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Sample records for crop phenotypic plasticity

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. [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

  5. [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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  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. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Sustainable harvest: managing plasticity for resilient crops

    PubMed Central

    Bloomfield, Justin A; Rose, Terry J; King, Graham J

    2014-01-01

    Maintaining crop production to feed a growing world population is a major challenge for this period of rapid global climate change. No consistent conceptual or experimental framework for crop plants integrates information at the levels of genome regulation, metabolism, physiology and response to growing environment. An important role for plasticity in plants is assisting in homeostasis in response to variable environmental conditions. Here, we outline how plant plasticity is facilitated by epigenetic processes that modulate chromatin through dynamic changes in DNA methylation, histone variants, small RNAs and transposable elements. We present examples of plant plasticity in the context of epigenetic regulation of developmental phases and transitions and map these onto the key stages of crop establishment, growth, floral initiation, pollination, seed set and maturation of harvestable product. In particular, we consider how feedback loops of environmental signals and plant nutrition affect plant ontogeny. Recent advances in understanding epigenetic processes enable us to take a fresh look at the crosstalk between regulatory systems that confer plasticity in the context of crop development. We propose that these insights into genotype × environment (G × E) interaction should underpin development of new crop management strategies, both in terms of information-led agronomy and in recognizing the role of epigenetic variation in crop breeding. PMID:24891039

  13. Sustainable harvest: managing plasticity for resilient crops.

    PubMed

    Bloomfield, Justin A; Rose, Terry J; King, Graham J

    2014-06-01

    Maintaining crop production to feed a growing world population is a major challenge for this period of rapid global climate change. No consistent conceptual or experimental framework for crop plants integrates information at the levels of genome regulation, metabolism, physiology and response to growing environment. An important role for plasticity in plants is assisting in homeostasis in response to variable environmental conditions. Here, we outline how plant plasticity is facilitated by epigenetic processes that modulate chromatin through dynamic changes in DNA methylation, histone variants, small RNAs and transposable elements. We present examples of plant plasticity in the context of epigenetic regulation of developmental phases and transitions and map these onto the key stages of crop establishment, growth, floral initiation, pollination, seed set and maturation of harvestable product. In particular, we consider how feedback loops of environmental signals and plant nutrition affect plant ontogeny. Recent advances in understanding epigenetic processes enable us to take a fresh look at the crosstalk between regulatory systems that confer plasticity in the context of crop development. We propose that these insights into genotype × environment (G × E) interaction should underpin development of new crop management strategies, both in terms of information-led agronomy and in recognizing the role of epigenetic variation in crop breeding.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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...

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  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. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Phenotyping for drought tolerance of crops in the genomics era

    PubMed Central

    Tuberosa, Roberto

    2012-01-01

    Improving crops yield under water-limited conditions is the most daunting challenge faced by breeders. To this end, accurate, relevant phenotyping plays an increasingly pivotal role for the selection of drought-resilient genotypes and, more in general, for a meaningful dissection of the quantitative genetic landscape that underscores the adaptive response of crops to drought. A major and universally recognized obstacle to a more effective translation of the results produced by drought-related studies into improved cultivars is the difficulty in properly phenotyping in a high-throughput fashion in order to identify the quantitative trait loci that govern yield and related traits across different water regimes. This review provides basic principles and a broad set of references useful for the management of phenotyping practices for the study and genetic dissection of drought tolerance and, ultimately, for the release of drought-tolerant cultivars. PMID:23049510

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Analysis of Constituents for Phenotyping Drought Tolerance in Crop Improvement

    PubMed Central

    Setter, Tim L.

    2012-01-01

    Investigators now have a wide range of analytical tools to use in measuring metabolites, proteins and transcripts in plant tissues. These tools have the potential to assist genetic studies that seek to phenotype genetic lines for heritable traits that contribute to drought tolerance. To be useful for crop breeding, hundreds or thousands of genetic lines must be assessed. This review considers the utility of assaying certain constituents with roles in drought tolerance for phenotyping genotypes. Abscisic acid (ABA), organic and inorganic osmolytes, compatible solutes, and late embryogenesis abundant proteins, are considered. Confounding effects that require appropriate tissue and timing specificity, and the need for high-throughput and analytical cost efficiency are discussed. With future advances in analytical methods and the value of analyzing constituents that provide information on the underlying mechanisms of drought tolerance, these approaches are expected to contribute to development crops with improved drought tolerance. PMID:22675308

  3. UAV-based high-throughput phenotyping in legume crops

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sankaran, Sindhuja; Khot, Lav R.; Quirós, Juan; Vandemark, George J.; McGee, Rebecca J.

    2016-05-01

    In plant breeding, one of the biggest obstacles in genetic improvement is the lack of proven rapid methods for measuring plant responses in field conditions. Therefore, the major objective of this research was to evaluate the feasibility of utilizing high-throughput remote sensing technology for rapid measurement of phenotyping traits in legume crops. The plant responses of several chickpea and peas varieties to the environment were assessed with an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) integrated with multispectral imaging sensors. Our preliminary assessment showed that the vegetation indices are strongly correlated (p<0.05) with seed yield of legume crops. Results endorse the potential of UAS-based sensing technology to rapidly measure those phenotyping traits.

  4. 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

  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. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Dynamic precision phenotyping reveals mechanism of crop tolerance to herbivory

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The western corn rootworm, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera (LeConte) is a major pest of maize, Zea mays L. Over the years, this pest has repeatedly shown its resilience and adaptability not only to traditional crop management strategies including chemical pesticides and crop rotation, but also to de...

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Bio-based and biodegradable plastics for use in crop production.

    PubMed

    Riggi, Ezio; Santagata, Gabriella; Malinconico, Mario

    2011-01-01

    The production and management of crops uses plastics for many applications (e.g., low tunnels, high tunnels, greenhouses, mulching, silage bags, hay bales, pheromone traps, coatings of fertilizers or pesticides or hormones or seeds, and nursery pots and containers for growing transplants). All these applications have led some authors to adopt the term "plasticulture" when discussing the use of plastic materials in agriculture and related industries. Unfortunately, the sustainability of this use of plastics is low, and renewability and degradability have become key words in the debate over sustainable production and utilization of plastic. Recently, researchers and the plastics industry have made strong efforts (i) to identify new biopolymers and natural additives from renewable sources that can be used in plastics production and (ii) to enhance the degradability (biological or physical) of the new ecologically sustainable materials. In the present review, we describe the main research results, current applications, patents that have been applied for in the last two decades, and future perspectives on sustainable use of plastics to support crop production. The article presents some promising patents on bio-based and biodegradable plastics for use in crop production. PMID:21114467

  9. Bio-based and biodegradable plastics for use in crop production.

    PubMed

    Riggi, Ezio; Santagata, Gabriella; Malinconico, Mario

    2011-01-01

    The production and management of crops uses plastics for many applications (e.g., low tunnels, high tunnels, greenhouses, mulching, silage bags, hay bales, pheromone traps, coatings of fertilizers or pesticides or hormones or seeds, and nursery pots and containers for growing transplants). All these applications have led some authors to adopt the term "plasticulture" when discussing the use of plastic materials in agriculture and related industries. Unfortunately, the sustainability of this use of plastics is low, and renewability and degradability have become key words in the debate over sustainable production and utilization of plastic. Recently, researchers and the plastics industry have made strong efforts (i) to identify new biopolymers and natural additives from renewable sources that can be used in plastics production and (ii) to enhance the degradability (biological or physical) of the new ecologically sustainable materials. In the present review, we describe the main research results, current applications, patents that have been applied for in the last two decades, and future perspectives on sustainable use of plastics to support crop production. The article presents some promising patents on bio-based and biodegradable plastics for use in crop production.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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...

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  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. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  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. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Optimizing experimental procedures for quantitative evaluation of crop plant performance in high throughput phenotyping systems

    PubMed Central

    Junker, Astrid; Muraya, Moses M.; Weigelt-Fischer, Kathleen; Arana-Ceballos, Fernando; Klukas, Christian; Melchinger, Albrecht E.; Meyer, Rhonda C.; Riewe, David; Altmann, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    Detailed and standardized protocols for plant cultivation in environmentally controlled conditions are an essential prerequisite to conduct reproducible experiments with precisely defined treatments. Setting up appropriate and well defined experimental procedures is thus crucial for the generation of solid evidence and indispensable for successful plant research. Non-invasive and high throughput (HT) phenotyping technologies offer the opportunity to monitor and quantify performance dynamics of several hundreds of plants at a time. Compared to small scale plant cultivations, HT systems have much higher demands, from a conceptual and a logistic point of view, on experimental design, as well as the actual plant cultivation conditions, and the image analysis and statistical methods for data evaluation. Furthermore, cultivation conditions need to be designed that elicit plant performance characteristics corresponding to those under natural conditions. This manuscript describes critical steps in the optimization of procedures for HT plant phenotyping systems. Starting with the model plant Arabidopsis, HT-compatible methods were tested, and optimized with regard to growth substrate, soil coverage, watering regime, experimental design (considering environmental inhomogeneities) in automated plant cultivation and imaging systems. As revealed by metabolite profiling, plant movement did not affect the plants' physiological status. Based on these results, procedures for maize HT cultivation and monitoring were established. Variation of maize vegetative growth in the HT phenotyping system did match well with that observed in the field. The presented results outline important issues to be considered in the design of HT phenotyping experiments for model and crop plants. It thereby provides guidelines for the setup of HT experimental procedures, which are required for the generation of reliable and reproducible data of phenotypic variation for a broad range of applications. PMID

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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).

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Atmospheric flux of agricultural fumigants from raised-bed, plastic-mulch crop production systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chellemi, Dan O.; Ajwa, Husein A.; Sullivan, David A.

    2010-12-01

    Atmospheric emission of methyl isothiocyanate (MITC), chloropicrin (CP), 1,3-dichloropropene (1,3-D), and dimethyl disulfide (DMDS) were measured in the field under fumigant application scenarios representative of raised bed-plastic-mulched crop production systems. For three fumigation sites located in Florida, cumulative emissions of 1,3-D, MITC and CP were less than 11%, 6% and 2%, respectively. For three fumigation sites in located in Georgia, cumulative emissions of MITC and CP were <13% and 12%, respectively while DMDS emissions varied from 37% to 95%. In the Florida sites, emission peak flux of CP occurred within the first 6 h after application. Peak emission of 1,3-D and MITC occurred between 100 and 144 h after application. In the Georgia sites where fumigated soil was covered by low density polyethylene (LDPE) plastic, emission peak flux of DMDS and MITC occurred between 12and 48 h after application. Key factors affecting atmospheric emissions were soil moisture, soil tilth and the resistance to fumigant diffusion of the plastic film used to cover soil following application. This study demonstrated reduced atmospheric emissions of agricultural fumigants under commercial production conditions when applied using good agricultural practices including soil water contents above field capacity, uniform soil tilth in the fumigation zone and the use of metalized or virtually impermeable films to further reduce fumigant emissions. The results of this study show a need for regional flux studies due to the various interactions of soil and climate with local agricultural land management practices.

  12. Dissecting the phenotypic components of crop plant growth and drought responses based on high-throughput image analysis.

    PubMed

    Chen, Dijun; Neumann, Kerstin; Friedel, Swetlana; Kilian, Benjamin; Chen, Ming; Altmann, Thomas; Klukas, Christian

    2014-12-01

    Significantly improved crop varieties are urgently needed to feed the rapidly growing human population under changing climates. While genome sequence information and excellent genomic tools are in place for major crop species, the systematic quantification of phenotypic traits or components thereof in a high-throughput fashion remains an enormous challenge. In order to help bridge the genotype to phenotype gap, we developed a comprehensive framework for high-throughput phenotype data analysis in plants, which enables the extraction of an extensive list of phenotypic traits from nondestructive plant imaging over time. As a proof of concept, we investigated the phenotypic components of the drought responses of 18 different barley (Hordeum vulgare) cultivars during vegetative growth. We analyzed dynamic properties of trait expression over growth time based on 54 representative phenotypic features. The data are highly valuable to understand plant development and to further quantify growth and crop performance features. We tested various growth models to predict plant biomass accumulation and identified several relevant parameters that support biological interpretation of plant growth and stress tolerance. These image-based traits and model-derived parameters are promising for subsequent genetic mapping to uncover the genetic basis of complex agronomic traits. Taken together, we anticipate that the analytical framework and analysis results presented here will be useful to advance our views of phenotypic trait components underlying plant development and their responses to environmental cues.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

    Armadillidium vulgare differed in growth and survivorship on two field sites. Growth rates were higher at a site with consistently higher quality food than at the other site where less high-quality food was produced and which was less predictably accessible. Survivorship was higher at the second site where temperature fluctuations were consistently smaller. Individuals from the two populations were kept for 6 months under the same food and temperature conditions and patterns of resource allocation to reproductive traits analysed. Members of the population from the site with good growth conditions had significantly higher reproductive allocation, by 13.5%, and larger broods, by 9.1%, than those from the site with poor growth conditions. Contrary to theoretical predictions, they also had significantly larger offspring, by 7.5% dry mass. Larger offspring survived better than small ones. This differential survivorship, by 20% for a 3.4% difference in live mass, was much more pronounced under conditions of moisture stress and under fluctuating temperature regimes. Larger offspring would therefore be at a selective advantage on the site with more severe temperature fluctuations. Phenotypic plasticity in reproductive traits in response to experimental changes in food quality, temperature and crowding were monitored. Reproductive allocation was increased by 20.8% under conditions of higher food quality, by 14.7% at higher temperatures, and by 12.5% under less crowded conditions. Brood size, but not offspring dry mass, increased when food quality increased. When crowding increased by 25.0%, the size of broods remained the same but the dry mass of individual offspring decreased by 11.2%. Members of the population from the site with more variable access to high-quality food showed more plasticity in reproductive traits in response to changes in food supply than members of the population from the site with the more predictable food supply. Members of the population from the

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Dynamic Precision Phenotyping Reveals Mechanism of Crop Tolerance to Root Herbivory[OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Robert, Christelle A.M.; Erb, Matthias; Hibbard, Bruce E.; Paven, Maxim; Gleede, Tassilo; Riehl, Barbara; Kersting, Lena; Cankaya, Aylin S.; Kunert, Anna T.; Xu, Youwen; Schueller, Michael J.; Alexoff, David; Lee, So Jeong; Fowler, Joanna S.

    2016-01-01

    The western corn rootworm (WCR; Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte) is a major pest of maize (Zea mays) that is well adapted to most crop management strategies. Breeding for tolerance is a promising alternative to combat WCR but is currently constrained by a lack of physiological understanding and phenotyping tools. We developed dynamic precision phenotyping approaches using 11C with positron emission tomography, root autoradiography, and radiometabolite flux analysis to understand maize tolerance to WCR. Our results reveal that WCR attack induces specific patterns of lateral root growth that are associated with a shift in auxin biosynthesis from indole-3-pyruvic acid to indole-3-acetonitrile. WCR attack also increases transport of newly synthesized amino acids to the roots, including the accumulation of Gln. Finally, the regrowth zones of WCR-attacked roots show an increase in Gln turnover, which strongly correlates with the induction of indole-3-acetonitrile-dependent auxin biosynthesis. In summary, our findings identify local changes in the auxin biosynthesis flux network as a promising marker for induced WCR tolerance. PMID:27406166

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Effect of plastic mulching on mycotoxin occurrence and mycobiome abundance in soil samples from asparagus crops.

