tween 80) resulted in LC migration out of the epidermis and into the dermis. Neutralizing antibody to CXCL12 blocked allergen-induced migration, whereas anti-CCL5 blocked irritant-induced migration. In contrast to allergen exposure, irritant exposure resulted in cells within the dermis becoming CD1a{sup −}/CD14{sup +}/CD68{sup +} which is characteristic of a phenotypic switch of MUTZ-LC to a macrophage-like cell in the dermis. This phenotypic switch was blocked with anti-IL-10. Mechanisms previously identified as being involved in LC activation and migration in native human skin could thus be reproduced in the in vitro constructed skin equivalent model containing functional LC. This model therefore provides a unique and relevant research tool to study human LC biology in situ under controlled in vitro conditions, and will provide a powerful tool for hazard identification, testing novel therapeutics and identifying new drug targets. - Highlights: • MUTZ-3 derived Langerhans cells integrated into skin equivalents are fully functional. • Anti-CXCL12 blocks allergen-induced MUTZ-LC migration.

  6. Phenotypic Plasticity Regulates Candida albicans Interactions and Virulence in the Vertebrate Host

    PubMed Central

    Mallick, Emily M.; Bergeron, Audrey C.; Jones, Stephen K.; Newman, Zachary R.; Brothers, Kimberly M.; Creton, Robbert; Wheeler, Robert T.; Bennett, Richard J.

    2016-01-01

    Phenotypic diversity is critical to the lifestyles of many microbial species, enabling rapid responses to changes in environmental conditions. In the human fungal pathogen Candida albicans, cells exhibit heritable switching between two phenotypic states, white and opaque, which yield differences in mating, filamentous growth, and interactions with immune cells in vitro. Here, we address the in vivo virulence properties of the two cell states in a zebrafish model of infection. Multiple attributes were compared including the stability of phenotypic states, filamentation, virulence, dissemination, and phagocytosis by immune cells, and phenotypes equated across three different host temperatures. Importantly, we found that both white and opaque cells could establish a lethal systemic infection. The relative virulence of the two cell types was temperature dependent; virulence was similar at 25°C, but at higher temperatures (30 and 33°C) white cells were significantly more virulent than opaque cells. Despite the difference in virulence, fungal burden, and dissemination were similar between cells in the two states. Additionally, both white and opaque cells exhibited robust filamentation during infection and blocking filamentation resulted in decreased virulence, establishing that this program is critical for pathogenesis in both cell states. Interactions between C. albicans cells and immune cells differed between white and opaque states. Macrophages and neutrophils preferentially phagocytosed white cells over opaque cells in vitro, and neutrophils showed preferential phagocytosis of white cells in vivo. Together, these studies distinguish the properties of white and opaque cells in a vertebrate host, and establish that the two cell types demonstrate both important similarities and key differences during infection. PMID:27303374

  7. Cortical plasticity within and across lifetimes: how can development inform us about phenotypic transformations?

    PubMed Central

    Krubitzer, Leah; Dooley, James C.

    2013-01-01

    The neocortex is the part of the mammalian brain that is involved in perception, cognition, and volitional motor control. It is a highly dynamic structure that is dramatically altered within the lifetime of an animal and in different lineages throughout the course of evolution. These alterations account for the remarkable variations in behavior that species exhibit. Of particular interest is how these cortical phenotypes change within the lifetime of the individual and eventually evolve in species over time. Because we cannot study the evolution of the neocortex directly we use comparative analysis to appreciate the types of changes that have been made to the neocortex and the similarities that exist across taxa. Developmental studies inform us about how these phenotypic transitions may arise by alterations in developmental cascades or changes in the physical environment in which the brain develops. Both genes and the sensory environment contribute to aspects of the phenotype and similar features, such as the size of a cortical field, can be altered in a variety of ways. Although both genes and the laws of physics place constraints on the evolution of the neocortex, mammals have evolved a number of mechanisms that allow them to loosen these constraints and often alter the course of their own evolution. PMID:24130524

  8. Gene Expression Reaction Norms Unravel the Molecular and Cellular Processes Underpinning the Plastic Phenotypes of Alternanthera Philoxeroides in Contrasting Hydrological Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Lexuan; Geng, Yupeng; Yang, Hongxing; Hu, Yonghong; Yang, Ji

    2015-01-01

    Alternanthera philoxeroides is an amphibious invasive weed that can colonize both aquatic and terrestrial habitats. Individuals growing in different habitats exhibit extensive phenotypic variation but little genetic differentiation. Little is known about the molecular basis underlying environment-induced phenotypic changes. Variation in transcript abundance in A. philoxeroides was characterized throughout the time-courses of pond and upland treatments using RNA-Sequencing. Seven thousand eight hundred and five genes demonstrated variable expression in response to different treatments, forming 11 transcriptionally coordinated gene groups. Functional enrichment analysis of plastically expressed genes revealed pathway changes in hormone-mediated signaling, osmotic adjustment, cell wall remodeling, and programmed cell death, providing a mechanistic understanding of the biological processes underlying the phenotypic changes in A. philoxeroides. Both transcriptional modulation of environmentally sensitive loci and environmentally dependent control of regulatory loci influenced the plastic responses to the environment. Phenotypic responses and gene expression patterns to contrasting hydrological conditions were compared between A. philoxeroides and its alien congener Alternanthera pungens. The terricolous A. pungens displayed limited phenotypic plasticity to different treatments. It was postulated based on gene expression comparison that the interspecific variation in plasticity between A. philoxeroides and A. pungens was not due to environmentally-mediated changes in hormone levels but to variations in the type and relative abundance of different signal transducers and receptors expressed in the target tissue. PMID:26617628

  9. Proctophantastes nettastomatis (Digenea: Zoogonidae) from Vanuatu deep-sea fish: new morphological features, allometric growth, and phenotypic plasticity aspects.

    PubMed

    Mouahid, Gabriel; Faliex, Elisabeth; Allienne, Jean-François; Cribb, Thomas H; Bray, Rodney A

    2012-05-01

    The present paper deals with Proctophantastes nettastomatis (Digenea: Zoogonidae; Lepidophyllinae) found in the intestine of three species of deep-sea fish, Dicrolene longimana (Ophidiidae, Ophidiiformes), Bathyuroconger sp. (Congridae, Anguilliformes), and Venefica tentaculata (Nettastomatidae, Anguilliformes). The fish were collected near the islands of Espiritu Santo, Erromango, and Epi, respectively, in the archipelago of Vanuatu (Southern Pacific Ocean) at depths ranging from 561 to 990 m. Morphological and histological analyses showed that the Vanuatu specimens differ from Proctophantastes abyssorum, Proctophantastes gillissi, Proctophantastes glandulosum, Proctophantastes infundibulum, and Proctophantastes brayi but are close to P. nettastomatis discovered in Suruga Bay, Japan. P. nettastomatis is redescribed based both on the observations of our specimens and of the Japanese holotype and paratype. The morphological variability of the species is described. Morphometric data allowed the identification of positive allometric growth for the hindbody, negative allometric growth for the ventral sucker, and a growth phenotypic plasticity between Ophidiiformes and Anguilliformes definitive hosts. PMID:22089085

  10. Evidence for phenotypic plasticity in response to photic cues and the connection with genes of risk in schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Christine L.

    2013-01-01

    Numerous environmental factors have been identified as influential in the development of schizophrenia. Some are byproducts of modern life, yet others were present in our evolutionary past and persist to a lesser degree in the current era. The present study brings together published epidemiological data for schizophrenia and data on variables related to photic input for places of residence across geographical regions, using rainfall as an inverse, proxy measure for light levels. Data were gathered from the literature for two countries, the former Yugoslavia and Ireland, during a time in the early 20th century when mobility was relatively limited. The data for Yugoslavia showed a strong correlation between hospital census rates for schizophrenia (by place of birth) and annual rain (r = 0.96, p = 0.008). In Ireland, the hospital census rates and first admissions for schizophrenia (by place of permanent residence) showed a trend for correlation with annual rain, reaching significance for 1st admissions when the rainfall data was weighted by the underlying population distribution (r = 0.71, p = 0.047). In addition, across the years 1921–1945, birth-year variations in a spring quarter season-of-birth effect for schizophrenia in Ireland showed a trend for correlation with January-March rainfall (r = 0.80, p ≤ 0.10). The data are discussed in terms of the effect of photoperiod on the gestation and behavior of offspring in animals, and the premise is put forth that vestigial phenotypic plasticity for such photic cues still exists in humans. Moreover, genetic polymorphisms of risk identified for psychotic disorders include genes modulated by photoperiod and sunlight intensity. Such a relationship between phenotypic plasticity in response to a particular environmental regime and subsequent natural selection for fixed changes in the environmentally responsive genes, has been well studied in animals and should not be discounted when considering human disease. PMID:23847488

  11. Mathematical modelling of phenotypic plasticity and conversion to a stem-cell state under hypoxia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dhawan, Andrew; Madani Tonekaboni, Seyed Ali; Taube, Joseph H.; Hu, Stephen; Sphyris, Nathalie; Mani, Sendurai A.; Kohandel, Mohammad

    2016-02-01

    Hypoxia, or oxygen deficiency, is known to be associated with breast tumour progression, resistance to conventional therapies and poor clinical prognosis. The epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a process that confers invasive and migratory capabilities as well as stem cell properties to carcinoma cells thus promoting metastatic progression. In this work, we examined the impact of hypoxia on EMT-associated cancer stem cell (CSC) properties, by culturing transformed human mammary epithelial cells under normoxic and hypoxic conditions, and applying in silico mathematical modelling to simulate the impact of hypoxia on the acquisition of CSC attributes and the transitions between differentiated and stem-like states. Our results indicate that both the heterogeneity and the plasticity of the transformed cell population are enhanced by exposure to hypoxia, resulting in a shift towards a more stem-like population with increased EMT features. Our findings are further reinforced by gene expression analyses demonstrating the upregulation of EMT-related genes, as well as genes associated with therapy resistance, in hypoxic cells compared to normoxic counterparts. In conclusion, we demonstrate that mathematical modelling can be used to simulate the role of hypoxia as a key contributor to the plasticity and heterogeneity of transformed human mammary epithelial cells.

  12. An Adaptive Association Test for Multiple Phenotypes with GWAS Summary Statistics.

    PubMed

    Kim, Junghi; Bai, Yun; Pan, Wei

    2015-12-01

    We study the problem of testing for single marker-multiple phenotype associations based on genome-wide association study (GWAS) summary statistics without access to individual-level genotype and phenotype data. For most published GWASs, because obtaining summary data is substantially easier than accessing individual-level phenotype and genotype data, while often multiple correlated traits have been collected, the problem studied here has become increasingly important. We propose a powerful adaptive test and compare its performance with some existing tests. We illustrate its applications to analyses of a meta-analyzed GWAS dataset with three blood lipid traits and another with sex-stratified anthropometric traits, and further demonstrate its potential power gain over some existing methods through realistic simulation studies. We start from the situation with only one set of (possibly meta-analyzed) genome-wide summary statistics, then extend the method to meta-analysis of multiple sets of genome-wide summary statistics, each from one GWAS. We expect the proposed test to be useful in practice as more powerful than or complementary to existing methods.