    PubMed

    Muñoz, K; Schmidt-Heydt, M; Stoll, D; Diehl, D; Ziegler, J; Geisen, R; Schaumann, G E

    2015-11-01

    Plastic mulching (PM) is widely used in modern agriculture because of its advantageous effects on soil temperature and water conservation, factors which strongly influence the microbiology of the soil. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of PM on mycotoxin occurrence in relation with mycobiome abundance/diversity and soil physicochemical properties. Soil samples were collected from green (GA) and white asparagus (WA) crops, the last under PM. Both crops were cultivated in a ridge-furrow-ridge system without irrigation. Samples were analyzed for mycotoxin occurrence via liquid chromatography coupled to high-resolution mass spectrometry (LC-HRMS). Total colony-forming unit was indicative of mycobiome abundance, and analysis of mycobiome diversity was performed by internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequencing. PM avoided the drop of soil temperature in winter and allowed higher soil temperature in early spring compared to non-covered soil. Moreover, the use of PM provided controlled conditions for water content in soil. This was enough to generate a dissimilar mycotoxin occurrence and mycobiome diversity/abundance in covered and non-covered soil. Mycotoxin soil contamination was confirmed for deoxynivalenol (DON), range LOD to 32.1 ng/g (LOD = 1.1 ng/g). The DON values were higher under PM (average 16.9 ± 10.1 ng/g) than in non-covered soil (9.1 ± 7.9 ng/g); however, this difference was not statically significant (p = 0.09). Mycobiome analysis showed a fungal compartment up to fivefold higher in soil under PM compared to GA. The diversity of the mycobiome varied between crops and also along the soil column, with an important dominance of Fusarium species at the root zone in covered soils.

  10. Effect of plastic mulching on mycotoxin occurrence and mycobiome abundance in soil samples from asparagus crops.

    PubMed

    Muñoz, K; Schmidt-Heydt, M; Stoll, D; Diehl, D; Ziegler, J; Geisen, R; Schaumann, G E

    2015-11-01

    Plastic mulching (PM) is widely used in modern agriculture because of its advantageous effects on soil temperature and water conservation, factors which strongly influence the microbiology of the soil. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of PM on mycotoxin occurrence in relation with mycobiome abundance/diversity and soil physicochemical properties. Soil samples were collected from green (GA) and white asparagus (WA) crops, the last under PM. Both crops were cultivated in a ridge-furrow-ridge system without irrigation. Samples were analyzed for mycotoxin occurrence via liquid chromatography coupled to high-resolution mass spectrometry (LC-HRMS). Total colony-forming unit was indicative of mycobiome abundance, and analysis of mycobiome diversity was performed by internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequencing. PM avoided the drop of soil temperature in winter and allowed higher soil temperature in early spring compared to non-covered soil. Moreover, the use of PM provided controlled conditions for water content in soil. This was enough to generate a dissimilar mycotoxin occurrence and mycobiome diversity/abundance in covered and non-covered soil. Mycotoxin soil contamination was confirmed for deoxynivalenol (DON), range LOD to 32.1 ng/g (LOD = 1.1 ng/g). The DON values were higher under PM (average 16.9 ± 10.1 ng/g) than in non-covered soil (9.1 ± 7.9 ng/g); however, this difference was not statically significant (p = 0.09). Mycobiome analysis showed a fungal compartment up to fivefold higher in soil under PM compared to GA. The diversity of the mycobiome varied between crops and also along the soil column, with an important dominance of Fusarium species at the root zone in covered soils. PMID:26412448

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

    Background Clonal marine organisms exhibit high levels of morphological variation. Morphological differences may be a response to environmental factors but also they can be attributed to accumulated genetic differences due to disruption of gene flow among populations. In this study, we examined the extensive morphological variation (of 14 characters) in natural populations observed in the gorgonian Eunicea flexuosa, a widely distributed Caribbean octocoral. Eco-phenotypic and genetic effects were evaluated by reciprocal transplants of colonies inhabiting opposite ends of the depth gradient and analysis of population genetics of mitochondrial and nuclear genes, respectively. Results Significant differences (P < 0.001) in 14 morphological traits were found among colonies inhabiting 12 locations distributed in seven reefs in southwest Puerto Rico. Results from principal component analysis indicated the presence of two groups based on depth distribution, suggesting the presence of two discrete morphotypes (i.e. shallow type < 5 m and deep type > 17 m). A discriminant function analysis based on a priori univariate and multivariate analyses (which separated the colonies in morphotypes) correctly classified 93% of the colonies for each environment. Light, water motion and sediment transport might influence the distribution of the two morphotypes. Reaction norms of morphological characters of colonies reciprocally transplanted showed gradual significant changes through the 15 months of transplantation. Sclerites of shallow water colonies became larger when transplanted to deeper environments and vice versa, but neither of the two transplanted groups overlapped with the residents' morphology. Genetic analysis of mitochondrial and nuclear genes suggested that such discrete morphology and non-overlapping phenotypic plasticity is correlated with the presence of two independent evolutionary lineages. The distribution of the lineages is non-random and may be related to

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Assessment of the genetic and phenotypic diversity among rhizogenic Agrobacterium biovar 1 strains infecting solanaceous and cucurbit crops.

    PubMed

    Bosmans, Lien; Álvarez-Pérez, Sergio; Moerkens, Rob; Wittemans, Lieve; Van Calenberge, Bart; Kerckhove, Stefan Van; Paeleman, Anneleen; De Mot, René; Rediers, Hans; Lievens, Bart

    2015-08-01

    Rhizogenic Agrobacterium biovar 1 strains have been found to cause extensive root proliferation on hydroponically grown Cucurbitaceae and Solanaceae crops, resulting in substantial economic losses. As these agrobacteria live under similar ecological conditions, infecting a limited number of crops, it may be hypothesized that genetic and phenotypic variation among such strains is relatively low. In this study we assessed the phenotypic diversity as well as the phylogenetic and evolutionary relationships of several rhizogenic Agrobacterium biovar 1 strains from cucurbit and solanaceous crops. A collection of 41 isolates was subjected to a number of phenotypic assays and characterized by MLSA targeting four housekeeping genes (16S rRNA gene, recA, rpoB and trpE) and two loci from the root-inducing Ri-plasmid (part of rolB and virD2). Besides phenotypic variation, remarkable genotypic diversity was observed, especially for some chromosomal loci such as trpE. In contrast, genetic diversity was lower for the plasmid-borne loci, indicating that the studied chromosomal housekeeping genes and Ri-plasmid-borne loci might not exhibit the same evolutionary history. Furthermore, phylogenetic and network analyses and several recombination tests suggested that recombination could be contributing in some extent to the evolutionary dynamics of rhizogenic Agrobacterium populations. Finally, a genomospecies-level identification analysis revealed that at least four genomospecies may occur on cucurbit and tomato crops (G1, G3, G8 and G9). Together, this study gives a first glimpse at the genetic and phenotypic diversity within this economically important plant pathogenic bacterium.

  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. Impact of Interspecific Hybridization between Crops and Weedy Relatives on the Evolution of Flowering Time in Weedy Phenotypes

    PubMed Central

    Vacher, Corinne; Kossler, Tanya M.; Hochberg, Michael E.; Weis, Arthur E.

    2011-01-01

    Background Like conventional crops, some GM cultivars may readily hybridize with their wild or weedy relatives. The progressive introgression of transgenes into wild or weedy populations thus appears inevitable, and we are now faced with the challenge of determining the possible evolutionary effects of these transgenes. The aim of this study was to gain insight into the impact of interspecific hybridization between transgenic plants and weedy relatives on the evolution of the weedy phenotype. Methodology/Principal Findings Experimental populations of weedy birdseed rape (Brassica rapa) and transgenic rapeseed (B. napus) were grown under glasshouse conditions. Hybridization opportunities with transgenic plants and phenotypic traits (including phenological, morphological and reproductive traits) were measured for each weedy individual. We show that weedy individuals that flowered later and for longer periods were more likely to receive transgenic pollen from crops and weed×crop hybrids. Because stem diameter is correlated with flowering time, plants with wider stems were also more likely to be pollinated by transgenic plants. We also show that the weedy plants with the highest probability of hybridization had the lowest fecundity. Conclusion/Significance Our results suggest that weeds flowering late and for long periods are less fit because they have a higher probability of hybridizing with crops or weed×crop hybrids. This may result in counter-selection against this subset of weed phenotypes, and a shorter earlier flowering period. It is noteworthy that this potential evolution in flowering time does not depend on the presence of the transgene in the crop. Evolution in flowering time may even be counter-balanced by positive selection acting on the transgene if the latter was positively associated with maternal genes promoting late flowering and long flowering periods. Unfortunately, we could not verify this association in the present experiment. PMID:21304909

  4. Bridging the phenotypic and genetic data useful for integrated breeding through a data annotation using the Crop Ontology developed by the crop communities of practice.

    PubMed

    Shrestha, Rosemary; Matteis, Luca; Skofic, Milko; Portugal, Arllet; McLaren, Graham; Hyman, Glenn; Arnaud, Elizabeth

    2012-01-01

    The Crop Ontology (CO) of the Generation Challenge Program (GCP) (http://cropontology.org/) is developed for the Integrated Breeding Platform (IBP) (http://www.integratedbreeding.net/) by several centers of The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR): bioversity, CIMMYT, CIP, ICRISAT, IITA, and IRRI. Integrated breeding necessitates that breeders access genotypic and phenotypic data related to a given trait. The CO provides validated trait names used by the crop communities of practice (CoP) for harmonizing the annotation of phenotypic and genotypic data and thus supporting data accessibility and discovery through web queries. The trait information is completed by the description of the measurement methods and scales, and images. The trait dictionaries used to produce the Integrated Breeding (IB) fieldbooks are synchronized with the CO terms for an automatic annotation of the phenotypic data measured in the field. The IB fieldbook provides breeders with direct access to the CO to get additional descriptive information on the traits. Ontologies and trait dictionaries are online for cassava, chickpea, common bean, groundnut, maize, Musa, potato, rice, sorghum, and wheat. Online curation and annotation tools facilitate (http://cropontology.org) direct maintenance of the trait information and production of trait dictionaries by the crop communities. An important feature is the cross referencing of CO terms with the Crop database trait ID and with their synonyms in Plant Ontology (PO) and Trait Ontology (TO). Web links between cross referenced terms in CO provide online access to data annotated with similar ontological terms, particularly the genetic data in Gramene (University of Cornell) or the evaluation and climatic data in the Global Repository of evaluation trials of the Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security programme (CCAFS). Cross-referencing and annotation will be further applied in the IBP. PMID:22934074

  5. Bridging the phenotypic and genetic data useful for integrated breeding through a data annotation using the Crop Ontology developed by the crop communities of practice

    PubMed Central

    Shrestha, Rosemary; Matteis, Luca; Skofic, Milko; Portugal, Arllet; McLaren, Graham; Hyman, Glenn; Arnaud, Elizabeth

    2012-01-01

    The Crop Ontology (CO) of the Generation Challenge Program (GCP) (http://cropontology.org/) is developed for the Integrated Breeding Platform (IBP) (http://www.integratedbreeding.net/) by several centers of The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR): bioversity, CIMMYT, CIP, ICRISAT, IITA, and IRRI. Integrated breeding necessitates that breeders access genotypic and phenotypic data related to a given trait. The CO provides validated trait names used by the crop communities of practice (CoP) for harmonizing the annotation of phenotypic and genotypic data and thus supporting data accessibility and discovery through web queries. The trait information is completed by the description of the measurement methods and scales, and images. The trait dictionaries used to produce the Integrated Breeding (IB) fieldbooks are synchronized with the CO terms for an automatic annotation of the phenotypic data measured in the field. The IB fieldbook provides breeders with direct access to the CO to get additional descriptive information on the traits. Ontologies and trait dictionaries are online for cassava, chickpea, common bean, groundnut, maize, Musa, potato, rice, sorghum, and wheat. Online curation and annotation tools facilitate (http://cropontology.org) direct maintenance of the trait information and production of trait dictionaries by the crop communities. An important feature is the cross referencing of CO terms with the Crop database trait ID and with their synonyms in Plant Ontology (PO) and Trait Ontology (TO). Web links between cross referenced terms in CO provide online access to data annotated with similar ontological terms, particularly the genetic data in Gramene (University of Cornell) or the evaluation and climatic data in the Global Repository of evaluation trials of the Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security programme (CCAFS). Cross-referencing and annotation will be further applied in the IBP. PMID:22934074

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  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. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  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. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. [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.

  6. 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.

  7. Dissecting the Phenotypic Components of Crop Plant Growth and Drought Responses Based on High-Throughput Image Analysis[W][OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Dijun; Neumann, Kerstin; Friedel, Swetlana; Kilian, Benjamin; Chen, Ming; Altmann, Thomas; Klukas, Christian

    2014-01-01

    Significantly improved crop varieties are urgently needed to feed the rapidly growing human population under changing climates. While genome sequence information and excellent genomic tools are in place for major crop species, the systematic quantification of phenotypic traits or components thereof in a high-throughput fashion remains an enormous challenge. In order to help bridge the genotype to phenotype gap, we developed a comprehensive framework for high-throughput phenotype data analysis in plants, which enables the extraction of an extensive list of phenotypic traits from nondestructive plant imaging over time. As a proof of concept, we investigated the phenotypic components of the drought responses of 18 different barley (Hordeum vulgare) cultivars during vegetative growth. We analyzed dynamic properties of trait expression over growth time based on 54 representative phenotypic features. The data are highly valuable to understand plant development and to further quantify growth and crop performance features. We tested various growth models to predict plant biomass accumulation and identified several relevant parameters that support biological interpretation of plant growth and stress tolerance. These image-based traits and model-derived parameters are promising for subsequent genetic mapping to uncover the genetic basis of complex agronomic traits. Taken together, we anticipate that the analytical framework and analysis results presented here will be useful to advance our views of phenotypic trait components underlying plant development and their responses to environmental cues. PMID:25501589

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Image-Based High-Throughput Field Phenotyping of Crop Roots1[W][OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Bucksch, Alexander; Burridge, James; York, Larry M.; Das, Abhiram; Nord, Eric; Weitz, Joshua S.; Lynch, Jonathan P.

    2014-01-01

    Current plant phenotyping technologies to characterize agriculturally relevant traits have been primarily developed for use in laboratory and/or greenhouse conditions. In the case of root architectural traits, this limits phenotyping efforts, largely, to young plants grown in specialized containers and growth media. Hence, novel approaches are required to characterize mature root systems of older plants grown under actual soil conditions in the field. Imaging methods able to address the challenges associated with characterizing mature root systems are rare due, in part, to the greater complexity of mature root systems, including the larger size, overlap, and diversity of root components. Our imaging solution combines a field-imaging protocol and algorithmic approach to analyze mature root systems grown in the field. Via two case studies, we demonstrate how image analysis can be utilized to estimate localized root traits that reliably capture heritable architectural diversity as well as environmentally induced architectural variation of both monocot and dicot plants. In the first study, we show that our algorithms and traits (including 13 novel traits inaccessible to manual estimation) can differentiate nine maize (Zea mays) genotypes 8 weeks after planting. The second study focuses on a diversity panel of 188 cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) genotypes to identify which traits are sufficient to differentiate genotypes even when comparing plants whose harvesting date differs up to 14 d. Overall, we find that automatically derived traits can increase both the speed and reproducibility of the trait estimation pipeline under field conditions. PMID:25187526

  19. Image-based high-throughput field phenotyping of crop roots.

    PubMed

    Bucksch, Alexander; Burridge, James; York, Larry M; Das, Abhiram; Nord, Eric; Weitz, Joshua S; Lynch, Jonathan P

    2014-10-01

    Current plant phenotyping technologies to characterize agriculturally relevant traits have been primarily developed for use in laboratory and/or greenhouse conditions. In the case of root architectural traits, this limits phenotyping efforts, largely, to young plants grown in specialized containers and growth media. Hence, novel approaches are required to characterize mature root systems of older plants grown under actual soil conditions in the field. Imaging methods able to address the challenges associated with characterizing mature root systems are rare due, in part, to the greater complexity of mature root systems, including the larger size, overlap, and diversity of root components. Our imaging solution combines a field-imaging protocol and algorithmic approach to analyze mature root systems grown in the field. Via two case studies, we demonstrate how image analysis can be utilized to estimate localized root traits that reliably capture heritable architectural diversity as well as environmentally induced architectural variation of both monocot and dicot plants. In the first study, we show that our algorithms and traits (including 13 novel traits inaccessible to manual estimation) can differentiate nine maize (Zea mays) genotypes 8 weeks after planting. The second study focuses on a diversity panel of 188 cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) genotypes to identify which traits are sufficient to differentiate genotypes even when comparing plants whose harvesting date differs up to 14 d. Overall, we find that automatically derived traits can increase both the speed and reproducibility of the trait estimation pipeline under field conditions. PMID:25187526

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Karyotype and gene order evolution from reconstructed extinct ancestors highlight contrasts in genome plasticity of modern rosid crops.

    PubMed

    Murat, Florent; Zhang, Rongzhi; Guizard, Sébastien; Gavranović, Haris; Flores, Raphael; Steinbach, Delphine; Quesneville, Hadi; Tannier, Eric; Salse, Jérôme

    2015-01-29

    We used nine complete genome sequences, from grape, poplar, Arabidopsis, soybean, lotus, apple, strawberry, cacao, and papaya, to investigate the paleohistory of rosid crops. We characterized an ancestral rosid karyotype, structured into 7/21 protochomosomes, with a minimal set of 6,250 ordered protogenes and a minimum physical coding gene space of 50 megabases. We also proposed ancestral karyotypes for the Caricaceae, Brassicaceae, Malvaceae, Fabaceae, Rosaceae, Salicaceae, and Vitaceae families with 9, 8, 10, 6, 12, 9, 12, and 19 protochromosomes, respectively. On the basis of these ancestral karyotypes and present-day species comparisons, we proposed a two-step evolutionary scenario based on allohexaploidization involving the newly characterized A, B, and C diploid progenitors leading to dominant (stable) and sensitive (plastic) genomic compartments in any modern rosid crops. Finally, a new user-friendly online tool, "DicotSyntenyViewer" (available from http://urgi.versailles.inra.fr/synteny-dicot), has been made available for accurate translational genomics in rosids.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Utilization of Molecular, Phenotypic, and Geographical Diversity to Develop Compact Composite Core Collection in the Oilseed Crop, Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.) through Maximization Strategy

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Shivendra; Ambreen, Heena; Variath, Murali T.; Rao, Atmakuri R.; Agarwal, Manu; Kumar, Amar; Goel, Shailendra; Jagannath, Arun

    2016-01-01

    Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.) is a dryland oilseed crop yielding high quality edible oil. Previous studies have described significant phenotypic variability in the crop and used geographical distribution and phenotypic trait values to develop core collections. However, the molecular diversity component was lacking in the earlier collections thereby limiting their utility in breeding programs. The present study evaluated the phenotypic variability for 12 agronomically important traits during two growing seasons (2011–12 and 2012–13) in a global reference collection of 531 safflower accessions, assessed earlier by our group for genetic diversity and population structure using AFLP markers. Significant phenotypic variation was observed for all the agronomic traits in the representative collection. Cluster analysis of phenotypic data grouped the accessions into five major clusters. Accessions from the Indian Subcontinent and America harbored maximal phenotypic variability with unique characters for a few traits. MANOVA analysis indicated significant interaction between genotypes and environment for both the seasons. Initially, six independent core collections (CC1–CC6) were developed using molecular marker and phenotypic data for two seasons through POWERCORE and MSTRAT. These collections captured the entire range of trait variability but failed to include complete genetic diversity represented in 19 clusters reported earlier through Bayesian analysis of population structure (BAPS). Therefore, we merged the three POWERCORE core collections (CC1–CC3) to generate a composite core collection, CartC1 and three MSTRAT core collections (CC4–CC6) to generate another composite core collection, CartC2. The mean difference percentage, variance difference percentage, variable rate of coefficient of variance percentage, coincidence rate of range percentage, Shannon's diversity index, and Nei's gene diversity for CartC1 were 11.2, 43.7, 132.4, 93.4, 0.47, and 0

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  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. 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

  6. 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

  7. Phenotypic plasticity of post-fire activity and thermal biology of a free-ranging small mammal.

    PubMed

    Stawski, Clare; Körtner, Gerhard; Nowack, Julia; Geiser, Fritz

    2016-05-15

    Ecosystems can change rapidly and sometimes irreversibly due to a number of anthropogenic and natural factors, such as deforestation and fire. How individual animals exposed to such changes respond behaviourally and physiologically is poorly understood. We quantified the phenotypic plasticity of activity patterns and torpor use - a highly efficient energy conservation mechanism - in brown antechinus (Antechinus stuartii), a small Australian marsupial mammal. We compared groups in densely vegetated forest areas (pre-fire and control) with a group in a burned, open habitat (post-fire). Activity and torpor patterns differed among groups and sexes. Females in the post-fire group spent significantly less time active than the other groups, both during the day and night. However, in males only daytime activity declined in the post-fire group, although overall activity was also reduced on cold days in males for all groups. The reduction in total or diurnal activity in the post-fire group was made energetically possible by a ~3.4-fold and ~2.2-fold increase in the proportion of time females and males, respectively, used torpor in comparison to that in the pre-fire and control groups. Overall, likely due to reproductive needs, torpor was more pronounced in females than in males, but low ambient temperatures increased torpor bout duration in both sexes. Importantly, for both male and female antechinus and likely other small mammals, predator avoidance and energy conservation - achieved by reduced activity and increased torpor use - appear to be vital for post-fire survival where ground cover and refuges have been obliterated. PMID:27001165

  8. The presence of nodules on legume root systems can alter phenotypic plasticity in response to internal nitrogen independent of nitrogen fixation.

    PubMed

    Goh, Chooi-Hua; Nicotra, Adrienne B; Mathesius, Ulrike

    2016-04-01

    All higher plants show developmental plasticity in response to the availability of nitrogen (N) in the soil. In legumes, N starvation causes the formation of root nodules, where symbiotic rhizobacteria fix atmospheric N2 for the host in exchange for fixed carbon (C) from the shoot. Here, we tested whether plastic responses to internal [N] of legumes are altered by their symbionts. Glasshouse experiments compared root phenotypes of three legumes, Medicago truncatula, Medicago sativa and Trifolium subterraneum, inoculated with their compatible symbiont partners and grown under four nitrate levels. In addition, six strains of rhizobia, differing in their ability to fix N2 in M. truncatula, were compared to test if plastic responses to internal [N] were dependent on the rhizobia or N2 -fixing capability of the nodules. We found that the presence of rhizobia affected phenotypic plasticity of the legumes to internal [N], particularly in root length and root mass ratio (RMR), in a plant species-dependent way. While root length responses of M. truncatula to internal [N] were dependent on the ability of rhizobial symbionts to fix N2 , RMR response to internal [N] was dependent only on initiation of nodules, irrespective of N2 -fixing ability of the rhizobia strains.

  9. Life history traits and phenotypic selection among sunflower crop–wild hybrids and their wild counterpart: implications for crop allele introgression

    PubMed Central

    Kost, Matthew A; Alexander, Helen M; Jason Emry, D; Mercer, Kristin L

    2015-01-01

    Hybridization produces strong evolutionary forces. In hybrid zones, selection can differentially occur on traits and selection intensities may differ among hybrid generations. Understanding these dynamics in crop–wild hybrid zones can clarify crop-like traits likely to introgress into wild populations and the particular hybrid generations through which introgression proceeds. In a field experiment with four crop–wild hybrid Helianthus annuus (sunflower) cross types, we measured growth and life history traits and performed phenotypic selection analysis on early season traits to ascertain the likelihood, and routes, of crop allele introgression into wild sunflower populations. All cross types overwintered, emerged in the spring, and survived until flowering, indicating no early life history barriers to crop allele introgression. While selection indirectly favored earlier seedling emergence and taller early season seedlings, direct selection only favored greater early season leaf length. Further, there was cross type variation in the intensity of selection operating on leaf length. Thus, introgression of multiple early season crop-like traits, due to direct selection for greater early season leaf length, should not be impeded by any cross type and may proceed at different rates among generations. In sum, alleles underlying early season sunflower crop-like traits are likely to introgress into wild sunflower populations. PMID:26029263

  10. 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

  11. Transcriptomic and metabolomic analysis of Yukon Thellungiella plants grown in cabinets and their natural habitat show phenotypic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Thellungiella shows metabolic plasticity in response to environmental stress and that resource availability can influence the expression of stress tolerance traits under field conditions. Conclusion Comparisons between Thellungiella plants responding to stress in cabinets and in their natural habitats showed differences but also overlap between transcript and metabolite profiles. The traits in common offer potential targets for improving crops that must respond appropriately to multiple, concurrent stresses. PMID:23025749

  12. 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

  13. A comparison of phenotypic plasticity in the native dandelion Taraxacum ceratophorum and its invasive congener T. officinale.

    PubMed

    Brock, Marcus T; Weinig, Cynthia; Galen, Candace

    2005-04-01

    We compared plastic responses to variation in the light environment for sympatric populations of native and exotic dandelion species, Taraxacum ceratophorum and Taraxacum officinale. Plasticity in leaf size, inflorescence height, reproductive phenology and dispersal-related traits were measured under experimentally altered light quality (red : far-red light ratio, R : FR) and light intensity (photosynthetically active radiation, PAR). To test whether differences in means and reaction norms of dispersal-related traits between species affected colonization potential, we created seed-dispersal models based on seed-fall rate and release height. Differences in plasticity between species were not systematic, but varied in direction and magnitude among traits. Taraxacum officinale produced larger leaves that exhibited greater plasticity in size under variable light intensity than T. ceratophorum. Plasticity in scape length at flowering occurred in relation to R : FR ratio in both species, but tended to be greater in T. ceratophorum. Seed-bearing scapes of T. officinale were taller and more canalized in height across light regimes than scapes of T. ceratophorum. Seeds of T. officinale were smaller than seeds of T. ceratophorum. Models predict greater dispersal in T. officinale within open and vegetated habitats. In contrast to the idea that plasticity promotes invasiveness, results suggest that the lack of plasticity in dispersal-related traits enhances the colonization potential of T. officinale.

  14. Phenotypic Plasticity in Reproductive Traits of the Perennial Shrub Ulex europaeus in Response to Shading: A Multi-Year Monitoring of Cultivated Clones

    PubMed Central

    Atlan, Anne; Hornoy, Benjamin; Delerue, Florian; Gonzalez, Maya; Pierre, Jean-Sébastien; Tarayre, Michèle

    2015-01-01

    Phenotypic plasticity may be advantageous for plants to be able to rapidly cope with new and changing environments associated with climate change or during biological invasions. This is especially true for perennial plants, as they may need a longer period to respond genetically to selective pressures than annuals, and also because they are more likely to experience environmental changes during their lifespan. However, few studies have explored the plasticity of the reproductive life history traits of woody perennial species. This study focuses on a woody shrub, Ulex europaeus (common gorse), and on the response of its reproductive traits to one important environmental factor, shading. The study was performed on clones originating from western France (within the native range of this invasive species) and grown for seven years. We compared traits of plants grown in a shade treatment (with two successive shade levels) vs. full natural light. The traits monitored included flowering onset, pod production and seed predation. All traits studied responded to shading, exhibiting various levels of plasticity. In particular, dense shade induced a radical but reversible decrease in flower and pod production, while moderate shade had little effect on reproductive traits. The magnitude of the response to dense shade depended on the genotype, showing a genetically based polymorphism of plasticity. The level of plasticity also showed substantial variations between years, and the effect of environmental variations was cumulative over time. This suggests that plasticity can influence the lifetime fitness of U. Europaeus and is involved in the capacity of the species to grow under contrasting environmental conditions. PMID:26383627

  15. Phenotypic Plasticity in Reproductive Traits of the Perennial Shrub Ulex europaeus in Response to Shading: A Multi-Year Monitoring of Cultivated Clones.

    PubMed

    Atlan, Anne; Hornoy, Benjamin; Delerue, Florian; Gonzalez, Maya; Pierre, Jean-Sébastien; Tarayre, Michèle

    2015-01-01

    Phenotypic plasticity may be advantageous for plants to be able to rapidly cope with new and changing environments associated with climate change or during biological invasions. This is especially true for perennial plants, as they may need a longer period to respond genetically to selective pressures than annuals, and also because they are more likely to experience environmental changes during their lifespan. However, few studies have explored the plasticity of the reproductive life history traits of woody perennial species. This study focuses on a woody shrub, Ulex europaeus (common gorse), and on the response of its reproductive traits to one important environmental factor, shading. The study was performed on clones originating from western France (within the native range of this invasive species) and grown for seven years. We compared traits of plants grown in a shade treatment (with two successive shade levels) vs. full natural light. The traits monitored included flowering onset, pod production and seed predation. All traits studied responded to shading, exhibiting various levels of plasticity. In particular, dense shade induced a radical but reversible decrease in flower and pod production, while moderate shade had little effect on reproductive traits. The magnitude of the response to dense shade depended on the genotype, showing a genetically based polymorphism of plasticity. The level of plasticity also showed substantial variations between years, and the effect of environmental variations was cumulative over time. This suggests that plasticity can influence the lifetime fitness of U. Europaeus and is involved in the capacity of the species to grow under contrasting environmental conditions. PMID:26383627

  16. Androgen deprivation induces phenotypic plasticity and promotes resistance to molecular targeted therapy in a PTEN-deficient mouse model of prostate cancer.