  13. Adaptability and phenotypic stability of soybean cultivars for grain yield and oil content.

    PubMed

    Silva, K B; Bruzi, A T; Zuffo, A M; Zambiazzi, E V; Soares, I O; de Rezende, P M; Fronza, V; Vilela, G D L; Botelho, F B S; Teixeira, C M; de O Coelho, M A

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study was to verify the adaptability and stability of soybean cultivars with regards to yield and oil content. Data of soybean yield and oil content were used from experiments set up in six environments in the 2011/12 and 2012/13 crop seasons in the municipalities of Patos de Minas, Uberaba, Lavras, and São Gotardo, Minas Gerais, Brazil, testing 36 commercial soybean cultivars of both conventional and transgenic varieties. The Wricke method and GGE biplot analysis were used to evaluate adaptability and stability of these cultivars. Large variations were observed in grain yield in relation to the different environments studied, showing that these materials are adaptable. The cultivars exhibited significant differences in oil content. The cultivars BRSGO204 (Goiânia) and BRSMG (Garantia) exhibited the greatest average grain yield in the different environments studied, and the cultivar BRSMG 760 SRR had the greatest oil content among the cultivars evaluated. Ecovalence was adopted to identify the most stable cultivars, and the estimates were nearly uniform both for grain yield and oil content, showing a variation of 0.07 and 0.01%, respectively. The GGE biplot was efficient at identifying cultivars with high adaptability and phenotype stability. PMID:27173225

  14. Adaptability and phenotypic stability of soybean cultivars for grain yield and oil content.

    PubMed

    Silva, K B; Bruzi, A T; Zuffo, A M; Zambiazzi, E V; Soares, I O; de Rezende, P M; Fronza, V; Vilela, G D L; Botelho, F B S; Teixeira, C M; de O Coelho, M A

    2016-04-25

    The aim of this study was to verify the adaptability and stability of soybean cultivars with regards to yield and oil content. Data of soybean yield and oil content were used from experiments set up in six environments in the 2011/12 and 2012/13 crop seasons in the municipalities of Patos de Minas, Uberaba, Lavras, and São Gotardo, Minas Gerais, Brazil, testing 36 commercial soybean cultivars of both conventional and transgenic varieties. The Wricke method and GGE biplot analysis were used to evaluate adaptability and stability of these cultivars. Large variations were observed in grain yield in relation to the different environments studied, showing that these materials are adaptable. The cultivars exhibited significant differences in oil content. The cultivars BRSGO204 (Goiânia) and BRSMG (Garantia) exhibited the greatest average grain yield in the different environments studied, and the cultivar BRSMG 760 SRR had the greatest oil content among the cultivars evaluated. Ecovalence was adopted to identify the most stable cultivars, and the estimates were nearly uniform both for grain yield and oil content, showing a variation of 0.07 and 0.01%, respectively. The GGE biplot was efficient at identifying cultivars with high adaptability and phenotype stability.

  15. Co-evolution of Hormone Metabolism and Signaling Networks Expands Plant Adaptive Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Weng, Jing-Ke; Ye, Mingli; Li, Bin; Noel, Joseph P

    2016-08-11

    Classically, hormones elicit specific cellular responses by activating dedicated receptors. Nevertheless, the biosynthesis and turnover of many of these hormone molecules also produce chemically related metabolites. These molecules may also possess hormonal activities; therefore, one or more may contribute to the adaptive plasticity of signaling outcomes in host organisms. Here, we show that a catabolite of the plant hormone abscisic acid (ABA), namely phaseic acid (PA), likely emerged in seed plants as a signaling molecule that fine-tunes plant physiology, environmental adaptation, and development. This trait was facilitated by both the emergence-selection of a PA reductase that modulates PA concentrations and by the functional diversification of the ABA receptor family to perceive and respond to PA. Our results suggest that PA serves as a hormone in seed plants through activation of a subset of ABA receptors. This study demonstrates that the co-evolution of hormone metabolism and signaling networks can expand organismal resilience.

  16. Co-evolution of Hormone Metabolism and Signaling Networks Expands Plant Adaptive Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Weng, Jing-Ke; Ye, Mingli; Li, Bin; Noel, Joseph P

    2016-08-11

    Classically, hormones elicit specific cellular responses by activating dedicated receptors. Nevertheless, the biosynthesis and turnover of many of these hormone molecules also produce chemically related metabolites. These molecules may also possess hormonal activities; therefore, one or more may contribute to the adaptive plasticity of signaling outcomes in host organisms. Here, we show that a catabolite of the plant hormone abscisic acid (ABA), namely phaseic acid (PA), likely emerged in seed plants as a signaling molecule that fine-tunes plant physiology, environmental adaptation, and development. This trait was facilitated by both the emergence-selection of a PA reductase that modulates PA concentrations and by the functional diversification of the ABA receptor family to perceive and respond to PA. Our results suggest that PA serves as a hormone in seed plants through activation of a subset of ABA receptors. This study demonstrates that the co-evolution of hormone metabolism and signaling networks can expand organismal resilience. PMID:27518563

  17. Explosive adaptive radiation and extreme phenotypic diversity within ant-nest beetles.

    PubMed

    Moore, Wendy; Robertson, James A

    2014-10-20

    Ant-nest beetles (Paussus) are the quintessential Trojan horses of the insect world. They hack the complex communication system of ants, allowing them to blend into the ant society and be treated as royalty, all the while preying upon the ants and the ants' brood and duping the ants into rearing their young. Here we present results of the first molecular-based phylogeny of ant-nest beetles, which reveals that this symbiosis has produced one of the most stunning examples of rapid adaptive radiation documented to date. The most recent ancestor of a Paussus clade endemic to Madagascar is only 2.6 million years old. This species gave rise to a remarkably phenotypically diverse clade of 86 extant species with a net diversification interval of 0.38-0.81 million years, a rate of radiation faster than classic textbook examples of large, recent, rapid radiations such as Anolis lizards on Caribbean islands, cichlids of the East African Great Lakes, finches on the Galápagos Islands, and Drosophila and tetragnathid spiders on the Hawaiian Islands. In order for Paussus to adapt to a new host ant species, the beetle's ability to perceive, deceive, and communicate with the new host must evolve quickly and in synchrony in both the larval and adult life stages, resulting in unusually strong selective pressure levied by their host ants. Data on host associations suggest that the history of host shifts may help explain both the striking phenotypic diversity within the Malagasy radiation and the evolution of phenotypically similar yet distantly related species in Madagascar and Africa.

  18. Living on the edge: adaptive and plastic responses of the tree Nothofagus pumilio to a long-term transplant experiment predict rear-edge upward expansion.

    PubMed

    Mathiasen, Paula; Premoli, Andrea C

    2016-06-01

    Current climate change affects the competitive ability and reproductive success of many species, leading to local extinctions, adjustment to novel local conditions by phenotypic plasticity or rapid adaptation, or tracking their optima through range shifts. However, many species have limited ability to expand to suitable areas. Altitudinal gradients, with abrupt changes in abiotic conditions over short distances, represent "natural experiments" for the evaluation of ecological and evolutionary responses under scenarios of climate change. Nothofagus pumilio is the tree species which dominates as pure stands the montane forests of Patagonia. We evaluated the adaptive value of variation in quantitative traits of N. pumilio under contrasting conditions of the altitudinal gradient with a long-term reciprocal transplant experimental design. While high-elevation plants show little response in plant, leaf, and phenological traits to the experimental trials, low-elevation ones show greater plasticity in their responses to changing environments, particularly at high elevation. Our results suggest a relatively reduced potential for evolutionary adaptation of high-elevation genotypes, and a greater evolutionary potential of low-elevation ones. Under global warming scenarios of forest upslope migration, high-elevation variants may be outperformed by low-elevation ones during this process, leading to the local extinction and/or replacement of these genotypes. These results challenge previous models and predictions expected under global warming for altitudinal gradients, on which the leading edge is considered to be the upper treeline forests. PMID:26868524

  19. The adaptive potential of subtropical rainbowfish in the face of climate change: heritability and heritable plasticity for the expression of candidate genes.

    PubMed

    McCairns, R J Scott; Smith, Steve; Sasaki, Minami; Bernatchez, Louis; Beheregaray, Luciano B

    2016-04-01

    Whilst adaptation and phenotypic plasticity might buffer species against habitat degradation associated with global climate change, few studies making such claims also possess the necessary and sufficient data to support them. Doing so requires demonstration of heritable variation in traits affecting fitness under new environmental conditions. We address this issue using an emerging aquatic system to study adaptation to climate change, the crimson-spotted rainbowfish (Melanotaenia duboulayi), a freshwater species from a region of eastern Australia projected to be affected by marked temperature increases. Captive born M. duboulayi of known pedigree were used to assess the long-term effects of contemporary and 2070-projected summer temperatures on the expression of genes previously identified in a climate change transcriptomics (RNA-Seq) experiment. Nearly all genes responded to increasing temperature. Significant additive genetic variance explained a moderate proportion of transcriptional variation for all genes. Most genes also showed broad-sense genetic variation in transcriptional plasticity. Additionally, molecular pathways of candidate genes co-occur with genes inferred to be under climate-mediated selection in wild M. duboulayi populations. Together, these results indicate the presence of existing variation in important physiological traits, and the potential for adaptive responses to a changing thermal environment.

  20. Adaptations in placental phenotype support fetal growth during undernutrition of pregnant mice.

    PubMed

    Coan, P M; Vaughan, O R; Sekita, Y; Finn, S L; Burton, G J; Constancia, M; Fowden, A L

    2010-02-01

    Undernutrition during pregnancy reduces birth weight and programmes adult phenotype with consequences for life expectancy, but its effects on the phenotype of the placenta, responsible for supplying nutrients for fetal growth, remain largely unknown. Using molecular, morphological and functional analyses, placental phenotype was examined in mice during restriction of dietary intake to 80% of control from day 3 of pregnancy. At day 16, undernutrition reduced placental, but not fetal, weight in association with decreased junctional zone volume and placental expression of glucose transporter Slc2a1. At day 19, both placental and fetal weights were reduced in undernourished mice (91% and 87% of control, respectively, P < 0.01), as were the volume and surface area of the labyrinthine zone responsible for placental nutrient transfer (85% and 86%, respectively, P < 0.03). However, unidirectional materno-fetal clearance of tracer glucose was maintained and methyl-aminoisobutyric acid increased 166% (P < 0.005) per gram of undernourished placenta, relative to controls. This was associated with an 18% and 27% increased placental expression of glucose and system A amino acid transporters Slc2a1 and Slc38a2, respectively, at day 19 (P < 0.04). At both ages, undernutrition decreased expression of the placental specific transcript of the Igf2 gene by 35% (P < 0.01), although methylation of its promoter was unaffected. The placenta, therefore, adapts to help maintain fetal growth when its own growth is compromised by maternal undernutrition. Consequently, placental phenotype is responsive to environmental conditions and may help predict the risk of adult disease programmed in utero.

  1. Synaptic plasticity in a recurrent neural network for versatile and adaptive behaviors of a walking robot.

    PubMed

    Grinke, Eduard; Tetzlaff, Christian; Wörgötter, Florentin; Manoonpong, Poramate

    2015-01-01

    Walking animals, like insects, with little neural computing can effectively perform complex behaviors. For example, they can walk around their environment, escape from corners/deadlocks, and avoid or climb over obstacles. While performing all these behaviors, they can also adapt their movements to deal with an unknown situation. As a consequence, they successfully navigate through their complex environment. The versatile and adaptive abilities are the result of an integration of several ingredients embedded in their sensorimotor loop. Biological studies reveal that the ingredients include neural dynamics, plasticity, sensory feedback, and biomechanics. Generating such versatile and adaptive behaviors for a many degrees-of-freedom (DOFs) walking robot is a challenging task. Thus, in this study, we present a bio-inspired approach to solve this task. Specifically, the approach combines neural mechanisms with plasticity, exteroceptive sensory feedback, and biomechanics. The neural mechanisms consist of adaptive neural sensory processing and modular neural locomotion control. The sensory processing is based on a small recurrent neural network consisting of two fully connected neurons. Online correlation-based learning with synaptic scaling is applied to adequately change the connections of the network. By doing so, we can effectively exploit neural dynamics (i.e., hysteresis effects and single attractors) in the network to generate different turning angles with short-term memory for a walking robot. The turning information is transmitted as descending steering signals to the neural locomotion control which translates the signals into motor actions. As a result, the robot can walk around and adapt its turning angle for avoiding obstacles in different situations. The adaptation also enables the robot to effectively escape from sharp corners or deadlocks. Using backbone joint control embedded in the the locomotion control allows the robot to climb over small obstacles

  2. Synaptic plasticity in a recurrent neural network for versatile and adaptive behaviors of a walking robot.

    PubMed

    Grinke, Eduard; Tetzlaff, Christian; Wörgötter, Florentin; Manoonpong, Poramate

    2015-01-01

    Walking animals, like insects, with little neural computing can effectively perform complex behaviors. For example, they can walk around their environment, escape from corners/deadlocks, and avoid or climb over obstacles. While performing all these behaviors, they can also adapt their movements to deal with an unknown situation. As a consequence, they successfully navigate through their complex environment. The versatile and adaptive abilities are the result of an integration of several ingredients embedded in their sensorimotor loop. Biological studies reveal that the ingredients include neural dynamics, plasticity, sensory feedback, and biomechanics. Generating such versatile and adaptive behaviors for a many degrees-of-freedom (DOFs) walking robot is a challenging task. Thus, in this study, we present a bio-inspired approach to solve this task. Specifically, the approach combines neural mechanisms with plasticity, exteroceptive sensory feedback, and biomechanics. The neural mechanisms consist of adaptive neural sensory processing and modular neural locomotion control. The sensory processing is based on a small recurrent neural network consisting of two fully connected neurons. Online correlation-based learning with synaptic scaling is applied to adequately change the connections of the network. By doing so, we can effectively exploit neural dynamics (i.e., hysteresis effects and single attractors) in the network to generate different turning angles with short-term memory for a walking robot. The turning information is transmitted as descending steering signals to the neural locomotion control which translates the signals into motor actions. As a result, the robot can walk around and adapt its turning angle for avoiding obstacles in different situations. The adaptation also enables the robot to effectively escape from sharp corners or deadlocks. Using backbone joint control embedded in the the locomotion control allows the robot to climb over small obstacles