    PubMed

    De Velasco, Marco A; Tanaka, Motoyoshi; Yamamoto, Yutaka; Hatanaka, Yuji; Koike, Hiroyuki; Nishio, Kazuto; Yoshikawa, Kazuhiro; Uemura, Hirotsugu

    2014-09-01

    Castration-resistant prostate cancer is an incurable heterogeneous disease that is characterized by a complex multistep process involving different cellular and biochemical changes brought on by genetic and epigenetic alterations. These changes lead to the activation or overexpression of key survival pathways that also serve as potential therapeutic targets. Despite promising preclinical results, molecular targeted therapies aimed at such signaling pathways have so far been dismal. In the present study, we used a PTEN-deficient mouse model of prostate cancer to show that plasticity in castration-resistant tumors promotes therapeutic escape. Unlike castration-naïve tumors which depend on androgen receptor and PI3K/AKT signal activation for growth and survival, castration-resistant tumors undergo phenotypic plasticity leading to increased intratumoral heterogeneity. These tumors attain highly heterogeneous phenotypes that are characterized by cancer cells relying on alternate signal transduction pathways for growth and survival, such as mitogen-activated protein kinase and janus kinase/signal transducer and activator of transcription, and losing their dependence on PI3K signaling. These features thus enabled castration-resistant tumors to become insensitive to the therapeutic effects of PI3K/AKT targeted therapy. Overall, our findings provide evidence that androgen deprivation drives phenotypic plasticity in prostate cancer cells and implicate it as a crucial contributor to therapeutic resistance in castration-resistant prostate cancer. Therefore, incorporating intratumoral heterogeneity in a dynamic tumor model as a part of preclinical efficacy determination could improve prediction for response and provide better rationale for the development of more effective therapies. PMID:24986896

  17. Phenotypic plasticity of hermaphrodite sex allocation promotes the evolution of separate sexes: an experimental test of the sex-differential plasticity hypothesis using Sagittaria latifolia (Alismataceae).

    PubMed

    Dorken, Marcel E; Mitchard, Edward T A

    2008-04-01

    Separate sexes can evolve under nuclear inheritance when unisexuals have more than twice the reproductive fitness of hermaphrodites through one sex function (e.g., when females have more than twice the seed fertility of hermaphrodites). Because separate sexes are thought to evolve most commonly via a gynodioecious intermediate (i.e., populations in which females and hermaphrodites cooccur), the conditions under which females can become established in populations of hermaphrodites are of considerable interest. It has been proposed that resource-poor conditions could promote the establishment of females if hermaphrodites are plastic in their sex allocation and allocate fewer resources to seed production under these conditions. If this occurs, the seed fertility of females could exceed the doubling required for the evolution of unisexuality under low-, but not high-resource conditions (the sex-differential plasticity hypothesis). We tested this hypothesis using replicate experimental arrays of the aquatic herb Sagittaria latifolia grown under two fertilizer treatments. The results supported the sex-differential plasticity hypothesis, with females having more than twice the seed fertility of hermaphrodites under low-, but not high-fertilizer conditions. Our findings are consistent with the idea that separate sexes are more likely to evolve under unfavorable conditions.

  18. Not all Laminaria digitata are the same! Phenotypic plasticity and the selection of appropriate surrogate macroalgae for ecohydraulic experimentation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomas, Robert E.; McLelland, Stuart J.; Henry, Pierre-Yves T.; Paul, Maike; Eiff, Olivier; Evertsen, Antti-Jussi O.; Aberle, Jochen; Teacă, Adrian

    2015-04-01

    not be transported from Norway to the UK, so we used the same species of live macroalgae harvested from a wave-dominated coast in the UK. These algae exhibited longer, narrower and more flexible blades. The same surrogate plants were used in both the field and flume experiments. In all cases, a profiling ADV was used to collect 45 velocity profiles composed of up to seven 35 mm-high profiles collected for 240 s at 100 Hz, at a streamwise spacing of 0.25 m and cross-stream spacing of 0.20 m. The results show that the live macroalgae in the flume simulation exerted less influence on the flow field than the live macroalgae at the field site. In contrast, the "optimized" surrogate macroalgae behaved similarly to the live algae at the field site and yielded similar mean and turbulent velocity fields as our prototype live macroalgae. This emphasizes both the importance of phenotypic plasticity and the importance of selecting surrogates that adequately represent the mean characteristics of the species of interest.

  19. Low-altitude, high-resolution aerial imaging systems for row and field crop phenotyping: A review

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Global plant genetics research efforts have focused on developing high yielding, stress tolerant and disease resistant row and field crop varieties that are more efficient in their use of agronomic inputs (water, nutrients, pesticides, etc.). Until recently, a key bottleneck in such research was the...

  20. Simple and robust determination of the activity signature of key carbohydrate metabolism enzymes for physiological phenotyping in model and crop plants.

    PubMed

    Jammer, Alexandra; Gasperl, Anna; Luschin-Ebengreuth, Nora; Heyneke, Elmien; Chu, Hyosub; Cantero-Navarro, Elena; Großkinsky, Dominik K; Albacete, Alfonso A; Stabentheiner, Edith; Franzaring, Jürgen; Fangmeier, Andreas; van der Graaff, Eric; Roitsch, Thomas

    2015-09-01

    The analysis of physiological parameters is important to understand the link between plant phenotypes and their genetic bases, and therefore is needed as an important element in the analysis of model and crop plants. The activities of enzymes involved in primary carbohydrate metabolism have been shown to be strongly associated with growth performance, crop yield, and quality, as well as stress responses. A simple, fast, and cost-effective method to determine activities for 13 key enzymes involved in carbohydrate metabolism has been established, mainly based on coupled spectrophotometric kinetic assays. The comparison of extraction buffers and requirement for dialysis of crude protein extracts resulted in a universal protein extraction protocol, suitable for the preparation of protein extracts from different organs of various species. Individual published kinetic activity assays were optimized and adapted for a semi-high-throughput 96-well assay format. These assays proved to be robust and are thus suitable for physiological phenotyping, enabling the characterization and diagnosis of the physiological state. The potential of the determination of distinct enzyme activity signatures as part of a physiological fingerprint was shown for various organs and tissues from three monocot and five dicot model and crop species, including two case studies with external stimuli. Differential and specific enzyme activity signatures are apparent during inflorescence development and upon in vitro cold treatment of young inflorescences in the monocot ryegrass, related to conditions for doubled haploid formation. Likewise, treatment of dicot spring oilseed rape with elevated CO2 concentration resulted in distinct patterns of enzyme activity responses in leaves.

  1. Environmental influences on the Indo–Pacific octocoral Isis hippuris Linnaeus 1758 (Alcyonacea: Isididae): genetic fixation or phenotypic plasticity?

    PubMed Central

    Pochon, Xavier; Watling, Les

    2015-01-01

    As conspicuous modular components of benthic marine habitats, gorgonian (sea fan) octocorals have perplexed taxonomists for centuries through their shear diversity, particularly throughout the Indo–Pacific. Phenotypic incongruence within and between seemingly unitary lineages across contrasting environments can provide the raw material to investigate processes of disruptive selection. Two distinct phenotypes of the Isidid Isis hippuris Linnaeus, 1758 partition between differing reef environments: long-branched bushy colonies on degraded reefs, and short-branched multi/planar colonies on healthy reefs within the Wakatobi Marine National Park (WMNP), Indonesia. Multivariate analyses reveal phenotypic traits between morphotypes were likely integrated primarily at the colony level with increased polyp density and consistently smaller sclerite dimensions at the degraded site. Sediment load and turbidity, hence light availability, primarily influenced phenotypic differences between the two sites. This distinct morphological dissimilarity between the two sites is a reliable indicator of reef health; selection primarily acting on colony morphology, porosity through branching structure, as well as sclerite diversity and size. ITS2 sequence and predicted RNA secondary structure further revealed intraspecific variation between I. hippuris morphotypes relative to such environments (ΦST = 0.7683, P < 0.001). This evidence suggests—but does not confirm—that I. hippuris morphotypes within the WMNP are two separate species; however, to what extent and taxonomic assignment requires further investigation across its full geographic distribution. Incongruence between colonies present in the WMNP with tenuously described Isis alternatives (Isis reticulata Nutting, 1910, Isis minorbrachyblasta Zou, Huang & Wang, 1991), questions the validity of such assignments. Furthermore, phylogenetic analyses confirm early taxonomic suggestion that the characteristic jointed axis of the

  2. Environmental influences on the Indo-Pacific octocoral Isis hippuris Linnaeus 1758 (Alcyonacea: Isididae): genetic fixation or phenotypic plasticity?

    PubMed

    Rowley, Sonia J; Pochon, Xavier; Watling, Les

    2015-01-01

    As conspicuous modular components of benthic marine habitats, gorgonian (sea fan) octocorals have perplexed taxonomists for centuries through their shear diversity, particularly throughout the Indo-Pacific. Phenotypic incongruence within and between seemingly unitary lineages across contrasting environments can provide the raw material to investigate processes of disruptive selection. Two distinct phenotypes of the Isidid Isis hippurisLinnaeus, 1758 partition between differing reef environments: long-branched bushy colonies on degraded reefs, and short-branched multi/planar colonies on healthy reefs within the Wakatobi Marine National Park (WMNP), Indonesia. Multivariate analyses reveal phenotypic traits between morphotypes were likely integrated primarily at the colony level with increased polyp density and consistently smaller sclerite dimensions at the degraded site. Sediment load and turbidity, hence light availability, primarily influenced phenotypic differences between the two sites. This distinct morphological dissimilarity between the two sites is a reliable indicator of reef health; selection primarily acting on colony morphology, porosity through branching structure, as well as sclerite diversity and size. ITS2 sequence and predicted RNA secondary structure further revealed intraspecific variation between I. hippuris morphotypes relative to such environments (ΦST = 0.7683, P < 0.001). This evidence suggests-but does not confirm-that I. hippuris morphotypes within the WMNP are two separate species; however, to what extent and taxonomic assignment requires further investigation across its full geographic distribution. Incongruence between colonies present in the WMNP with tenuously described Isis alternatives (Isis reticulataNutting, 1910, Isis minorbrachyblastaZou, Huang & Wang, 1991), questions the validity of such assignments. Furthermore, phylogenetic analyses confirm early taxonomic suggestion that the characteristic jointed axis of the Isididae is in

  3. Environmental influences on the Indo-Pacific octocoral Isis hippuris Linnaeus 1758 (Alcyonacea: Isididae): genetic fixation or phenotypic plasticity?

    PubMed

    Rowley, Sonia J; Pochon, Xavier; Watling, Les

    2015-01-01

    As conspicuous modular components of benthic marine habitats, gorgonian (sea fan) octocorals have perplexed taxonomists for centuries through their shear diversity, particularly throughout the Indo-Pacific. Phenotypic incongruence within and between seemingly unitary lineages across contrasting environments can provide the raw material to investigate processes of disruptive selection. Two distinct phenotypes of the Isidid Isis hippurisLinnaeus, 1758 partition between differing reef environments: long-branched bushy colonies on degraded reefs, and short-branched multi/planar colonies on healthy reefs within the Wakatobi Marine National Park (WMNP), Indonesia. Multivariate analyses reveal phenotypic traits between morphotypes were likely integrated primarily at the colony level with increased polyp density and consistently smaller sclerite dimensions at the degraded site. Sediment load and turbidity, hence light availability, primarily influenced phenotypic differences between the two sites. This distinct morphological dissimilarity between the two sites is a reliable indicator of reef health; selection primarily acting on colony morphology, porosity through branching structure, as well as sclerite diversity and size. ITS2 sequence and predicted RNA secondary structure further revealed intraspecific variation between I. hippuris morphotypes relative to such environments (ΦST = 0.7683, P < 0.001). This evidence suggests-but does not confirm-that I. hippuris morphotypes within the WMNP are two separate species; however, to what extent and taxonomic assignment requires further investigation across its full geographic distribution. Incongruence between colonies present in the WMNP with tenuously described Isis alternatives (Isis reticulataNutting, 1910, Isis minorbrachyblastaZou, Huang & Wang, 1991), questions the validity of such assignments. Furthermore, phylogenetic analyses confirm early taxonomic suggestion that the characteristic jointed axis of the Isididae is in

  4. Extensive transcriptome analysis correlates the plasticity of Entamoeba histolytica pathogenesis to rapid phenotype changes depending on the environment

    PubMed Central

    Weber, Christian; Koutero, Mikael; Dillies, Marie-Agnes; Varet, Hugo; Lopez-Camarillo, Cesar; Coppée, Jean Yves; Hon, Chung-Chau; Guillén, Nancy

    2016-01-01

    Amoebiasis is a human infectious disease due to the amoeba parasite Entamoeba histolytica. The disease appears in only 20% of the infections. Diversity in phenotypes may occur within the same infectious strain in the gut; for instance, parasites can be commensal (in the intestinal lumen) or pathogenic (inside the tissue). The degree of pathogenesis of clinical isolates varies greatly. These findings raise the hypothesis that genetic derivation may account for amoebic diverse phenotypes. The main goal of this study was to analyse gene expression changes of a single virulent amoebic strain in different environmental contexts where it exhibit different degrees of virulence, namely isolated from humans and maintained through animal liver passages, in contact with the human colon and short or prolonged in vitro culture. The study reveals major transcriptome changes in virulent parasites upon contact with human colon explants, including genes related to sugar metabolism, cytoskeleton rearrangement, stress responses and DNA repair. Furthermore, in long-term cultured parasites, drastic changes in gene expression for proteins with functions for proteasome and tRNA activities were found. Globally we conclude that rapid changes in gene expression rather than genetic derivation can sustain the invasive phenotype of a single virulent isolate of E. histolytica. PMID:27767091

  5. Specific Preferences in Lineage Choice and Phenotypic Plasticity of Glioma Stem Cells Under BMP4 and Noggin Influence.

    PubMed

    Videla Richardson, Guillermo Agustín; Garcia, Carolina Paola; Roisman, Alejandro; Slavutsky, Irma; Fernandez Espinosa, Damián Darío; Romorini, Leonardo; Miriuka, Santiago Gabriel; Arakaki, Naomi; Martinetto, Horacio; Scassa, María Elida; Sevlever, Gustavo Emilio

    2016-01-01

    Although BMP4-induced differentiation of glioma stem cells (GSCs) is well recognized, details of the cellular responses triggered by this morphogen are still poorly defined. In this study, we established several GSC-enriched cell lines (GSC-ECLs) from high-grade gliomas. The expansion of these cells as adherent monolayers, and not as floating neurospheres, enabled a thorough study of the phenotypic changes that occurred during their differentiation. Herein, we evaluated GSC-ECLs' behavior toward differentiating conditions by depriving them of growth factors and/or by adding BMP4 at different concentrations. After analyzing cellular morphology, proliferation and lineage marker expression, we determined that GSC-ECLs have distinct preferences in lineage choice, where some of them showed an astrocyte fate commitment and others a neuronal one. We found that this election seems to be dictated by the expression pattern of BMP signaling components present in each GSC-ECL. Additionally, treatment of GSC-ECLs with the BMP antagonist, Noggin, also led to evident phenotypic changes. Interestingly, under certain conditions, some GSC-ECLs adopted an unexpected smooth muscle-like phenotype. As a whole, our findings illustrate the wide differentiation potential of GSCs, highlighting their molecular complexity and paving a way to facilitate personalized differentiating therapies.

  6. The Evolutionary Fate of Phenotypic Plasticity and Functional Traits under Domestication in Manioc: Changes in Stem Biomechanics and the Appearance of Stem Brittleness

    PubMed Central

    Ménard, Léa; McKey, Doyle; Mühlen, Gilda S.; Clair, Bruno; Rowe, Nick P.

    2013-01-01

    Domestication can influence many functional traits in plants, from overall life-history and growth form to wood density and cell wall ultrastructure. Such changes can increase fitness of the domesticate in agricultural environments but may negatively affect survival in the wild. We studied effects of domestication on stem biomechanics in manioc by comparing domesticated and ancestral wild taxa from two different regions of greater Amazonia. We compared mechanical properties, tissue organisation and wood characteristics including microfibril angles in both wild and domesticated plants, each growing in two different habitats (forest or savannah) and varying in growth form (shrub or liana). Wild taxa grew as shrubs in open savannah but as lianas in overgrown and forested habitats. Growth form plasticity was retained in domesticated manioc. However, stems of the domesticate showed brittle failure. Wild plants differed in mechanical architecture between shrub and liana phenotypes, a difference that diminished between shrubs and lianas of the domesticate. Stems of wild plants were generally stiffer, failed at higher bending stresses and were less prone to brittle fracture compared with shrub and liana phenotypes of the domesticate. Biomechanical differences between stems of wild and domesticated plants were mainly due to changes in wood density and cellulose microfibril angle rather than changes in secondary growth or tissue geometry. Domestication did not significantly modify “large-scale” trait development or growth form plasticity, since both wild and domesticated manioc can develop as shrubs or lianas. However, “finer-scale” developmental traits crucial to mechanical stability and thus ecological success of the plant were significantly modified. This profoundly influenced the likelihood of brittle failure, particularly in long climbing stems, thereby also influencing the survival of the domesticate in natural situations vulnerable to mechanical perturbation

  7. Effects of Ultraviolet-B Irradiance on Intraspecific Competition and Facilitation of Plants: Self-Thinning, Size Inequality, and Phenotypic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Rui-Chang; Lin, Yue; Yue, Ming; Li, Qian; Zhang, Xiao-Fei; Liu, Xiao; Chi, Hong; Chai, Yong-Fu; Wang, Mao

    2012-01-01

    (1) The effects of facilitation on the structure and dynamics of plant populations have not been studied so widely as competition. The UV-B radiation, as a typical environmental factor causing stress, may result in direct stress and facilitation. (2) The effects of UV-B radiation on intraspecific competition and facilitation were investigated based on the following three predictions on self-thinning, size inequality, and phenotypic plasticity: i) Self-thinning is the reduction in density that results from the increase in the mean biomass of individuals in crowded populations, and is driven by competition. In this study, the mortality rate of the population is predicted to decrease from UV-B irradiance. ii) The size inequality of a population increases with competition intensity because larger individuals receive a disproportionate share of resources, thereby leaving limited resources for smaller individuals. The second hypothesis assumes that direct stress decreases the size inequality of the population. iii) Phenotypic plasticity is the ability to alter one’s morphology in response to environmental changes. The third hypothesis assumes that certain morphological indices can change among the trade-offs between competition, facilitation, and stress. These predictions were tested by conducting a field pot experiment using mung beans, and were supported by the following results: (3) UV-B radiation increased the survival rate of the population at the end of self-thinning. However, this result was mainly due to direct stress rather than facilitation. (4) Just as competitor, facilitation was also asymmetric. It increased the size inequality of populations during self-thinning, whereas stress decreased the size inequality. (5) Direct stress and facilitation influence plants differently on various scales. Stress inhibited plant growth, whereas facilitation showed the opposite on an individual scale. Stress increased survival rate, whereas facilitation increased

  8. Effects of ultraviolet-B irradiance on intraspecific competition and facilitation of plants: self-thinning, size inequality, and phenotypic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Rui-Chang; Lin, Yue; Yue, Ming; Li, Qian; Zhang, Xiao-Fei; Liu, Xiao; Chi, Hong; Chai, Yong-Fu; Wang, Mao

    2012-01-01

    (1) The effects of facilitation on the structure and dynamics of plant populations have not been studied so widely as competition. The UV-B radiation, as a typical environmental factor causing stress, may result in direct stress and facilitation. (2) The effects of UV-B radiation on intraspecific competition and facilitation were investigated based on the following three predictions on self-thinning, size inequality, and phenotypic plasticity: i) Self-thinning is the reduction in density that results from the increase in the mean biomass of individuals in crowded populations, and is driven by competition. In this study, the mortality rate of the population is predicted to decrease from UV-B irradiance. ii) The size inequality of a population increases with competition intensity because larger individuals receive a disproportionate share of resources, thereby leaving limited resources for smaller individuals. The second hypothesis assumes that direct stress decreases the size inequality of the population. iii) Phenotypic plasticity is the ability to alter one's morphology in response to environmental changes. The third hypothesis assumes that certain morphological indices can change among the trade-offs between competition, facilitation, and stress. These predictions were tested by conducting a field pot experiment using mung beans, and were supported by the following results: (3) UV-B radiation increased the survival rate of the population at the end of self-thinning. However, this result was mainly due to direct stress rather than facilitation. (4) Just as competitor, facilitation was also asymmetric. It increased the size inequality of populations during self-thinning, whereas stress decreased the size inequality. (5) Direct stress and facilitation influence plants differently on various scales. Stress inhibited plant growth, whereas facilitation showed the opposite on an individual scale. Stress increased survival rate, whereas facilitation increased individual

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Individual Consistency and Phenotypic Plasticity in Rockhopper Penguins: Female but Not Male Body Mass Links Environmental Conditions to Reproductive Investment

    PubMed Central

    Dehnhard, Nina; Eens, Marcel; Demongin, Laurent; Quillfeldt, Petra; Poisbleau, Maud

    2015-01-01

    In marine habitats, increasing ocean temperatures due to global climate change may distinctly reduce nutrient and consequently food availability for seabirds. Food availability is a known driver of body mass and reproductive investment in birds, but these traits may also depend on individual effects. Penguins show extreme intra-annual body mass variation and rely on accumulated body reserves for successful breeding. However, no study so far has tested individual consistency and phenotypic responses in body mass and reproductive investment in this taxon. Using a unique dataset on individually marked female and male southern rockhopper penguins (Eudyptes chrysocome chrysocome) across six years, we investigated 1) the individual consistency in body mass (measured at egg laying), body condition and reproductive investment across years, subsequently 2) identified the best-explanatory temperature-related environmental variables for female and male body mass, and 3) tested the effect of female and male body mass on reproductive investment. Body mass, body condition and reproductive investment were all highly repeatable. As body condition should control for the structural size of the birds, the similarly high repeatability estimates for body mass and body condition suggested that the consistent between-individual body mass differences were independent of structural size. This supported the use of body mass for the subsequent analyses. Body mass was higher under colder environmental conditions (positive Southern Annular Mode), but the overall phenotypic response appeared limited. Reproductive investment increased with female but not male body mass. While environmental effects on body mass in our study period were rather small, one can expect that ongoing global climate change will lead to a deterioration of food availability and we might therefore in the long-term expect a phenotypical decline in body mass and reproductive investment. PMID:26030824

  12. Individual consistency and phenotypic plasticity in rockhopper penguins: female but not male body mass links environmental conditions to reproductive investment.

    PubMed

    Dehnhard, Nina; Eens, Marcel; Demongin, Laurent; Quillfeldt, Petra; Poisbleau, Maud

    2015-01-01

    In marine habitats, increasing ocean temperatures due to global climate change may distinctly reduce nutrient and consequently food availability for seabirds. Food availability is a known driver of body mass and reproductive investment in birds, but these traits may also depend on individual effects. Penguins show extreme intra-annual body mass variation and rely on accumulated body reserves for successful breeding. However, no study so far has tested individual consistency and phenotypic responses in body mass and reproductive investment in this taxon. Using a unique dataset on individually marked female and male southern rockhopper penguins (Eudyptes chrysocome chrysocome) across six years, we investigated 1) the individual consistency in body mass (measured at egg laying), body condition and reproductive investment across years, subsequently 2) identified the best-explanatory temperature-related environmental variables for female and male body mass, and 3) tested the effect of female and male body mass on reproductive investment. Body mass, body condition and reproductive investment were all highly repeatable. As body condition should control for the structural size of the birds, the similarly high repeatability estimates for body mass and body condition suggested that the consistent between-individual body mass differences were independent of structural size. This supported the use of body mass for the subsequent analyses. Body mass was higher under colder environmental conditions (positive Southern Annular Mode), but the overall phenotypic response appeared limited. Reproductive investment increased with female but not male body mass. While environmental effects on body mass in our study period were rather small, one can expect that ongoing global climate change will lead to a deterioration of food availability and we might therefore in the long-term expect a phenotypical decline in body mass and reproductive investment.

  13. Cryptic species, phenotypic plasticity, and complex life histories: Assessing deep-sea faunal diversity with molecular markers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vrijenhoek, Robert C.

    2009-09-01

    Many new species of animals have been discovered during the past 40 years of deep-ocean exploration, particularly in chemosynthetic habitats such as hydrothermal vents and cold-water hydrocarbon seeps. Estimating species diversity in these environments is difficult, however, because insufficient sampling often fails to capture the range of organismic variability in time and space. Molecular systematic studies have revealed a number of taxonomic problems that derive from insufficient sampling and a shallow knowledge base regarding many deep-sea taxa. For example, numerous morphologically cryptic species exist among the vesicomyid clams and lepetodrilid limpets that dominate vents and seeps worldwide, suggesting that species richness may be significantly underestimated in these taxa. In contrast, discrete morphotypes of siboglinid tubeworms that are products of developmental plasticity were assigned synonymous species names. Also, distinct juvenile and adult forms of vent shrimp were assigned synonymous genus and species names. Though molecular studies have resolved many of these problems, they are not a panacea because they also suffer from insufficient sampling of taxa and genes, and from contamination of DNA sequences. Working carefully together, molecular and traditional systematists should eventually generate more accurate species lists that allow unbiased estimates of species richness in deep-sea environments.

  14. Phenotypic plasticity in the common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina): long-term physiological effects of chronic hypoxia during embryonic development.

    PubMed

    Wearing, Oliver H; Eme, John; Rhen, Turk; Crossley, Dane A

    2016-01-15

    Studies of embryonic and hatchling reptiles have revealed marked plasticity in morphology, metabolism, and cardiovascular function following chronic hypoxic incubation. However, the long-term effects of chronic hypoxia have not yet been investigated in these animals. The aim of this study was to determine growth and postprandial O2 consumption (V̇o2), heart rate (fH), and mean arterial pressure (Pm, in kPa) of common snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) that were incubated as embryos in chronic hypoxia (10% O2, H10) or normoxia (21% O2, N21). We hypothesized that hypoxic development would modify posthatching body mass, metabolic rate, and cardiovascular physiology in juvenile snapping turtles. Yearling H10 turtles were significantly smaller than yearling N21 turtles, both of which were raised posthatching in normoxic, common garden conditions. Measurement of postprandial cardiovascular parameters and O2 consumption were conducted in size-matched three-year-old H10 and N21 turtles. Both before and 12 h after feeding, H10 turtles had a significantly lower fH compared with N21 turtles. In addition, V̇o2 was significantly elevated in H10 animals compared with N21 animals 12 h after feeding, and peak postprandial V̇o2 occurred earlier in H10 animals. Pm of three-year-old turtles was not affected by feeding or hypoxic embryonic incubation. Our findings demonstrate that physiological impacts of developmental hypoxia on embryonic reptiles continue into juvenile life.

  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. Phenotypic plasticity in a willow leaf beetle depends on host plant species: release and recognition of beetle odors.

    PubMed

    Austel, Nadine; Reinecke, Andreas; Björkman, Christer; Hilker, Monika; Meiners, Torsten

    2015-02-01

    Aggregation behavior of herbivorous insects is mediated by a wide range of biotic and abiotic factors. It has been suggested that aggregation behavior of the blue willow leaf beetle Phratora vulgatissima is mediated by both host plant odor and by odor released by the beetles. Previous studies show that the beetles respond to plant odors according to their prior host plant experiences. Here, we analyzed the effect of the host plant species on odor released and perceived by adult P. vulgatissima. The major difference between the odor of beetles feeding on salicin-rich and salicin-poor host plants was the presence of salicylaldehyde in the odor of the former, where both males and females released this compound. Electrophysiological studies showed that the intensity of responses to single components of odor released by beetles was sex specific and dependent on the host plant species with which the beetles were fed. Finally, behavioral studies revealed that males feeding on salicin-rich willows were attracted by salicylaldehyde, whereas females did not respond behaviorally to this compound, despite showing clear antennal responses to it. Finally, the ecological relevance of the influence of a host plant species on the plasticity of beetle odor chemistry, perception, and behavior is discussed.

  17. Phenotypic plasticity in the common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina): long-term physiological effects of chronic hypoxia during embryonic development.

    PubMed

    Wearing, Oliver H; Eme, John; Rhen, Turk; Crossley, Dane A

    2016-01-15

    Studies of embryonic and hatchling reptiles have revealed marked plasticity in morphology, metabolism, and cardiovascular function following chronic hypoxic incubation. However, the long-term effects of chronic hypoxia have not yet been investigated in these animals. The aim of this study was to determine growth and postprandial O2 consumption (V̇o2), heart rate (fH), and mean arterial pressure (Pm, in kPa) of common snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) that were incubated as embryos in chronic hypoxia (10% O2, H10) or normoxia (21% O2, N21). We hypothesized that hypoxic development would modify posthatching body mass, metabolic rate, and cardiovascular physiology in juvenile snapping turtles. Yearling H10 turtles were significantly smaller than yearling N21 turtles, both of which were raised posthatching in normoxic, common garden conditions. Measurement of postprandial cardiovascular parameters and O2 consumption were conducted in size-matched three-year-old H10 and N21 turtles. Both before and 12 h after feeding, H10 turtles had a significantly lower fH compared with N21 turtles. In addition, V̇o2 was significantly elevated in H10 animals compared with N21 animals 12 h after feeding, and peak postprandial V̇o2 occurred earlier in H10 animals. Pm of three-year-old turtles was not affected by feeding or hypoxic embryonic incubation. Our findings demonstrate that physiological impacts of developmental hypoxia on embryonic reptiles continue into juvenile life. PMID:26608655

  18. Morphological variability and molecular identification of Uncinaria spp. (Nematoda: Ancylostomatidae) from grizzly and black bears: new species or phenotypic plasticity?