  3. Synaptic plasticity in a recurrent neural network for versatile and adaptive behaviors of a walking robot

    PubMed Central

    Grinke, Eduard; Tetzlaff, Christian; Wörgötter, Florentin; Manoonpong, Poramate

    2015-01-01

    Walking animals, like insects, with little neural computing can effectively perform complex behaviors. For example, they can walk around their environment, escape from corners/deadlocks, and avoid or climb over obstacles. While performing all these behaviors, they can also adapt their movements to deal with an unknown situation. As a consequence, they successfully navigate through their complex environment. The versatile and adaptive abilities are the result of an integration of several ingredients embedded in their sensorimotor loop. Biological studies reveal that the ingredients include neural dynamics, plasticity, sensory feedback, and biomechanics. Generating such versatile and adaptive behaviors for a many degrees-of-freedom (DOFs) walking robot is a challenging task. Thus, in this study, we present a bio-inspired approach to solve this task. Specifically, the approach combines neural mechanisms with plasticity, exteroceptive sensory feedback, and biomechanics. The neural mechanisms consist of adaptive neural sensory processing and modular neural locomotion control. The sensory processing is based on a small recurrent neural network consisting of two fully connected neurons. Online correlation-based learning with synaptic scaling is applied to adequately change the connections of the network. By doing so, we can effectively exploit neural dynamics (i.e., hysteresis effects and single attractors) in the network to generate different turning angles with short-term memory for a walking robot. The turning information is transmitted as descending steering signals to the neural locomotion control which translates the signals into motor actions. As a result, the robot can walk around and adapt its turning angle for avoiding obstacles in different situations. The adaptation also enables the robot to effectively escape from sharp corners or deadlocks. Using backbone joint control embedded in the the locomotion control allows the robot to climb over small obstacles

  4. Phenotypic Plasticity Conditions the Response of Soybean Seed Yield to Elevated Atmospheric CO2 Concentration.

    PubMed

    Kumagai, Etsushi; Aoki, Naohiro; Masuya, Yusuke; Shimono, Hiroyuki

    2015-11-01

    Selection for cultivars with superior responsiveness to elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations (eCO2) is a powerful option for boosting crop productivity under future eCO2. However, neither criteria for eCO2 responsiveness nor prescreening methods have been established. The purpose of this study was to identify traits responsible for eCO2 responsiveness of soybean (Glycine max). We grew 12 Japanese and U.S. soybean cultivars that differed in their maturity group and determinacy under ambient CO2 and eCO2 for 2 years in temperature gradient chambers. CO2 elevation significantly increased seed yield per plant, and the magnitude varied widely among the cultivars (from 0% to 62%). The yield increase was best explained by increased aboveground biomass and pod number per plant. These results suggest that the plasticity of pod production under eCO2 results from biomass enhancement, and would therefore be a key factor in the yield response to eCO2, a resource-rich environment. To test this hypothesis, we grew the same cultivars at low planting density, a resource-rich environment that improved the light and nutrient supplies by minimizing competition. Low planting density significantly increased seed yield per plant, and the magnitude ranged from 5% to 105% among the cultivars owing to increased biomass and pod number per plant. The yield increase due to low-density planting was significantly positively correlated with the eCO2 response in both years. These results confirm our hypothesis and suggest that high plasticity of biomass and pod production at a low planting density reveals suitable parameters for breeding to maximize soybean yield under eCO2.

  5. The Effects of Matrix Stiffness and RhoA on the Phenotypic Plasticity of Smooth Muscle Cells in a 3-D Biosynthetic Hydrogel System

    PubMed Central

    Peyton, Shelly R.; Kim, Peter D.; Ghajar, Cyrus M.; Seliktar, Dror; Putnam, Andrew J.

    2008-01-01

    Studies using 2-D cultures have shown that the mechanical properties of the extracellular matrix (ECM) influence cell migration, spreading, proliferation, and differentiation; however, cellular mechanosensing in 3-D remains under-explored. To investigate this topic, a unique biomaterial system based on poly(ethylene glycol)-conjugated fibrinogen was adapted to study phenotypic plasticity in smooth muscle cells (SMCs) as a function of ECM mechanics in 3-D. Tuning compressive modulus between 448–5804 Pa modestly regulated SMC cytoskeletal assembly in 3-D, with spread cells in stiff matrices having a slightly higher degree of F-actin bundling after prolonged culture. However, vinculin expression in all 3-D conditions was qualitatively low and was not assembled into the classic focal adhesions typically seen in 2-D cultures. Given the evidence that RhoA-mediated cytoskeletal contractility represents a critical node in mechanosensing, we molecularly upregulated contractility by inducing SMCs to express constitutively active RhoA. In these cells, F-actin bundling and total vinculin expression increased, and focal adhesion-like structures began to emerge, consistent with RhoA’s mechanism of action cells cultured on 2-D substrates. Furthermore, SMC proliferation in 3-D did not depend significantly on matrix stiffness, and was reduced by constitutive activation of RhoA irrespective of ECM mechanical properties. Conversely, the expression of contractile markers globally increased with constitutive RhoA activation and depended on 3-D matrix stiffness only in cells with heightened RhoA activity. Combined, these data suggest the synergistic effects of ECM mechanics and RhoA activity on SMC phenotype in 3-D are distinct from those in 2-D, and highlight the importance of studying the mechanical role of cell-matrix interactions in tunable 3-D environments. PMID:18342366

  6. Current Concept and Update of the Macrophage Plasticity Concept: Intracellular Mechanisms of Reprogramming and M3 Macrophage “Switch” Phenotype

    PubMed Central

    Malyshev, Igor; Malyshev, Yuri

    2015-01-01

    Macrophages play a key role in immunity. In this review, we consider the traditional notion of macrophage plasticity, data that do not fit into existing concepts, and a hypothesis for existence of a new switch macrophage phenotype. Depending on the microenvironment, macrophages can reprogram their phenotype toward the proinflammatory M1 phenotype or toward the anti-inflammatory M2 phenotype. Macrophage reprogramming involves well-coordinated changes in activities of signalling and posttranslational mechanisms. Macrophage reprogramming is provided by JNK-, PI3K/Akt-, Notch-, JAK/STAT-, TGF-β-, TLR/NF-κB-, and hypoxia-dependent pathways. Posttranscriptional regulation is based on micro-mRNA. We have hypothesized that, in addition to the M1 and M2 phenotypes, an M3 switch phenotype exists. This switch phenotype responds to proinflammatory stimuli with reprogramming towards the anti-inflammatory M2 phenotype or, contrarily, it responds to anti-inflammatory stimuli with reprogramming towards the proinflammatory M1 phenotype. We have found signs of such a switch phenotype in lung diseases. Understanding the mechanisms of macrophage reprogramming will assist in the selection of new therapeutic targets for correction of impaired immunity. PMID:26366410

  7. Phenotypic plasticity of HSP70s gene expression during diapause: signs of evolutionary responses to cold stress among Soybean Pod Borer populations (Leguminivora glycinivorella) in Northeast of China.

    PubMed

    Wang, Ling; Yang, Shuai; Han, Lanlan; Fan, Dong; Zhao, Kuijun

    2014-01-01

    The soybean pod borer (Leguminivora glycinivorella Matsumura) successfully survives the winter because of its high expression of 70-kDa heat shock proteins (HSP70s) during its overwintering diapause. The amount of HSP70s is different under different environmental stresses. In this study, inducible heat shock protein 70 and its constitutive heat shock cognate 70 were cloned by RT-PCR and RACE. These genes were named Lg-hsp70 and Lg-hsc70, respectively. Gene transcription and protein expression after cold stress treatment (5°C to -5°C) were analyzed by western blotting and by qRT-PCR for four populations that were sampled in the northeast region of China, including Shenyang, Gongzhuling, Harbin and Heihe, when the soybean pod borer was in diapause. As the cold shock temperature decreased, the levels of Lg-HSP70s were significantly up-regulated. The amount of cold-induced Lg-HSP70s was highest in the southernmost population (Shenyang, 41°50'N) and lowest in the northernmost population (Heihe, 50°22'N). These results support the hypothesis that the soybean pod borer in the northeast region of China displays phenotypic plasticity, and the accumulation of Lg-HSP70s is a strategy for overcoming environmental stress. These results also suggest that the induction of HSP70 synthesis, which is a complex physiological adaptation, can evolve quickly and inherit stability.

  8. High natural gene expression variation in the reef-building coral Acropora millepora: potential for acclimative and adaptive plasticity

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    interpreted and discussed within the context of adaptive potential and phenotypic plasticity of reef corals. Whether this variation will allow coral reefs to survive to current challenges remains unknown. PMID:23565725

  9. Phenotypic plasticity of coralline algae in a High CO2 world

    PubMed Central

    Ragazzola, Federica; Foster, Laura C; Form, Armin U; Büscher, Janina; Hansteen, Thor H; Fietzke, Jan

    2013-01-01

    It is important to understand how marine calcifying organisms may acclimatize to ocean acidification to assess their survival over the coming century. We cultured the cold water coralline algae, Lithothamnion glaciale, under elevated pCO2 (408, 566, 770, and 1024 μatm) for 10 months. The results show that the cell (inter and intra) wall thickness is maintained, but there is a reduction in growth rate (linear extension) at all elevated pCO2. Furthermore a decrease in Mg content at the two highest CO2 treatments was observed. Comparison between our data and that at 3 months from the same long-term experiment shows that the acclimation differs over time since at 3 months, the samples cultured under high pCO2 showed a reduction in the cell (inter and intra) wall thickness but a maintained growth rate. This suggests a reallocation of the energy budget between 3 and 10 months and highlights the high degree plasticity that is present. This might provide a selective advantage in future high CO2 world. PMID:24223280

  10. Phenotypic plasticity of Neonotonia wightii and Pueraria phaseoloides grown under different light intensities.

    PubMed

    Santos, Leonardo D T; Da Cruz, Leandro R; Dos Santos, Samuel A; Sant'anna-Santos, Bruno F; Dos Santos, Izabela T; De Oliveira, Ariane M; Barros, Rodrigo E; Santos, Márcia V; Faria, Rodrigo M

    2015-03-01

    Plants have the ability to undergo morphophysiological changes based on availability of light. The present study evaluated biomass accumulation, leaf morphoanatomy and physiology of Neonotonia wightii and Pueraria phaseoloides grown in full sunlight, as well as in 30% and 50% shade. Two assays were performed, one for each species, using a randomized block design with 10 replicates. A higher accumulation of fresh mass in the shoot of the plants was observed for both species under cultivation in 50% shade, while no differences were detected between the full sunlight and 30% shade. N. wightii and P. phaseoloides showed increase in area and reduction in thickness leaf when cultivated in 50% shade. There were no changes in photosynthetic rate, stomatal conductance, water use efficiency and evapotranspiration of P. phaseoloides plants because growth environment. However, the shade treatments caused alterations in physiological parameters of N. wightii. In both species, structural changes in the mesophyll occurred depending on the availability of light; however, the amount of leaf blade tissue remained unaltered. Despite the influence of light intensity variation on the morphophysiological plasticity of N. wightii and P. phaseoloides, no effects on biomass accumulation were observed in response to light. PMID:25714076

  11. Phenotypic plasticity and function of the hard palate in growing rabbits.

    PubMed

    Menegaz, Rachel A; Sublett, Samantha V; Figueroa, Said D; Hoffman, Timothy J; Ravosa, Matthew J

    2009-02-01

    Morphological variation related to differential loading is well known for many craniomandibular elements. Yet, the function of the hard palate, and in particular the manner in which cortical and trabecular bone of the palate respond to masticatory loads, remains more ambiguous. Here, experimental data are presented that address the naturalistic influence of biomechanical loading on the postweaning development and structure of the hard palate. A rabbit model was used to test the hypothesis that variation in the morphology of the hard palate is linked to variation in masticatory stresses. Rabbit siblings were divided as weanlings into soft and hard/tough dietary treatment groups of 10 subjects each and were raised for 15 weeks until subadulthood. MicroCT analyses indicate that rabbits subjected to elevated masticatory loading developed hard palates with significantly greater bone area, greater cortical bone thickness along the oral lamina, and thicker anterior palates. Such diet-induced levels of palatal plasticity are comparable to those for other masticatory elements, which likely reflect osteogenic responses for maintaining the functional integrity of the palate vis-à-vis elevated stresses during unilateral mastication. These data support a role for mechanical loading in the determination of palatal morphology, especially its internal structure, in living and fossil mammals such as the hominin Paranthropus. Furthermore, these findings have potential implications for the evolution of the mammalian secondary hard palate as well as for clinical considerations of human oral pathologies. PMID:19089904

  12. Phenotypic plasticity in Calamagrostis epigejos (Poaceae): response capacities of genotypes from different populations of contrasting habitats to a range of soil fertility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lehmann, Cornelia; Rebele, Franz

    2005-09-01

    We investigated differences in response capacities among genotypes of six populations of Calamagrostis epigejos across three levels of soil fertility. Substrate effects were highly significant ( P < 0.001) for all characters (total biomass, root biomass, rhizome biomass, shoot biomass, root allocation, rhizome allocation, shoot allocation, vegetative tiller number, plant height, leaf-blade length, leaf width), indicating a high amount of plasticity. Population effects were highly significant ( P ≤ 0.001) for all characters, except for leaf width and shoot allocation. There were also significant genotype effects for most characters as well as genotype-environment interactions. Plastic responses of most characters were correlated to each other, indicating a high degree of phenotypic integration. Root allocation was negatively correlated with rhizome allocation, revealing an inversely related allocation pattern between roots and rhizomes. Rhizome biomass was the character with the highest mean amount of plasticity over all populations (mean CV: 48.7 ± 13.6), whereas leaf width showed lowest plasticity with a mean CV of 9.0 ± 4.6. Character means and CVs over the six populations were not correlated, except root allocation and plant height. It was striking that the population from the most stressful habitat (a copper smelter) showed the lowest amount of plasticity. The great success of C. epigejos over a variety of contrasting habitats is due to both a high degree of phenotypic plasticity of individual genotypes and a considerable amount of genotypic variability within populations.

  13. Distributed cerebellar plasticity implements adaptable gain control in a manipulation task: a closed-loop robotic simulation

    PubMed Central

    Garrido, Jesús A.; Luque, Niceto R.; D'Angelo, Egidio; Ros, Eduardo

    2013-01-01

    Adaptable gain regulation is at the core of the forward controller operation performed by the cerebro-cerebellar loops and it allows the intensity of motor acts to be finely tuned in a predictive manner. In order to learn and store information about body-object dynamics and to generate an internal model of movement, the cerebellum is thought to employ long-term synaptic plasticity. LTD at the PF-PC synapse has classically been assumed to subserve this function (Marr, 1969). However, this plasticity alone cannot account for the broad dynamic ranges and time scales of cerebellar adaptation. We therefore tested the role of plasticity distributed over multiple synaptic sites (Hansel et al., 2001; Gao et al., 2012) by generating an analog cerebellar model embedded into a control loop connected to a robotic simulator. The robot used a three-joint arm and performed repetitive fast manipulations with different masses along an 8-shape trajectory. In accordance with biological evidence, the cerebellum model was endowed with both LTD and LTP at the PF-PC, MF-DCN and PC-DCN synapses. This resulted in a network scheme whose effectiveness was extended considerably compared to one including just PF-PC synaptic plasticity. Indeed, the system including distributed plasticity reliably self-adapted to manipulate different masses and to learn the arm-object dynamics over a time course that included fast learning and consolidation, along the lines of what has been observed in behavioral tests. In particular, PF-PC plasticity operated as a time correlator between the actual input state and the system error, while MF-DCN and PC-DCN plasticity played a key role in generating the gain controller. This model suggests that distributed synaptic plasticity allows generation of the complex learning properties of the cerebellum. The incorporation of further plasticity mechanisms and of spiking signal processing will allow this concept to be extended in a more realistic computational scenario

  14. Predatory feeding behaviour in Pristionchus nematodes is dependent on phenotypic plasticity and induced by serotonin.

    PubMed

    Wilecki, Martin; Lightfoot, James W; Susoy, Vladislav; Sommer, Ralf J

    2015-05-01

    Behavioural innovation and morphological adaptation are intrinsically linked but their relationship is often poorly understood. In nematodes, a huge diversity of feeding morphologies and behaviours can be observed to meet their distinctive dietary and environmental demands. Pristionchus and their relatives show varied feeding activities, both consuming bacteria and also predating other nematodes. In addition, Pristionchus nematodes display dimorphic mouth structures triggered by an irreversible developmental switch, which generates a narrower mouthed form with a single tooth and a wider mouthed form with an additional tooth. However, little is known about the specific predatory adaptations of these mouth forms or the associated mechanisms and behaviours. Through a mechanistic analysis of predation behaviours, in particular in the model organism Pristionchus pacificus, we reveal multifaceted feeding modes characterised by dynamic rhythmic switching and tooth stimulation. This complex feeding mode switch is regulated by the neurotransmitter serotonin in a previously uncharacterised role, a process that appears conserved across several predatory nematode species. Furthermore, we investigated the effects of starvation, prey size and prey preference on P. pacificus predatory feeding kinetics, revealing predation to be a fundamental component of the P. pacificus feeding repertoire, thus providing an additional rich source of nutrition in addition to bacteria. Finally, we found that mouth form morphology also has a striking impact on predation, suppressing predatory behaviour in the narrow mouthed form. Our results therefore hint at the regulatory networks involved in controlling predatory feeding and underscore P. pacificus as a model for understanding the evolution of complex behaviours.

  15. Thermal plasticity of growth and development varies adaptively among alternative developmental pathways.

    PubMed

    Kivelä, Sami M; Svensson, Beatrice; Tiwe, Alma; Gotthard, Karl

    2015-09-01

    Polyphenism, the expression of discrete alternative phenotypes, is often a consequence of a developmental switch. Physiological changes induced by a developmental switch potentially affect reaction norms, but the evolution and existence of alternative reaction norms remains poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate that, in the butterfly Pieris napi (Lepidoptera: Pieridae), thermal reaction norms of several life history traits vary adaptively among switch-induced alternative developmental pathways of diapause and direct development. The switch was affected both by photoperiod and temperature, ambient temperature during late development having the potential to override earlier photoperiodic cues. Directly developing larvae had higher development and growth rates than diapausing ones across the studied thermal gradient. Reaction norm shapes also differed between the alternative developmental pathways, indicating pathway-specific selection on thermal sensitivity. Relative mass increments decreased linearly with increasing temperature and were higher under direct development than diapause. Contrary to predictions, population phenology did not explain trait variation or thermal sensitivity, but our experimental design probably lacks power for finding subtle phenology effects. We demonstrate adaptive differentiation in thermal reaction norms among alternative phenotypes, and suggest that the consequences of an environmentally dependent developmental switch primarily drive the evolution of alternative thermal reaction norms in P. napi.

  16. Impact of global warming at the range margins: phenotypic plasticity and behavioral thermoregulation will buffer an endemic amphibian.

    PubMed

    Ruiz-Aravena, Manuel; Gonzalez-Mendez, Avia; Estay, Sergio A; Gaitán-Espitia, Juan D; Barria-Oyarzo, Ismael; Bartheld, José L; Bacigalupe, Leonardo D

    2014-12-01

    When dispersal is not an option to evade warming temperatures, compensation through behavior, plasticity, or evolutionary adaptation is essential to prevent extinction. In this work, we evaluated whether there is physiological plasticity in the thermal performance curve (TPC) of maximum jumping speed in individuals acclimated to current and projected temperatures and whether there is an opportunity for behavioral thermoregulation in the desert landscape where inhabits the northernmost population of the endemic frog Pleurodema thaul. Our results indicate that individuals acclimated to 20°C and 25°C increased the breath of their TPCs by shifting their upper limits with respect to when they were acclimated at 10°C. In addition, even when dispersal is not possible for this population, the landscape is heterogeneous enough to offer opportunities for behavioral thermoregulation. In particular, under current climatic conditions, behavioral thermoregulation is not compulsory as available operative temperatures are encompassed within the population TPC limits. However, for severe projected temperatures under climate change, behavioral thermoregulation will be required in the sunny patches. In overall, our results suggest that this population of Pleurodema thaul will be able to endure the worst projected scenario of climate warming as it has not only the physiological capacities but also the environmental opportunities to regulate its body temperature behaviorally.

  17. Phenotypic differences between the sexes in the sexually plastic mangrove rivulus fish (Kryptolebias marmoratus).

    PubMed

    Garcia, Mark J; Ferro, Jack M; Mattox, Tyler; Kopelic, Sydney; Marson, Kristine; Jones, Ryan; Svendsen, Jon C; Earley, Ryan L

    2016-04-01

    To maximize reproductive success, many animal species have evolved functional sex change. Theory predicts that transitions between sexes should occur when the fitness payoff of the current sex is exceeded by the fitness payoff of the opposite sex. We examined phenotypic differences between the sexes in a sex-changing vertebrate, the mangrove rivulus fish (Kryptolebias marmoratus), to elucidate potential factors that might drive the 'decision' to switch sex. Rivulus populations consist of self-fertilizing hermaphrodites and males. Hermaphrodites transition into males under certain environmental conditions, affording us the opportunity to generate 40 hermaphrodite-male pairs where, within a pair, individuals possessed identical genotypes despite being different sexes. We quantified steroid hormone levels, behavior (aggression and risk taking), metabolism and morphology (organ masses). We found that hermaphrodites were more aggressive and risk averse, and had higher maximum metabolic rates and larger gonadosomatic indices. Males had higher steroid hormone levels and showed correlations among hormones that hermaphrodites lacked. Males also had greater total mass and somatic body mass and possessed considerable fat stores. Our findings suggest that there are major differences between the sexes in energy allocation, with hermaphrodites exhibiting elevated maximum metabolic rates, and showing evidence of favoring investments in reproductive tissues over somatic growth. Our study serves as the foundation for future research investigating how environmental challenges affect both physiology and reproductive investment and, ultimately, how these changes dictate the transition between sexes.

  18. Chloroplast redox imbalance governs phenotypic plasticity: the “grand design of photosynthesis” revisited

    PubMed Central

    Hüner, Norman P. A.; Bode, Rainer; Dahal, Keshav; Hollis, Lauren; Rosso, Dominic; Krol, Marianna; Ivanov, Alexander G.