    PubMed

    Catalano, Stefano; Lejeune, Manigandan; van Paridon, Bradley; Pagan, Christopher A; Wasmuth, James D; Tizzani, Paolo; Duignan, Pádraig J; Nadler, Steven A

    2015-04-01

    The hookworms Uncinaria rauschi Olsen, 1968 and Uncinaria yukonensis ( Wolfgang, 1956 ) were formally described from grizzly ( Ursus arctos horribilis) and black bears ( Ursus americanus ) of North America. We analyzed the intestinal tracts of 4 grizzly and 9 black bears from Alberta and British Columbia, Canada and isolated Uncinaria specimens with anatomical traits never previously documented. We applied morphological and molecular techniques to investigate the taxonomy and phylogeny of these Uncinaria parasites. The morphological analysis supported polymorphism at the vulvar region for females of both U. rauschi and U. yukonensis. The hypothesis of morphological plasticity for U. rauschi and U. yukonensis was confirmed by genetic analysis of the internal transcribed spacers (ITS-1 and ITS-2) of the nuclear ribosomal DNA. Two distinct genotypes were identified, differing at 5 fixed sites for ITS-1 (432 base pairs [bp]) and 7 for ITS-2 (274 bp). Morphometric data for U. rauschi revealed host-related size differences: adult U. rauschi were significantly larger in black bears than in grizzly bears. Interpretation of these results, considering the historical biogeography of North American bears, suggests a relatively recent host-switching event of U. rauschi from black bears to grizzly bears which likely occurred after the end of the Wisconsin glaciation. Phylogenetic maximum parsimony (MP) and maximum likelihood (ML) analyses of the concatenated ITS-1 and ITS-2 datasets strongly supported monophyly of U. rauschi and U. yukonensis and their close relationship with Uncinaria stenocephala (Railliet, 1884), the latter a parasite primarily of canids and felids. Relationships among species within this group, although resolved by ML, were unsupported by MP and bootstrap resampling. The clade of U. rauschi, U. yukonensis, and U. stenocephala was recovered as sister to the clade represented by Uncinaria spp. from otariid pinnipeds. These results support the absence of strict

  19. Morphological variability and molecular identification of Uncinaria spp. (Nematoda: Ancylostomatidae) from grizzly and black bears: new species or phenotypic plasticity?

    PubMed

    Catalano, Stefano; Lejeune, Manigandan; van Paridon, Bradley; Pagan, Christopher A; Wasmuth, James D; Tizzani, Paolo; Duignan, Pádraig J; Nadler, Steven A

    2015-04-01

    The hookworms Uncinaria rauschi Olsen, 1968 and Uncinaria yukonensis ( Wolfgang, 1956 ) were formally described from grizzly ( Ursus arctos horribilis) and black bears ( Ursus americanus ) of North America. We analyzed the intestinal tracts of 4 grizzly and 9 black bears from Alberta and British Columbia, Canada and isolated Uncinaria specimens with anatomical traits never previously documented. We applied morphological and molecular techniques to investigate the taxonomy and phylogeny of these Uncinaria parasites. The morphological analysis supported polymorphism at the vulvar region for females of both U. rauschi and U. yukonensis. The hypothesis of morphological plasticity for U. rauschi and U. yukonensis was confirmed by genetic analysis of the internal transcribed spacers (ITS-1 and ITS-2) of the nuclear ribosomal DNA. Two distinct genotypes were identified, differing at 5 fixed sites for ITS-1 (432 base pairs [bp]) and 7 for ITS-2 (274 bp). Morphometric data for U. rauschi revealed host-related size differences: adult U. rauschi were significantly larger in black bears than in grizzly bears. Interpretation of these results, considering the historical biogeography of North American bears, suggests a relatively recent host-switching event of U. rauschi from black bears to grizzly bears which likely occurred after the end of the Wisconsin glaciation. Phylogenetic maximum parsimony (MP) and maximum likelihood (ML) analyses of the concatenated ITS-1 and ITS-2 datasets strongly supported monophyly of U. rauschi and U. yukonensis and their close relationship with Uncinaria stenocephala (Railliet, 1884), the latter a parasite primarily of canids and felids. Relationships among species within this group, although resolved by ML, were unsupported by MP and bootstrap resampling. The clade of U. rauschi, U. yukonensis, and U. stenocephala was recovered as sister to the clade represented by Uncinaria spp. from otariid pinnipeds. These results support the absence of strict

  20. Growth in Turface® clay permits root hair phenotyping along the entire crown root in cereal crops and demonstrates that root hair growth can extend well beyond the root hair zone.

    PubMed

    Goron, Travis L; Watts, Sophia; Shearer, Charles; Raizada, Manish N

    2015-04-12

    In cereal crops, root hairs are reported to function within the root hair zone to carry out important roles in nutrient and water absorption. Nevertheless, these single cells remain understudied due to the practical challenges of phenotyping these delicate structures in large cereal crops growing on soil or other growth systems. Here we present an alternative growth system for examining the root hairs of cereal crops: the use of coarse Turface® clay alongside fertigation. This system allowed for root hairs to be easily visualized along the entire lengths of crown roots in three different cereal crops (maize, wheat, and finger millet). Surprisingly, we observed that the root hairs in these crops continued to grow beyond the canonical root hair zone, with the most root hair growth occurring on older crown root segments. We suggest that the Turface® fertigation system may permit a better understanding of the changing dynamics of root hairs as they age in large plants, and may facilitate new avenues for crop improvement below ground. However, the relevance of this system to field conditions must be further evaluated in other crops.

  1. 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

  2. Transient Shifts of Incubation Temperature Reveal Immediate and Long-Term Transcriptional Response in Chicken Breast Muscle Underpinning Resilience and Phenotypic Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Naraballobh, Watcharapong; Trakooljul, Nares; Murani, Eduard; Brunner, Ronald; Krischek, Carsten; Janisch, Sabine; Wicke, Michael; Ponsuksili, Siriluck; Wimmers, Klaus

    2016-01-01

    transiently decreased incubation temperature, which did not affect the phenotypes, prompts compensatory effects reflecting resilience. In contrast, higher incubation temperature triggers gene expression and has long-term effects on the phenotype. These mechanisms of considerable phenotypic plasticity contribute to the biodiversity and broaden the basis for managing poultry populations.

  3. Transient Shifts of Incubation Temperature Reveal Immediate and Long-Term Transcriptional Response in Chicken Breast Muscle Underpinning Resilience and Phenotypic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Naraballobh, Watcharapong; Trakooljul, Nares; Murani, Eduard; Brunner, Ronald; Krischek, Carsten; Janisch, Sabine; Ponsuksili, Siriluck

    2016-01-01

    transiently decreased incubation temperature, which did not affect the phenotypes, prompts compensatory effects reflecting resilience. In contrast, higher incubation temperature triggers gene expression and has long-term effects on the phenotype. These mechanisms of considerable phenotypic plasticity contribute to the biodiversity and broaden the basis for managing poultry populations. PMID:27611643

  4. Transient Shifts of Incubation Temperature Reveal Immediate and Long-Term Transcriptional Response in Chicken Breast Muscle Underpinning Resilience and Phenotypic Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Naraballobh, Watcharapong; Trakooljul, Nares; Murani, Eduard; Brunner, Ronald; Krischek, Carsten; Janisch, Sabine; Wicke, Michael; Ponsuksili, Siriluck; Wimmers, Klaus

    2016-01-01

    transiently decreased incubation temperature, which did not affect the phenotypes, prompts compensatory effects reflecting resilience. In contrast, higher incubation temperature triggers gene expression and has long-term effects on the phenotype. These mechanisms of considerable phenotypic plasticity contribute to the biodiversity and broaden the basis for managing poultry populations. PMID:27611643

  5. 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.

  6. Utilization of a high-throughput shoot imaging system to examine the dynamic phenotypic responses of a C4 cereal crop plant to nitrogen and water deficiency over time.

    PubMed

    Neilson, E H; Edwards, A M; Blomstedt, C K; Berger, B; Møller, B Lindberg; Gleadow, R M

    2015-04-01

    The use of high-throughput phenotyping systems and non-destructive imaging is widely regarded as a key technology allowing scientists and breeders to develop crops with the ability to perform well under diverse environmental conditions. However, many of these phenotyping studies have been optimized using the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. In this study, The Plant Accelerator(®) at The University of Adelaide, Australia, was used to investigate the growth and phenotypic response of the important cereal crop, Sorghum bicolor L. Moench and related hybrids to water-limited conditions and different levels of fertilizer. Imaging in different spectral ranges was used to monitor plant composition, chlorophyll, and moisture content. Phenotypic image analysis accurately measured plant biomass. The data set obtained enabled the responses of the different sorghum varieties to the experimental treatments to be differentiated and modelled. Plant architectural instead of architecture elements were determined using imaging and found to correlate with an improved tolerance to stress, for example diurnal leaf curling and leaf area index. Analysis of colour images revealed that leaf 'greenness' correlated with foliar nitrogen and chlorophyll, while near infrared reflectance (NIR) analysis was a good predictor of water content and leaf thickness, and correlated with plant moisture content. It is shown that imaging sorghum using a high-throughput system can accurately identify and differentiate between growth and specific phenotypic traits. R scripts for robust, parsimonious models are provided to allow other users of phenomic imaging systems to extract useful data readily, and thus relieve a bottleneck in phenotypic screening of multiple genotypes of key crop plants.

  7. Utilization of a high-throughput shoot imaging system to examine the dynamic phenotypic responses of a C4 cereal crop plant to nitrogen and water deficiency over time

    PubMed Central

    Neilson, E. H.; Edwards, A. M.; Blomstedt, C. K.; Berger, B.; Møller, B. Lindberg; Gleadow, R. M.

    2015-01-01

    The use of high-throughput phenotyping systems and non-destructive imaging is widely regarded as a key technology allowing scientists and breeders to develop crops with the ability to perform well under diverse environmental conditions. However, many of these phenotyping studies have been optimized using the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. In this study, The Plant Accelerator® at The University of Adelaide, Australia, was used to investigate the growth and phenotypic response of the important cereal crop, Sorghum bicolor L. Moench and related hybrids to water-limited conditions and different levels of fertilizer. Imaging in different spectral ranges was used to monitor plant composition, chlorophyll, and moisture content. Phenotypic image analysis accurately measured plant biomass. The data set obtained enabled the responses of the different sorghum varieties to the experimental treatments to be differentiated and modelled. Plant architectural instead of architecture elements were determined using imaging and found to correlate with an improved tolerance to stress, for example diurnal leaf curling and leaf area index. Analysis of colour images revealed that leaf ‘greenness’ correlated with foliar nitrogen and chlorophyll, while near infrared reflectance (NIR) analysis was a good predictor of water content and leaf thickness, and correlated with plant moisture content. It is shown that imaging sorghum using a high-throughput system can accurately identify and differentiate between growth and specific phenotypic traits. R scripts for robust, parsimonious models are provided to allow other users of phenomic imaging systems to extract useful data readily, and thus relieve a bottleneck in phenotypic screening of multiple genotypes of key crop plants. PMID:25697789

  8. A Genome-Wide Association Study on the Seedless Phenotype in Banana (Musa spp.) Reveals the Potential of a Selected Panel to Detect Candidate Genes in a Vegetatively Propagated Crop.

    PubMed

    Sardos, Julie; Rouard, Mathieu; Hueber, Yann; Cenci, Alberto; Hyma, Katie E; van den Houwe, Ines; Hribova, Eva; Courtois, Brigitte; Roux, Nicolas

    2016-01-01

    Banana (Musa sp.) is a vegetatively propagated, low fertility, potentially hybrid and polyploid crop. These qualities make the breeding and targeted genetic improvement of this crop a difficult and long process. The Genome-Wide Association Study (GWAS) approach is becoming widely used in crop plants and has proven efficient to detecting candidate genes for traits of interest, especially in cereals. GWAS has not been applied yet to a vegetatively propagated crop. However, successful GWAS in banana would considerably help unravel the genomic basis of traits of interest and therefore speed up this crop improvement. We present here a dedicated panel of 105 accessions of banana, freely available upon request, and their corresponding GBS data. A set of 5,544 highly reliable markers revealed high levels of admixture in most accessions, except for a subset of 33 individuals from Papua. A GWAS on the seedless phenotype was then successfully applied to the panel. By applying the Mixed Linear Model corrected for both kinship and structure as implemented in TASSEL, we detected 13 candidate genomic regions in which we found a number of genes potentially linked with the seedless phenotype (i.e. parthenocarpy combined with female sterility). An additional GWAS performed on the unstructured Papuan subset composed of 33 accessions confirmed six of these regions as candidate. Out of both sets of analyses, one strong candidate gene for female sterility, a putative orthologous gene to Histidine Kinase CKI1, was identified. The results presented here confirmed the feasibility and potential of GWAS when applied to small sets of banana accessions, at least for traits underpinned by a few loci. As phenotyping in banana is extremely space and time-consuming, this latest finding is of particular importance in the context of banana improvement. PMID:27144345

  9. A Genome-Wide Association Study on the Seedless Phenotype in Banana (Musa spp.) Reveals the Potential of a Selected Panel to Detect Candidate Genes in a Vegetatively Propagated Crop

    PubMed Central

    Sardos, Julie; Rouard, Mathieu; Hueber, Yann; Cenci, Alberto; Hyma, Katie E.; van den Houwe, Ines; Hribova, Eva; Courtois, Brigitte; Roux, Nicolas

    2016-01-01

    Banana (Musa sp.) is a vegetatively propagated, low fertility, potentially hybrid and polyploid crop. These qualities make the breeding and targeted genetic improvement of this crop a difficult and long process. The Genome-Wide Association Study (GWAS) approach is becoming widely used in crop plants and has proven efficient to detecting candidate genes for traits of interest, especially in cereals. GWAS has not been applied yet to a vegetatively propagated crop. However, successful GWAS in banana would considerably help unravel the genomic basis of traits of interest and therefore speed up this crop improvement. We present here a dedicated panel of 105 accessions of banana, freely available upon request, and their corresponding GBS data. A set of 5,544 highly reliable markers revealed high levels of admixture in most accessions, except for a subset of 33 individuals from Papua. A GWAS on the seedless phenotype was then successfully applied to the panel. By applying the Mixed Linear Model corrected for both kinship and structure as implemented in TASSEL, we detected 13 candidate genomic regions in which we found a number of genes potentially linked with the seedless phenotype (i.e. parthenocarpy combined with female sterility). An additional GWAS performed on the unstructured Papuan subset composed of 33 accessions confirmed six of these regions as candidate. Out of both sets of analyses, one strong candidate gene for female sterility, a putative orthologous gene to Histidine Kinase CKI1, was identified. The results presented here confirmed the feasibility and potential of GWAS when applied to small sets of banana accessions, at least for traits underpinned by a few loci. As phenotyping in banana is extremely space and time-consuming, this latest finding is of particular importance in the context of banana improvement. PMID:27144345

  10. Genetic basis of phenotypic plasticity for predator-induced morphological defenses in anuran tadpole, Rana pirica, using cDNA subtraction and microarray analysis.

    PubMed

    Mori, Tsukasa; Hiraka, Ikuei; Kurata, Youichi; Kawachi, Hiroko; Kishida, Osamu; Nishimura, Kinya

    2005-05-20

    (BP) antigen that causes the skin blistering disorder, and tetranectin and uromodulin may be related to the extracell matrix through myogenesis, protein secretion, and ion transport, respectively. Since the RT-related protein gene derived from retrotransposon (L1) is known to disrupt mammalian transcriptomes, retrotransposon may be involved with phenotypic plasticity for morphological defense by Rana prica against predator threat.