    2012-01-01

    Sunlight, the ultimate energy source for life on our planet, enters the biosphere as a direct consequence of the evolution of photoautotrophy. Photoautotrophs must balance the light energy absorbed and trapped through extremely fast, temperature-insensitive photochemistry with energy consumed through much slower, temperature-dependent biochemistry and metabolism. The attainment of such a balance in cellular energy flow between chloroplasts, mitochondria and the cytosol is called photostasis. Photoautotrophs sense cellular energy imbalances through modulation of excitation pressure which is a measure of the relative redox state of QA, the first stable quinone electron acceptor of photosystem II reaction centers. High excitation pressure constitutes a potential stress condition that can be caused either by exposure to an irradiance that exceeds the capacity of C, N, and S assimilation to utilize the electrons generated from the absorbed energy or by low temperature or any stress that decreases the capacity of the metabolic pathways downstream of photochemistry to utilize photosynthetically generated reductants. The similarities and differences in the phenotypic responses between cyanobacteria, green algae, crop plants, and variegation mutants of Arabidopsis thaliana as a function of cold acclimation and photoacclimation are reconciled in terms of differential responses to excitation pressure and the predisposition of photoautotrophs to maintain photostasis. The various acclimation strategies associated with green algae and cyanobacteria versus winter cereals and A. thaliana are discussed in terms of retrograde regulation and the “grand design of photosynthesis” originally proposed by Arnon (1982). PMID:23230444

  19. Phenotypic differences between the sexes in the sexually plastic mangrove rivulus fish (Kryptolebias marmoratus).

    PubMed

    Garcia, Mark J; Ferro, Jack M; Mattox, Tyler; Kopelic, Sydney; Marson, Kristine; Jones, Ryan; Svendsen, Jon C; Earley, Ryan L

    2016-04-01

    To maximize reproductive success, many animal species have evolved functional sex change. Theory predicts that transitions between sexes should occur when the fitness payoff of the current sex is exceeded by the fitness payoff of the opposite sex. We examined phenotypic differences between the sexes in a sex-changing vertebrate, the mangrove rivulus fish (Kryptolebias marmoratus), to elucidate potential factors that might drive the 'decision' to switch sex. Rivulus populations consist of self-fertilizing hermaphrodites and males. Hermaphrodites transition into males under certain environmental conditions, affording us the opportunity to generate 40 hermaphrodite-male pairs where, within a pair, individuals possessed identical genotypes despite being different sexes. We quantified steroid hormone levels, behavior (aggression and risk taking), metabolism and morphology (organ masses). We found that hermaphrodites were more aggressive and risk averse, and had higher maximum metabolic rates and larger gonadosomatic indices. Males had higher steroid hormone levels and showed correlations among hormones that hermaphrodites lacked. Males also had greater total mass and somatic body mass and possessed considerable fat stores. Our findings suggest that there are major differences between the sexes in energy allocation, with hermaphrodites exhibiting elevated maximum metabolic rates, and showing evidence of favoring investments in reproductive tissues over somatic growth. Our study serves as the foundation for future research investigating how environmental challenges affect both physiology and reproductive investment and, ultimately, how these changes dictate the transition between sexes. PMID:27030777

  20. Phenotypic and transcriptional plasticity directed by a yeast mitogen-activated protein kinase network.

    PubMed

    Breitkreutz, Ashton; Boucher, Lorrie; Breitkreutz, Bobby-Joe; Sultan, Mujahid; Jurisica, Igor; Tyers, Mike

    2003-11-01

    The yeast pheromone/filamentous growth MAPK pathway mediates both mating and invasive-growth responses. The interface between this MAPK module and the transcriptional machinery consists of a network of two MAPKs, Fus3 and Kss1; two regulators, Rst1 and Rst2 (a.k.a. Dig1 and Dig2); and two transcription factors, Ste12 and Tec1. Of 16 possible combinations of gene deletions in FUS3, KSS1, RST1, and RST2 in the sigma1278 background, 10 display constitutive invasive growth. Rst1 was the primary negative regulator of invasive growth, while other components either attenuated or enhanced invasive growth, depending on the genetic context. Despite activation of the invasive response by lesions at the same level in the MAPK pathway, transcriptional profiles of different invasive mutant combinations did not exhibit a unified program of gene expression. The distal MAPK regulatory network is thus capable of generating phenotypically similar invasive-growth states (an attractor) from different molecular architectures (trajectories) that can functionally compensate for one another. This systems-level robustness may also account for the observed diversity of signals that trigger invasive growth. PMID:14668360

  1. Of plasticity and specificity: dialectics of the micro- and macro-environment and the organ phenotype

    PubMed Central

    Bhat, Ramray; Bissell, Mina J.

    2013-01-01

    The study of biological form and how it arises is the domain of the developmental biologists; but once the form is achieved, the organ poses a fascinating conundrum for all the life scientists: how are form and function maintained in adult organs throughout most of the life of the organism? That they do appears to contradict the inherently plastic nature of organogenesis during development. How do cells with the same genetic information arrive at, and maintain such different architectures and functions, and how do they keep remembering that they are different from each other? It is now clear that narratives based solely on genes and an irreversible regulatory dynamics cannot answer these questions satisfactorily, and the concept of microenvironmental signaling needs to be added to the equation. During development, cells rearrange and differentiate in response to diffusive morphogens, juxtacrine signals and the extracellular matrix (ECM). These components, which constitute the modular microenvironment, are sensitive to cues from other tissues and organs of the developing embryo as well as from the external macroenvironment. On the other hand, once the organ is formed, these modular constituents integrate and constrain the organ architecture, which ensures structural and functional homeostasis and therefore, organ specificity. We argue here that a corollary of the above is that once the organ architecture is compromised in adults by mutations or by changes in the microenvironment such as aging or inflammation, that organ becomes subjected to the developmental and embryonic circuits in search of a new identity. But since the microenvironment is no longer embryonic, the confusion leads to cancer: hence as we have argued, tumors become new evolutionary organs perhaps in search of an elusive homeostasis. PMID:24678448

  2. Of plasticity and specificity: dialectics of the micro- and macro-environment and the organ phenotype.

    PubMed

    Bhat, Ramray; Bissell, Mina J

    2014-01-01

    The study of biological form and how it arises is the domain of the developmental biologists; but once the form is achieved, the organ poses a fascinating conundrum for all the life scientists: how are form and function maintained in adult organs throughout most of the life of the organism? That they do appears to contradict the inherently plastic nature of organogenesis during development. How do cells with the same genetic information arrive at, and maintain such different architectures and functions, and how do they keep remembering that they are different from each other? It is now clear that narratives based solely on genes and an irreversible regulatory dynamics cannot answer these questions satisfactorily, and the concept of microenvironmental signaling needs to be added to the equation. During development, cells rearrange and differentiate in response to diffusive morphogens, juxtacrine signals and the extracellular matrix (ECM). These components, which constitute the modular microenvironment, are sensitive to cues from other tissues and organs of the developing embryo as well as from the external macroenvironment. On the other hand, once the organ is formed, these modular constituents integrate and constrain the organ architecture, which ensures structural and functional homeostasis and therefore, organ specificity. We argue here that a corollary of the above is that once the organ architecture is compromised in adults by mutations or by changes in the microenvironment such as aging or inflammation, that organ becomes subjected to the developmental and embryonic circuits in search of a new identity. But since the microenvironment is no longer embryonic, the confusion leads to cancer: hence as we have argued, tumors become new evolutionary organs perhaps in search of an elusive homeostasis.

  3. Muscular senescence in cetaceans: adaptation towards a slow muscle fibre phenotype

    PubMed Central

    Sierra, Eva; Fernández, Antonio; de los Monteros, Antonio Espinosa; Arbelo, Manuel; de Quirós, Yara Bernaldo; Herráez, Pedro

    2013-01-01

    Sarcopenia, or senile muscle atrophy, is the slow and progressive loss of muscle mass with advancing age that constitutes the most prevalent form of muscle atrophy. The effects of ageing on skeletal muscle have been extensively studied in humans and laboratory animals (mice), while the few reports on wild animals are based on short-lived mammals. The present study describes the age-related changes in cetacean muscles regarding the three factors that determine muscle mass: fibre size, fibre number, and fibre type. We show that the skeletal muscle fibres in cetaceans change with advancing age, evolving towards a slower muscle phenotype. We suggest that this physiological evolution constitutes an adaptation that allows these marine mammals to perform prolonged, deep dives. PMID:23648412

  4. Global Adaptation to a Lipid Environment Triggers the Dormancy-Related Phenotype of Mycobacterium tuberculosis

    PubMed Central

    Rodríguez, Juan G.; Hernández, Adriana C.; Helguera-Repetto, Cecilia; Aguilar Ayala, Diana; Guadarrama-Medina, Rosalina; Anzóla, Juan M.; Bustos, Jose R.; Zambrano, María M.; González-y-Merchand, Jorge

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Strong evidence supports the idea that fatty acids rather than carbohydrates are the main energy source of Mycobacterium tuberculosis during infection and latency. Despite that important role, a complete scenario of the bacterium’s metabolism when lipids are the main energy source is still lacking. Here we report the development of an in vitro model to analyze adaptation of M. tuberculosis during assimilation of long-chain fatty acids as sole carbon sources. The global lipid transcriptome revealed a shift toward the glyoxylate cycle, the overexpression of main regulators whiB3, dosR, and Rv0081, and the increased expression of several genes related to reductive stress. Our evidence showed that lipid storage seems to be the selected mechanism used by M. tuberculosis to ameliorate the assumed damage of reductive stress and that concomitantly the bacilli acquired a slowed-growth and drug-tolerant phenotype, all characteristics previously associated with the dormant stage. Additionally, intergenic regions were also detected, including the unexpected upregulation of tRNAs that suggest a new role for these molecules in the acquisition of a drug-tolerant phenotype by dormant bacilli. Finally, a set of lipid signature genes for the adaptation process was also identified. This in vitro model represents a suitable condition to illustrate the participation of reductive stress in drugs’ activity against dormant bacilli, an aspect scarcely investigated to date. This approach provides a new perspective to the understanding of latent infection and suggests the participation of previously undetected molecules. PMID:24846381

  5. Phenotypic developmental plasticity induced by preincubation egg storage in chicken embryos (Gallus gallus domesticus).

    PubMed

    Branum, Sylvia R; Tazawa, Hiroshi; Burggren, Warren W

    2016-02-01

    The developing chicken blastoderm can be temporarily maintained in dormancy below physiological zero temperature. However, prolonged preincubation egg storage impairs normal morphological and physiological development of embryos in a potential example of fetal programming (in this case, "embryonic programming"). We investigated how preincubation egg storage conditions (temperature, duration, hypoxia, and hypercapnia) affects viability, body mass, and physiological variables and functions in day 15 chicken embryos. Embryo viability was impaired in eggs stored for 2 and 3 weeks, with the effects greater at 22°C compared to 15°C. However, embryo size was reduced in eggs stored at 15°C compared with 22°C. Phenotypic change resulting from embryonic programming was evident in the fact that preincubation storage at 15°C diminished hematocrit (Hct), red blood cell concentration ([RBC]), and hemoglobin concentration ([Hb]). Storage duration at 15°C more severely affected the time course (2, 6, and 24 h) responses of Hct, [RBC], and [Hb] to progressive hypoxia and hypercapnia induced by submersion compared with storage duration at 22°C. The time-specific regulation of acid-base balance was changed progressively with storage duration at both 22 and 15°C preincubation storages. Consequently, preincubation egg storage at 22°C resulted in poor viability compared with eggs stored at 15°C, but size and physiological functions of embryos in eggs stored for 1-2 weeks were worse in eggs stored in the cooler than stored under room conditions. Avian eggs thus prove to be useful for examining developmental consequences to physiology of altered preincubation thermal environment in very early stages of development (embryonic programming). PMID:26908714

  6. Unisexual Reproduction Drives Meiotic Recombination and Phenotypic and Karyotypic Plasticity in Cryptococcus neoformans

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Sheng; Billmyre, R. Blake; Mieczkowski, Piotr A.; Heitman, Joseph

    2014-01-01

    In fungi, unisexual reproduction, where sexual development is initiated without the presence of two compatible mating type alleles, has been observed in several species that can also undergo traditional bisexual reproduction, including the important human fungal pathogens Cryptococcus neoformans and Candida albicans. While unisexual reproduction has been well characterized qualitatively, detailed quantifications are still lacking for aspects of this process, such as the frequency of recombination during unisexual reproduction, and how this compares with bisexual reproduction. Here, we analyzed meiotic recombination during α-α unisexual and a-α bisexual reproduction of C. neoformans. We found that meiotic recombination operates in a similar fashion during both modes of sexual reproduction. Specifically, we observed that in α-α unisexual reproduction, the numbers of crossovers along the chromosomes during meiosis, recombination frequencies at specific chromosomal regions, as well as meiotic recombination hot and cold spots, are all similar to those observed during a-α bisexual reproduction. The similarity in meiosis is also reflected by the fact that phenotypic segregation among progeny collected from the two modes of sexual reproduction is also similar, with transgressive segregation being observed in both. Additionally, we found diploid meiotic progeny were also produced at similar frequencies in the two modes of sexual reproduction, and transient chromosomal loss and duplication likely occurs frequently and results in aneuploidy and loss of heterozygosity that can span entire chromosomes. Furthermore, in both α-α unisexual and a-α bisexual reproduction, we observed biased allele inheritance in regions on chromosome 4, suggesting the presence of fragile chromosomal regions that might be vulnerable to mitotic recombination. Interestingly, we also observed a crossover event that occurred within the MAT locus during α-α unisexual reproduction. Our results

  7. Phenotypic and developmental plasticity of xylem in hybrid poplar saplings subjected to experimental drought, nitrogen fertilization, and shading.

    PubMed

    Plavcová, Lenka; Hacke, Uwe G

    2012-11-01

    Variation in xylem structure and function has been extensively studied across different species with a wide taxonomic, geographical, and ecological coverage. In contrast, our understanding of how xylem of a single species can adjust to different growing condition remains limited. Here phenotypic and developmental plasticity in xylem traits of hybrid poplar (Populus trichocarpa×deltoides) was studied. Clonally propagated saplings were grown under experimental drought, nitrogen fertilization, and shade for >30 d. Xylem hydraulic and anatomical traits were subsequently examined in stem segments taken from two different vertical positions along the plant's main axis. The experimental treatments affected growth and development and induced changes in xylem phenotype. Across all treatments, the amount of leaf area supported by stem segments (A(L)) scaled linearly with stem native hydraulic conductivity (K (native)), suggesting that the area of assimilating leaves is constrained by the xylem transport capacity. In turn, K (native) was mainly driven by the size of xylem cross-sectional area (A(X)). Moreover, the structural and functional properties of xylem varied significantly. Vulnerability to cavitation, measured as the xylem pressure inducing 50% loss of conductivity (P50), ranged from -1.71 MPa to -0.15 MPa in saplings subjected to drought and nitrogen fertilization, respectively. Across all treatments and stem segment positions, P50 was tightly correlated with wood density. In contrast, no relationship between P50 and xylem-specific conductivity (K (S)) was observed. The results of this study enhance our knowledge of plant hydraulic acclimation and provide insights into common trade-offs that exist in xylem structure and function.

  8. Adaptive Modifications of Muscle Phenotype in High-Altitude Deer Mice Are Associated with Evolved Changes in Gene Regulation.

    PubMed

    Scott, Graham R; Elogio, Todd S; Lui, Mikaela A; Storz, Jay F; Cheviron, Zachary A

    2015-08-01

    At high-altitude, small mammals are faced with the energetic challenge of sustaining thermogenesis and aerobic exercise in spite of the reduced O2 availability. Under conditions of hypoxic cold stress, metabolic demands of shivering thermogenesis and locomotion may require enhancements in the oxidative capacity and O2 diffusion capacity of skeletal muscle to compensate for the diminished tissue O2 supply. We used common-garden experiments involving highland and lowland deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) to investigate the transcriptional underpinnings of genetically based population differences and plasticity in muscle phenotype. We tested highland and lowland mice that were sampled in their native environments as well as lab-raised F1 progeny of wild-caught mice. Experiments revealed that highland natives had consistently greater oxidative fiber density and capillarity in the gastrocnemius muscle. RNA sequencing analyses revealed population differences in transcript abundance for 68 genes that clustered into two discrete transcriptional modules, and a large suite of transcripts (589 genes) with plastic expression patterns that clustered into five modules. The expression of two transcriptional modules was correlated with the oxidative phenotype and capillarity of the muscle, and these phenotype-associated modules were enriched for genes involved in energy metabolism, muscle plasticity, vascular development, and cell stress response. Although most of the individual transcripts that were differentially expressed between populations were negatively correlated with muscle phenotype, several genes involved in energy metabolism (e.g., Ckmt1, Ehhadh, Acaa1a) and angiogenesis (Notch4) were more highly expressed in highlanders, and the regulators of mitochondrial biogenesis, PGC-1α (Ppargc1a) and mitochondrial transcription factor A (Tfam), were positively correlated with muscle oxidative phenotype. These results suggest that evolved population differences in the oxidative

  9. Eyespots deflect predator attack increasing fitness and promoting the evolution of phenotypic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Prudic, Kathleen L.; Stoehr, Andrew M.; Wasik, Bethany R.; Monteiro, Antónia

    2015-01-01

    Some eyespots are thought to deflect attack away from the vulnerable body, yet there is limited empirical evidence for this function and its adaptive advantage. Here, we demonstrate the conspicuous ventral hindwing eyespots found on Bicyclus anynana butterflies protect against invertebrate predators, specifically praying mantids. Wet season (WS) butterflies with larger, brighter eyespots were easier for mantids to detect, but more difficult to capture compared to dry season (DS) butterflies with small, dull eyespots. Mantids attacked the wing eyespots of WS butterflies more frequently resulting in greater butterfly survival and reproductive success. With a reciprocal eyespot transplant, we demonstrated the fitness benefits of eyespots were independent of butterfly behaviour. Regardless of whether the butterfly was WS or DS, large marginal eyespots pasted on the hindwings increased butterfly survival and successful oviposition during predation encounters. In previous studies, DS B. anynana experienced delayed detection by vertebrate predators, but both forms suffered low survival once detected. Our results suggest predator abundance, identity and phenology may all be important selective forces for B. anynana. Thus, reciprocal selection between invertebrate and vertebrate predators across seasons may contribute to the evolution of the B. anynana polyphenism. PMID:25392465

  10. Eyespots deflect predator attack increasing fitness and promoting the evolution of phenotypic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Prudic, Kathleen L; Stoehr, Andrew M; Wasik, Bethany R; Monteiro, Antónia

    2015-01-01

    Some eyespots are thought to deflect attack away from the vulnerable body, yet there is limited empirical evidence for this function and its adaptive advantage. Here, we demonstrate the conspicuous ventral hindwing eyespots found on Bicyclus anynana butterflies protect against invertebrate predators, specifically praying mantids. Wet season (WS) butterflies with larger, brighter eyespots were easier for mantids to detect, but more difficult to capture compared to dry season (DS) butterflies with small, dull eyespots. Mantids attacked the wing eyespots of WS butterflies more frequently resulting in greater butterfly survival and reproductive success. With a reciprocal eyespot transplant, we demonstrated the fitness benefits of eyespots were independent of butterfly behaviour. Regardless of whether the butterfly was WS or DS, large marginal eyespots pasted on the hindwings increased butterfly survival and successful oviposition during predation encounters. In previous studies, DS B. anynana experienced delayed detection by vertebrate predators, but both forms suffered low survival once detected. Our results suggest predator abundance, identity and phenology may all be important selective forces for B. anynana. Thus, reciprocal selection between invertebrate and vertebrate predators across seasons may contribute to the evolution of the B. anynana polyphenism. PMID:25392465

  11. Sexual dimorphism and phenotypic plasticity in the antennal lobe of a stingless bee, Melipona scutellaris.

    PubMed

    Roselino, Ana Carolina; Hrncir, Michael; da Cruz Landim, Carminda; Giurfa, Martin; Sandoz, Jean-Christophe

    2015-07-01

    Among social insects, the stingless bees (Apidae, Meliponini), a mainly tropical group of highly eusocial bees, present an intriguing variety of well-described olfactory-dependent behaviors showing both caste- and sex-specific adaptations. By contrast, little is known about the neural structures underlying such behavioral richness or the olfactory detection and processing abilities of this insect group. This study therefore aimed to provide the first detailed description and comparison of the brains and primary olfactory centers, the antennal lobes, of the different members of a colony of the stingless bee Melipona scutellaris. Global neutral red staining, confocal laser scanning microscopy, and 3D reconstructions were used to compare the brain structures of males, workers, and virgin queens with a special emphasis on the antennal lobe. We found significant differences between both sexes and castes with regard to the relative volumes of olfactory and visual neuropils in the brain and also in the number and volume of the olfactory glomeruli. In addition, we identified one (workers, queens) and three or four (males) macroglomeruli in the antennal lobe. In both sexes and all castes, the largest glomerulus (G1) was located at a similar position relative to four identified landmark glomeruli, close to the entrance of the antennal nerve. This similarity in position suggests that G1s of workers, virgin queens, and males of M. scutellaris may correspond to the same glomerular entity, possibly tuned to queen-emitted volatiles since all colony members need this information.

  12. Sexual dimorphism and phenotypic plasticity in the antennal lobe of a stingless bee, Melipona scutellaris.

    PubMed

    Roselino, Ana Carolina; Hrncir, Michael; da Cruz Landim, Carminda; Giurfa, Martin; Sandoz, Jean-Christophe

    2015-07-01

    Among social insects, the stingless bees (Apidae, Meliponini), a mainly tropical group of highly eusocial bees, present an intriguing variety of well-described olfactory-dependent behaviors showing both caste- and sex-specific adaptations. By contrast, little is known about the neural structures underlying such behavioral richness or the olfactory detection and processing abilities of this insect group. This study therefore aimed to provide the first detailed description and comparison of the brains and primary olfactory centers, the antennal lobes, of the different members of a colony of the stingless bee Melipona scutellaris. Global neutral red staining, confocal laser scanning microscopy, and 3D reconstructions were used to compare the brain structures of males, workers, and virgin queens with a special emphasis on the antennal lobe. We found significant differences between both sexes and castes with regard to the relative volumes of olfactory and visual neuropils in the brain and also in the number and volume of the olfactory glomeruli. In addition, we identified one (workers, queens) and three or four (males) macroglomeruli in the antennal lobe. In both sexes and all castes, the largest glomerulus (G1) was located at a similar position relative to four identified landmark glomeruli, close to the entrance of the antennal nerve. This similarity in position suggests that G1s of workers, virgin queens, and males of M. scutellaris may correspond to the same glomerular entity, possibly tuned to queen-emitted volatiles since all colony members need this information. PMID:25597397

  13. Eyespots deflect predator attack increasing fitness and promoting the evolution of phenotypic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Prudic, Kathleen L; Stoehr, Andrew M; Wasik, Bethany R; Monteiro, Antónia

    2015-01-01

    Some eyespots are thought to deflect attack away from the vulnerable body, yet there is limited empirical evidence for this function and its adaptive advantage. Here, we demonstrate the conspicuous ventral hindwing eyespots found on Bicyclus anynana butterflies protect against invertebrate predators, specifically praying mantids. Wet season (WS) butterflies with larger, brighter eyespots were easier for mantids to detect, but more difficult to capture compared to dry season (DS) butterflies with small, dull eyespots. Mantids attacked the wing eyespots of WS butterflies more frequently resulting in greater butterfly survival and reproductive success. With a reciprocal eyespot transplant, we demonstrated the fitness benefits of eyespots were independent of butterfly behaviour. Regardless of whether the butterfly was WS or DS, large marginal eyespots pasted on the hindwings increased butterfly survival and successful oviposition during predation encounters. In previous studies, DS B. anynana experienced delayed detection by vertebrate predators, but both forms suffered low survival once detected. Our results suggest predator abundance, identity and phenology may all be important selective forces for B. anynana. Thus, reciprocal selection between invertebrate and vertebrate predators across seasons may contribute to the evolution of the B. anynana polyphenism.

  14. Phenotypically Adapted Mycobacterium tuberculosis Populations from Sputum Are Tolerant to First-Line Drugs

    PubMed Central

    Turapov, Obolbek; O'Connor, Benjamin D.; Sarybaeva, Asel A.; Williams, Caroline; Patel, Hemu; Kadyrov, Abdullaat S.; Sarybaev, Akpay S.; Woltmann, Gerrit; Barer, Michael R.

    2016-01-01

    Tuberculous sputum contains multiple Mycobacterium tuberculosis populations with different requirements for isolation in vitro. These include cells that form colonies on solid media (plateable M. tuberculosis), cells requiring standard liquid medium for growth (nonplateable M. tuberculosis), and cells requiring supplementation of liquid medium with culture supernatant (SN) for growth (SN-dependent M. tuberculosis). Here, we describe protocols for the cryopreservation and direct assessment of antimicrobial tolerance of these M. tuberculosis populations within sputum. Our results show that first-line drugs achieved only modest bactericidal effects on all three populations over 7 days (1 to 2.5 log10 reductions), and SN-dependent M. tuberculosis was more tolerant to streptomycin and isoniazid than the plateable and nonplateable M. tuberculosis strains. Susceptibility of plateable M. tuberculosis to bactericidal drugs was significantly increased after passage in vitro; thus, tolerance observed in the sputum samples from the population groups was likely associated with mycobacterial adaptation to the host environment at some time prior to expectoration. Our findings support the use of a simple ex vivo system for testing drug efficacies against mycobacteria that have phenotypically adapted during tuberculosis infection. PMID:26883695

  15. Phenotypic plasticity of male Schistosoma mansoni from the peritoneal cavity and hepatic portal system of laboratory mice and hamsters.

    PubMed

    Mati, V L T; Freitas, R M; Bicalho, R S; Melo, A L

    2015-05-01

    Morphometric analysis of Schistosoma mansoni male worms obtained from AKR/J and Swiss mice was carried out. Rodents infected by the intraperitoneal route with 80 cercariae of the schistosome (LE strain) were killed by cervical dislocation at 45 and 60 days post-infection and both peritoneal lavage and perfusion of the portal system were performed for the recovery of adult worms. Characteristics including total body length, the distance between oral and ventral suckers, extension of testicular mass and the number of testes were considered in the morphological analysis. Changes that occurred in S. mansoni recovered from the peritoneal cavity or from the portal system of AKR/J and Swiss mice included total body length and reproductive characteristics. Significant morphometric alterations were also observed when worms recovered from the portal system of both strains of mice were compared with the schistosomes obtained from hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus), the vertebrate host in which the LE strain had been adapted and maintained by successive passages for more than four decades. The present results reinforce the idea that S. mansoni has high plastic potential and adaptive capacity.