  11. Plastic responses in the metabolome and functional traits of maize plants to temperature variations.

    PubMed

    Sun, C X; Gao, X X; Li, M Q; Fu, J Q; Zhang, Y L

    2016-03-01

    Environmentally inducible phenotypic plasticity is a major player in plant responses to climate change. However, metabolic responses and their role in determining the phenotypic plasticity of plants that are subjected to temperature variations remain poorly understood. The metabolomic profiles and metabolite levels in the leaves of three maize inbred lines grown in different temperature conditions were examined with a nuclear magnetic resonance metabolomic technique. The relationship of functional traits to metabolome profiles and the metabolic mechanism underlying temperature variations were then explored. A comparative analysis showed that during heat and cold stress, maize plants shared common plastic responses in biomass accumulation, carbon, nitrogen, sugars, some amino acids and compatible solutes. We also found that the plastic response of maize plants to heat stress was different from that under cold stress, mainly involving biomass allocation, shikimate and its aromatic amino acid derivatives, and other non-polar metabolites. The plastic responsiveness of functional traits of maize lines to temperature variations was low, while the metabolic responsiveness in plasticity was high, indicating that functional and metabolic plasticity may play different roles in maize plant adaptation to temperature variations. A linear regression analysis revealed that the maize lines could adapt to growth temperature variations through the interrelation of plastic responses in the metabolomes and functional traits, such as biomass allocation and the status of carbon and nitrogen. We provide valuable insight into the plastic response strategy of maize plants to temperature variations that will permit the optimisation of crop cultivation in an increasingly variable environment. PMID:26280133

  12. Plastic responses in the metabolome and functional traits of maize plants to temperature variations.

    PubMed

    Sun, C X; Gao, X X; Li, M Q; Fu, J Q; Zhang, Y L

    2016-03-01

    Environmentally inducible phenotypic plasticity is a major player in plant responses to climate change. However, metabolic responses and their role in determining the phenotypic plasticity of plants that are subjected to temperature variations remain poorly understood. The metabolomic profiles and metabolite levels in the leaves of three maize inbred lines grown in different temperature conditions were examined with a nuclear magnetic resonance metabolomic technique. The relationship of functional traits to metabolome profiles and the metabolic mechanism underlying temperature variations were then explored. A comparative analysis showed that during heat and cold stress, maize plants shared common plastic responses in biomass accumulation, carbon, nitrogen, sugars, some amino acids and compatible solutes. We also found that the plastic response of maize plants to heat stress was different from that under cold stress, mainly involving biomass allocation, shikimate and its aromatic amino acid derivatives, and other non-polar metabolites. The plastic responsiveness of functional traits of maize lines to temperature variations was low, while the metabolic responsiveness in plasticity was high, indicating that functional and metabolic plasticity may play different roles in maize plant adaptation to temperature variations. A linear regression analysis revealed that the maize lines could adapt to growth temperature variations through the interrelation of plastic responses in the metabolomes and functional traits, such as biomass allocation and the status of carbon and nitrogen. We provide valuable insight into the plastic response strategy of maize plants to temperature variations that will permit the optimisation of crop cultivation in an increasingly variable environment.

  13. Over-expression of FT1 in plum (Prunus domestica) results in phenotypes compatible with spaceflight: a potential new candidate crop for bioregenerative life support systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Tree fruits (e.g., apples, plums, cherries) are appealing constituents of a crew menu for long-duration exploration missions (i.e., Mars), both in terms of their nutritive and menu diversity contributions. Although appealing, tree fruit species have long been precluded as candidate crops for use in...

  14. Deep phenotyping of coarse root architecture in R. pseudoacacia reveals that tree root system plasticity is confined within its architectural model.

    PubMed

    Danjon, Frédéric; Khuder, Hayfa; Stokes, Alexia

    2013-01-01

    This study aims at assessing the influence of slope angle and multi-directional flexing and their interaction on the root architecture of Robinia pseudoacacia seedlings, with a particular focus on architectural model and trait plasticity. 36 trees were grown from seed in containers inclined at 0° (control) or 45° (slope) in a glasshouse. The shoots of half the plants were gently flexed for 5 minutes a day. After 6 months, root systems were excavated and digitized in 3D, and biomass measured. Over 100 root architectural traits were determined. Both slope and flexing increased significantly plant size. Non-flexed trees on 45° slopes developed shallow roots which were largely aligned perpendicular to the slope. Compared to the controls, flexed trees on 0° slopes possessed a shorter and thicker taproot held in place by regularly distributed long and thin lateral roots. Flexed trees on the 45° slope also developed a thick vertically aligned taproot, with more volume allocated to upslope surface lateral roots, due to the greater soil volume uphill. We show that there is an inherent root system architectural model, but that a certain number of traits are highly plastic. This plasticity will permit root architectural design to be modified depending on external mechanical signals perceived by young trees.

  15. Systems Biology for Smart Crops and Agricultural Innovation: Filling the Gaps between Genotype and Phenotype for Complex Traits Linked with Robust Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability

    PubMed Central

    Pathak, Rajesh Kumar; Gupta, Sanjay Mohan; Gaur, Vikram Singh; Pandey, Dinesh

    2015-01-01

    Abstract In recent years, rapid developments in several omics platforms and next generation sequencing technology have generated a huge amount of biological data about plants. Systems biology aims to develop and use well-organized and efficient algorithms, data structure, visualization, and communication tools for the integration of these biological data with the goal of computational modeling and simulation. It studies crop plant systems by systematically perturbing them, checking the gene, protein, and informational pathway responses; integrating these data; and finally, formulating mathematical models that describe the structure of system and its response to individual perturbations. Consequently, systems biology approaches, such as integrative and predictive ones, hold immense potential in understanding of molecular mechanism of agriculturally important complex traits linked to agricultural productivity. This has led to identification of some key genes and proteins involved in networks of pathways involved in input use efficiency, biotic and abiotic stress resistance, photosynthesis efficiency, root, stem and leaf architecture, and nutrient mobilization. The developments in the above fields have made it possible to design smart crops with superior agronomic traits through genetic manipulation of key candidate genes. PMID:26484978

  16. Systems Biology for Smart Crops and Agricultural Innovation: Filling the Gaps between Genotype and Phenotype for Complex Traits Linked with Robust Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Anil; Pathak, Rajesh Kumar; Gupta, Sanjay Mohan; Gaur, Vikram Singh; Pandey, Dinesh

    2015-10-01

    In recent years, rapid developments in several omics platforms and next generation sequencing technology have generated a huge amount of biological data about plants. Systems biology aims to develop and use well-organized and efficient algorithms, data structure, visualization, and communication tools for the integration of these biological data with the goal of computational modeling and simulation. It studies crop plant systems by systematically perturbing them, checking the gene, protein, and informational pathway responses; integrating these data; and finally, formulating mathematical models that describe the structure of system and its response to individual perturbations. Consequently, systems biology approaches, such as integrative and predictive ones, hold immense potential in understanding of molecular mechanism of agriculturally important complex traits linked to agricultural productivity. This has led to identification of some key genes and proteins involved in networks of pathways involved in input use efficiency, biotic and abiotic stress resistance, photosynthesis efficiency, root, stem and leaf architecture, and nutrient mobilization. The developments in the above fields have made it possible to design smart crops with superior agronomic traits through genetic manipulation of key candidate genes.

  17. Systems Biology for Smart Crops and Agricultural Innovation: Filling the Gaps between Genotype and Phenotype for Complex Traits Linked with Robust Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Anil; Pathak, Rajesh Kumar; Gupta, Sanjay Mohan; Gaur, Vikram Singh; Pandey, Dinesh

    2015-10-01

    In recent years, rapid developments in several omics platforms and next generation sequencing technology have generated a huge amount of biological data about plants. Systems biology aims to develop and use well-organized and efficient algorithms, data structure, visualization, and communication tools for the integration of these biological data with the goal of computational modeling and simulation. It studies crop plant systems by systematically perturbing them, checking the gene, protein, and informational pathway responses; integrating these data; and finally, formulating mathematical models that describe the structure of system and its response to individual perturbations. Consequently, systems biology approaches, such as integrative and predictive ones, hold immense potential in understanding of molecular mechanism of agriculturally important complex traits linked to agricultural productivity. This has led to identification of some key genes and proteins involved in networks of pathways involved in input use efficiency, biotic and abiotic stress resistance, photosynthesis efficiency, root, stem and leaf architecture, and nutrient mobilization. The developments in the above fields have made it possible to design smart crops with superior agronomic traits through genetic manipulation of key candidate genes. PMID:26484978

  18. High clearance phenotyping systems for season-long measurement of corn, sorghum and other row crops to complement unmanned aerial vehicle systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murray, Seth C.; Knox, Leighton; Hartley, Brandon; Méndez-Dorado, Mario A.; Richardson, Grant; Thomasson, J. Alex; Shi, Yeyin; Rajan, Nithya; Neely, Haly; Bagavathiannan, Muthukumar; Dong, Xuejun; Rooney, William L.

    2016-05-01

    The next generation of plant breeding progress requires accurately estimating plant growth and development parameters to be made over routine intervals within large field experiments. Hand measurements are laborious and time consuming and the most promising tools under development are sensors carried by ground vehicles or unmanned aerial vehicles, with each specific vehicle having unique limitations. Previously available ground vehicles have primarily been restricted to monitoring shorter crops or early growth in corn and sorghum, since plants taller than a meter could be damaged by a tractor or spray rig passing over them. Here we have designed two and already constructed one of these self-propelled ground vehicles with adjustable heights that can clear mature corn and sorghum without damage (over three meters of clearance), which will work for shorter row crops as well. In addition to regular RGB image capture, sensor suites are incorporated to estimate plant height, vegetation indices, canopy temperature and photosynthetically active solar radiation, all referenced using RTK GPS to individual plots. These ground vehicles will be useful to validate data collected from unmanned aerial vehicles and support hand measurements taken on plots.

  19. Roots Withstanding their Environment: Exploiting Root System Architecture Responses to Abiotic Stress to Improve Crop Tolerance

    PubMed Central

    Koevoets, Iko T.; Venema, Jan Henk; Elzenga, J. Theo. M.; Testerink, Christa

    2016-01-01

    To face future challenges in crop production dictated by global climate changes, breeders and plant researchers collaborate to develop productive crops that are able to withstand a wide range of biotic and abiotic stresses. However, crop selection is often focused on shoot performance alone, as observation of root properties is more complex and asks for artificial and extensive phenotyping platforms. In addition, most root research focuses on development, while a direct link to the functionality of plasticity in root development for tolerance is often lacking. In this paper we review the currently known root system architecture (RSA) responses in Arabidopsis and a number of crop species to a range of abiotic stresses, including nutrient limitation, drought, salinity, flooding, and extreme temperatures. For each of these stresses, the key molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the RSA response are highlighted. To explore the relevance for crop selection, we especially review and discuss studies linking root architectural responses to stress tolerance. This will provide a first step toward understanding the relevance of adaptive root development for a plant’s response to its environment. We suggest that functional evidence on the role of root plasticity will support breeders in their efforts to include root properties in their current selection pipeline for abiotic stress tolerance, aimed to improve the robustness of crops.

  20. Roots Withstanding their Environment: Exploiting Root System Architecture Responses to Abiotic Stress to Improve Crop Tolerance.

    PubMed

    Koevoets, Iko T; Venema, Jan Henk; Elzenga, J Theo M; Testerink, Christa

    2016-01-01

    To face future challenges in crop production dictated by global climate changes, breeders and plant researchers collaborate to develop productive crops that are able to withstand a wide range of biotic and abiotic stresses. However, crop selection is often focused on shoot performance alone, as observation of root properties is more complex and asks for artificial and extensive phenotyping platforms. In addition, most root research focuses on development, while a direct link to the functionality of plasticity in root development for tolerance is often lacking. In this paper we review the currently known root system architecture (RSA) responses in Arabidopsis and a number of crop species to a range of abiotic stresses, including nutrient limitation, drought, salinity, flooding, and extreme temperatures. For each of these stresses, the key molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the RSA response are highlighted. To explore the relevance for crop selection, we especially review and discuss studies linking root architectural responses to stress tolerance. This will provide a first step toward understanding the relevance of adaptive root development for a plant's response to its environment. We suggest that functional evidence on the role of root plasticity will support breeders in their efforts to include root properties in their current selection pipeline for abiotic stress tolerance, aimed to improve the robustness of crops. PMID:27630659

  1. Roots Withstanding their Environment: Exploiting Root System Architecture Responses to Abiotic Stress to Improve Crop Tolerance

    PubMed Central

    Koevoets, Iko T.; Venema, Jan Henk; Elzenga, J. Theo. M.; Testerink, Christa

    2016-01-01

    To face future challenges in crop production dictated by global climate changes, breeders and plant researchers collaborate to develop productive crops that are able to withstand a wide range of biotic and abiotic stresses. However, crop selection is often focused on shoot performance alone, as observation of root properties is more complex and asks for artificial and extensive phenotyping platforms. In addition, most root research focuses on development, while a direct link to the functionality of plasticity in root development for tolerance is often lacking. In this paper we review the currently known root system architecture (RSA) responses in Arabidopsis and a number of crop species to a range of abiotic stresses, including nutrient limitation, drought, salinity, flooding, and extreme temperatures. For each of these stresses, the key molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the RSA response are highlighted. To explore the relevance for crop selection, we especially review and discuss studies linking root architectural responses to stress tolerance. This will provide a first step toward understanding the relevance of adaptive root development for a plant’s response to its environment. We suggest that functional evidence on the role of root plasticity will support breeders in their efforts to include root properties in their current selection pipeline for abiotic stress tolerance, aimed to improve the robustness of crops. PMID:27630659

  2. Evolution and Emergence of Enteroviruses through Intra- and Inter-species Recombination: Plasticity and Phenotypic Impact of Modular Genetic Exchanges in the 5’ Untranslated Region

    PubMed Central

    Muslin, Claire; Joffret, Marie-Line; Pelletier, Isabelle; Blondel, Bruno; Delpeyroux, Francis

    2015-01-01

    Genetic recombination shapes the diversity of RNA viruses, including enteroviruses (EVs), which frequently have mosaic genomes. Pathogenic circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV) genomes consist of mutated vaccine poliovirus (PV) sequences encoding capsid proteins, and sequences encoding nonstructural proteins derived from other species’ C EVs, including certain coxsackieviruses A (CV-A) in particular. Many cVDPV genomes also have an exogenous 5’ untranslated region (5’ UTR). This region is involved in virulence and includes the cloverleaf (CL) and the internal ribosomal entry site, which play major roles in replication and the initiation of translation, respectively. We investigated the plasticity of the PV genome in terms of recombination in the 5’ UTR, by developing an experimental model involving the rescue of a bipartite PV/CV-A cVDPV genome rendered defective by mutations in the CL, following the co-transfection of cells with 5’ UTR RNAs from each of the four human EV species (EV-A to -D). The defective cVDPV was rescued by recombination with 5’ UTR sequences from the four EV species. Homologous and nonhomologous recombinants with large deletions or insertions in three hotspots were isolated, revealing a striking plasticity of the 5’ UTR. By contrast to the recombination of the cVDPV with the 5’ UTR of group II (EV-A and -B), which can decrease viral replication and virulence, recombination with the 5’ UTRs of group I (EV-C and -D) appeared to be evolutionarily neutral or associated with a gain in fitness. This study illustrates how the genomes of positive-strand RNA viruses can evolve into mosaic recombinant genomes through intra- or inter-species modular genetic exchanges, favoring the emergence of new recombinant lineages. PMID:26562151

  3. Evolution and Emergence of Enteroviruses through Intra- and Inter-species Recombination: Plasticity and Phenotypic Impact of Modular Genetic Exchanges in the 5' Untranslated Region.