  16. Self-medication as adaptive plasticity: increased ingestion of plant toxins by parasitized caterpillars.

    PubMed

    Singer, Michael S; Mace, Kevi C; Bernays, Elizabeth A

    2009-01-01

    Self-medication is a specific therapeutic behavioral change in response to disease or parasitism. The empirical literature on self-medication has so far focused entirely on identifying cases of self-medication in which particular behaviors are linked to therapeutic outcomes. In this study, we frame self-medication in the broader realm of adaptive plasticity, which provides several testable predictions for verifying self-medication and advancing its conceptual significance. First, self-medication behavior should improve the fitness of animals infected by parasites or pathogens. Second, self-medication behavior in the absence of infection should decrease fitness. Third, infection should induce self-medication behavior. The few rigorous studies of self-medication in non-human animals have not used this theoretical framework and thus have not tested fitness costs of self-medication in the absence of disease or parasitism. Here we use manipulative experiments to test these predictions with the foraging behavior of woolly bear caterpillars (Grammia incorrupta; Lepidoptera: Arctiidae) in response to their lethal endoparasites (tachinid flies). Our experiments show that the ingestion of plant toxins called pyrrolizidine alkaloids improves the survival of parasitized caterpillars by conferring resistance against tachinid flies. Consistent with theoretical prediction, excessive ingestion of these toxins reduces the survival of unparasitized caterpillars. Parasitized caterpillars are more likely than unparasitized caterpillars to specifically ingest large amounts of pyrrolizidine alkaloids. This case challenges the conventional view that self-medication behavior is restricted to animals with advanced cognitive abilities, such as primates, and empowers the science of self-medication by placing it in the domain of adaptive plasticity theory.

  17. Will Temperature Effects or Phenotypic Plasticity Determine the Thermal Response of a Heterothermic Tropical Bat to Climate Change?

    PubMed Central

    Stawski, Clare; Geiser, Fritz

    2012-01-01

    The proportion of organisms exposed to warm conditions is predicted to increase during global warming. To better understand how bats might respond to climate change, we aimed to obtain the first data on how use of torpor, a crucial survival strategy of small bats, is affected by temperature in the tropics. Over two mild winters, tropical free-ranging bats (Nyctophilus bifax, 10 g, n = 13) used torpor on 95% of study days and were torpid for 33.5±18.8% of 113 days measured. Torpor duration was temperature-dependent and an increase in ambient temperature by the predicted 2°C for the 21st century would decrease the time in torpor to 21.8%. However, comparisons among Nyctophilus populations show that regional phenotypic plasticity attenuates temperature effects on torpor patterns. Our data suggest that heterothermy is important for energy budgeting of bats even under warm conditions and that flexible torpor use will enhance bats’ chance of survival during climate change. PMID:22802959

  18. Phenotypic plasticity in adult life-history strategies compensates for a poor start in life in Trinidadian guppies (Poecilia reticulata).

    PubMed

    Auer, Sonya K

    2010-12-01

    Low food availability during early growth and development can have long-term negative consequences for reproductive success. Phenotypic plasticity in adult life-history decisions may help to mitigate these potential costs, yet adult life-history responses to juvenile food conditions remain largely unexplored. I used a food-manipulation experiment with female Trinidadian guppies (Poecilia reticulata) to examine age-related changes in adult life-history responses to early food conditions, whether these responses varied across different adult food conditions, and how these responses affected overall reproductive success. Guppy females reared on low food as juveniles matured at a later age, at a smaller size, and with less energy reserves than females reared on high food as juveniles. In response to this setback, they changed their investment in growth, reproduction, and fat storage throughout the adult stage such that they were able to catch up in body size, increase their reproductive output, and restore their energy reserves to levels comparable to those of females reared on high food as juveniles. The net effect was that adult female guppies did not merely mitigate but surprisingly were able to fully compensate for the potential long-term negative effects of poor juvenile food conditions on reproductive success.

  19. Meristem maintenance, auxin, jasmonic and abscisic acid pathways as a mechanism for phenotypic plasticity in Antirrhinum majus

    PubMed Central

    Weiss, Julia; Alcantud-Rodriguez, Raquel; Toksöz, Tugba; Egea-Cortines, Marcos

    2016-01-01

    Plants grow under climatic changing conditions that cause modifications in vegetative and reproductive development. The degree of changes in organ development i.e. its phenotypic plasticity seems to be determined by the organ identity and the type of environmental cue. We used intraspecific competition and found that Antirrhinum majus behaves as a decoupled species for lateral organ size and number. Crowding causes decreases in leaf size and increased leaf number whereas floral size is robust and floral number is reduced. Genes involved in shoot apical meristem maintenance like ROA and HIRZ, cell cycle (CYCD3a; CYCD3b, HISTONE H4) or organ polarity (GRAM) were not significantly downregulated under crowding conditions. A transcriptomic analysis of inflorescence meristems showed Gene Ontology enriched pathways upregulated including Jasmonic and Abscisic acid synthesis and or signalling. Genes involved in auxin synthesis such as AmTAR2 and signalling AmANT were not affected by crowding. In contrast, AmJAZ1, AmMYB21, AmOPCL1 and AmABA2 were significantly upregulated. Our work provides a mechanistic working hypothesis where a robust SAM and stable auxin signalling enables a homogeneous floral size while changes in JA and ABA signalling maybe responsible for the decreased leaf size and floral number. PMID:26804132

  20. Will temperature effects or phenotypic plasticity determine the thermal response of a heterothermic tropical bat to climate change?

    PubMed

    Stawski, Clare; Geiser, Fritz

    2012-01-01

    The proportion of organisms exposed to warm conditions is predicted to increase during global warming. To better understand how bats might respond to climate change, we aimed to obtain the first data on how use of torpor, a crucial survival strategy of small bats, is affected by temperature in the tropics. Over two mild winters, tropical free-ranging bats (Nyctophilus bifax, 10 g, n = 13) used torpor on 95% of study days and were torpid for 33.5±18.8% of 113 days measured. Torpor duration was temperature-dependent and an increase in ambient temperature by the predicted 2°C for the 21(st) century would decrease the time in torpor to 21.8%. However, comparisons among Nyctophilus populations show that regional phenotypic plasticity attenuates temperature effects on torpor patterns. Our data suggest that heterothermy is important for energy budgeting of bats even under warm conditions and that flexible torpor use will enhance bats' chance of survival during climate change. PMID:22802959

  1. Love the one you’re with: replicate viral adaptations converge on the same phenotypic change

    PubMed Central

    Nagel, Anna C.; Scott, LuAnn; Settles, Matt; Wichman, Holly A.

    2016-01-01

    lysis was delayed. We postulate that because host cells were generally rare (i.e., high multiplicity of infection conditions developed), selection favored phage that delayed lysis to better exploit their current host (i.e., ‘love the one you’re with’). Thus, the vast majority of wells (at least 64 of 68, or 94%) arrived at the same phenotypic solution, but through a variety of genetic changes. We conclude that answering questions about the range of possible adaptive trajectories, parallelism, and the predictability of evolution requires attention to the many biological levels where the process of adaptation plays out. PMID:27547540

  2. Love the one you're with: replicate viral adaptations converge on the same phenotypic change.

    PubMed

    Miller, Craig R; Nagel, Anna C; Scott, LuAnn; Settles, Matt; Joyce, Paul; Wichman, Holly A

    2016-01-01

    lysis was delayed. We postulate that because host cells were generally rare (i.e., high multiplicity of infection conditions developed), selection favored phage that delayed lysis to better exploit their current host (i.e., 'love the one you're with'). Thus, the vast majority of wells (at least 64 of 68, or 94%) arrived at the same phenotypic solution, but through a variety of genetic changes. We conclude that answering questions about the range of possible adaptive trajectories, parallelism, and the predictability of evolution requires attention to the many biological levels where the process of adaptation plays out. PMID:27547540

  3. Importance of plasticity and local adaptation for coping with changing salinity in coastal areas: a test case with barnacles in the Baltic Sea

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Salinity plays an important role in shaping coastal marine communities. Near-future climate predictions indicate that salinity will decrease in many shallow coastal areas due to increased precipitation; however, few studies have addressed this issue. The ability of ecosystems to cope with future changes will depend on species’ capacities to acclimatise or adapt to new environmental conditions. Here, we investigated the effects of a strong salinity gradient (the Baltic Sea system – Baltic, Kattegat, Skagerrak) on plasticity and adaptations in the euryhaline barnacle Balanus improvisus. We used a common-garden approach, where multiple batches of newly settled barnacles from each of three different geographical areas along the Skagerrak-Baltic salinity gradient were exposed to corresponding native salinities (6, 15 and 30 PSU), and phenotypic traits including mortality, growth, shell strength, condition index and reproductive maturity were recorded. Results We found that B. improvisus was highly euryhaline, but had highest growth and reproductive maturity at intermediate salinities. We also found that low salinity had negative effects on other fitness-related traits including initial growth and shell strength, although mortality was also lowest in low salinity. Overall, differences between populations in most measured traits were weak, indicating little local adaptation to salinity. Nonetheless, we observed some population-specific responses – notably that populations from high salinity grew stronger shells in their native salinity compared to the other populations, possibly indicating adaptation to differences in local predation pressure. Conclusions Our study shows that B. improvisus is an example of a true brackish-water species, and that plastic responses are more likely than evolutionary tracking in coping with future changes in coastal salinity. PMID:25038588

  4. Trypanosoma brucei gambiense adaptation to different mammalian sera is associated with VSG expression site plasticity.

    PubMed

    Cordon-Obras, Carlos; Cano, Jorge; González-Pacanowska, Dolores; Benito, Agustin; Navarro, Miguel; Bart, Jean-Mathieu

    2013-01-01

    Trypanosoma brucei gambiense infection is widely considered an anthroponosis, although it has also been found in wild and domestic animals. Thus, fauna could act as reservoir, constraining the elimination of the parasite in hypo-endemic foci. To better understand the possible maintenance of T. b. gambiense in local fauna and investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying adaptation, we generated adapted cells lines (ACLs) by in vitro culture of the parasites in different mammalian sera. Using specific antibodies against the Variant Surface Glycoproteins (VSGs) we found that serum ACLs exhibited different VSG variants when maintained in pig, goat or human sera. Although newly detected VSGs were independent of the sera used, the consistent appearance of different VSGs suggested remodelling of the co-transcribed genes at the telomeric Expression Site (VSG-ES). Thus, Expression Site Associated Genes (ESAGs) sequences were analysed to investigate possible polymorphism selection. ESAGs 6 and 7 genotypes, encoding the transferrin receptor (TfR), expressed in different ACLs were characterised. In addition, we quantified the ESAG6/7 mRNA levels and analysed transferrin (Tf) uptake. Interestingly, the best growth occurred in pig and human serum ACLs, which consistently exhibited a predominant ESAG7 genotype and higher Tf uptake than those obtained in calf and goat sera. We also detected an apparent selection of specific ESAG3 genotypes in the pig and human serum ACLs, suggesting that other ESAGs could be involved in the host adaptation processes. Altogether, these results suggest a model whereby VSG-ES remodelling allows the parasite to express a specific set of ESAGs to provide selective advantages in different hosts. Finally, pig serum ACLs display phenotypic adaptation parameters closely related to human serum ACLs but distinct to parasites grown in calf and goat sera. These results suggest a better suitability of swine to maintain T. b. gambiense infection supporting

  5. Trypanosoma brucei gambiense adaptation to different mammalian sera is associated with VSG expression site plasticity.

    PubMed

    Cordon-Obras, Carlos; Cano, Jorge; González-Pacanowska, Dolores; Benito, Agustin; Navarro, Miguel; Bart, Jean-Mathieu

    2013-01-01

    Trypanosoma brucei gambiense infection is widely considered an anthroponosis, although it has also been found in wild and domestic animals. Thus, fauna could act as reservoir, constraining the elimination of the parasite in hypo-endemic foci. To better understand the possible maintenance of T. b. gambiense in local fauna and investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying adaptation, we generated adapted cells lines (ACLs) by in vitro culture of the parasites in different mammalian sera. Using specific antibodies against the Variant Surface Glycoproteins (VSGs) we found that serum ACLs exhibited different VSG variants when maintained in pig, goat or human sera. Although newly detected VSGs were independent of the sera used, the consistent appearance of different VSGs suggested remodelling of the co-transcribed genes at the telomeric Expression Site (VSG-ES). Thus, Expression Site Associated Genes (ESAGs) sequences were analysed to investigate possible polymorphism selection. ESAGs 6 and 7 genotypes, encoding the transferrin receptor (TfR), expressed in different ACLs were characterised. In addition, we quantified the ESAG6/7 mRNA levels and analysed transferrin (Tf) uptake. Interestingly, the best growth occurred in pig and human serum ACLs, which consistently exhibited a predominant ESAG7 genotype and higher Tf uptake than those obtained in calf and goat sera. We also detected an apparent selection of specific ESAG3 genotypes in the pig and human serum ACLs, suggesting that other ESAGs could be involved in the host adaptation processes. Altogether, these results suggest a model whereby VSG-ES remodelling allows the parasite to express a specific set of ESAGs to provide selective advantages in different hosts. Finally, pig serum ACLs display phenotypic adaptation parameters closely related to human serum ACLs but distinct to parasites grown in calf and goat sera. These results suggest a better suitability of swine to maintain T. b. gambiense infection supporting

  6. Trypanosoma brucei gambiense Adaptation to Different Mammalian Sera Is Associated with VSG Expression Site Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Cordon-Obras, Carlos; Cano, Jorge; González-Pacanowska, Dolores; Benito, Agustin; Navarro, Miguel; Bart, Jean-Mathieu

    2013-01-01

    Trypanosoma brucei gambiense infection is widely considered an anthroponosis, although it has also been found in wild and domestic animals. Thus, fauna could act as reservoir, constraining the elimination of the parasite in hypo-endemic foci. To better understand the possible maintenance of T. b. gambiense in local fauna and investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying adaptation, we generated adapted cells lines (ACLs) by in vitro culture of the parasites in different mammalian sera. Using specific antibodies against the Variant Surface Glycoproteins (VSGs) we found that serum ACLs exhibited different VSG variants when maintained in pig, goat or human sera. Although newly detected VSGs were independent of the sera used, the consistent appearance of different VSGs suggested remodelling of the co-transcribed genes at the telomeric Expression Site (VSG-ES). Thus, Expression Site Associated Genes (ESAGs) sequences were analysed to investigate possible polymorphism selection. ESAGs 6 and 7 genotypes, encoding the transferrin receptor (TfR), expressed in different ACLs were characterised. In addition, we quantified the ESAG6/7 mRNA levels and analysed transferrin (Tf) uptake. Interestingly, the best growth occurred in pig and human serum ACLs, which consistently exhibited a predominant ESAG7 genotype and higher Tf uptake than those obtained in calf and goat sera. We also detected an apparent selection of specific ESAG3 genotypes in the pig and human serum ACLs, suggesting that other ESAGs could be involved in the host adaptation processes. Altogether, these results suggest a model whereby VSG-ES remodelling allows the parasite to express a specific set of ESAGs to provide selective advantages in different hosts. Finally, pig serum ACLs display phenotypic adaptation parameters closely related to human serum ACLs but distinct to parasites grown in calf and goat sera. These results suggest a better suitability of swine to maintain T. b. gambiense infection supporting

  7. Prismatic Adaptation Induces Plastic Changes onto Spatial and Temporal Domains in Near and Far Space

    PubMed Central

    Patané, Ivan; Farnè, Alessandro; Frassinetti, Francesca

    2016-01-01

    A large literature has documented interactions between space and time suggesting that the two experiential domains may share a common format in a generalized magnitude system (ATOM theory). To further explore this hypothesis, here we measured the extent to which time and space are sensitive to the same sensorimotor plasticity processes, as induced by classical prismatic adaptation procedures (PA). We also exanimated whether spatial-attention shifts on time and space processing, produced through PA, extend to stimuli presented beyond the immediate near space. Results indicated that PA affected both temporal and spatial representations not only in the near space (i.e., the region within which the adaptation occurred), but also in the far space. In addition, both rightward and leftward PA directions caused opposite and symmetrical modulations on time processing, whereas only leftward PA biased space processing rightward. We discuss these findings within the ATOM framework and models that account for PA effects on space and time processing. We propose that the differential and asymmetrical effects following PA may suggest that temporal and spatial representations are not perfectly aligned. PMID:26981286

  8. Adapting Phonological Awareness Interventions for Children with Down Syndrome Based on the Behavioral Phenotype: A Promising Approach?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lemons, Christopher J.; King, Seth A.; Davidson, Kimberly A.; Puranik, Cynthia S.; Fulmer, Deborah; Mrachko, Alicia A.; Partanen, Jane; Al Otaiba, Stephanie; Fidler, Deborah J.

    2015-01-01

    Many children with Down syndrome demonstrate deficits in phonological awareness, a prerequisite to learning to read in an alphabetic language. The purpose of this study was to determine whether adapting a commercially available phonological awareness program to better align with characteristics associated with the behavioral phenotype of Down…

  9. Insulin signalling underlies both plasticity and divergence of a reproductive trait in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Green, Delbert A.; Extavour, Cassandra G.

    2014-01-01

    Phenotypic plasticity is the ability of a single genotype to yield distinct phenotypes in different environments. The molecular mechanisms linking phenotypic plasticity to the evolution of heritable diversification, however, are largely unknown. Here, we show that insulin/insulin-like growth factor signalling (IIS) underlies both phenotypic plasticity and evolutionary diversification of ovariole number, a quantitative reproductive trait, in Drosophila. IIS activity levels and sensitivity have diverged between species, leading to both species-specific ovariole number and species-specific nutritional plasticity in ovariole number. Plastic range of ovariole number correlates with ecological niche, suggesting that the degree of nutritional plasticity may be an adaptive trait. This demonstrates that a plastic response conserved across animals can underlie the evolution of morphological diversity, underscoring the potential pervasiveness of plasticity as an evolutionary mechanism. PMID:24500165

  10. Adaptive landscapes and emergent phenotypes: why do cancers have high glycolysis?

    PubMed

    Gillies, Robert J; Gatenby, Robert A

    2007-06-01

    Investigating the causes of increased aerobic glycolysis in tumors (Warburg Effect) has gone in and out of fashion many times since it was first described almost a century ago. The field is currently in ascendance due to two factors. Over a million FDG-PET studies have unequivocally identified increased glucose uptake as a hallmark of metastatic cancer in humans. These observations, combined with new molecular insights with HIF-1alpha and c-myc, have rekindled an interest in this important phenotype. A preponderance of work has been focused on the molecular mechanisms underlying this effect, with the expectation that a mechanistic understanding may lead to novel therapeutic approaches. There is also an implicit assumption that a mechanistic understanding, although fundamentally reductionist, will nonetheless lead to a more profound teleological understanding of the need for altered metabolism in invasive cancers. In this communication, we describe an alternative approach that begins with teleology; i.e. adaptive landscapes and selection pressures that promote emergence of aerobic glycolysis during the somatic evolution of invasive cancer. Mathematical models and empirical observations are used to define the adaptive advantage of aerobic glycolysis that would explain its remarkable prevalence in human cancers. These studies have led to the hypothesis that increased consumption of glucose in metastatic lesions is not used for substantial energy production via Embden-Meyerhoff glycolysis, but rather for production of acid, which gives the cancer cells a competitive advantage for invasion. Alternative hypotheses, wherein the glucose is used for generation of reducing equivalents (NADPH) or anabolic precursors (ribose) are also discussed. PMID:17624581

  11. Ploidy plasticity: a rapid and reversible strategy for adaptation to stress.

    PubMed

    Berman, Judith

    2016-05-01

    Organisms must be able to grow in a broad range of conditions found in their normal growth environment and for a species to survive, at least some cells in a population must adapt rapidly to extreme stress conditions that kill the majority of cells.Candida albicans, the most prevalent fungal pathogen of humans resides as a commensal in a broad range of niches within the human host. Growth conditions in these niches are highly variable and stresses such exposure to antifungal drugs can inhibit population growth abruptly. One of the mechanisms C. albicans uses to adapt rapidly to severe stresses is aneuploidy-a change in the total number of chromosomes such that one or more chromosomes are present in excess or are missing. Aneuploidy is quite common in wild isolates of fungi and other eukaryotic microbes. Aneuploidy can be achieved by chromosome nondisjunction during a simple mitosis, and in stress conditions it begins to appear after two mitotic divisions via a tetraploid intermediate. Aneuploidy usually resolves to euploidy (a balanced number of chromosomes), but not necessarily to diploidy. Aneuploidy of a specific chromosome can confer new phenotypes by virtue of the copy number of specific genes on that chromosome relative to the copies of other genes. Thus, it is not aneuploidy per se, but the relative copy number of specific genes that confers many tested aneuploidy-associated phenotypes. Aneuploidy almost always carries a fitness cost, as cells express most proteins encoded by genes on the aneuploid chromosome in proportion to the number of DNA copies of the gene. This is thought to be due to imbalances in the stoichiometry of different components of large complexes. Despite this, fitness is a relative function-and if stress is severe and population growth has slowed considerably, then even small growth advantages of some aneuploidies can provide a selective advantage. Thus, aneuploidy appears to provide a transient solution to severe and sudden stress

  12. Evidence for determinism in species diversification and contingency in phenotypic evolution during adaptive radiation.

    PubMed

    Burbrink, Frank T; Chen, Xin; Myers, Edward A; Brandley, Matthew C; Pyron, R Alexander

    2012-12-01

    Adaptive radiation (AR) theory predicts that groups sharing the same source of ecological opportunity (EO) will experience deterministic species diversification and morphological evolution. Thus, deterministic ecological and morphological evolution should be correlated with deterministic patterns in the tempo and mode of speciation for groups in similar habitats and time periods. We test this hypothesis using well-sampled phylogenies of four squamate groups that colonized the New World (NW) in the Late Oligocene. We use both standard and coalescent models to assess species diversification, as well as likelihood models to examine morphological evolution. All squamate groups show similar early pulses of speciation, as well as diversity-dependent ecological limits on clade size at a continental scale. In contrast, processes of morphological evolution are not easily predictable and do not show similar pulses of early and rapid change. Patterns of morphological and species diversification thus appear uncoupled across these groups. This indicates that the processes that drive diversification and disparification are not mechanistically linked, even among similar groups of taxa experiencing the same sources of EO. It also suggests that processes of phenotypic diversification cannot be predicted solely from the existence of an AR or knowledge of the process of diversification.

  13. Phenotypic- and Genotypic-Resistance Detection for Adaptive Resistance Management in Tetranychus urticae Koch

    PubMed Central

    Kwon, Deok Ho; Kang, Taek-Jun; Kim, Young Ho; Lee, Si Hyeock

    2015-01-01

    Rapid resistance detection is necessary for the adaptive management of acaricide-resistant populations of Tetranychus urticae. Detection of phenotypic and genotypic resistance was conducted by employing residual contact vial bioassay (RCV) and quantitative sequencing (QS) methods, respectively. RCV was useful for detecting the acaricide resistance levels of T. urticae, particularly for on-site resistance detection; however, it was only applicable for rapid-acting acaricides (12 out of 19 tested acaricides). QS was effective for determining the frequencies of resistance alleles on a population basis, which corresponded to 12 nonsynonymous point mutations associated with target-site resistance to five types of acaricides [organophosphates (monocrotophos, pirimiphos-methyl, dimethoate and chlorpyrifos), pyrethroids (fenpropathrin and bifenthrin), abamectin, bifenazate and etoxazole]. Most field-collected mites exhibited high levels of multiple resistance, as determined by RCV and QS data, suggesting the seriousness of their current acaricide resistance status in rose cultivation areas in Korea. The correlation analyses revealed moderate to high levels of positive relationships between the resistance allele frequencies and the actual resistance levels in only five of the acaricides evaluated, which limits the general application of allele frequency as a direct indicator for estimating actual resistance levels. Nevertheless, the resistance allele frequency data alone allowed for the evaluation of the genetic resistance potential and background of test mite populations. The combined use of RCV and QS provides basic information on resistance levels, which is essential for choosing appropriate acaricides for the management of resistant T. urticae. PMID:26545209

  14. Population diversity and adaptive evolution in keratinization genes: impact of environment in shaping skin phenotypes.

    PubMed

    Gautam, Pramod; Chaurasia, Amit; Bhattacha