    PubMed

    Muslin, Claire; Joffret, Marie-Line; Pelletier, Isabelle; Blondel, Bruno; Delpeyroux, Francis

    2015-01-01

    Genetic recombination shapes the diversity of RNA viruses, including enteroviruses (EVs), which frequently have mosaic genomes. Pathogenic circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV) genomes consist of mutated vaccine poliovirus (PV) sequences encoding capsid proteins, and sequences encoding nonstructural proteins derived from other species' C EVs, including certain coxsackieviruses A (CV-A) in particular. Many cVDPV genomes also have an exogenous 5' untranslated region (5' UTR). This region is involved in virulence and includes the cloverleaf (CL) and the internal ribosomal entry site, which play major roles in replication and the initiation of translation, respectively. We investigated the plasticity of the PV genome in terms of recombination in the 5' UTR, by developing an experimental model involving the rescue of a bipartite PV/CV-A cVDPV genome rendered defective by mutations in the CL, following the co-transfection of cells with 5' UTR RNAs from each of the four human EV species (EV-A to -D). The defective cVDPV was rescued by recombination with 5' UTR sequences from the four EV species. Homologous and nonhomologous recombinants with large deletions or insertions in three hotspots were isolated, revealing a striking plasticity of the 5' UTR. By contrast to the recombination of the cVDPV with the 5' UTR of group II (EV-A and -B), which can decrease viral replication and virulence, recombination with the 5' UTRs of group I (EV-C and -D) appeared to be evolutionarily neutral or associated with a gain in fitness. This study illustrates how the genomes of positive-strand RNA viruses can evolve into mosaic recombinant genomes through intra- or inter-species modular genetic exchanges, favoring the emergence of new recombinant lineages.

  4. Applying remote sensing expertise to crop improvement: progress and challenges to scale up high throughput field phenotyping from research to industry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gouache, David; Beauchêne, Katia; Mini, Agathe; Fournier, Antoine; de Solan, Benoit; Baret, Fred; Comar, Alexis

    2016-05-01

    Digital and image analysis technologies in greenhouses have become commonplace in plant science research and started to move into the plant breeding industry. However, the core of plant breeding work takes place in fields. We will present successive technological developments that have allowed the migration and application of remote sensing approaches at large into the field of crop genetics and physiology research, with a number of projects that have taken place in France. These projects have allowed us to develop combined sensor plus vector systems, from tractor mounted and UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) mounted spectroradiometry to autonomous vehicle mounted spectroradiometry, RGB (red-green-blue) imagery and Lidar. We have tested these systems for deciphering the genetics of complex plant improvement targets such as the robustness to nitrogen and water deficiency of wheat and maize. Our results from wheat experiments indicate that these systems can be used both to screen genetic diversity for nitrogen stress tolerance and to decipher the genetics behind this diversity. We will present our view on the next critical steps in terms of technology and data analysis that will be required to reach cost effective implementation in industrial plant breeding programs. If this can be achieved, these technologies will largely contribute to resolving the equation of increasing food supply in the resource limited world that lies ahead.

  5. Prolonged high fat diet ingestion, obesity, and type 2 diabetes symptoms correlate with phenotypic plasticity in myenteric neurons and nerve damage in the mouse duodenum.

    PubMed

    Stenkamp-Strahm, Chloe M; Nyavor, Yvonne E A; Kappmeyer, Adam J; Horton, Sarah; Gericke, Martin; Balemba, Onesmo B

    2015-08-01

    Symptoms of diabetic gastrointestinal dysmotility indicate neuropathy of the enteric nervous system. Long-standing diabetic enteric neuropathy has not been fully characterized, however. We used prolonged high fat diet ingestion (20 weeks) in a mouse model to mimic human obese and type 2 diabetic conditions, and analyzed changes seen in neurons of the duodenal myenteric plexus. Ganglionic and neuronal size, number of neurons per ganglionic area, density indices of neuronal phenotypes (immunoreactive nerve cell bodies and varicosities per ganglion or tissue area) and nerve injury were measured. Findings were compared with results previously seen in mice fed the same diet for 8 weeks. Compared to mice fed standard chow, those on a prolonged high fat diet had smaller ganglionic and cell soma areas. Myenteric VIP- and ChAT-immunoreactive density indices were also reduced. Myenteric nerve fibers were markedly swollen and cytoskeletal protein networks were disrupted. The number of nNOS nerve cell bodies per ganglia was increased, contrary to the reduction previously seen after 8 weeks, but the density index of nNOS varicosities was reduced. Mice fed high fat and standard chow diets experienced an age-related reduction in total neurons, with bias towards neurons of sensory phenotype. Meanwhile, ageing was associated with an increase in excitatory neuronal markers. Collectively, these results support a notion that nerve damage underlies diabetic symptoms of dysmotility, and reveals adaptive ENS responses to the prolonged ingestion of a high fat diet. This highlights a need to mechanistically study long-term diet-induced nerve damage and age-related impacts on the ENS.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Intercropping of green garlic (Allium sativum L.) induces nutrient concentration changes in the soil and plants in continuously cropped cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) in a plastic tunnel.

    PubMed

    Xiao, Xuemei; Cheng, Zhihui; Meng, Huanwen; Liu, Lihong; Li, Hezi; Dong, Yinxin

    2013-01-01

    A pot-based experiment was conducted to investigate nutrient concentrations in cucumber plants intercropped with various amounts of green garlic. In addition, the soil nutrient contents were studied over two consecutive growing seasons. The results revealed that the accumulation of biomass and the nutritional elements nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), calcium (Ca) and manganese (Mn) in cucumber plants were significantly increased for intercropping treatments during the two growing seasons compared to monoculture. Conversely, magnesium (Mg) concentrations were decreased in the cucumber plants. Shoot iron (Fe) concentrations decreased whereas root Fe concentrations increased in the intercropping system. Shoot and root zinc (Zn) concentrations decreased during the fall of 2011 but increased during the spring of 2012. Soil organic matter and available N, P and K were significantly increased as the proportion of intercropped green garlic increasing. Medium levels of intercropping green garlic improved cucumber nutrient concentrations the most. The regression analysis showed that the concentrations of most elements were significantly related to the amounts of garlic bulbs, especially the microelements in the spring 2011. The available soil N and organic matter were linearly related to the amounts of garlic bulbs. The results indicate that the nutritional status of the soil and plants of continuously cropped cucumber could be improved by intercropping with green garlic.

  10. Intercropping of Green Garlic (Allium sativum L.) Induces Nutrient Concentration Changes in the Soil and Plants in Continuously Cropped Cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) in a Plastic Tunnel

    PubMed Central

    Xiao, Xuemei; Cheng, Zhihui; Meng, Huanwen; Liu, Lihong; Li, Hezi; Dong, Yinxin

    2013-01-01

    A pot-based experiment was conducted to investigate nutrient concentrations in cucumber plants intercropped with various amounts of green garlic. In addition, the soil nutrient contents were studied over two consecutive growing seasons. The results revealed that the accumulation of biomass and the nutritional elements nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), calcium (Ca) and manganese (Mn) in cucumber plants were significantly increased for intercropping treatments during the two growing seasons compared to monoculture. Conversely, magnesium (Mg) concentrations were decreased in the cucumber plants. Shoot iron (Fe) concentrations decreased whereas root Fe concentrations increased in the intercropping system. Shoot and root zinc (Zn) concentrations decreased during the fall of 2011 but increased during the spring of 2012. Soil organic matter and available N, P and K were significantly increased as the proportion of intercropped green garlic increasing. Medium levels of intercropping green garlic improved cucumber nutrient concentrations the most. The regression analysis showed that the concentrations of most elements were significantly related to the amounts of garlic bulbs, especially the microelements in the spring 2011. The available soil N and organic matter were linearly related to the amounts of garlic bulbs. The results indicate that the nutritional status of the soil and plants of continuously cropped cucumber could be improved by intercropping with green garlic. PMID:23637994

  11. Plastic Surgery

    MedlinePlus

    ... How Can I Help a Friend Who Cuts? Plastic Surgery KidsHealth > For Teens > Plastic Surgery Print A ... her forehead lightened with a laser? What Is Plastic Surgery? Just because the name includes the word " ...

  12. Development, survival, and phenotypic plasticity in anthropogenic landscapes: trade-offs between offspring quantity and quality in the nettle-feeding peacock butterfly.

    PubMed

    Serruys, Mélanie; Van Dyck, Hans

    2014-10-01

    Habitats selected for development may have important fitness consequences. This is relevant within the framework of niche shifts in human-dominated landscapes. Currently, the peacock butterfly (Aglais io) occurs ubiquitously, covering many habitat types, whereas its distribution used to be much more restricted. Indeed, its host plant (stinging nettle Urtica dioica) was limited to natural forest gaps on relatively nitrogen-rich soil, but due to land use changes and eutrophication, host plants are now quasi-omnipresent in Western Europe. In order to assess the impact of specific anthropogenic habitat types on host plant quality and environmental conditions for phenotypic trait values, an experiment was conducted in woodlands, field margins, and urban gardens. Larval development was studied in field enclosures, and adult traits were analyzed to test predicted effects of warmer and more nitrogen-rich conditions in field margins compared to woodlands and urban gardens. Survival to the adult stage was highest in woodlands and lowest in field margins, and whilst development time did not differ amongst habitat types, butterflies that developed in field margins were larger and had higher lipid content and wing loadings than conspecifics from woodlands and urban gardens. Nettles in field margins provided warmer microclimates. However, and contrary to predictions, the nitrogen level within host plant leaves was highest in woodlands. Hence, anthropogenic landscapes may pose a conflict for choosing what is ultimately the best breeding habitat, as survival was highest in woodlands (followed by urban gardens), but adults with highest fitness predictions were produced in field margins (and secondarily urban gardens). PMID:25015122

  13. Evolutionary response of landraces to climate change in centers of crop diversity

    PubMed Central

    Mercer, Kristin L; Perales, Hugo R

    2010-01-01

    Landraces cultivated in centers of crop diversity result from past and contemporary patterns of natural and farmer-mediated evolutionary forces. Successful in situ conservation of crop genetic resources depends on continuity of these evolutionary processes. Climate change is projected to affect agricultural production, yet analyses of impacts on in situ conservation of crop genetic diversity and farmers who conserve it have been absent. How will crop landraces respond to alterations in climate? We review the roles that phenotypic plasticity, evolution, and gene flow might play in sustaining production, although we might expect erosion of genetic diversity if landrace populations or entire races lose productivity. For example, highland maize landraces in southern Mexico do not express the plasticity necessary to sustain productivity under climate change, but may evolve in response to altered conditions. The outcome for any given crop in a given region will depend on the distribution of genetic variation that affects fitness and patterns of climate change. Understanding patterns of neutral and adaptive diversity from the population to the landscape scale is essential to clarify how landraces conserved in situ will continue to evolve and how to minimize genetic erosion of this essential natural resource. PMID:25567941

  14. Evolutionary response of landraces to climate change in centers of crop diversity.

    PubMed

    Mercer, Kristin L; Perales, Hugo R

    2010-09-01

    Landraces cultivated in centers of crop diversity result from past and contemporary patterns of natural and farmer-mediated evolutionary forces. Successful in situ conservation of crop genetic resources depends on continuity of these evolutionary processes. Climate change is projected to affect agricultural production, yet analyses of impacts on in situ conservation of crop genetic diversity and farmers who conserve it have been absent. How will crop landraces respond to alterations in climate? We review the roles that phenotypic plasticity, evolution, and gene flow might play in sustaining production, although we might expect erosion of genetic diversity if landrace populations or entire races lose productivity. For example, highland maize landraces in southern Mexico do not express the plasticity necessary to sustain productivity under climate change, but may evolve in response to altered conditions. The outcome for any given crop in a given region will depend on the distribution of genetic variation that affects fitness and patterns of climate change. Understanding patterns of neutral and adaptive diversity from the population to the landscape scale is essential to clarify how landraces conserved in situ will continue to evolve and how to minimize genetic erosion of this essential natural resource. PMID:25567941

  15. Phenotypic plasticity of gas exchange pattern and water loss in Scarabaeus spretus (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae): deconstructing the basis for metabolic rate variation.

    PubMed

    Terblanche, John S; Clusella-Trullas, Susana; Chown, Steven L

    2010-09-01

    Investigation of gas exchange patterns and modulation of metabolism provide insight into metabolic control systems and evolution in diverse terrestrial environments. Variation in metabolic rate in response to environmental conditions has been explained largely in the context of two contrasting hypotheses, namely metabolic depression in response to stressful or resource-(e.g. water) limited conditions, or elevation of metabolism at low temperatures to sustain life in extreme conditions. To deconstruct the basis for metabolic rate changes in response to temperature variation, here we undertake a full factorial study investigating the longer- and short-term effects of temperature exposure on gas exchange patterns. We examined responses of traits of gas exchange [standard metabolic rate (SMR); discontinuous gas exchange (DGE) cycle frequency; cuticular, respiratory and total water loss rate (WLR)] to elucidate the magnitude and form of plastic responses in the dung beetle, Scarabaeus spretus. Results showed that short- and longer-term temperature variation generally have significant effects on SMR and WLR. Overall, acclimation to increased temperature led to a decline in SMR (from 0.071+/-0.004 ml CO(2) h(-1) in 15 degrees C-acclimated beetles to 0.039+/-0.004 ml CO(2) h(-1) in 25 degrees C-acclimated beetles measured at 20 degrees C) modulated by reduced DGE frequency (15 degrees C acclimation: 0.554+/-0.027 mHz, 20 degrees C acclimation: 0.257+/-0.030 mHz, 25 degrees C acclimation: 0.208+/-0.027 mHz recorded at 20 degrees C), reduced cuticular WLRs (from 1.058+/-0.537 mg h(-1) in 15 degrees C-acclimated beetles to 0.900+/-0.400 mg h(-1) in 25 degrees C-acclimated beetles measured at 20 degrees C) and reduced total WLR (from 4.2+/-0.5 mg h(-1) in 15 degrees C-acclimated beetles to 3.1+/-0.5 mg h(-1) in 25 degrees C-acclimated beetles measured at 25 degrees C). Respiratory WLR was reduced from 2.25+/-0.40 mg h(-1) in 15 degrees C-acclimated beetles to 1.60+/-0.40 mg h

  16. Genetically engineered crops: from idea to product.

    PubMed

    Prado, Jose Rafael; Segers, Gerrit; Voelker, Toni; Carson, Dave; Dobert, Raymond; Phillips, Jonathan; Cook, Kevin; Cornejo, Camilo; Monken, Josh; Grapes, Laura; Reynolds, Tracey; Martino-Catt, Susan

    2014-01-01

    Genetically engineered crops were first commercialized in 1994 and since then have been rapidly adopted, enabling growers to more effectively manage pests and increase crop productivity while ensuring food, feed, and environmental safety. The development of these crops is complex and based on rigorous science that must be well coordinated to create a plant with desired beneficial phenotypes. This article describes the general process by which a genetically engineered crop is developed from an initial concept to a commercialized product.

  17. Cover Crops

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cover crops are great tools to improve soil quality and health, and great tools to increase carbon sequestration. They are nutrient management tools that can help scavenge nitrate, cycle nitrogen to the following crop, mine NO3 from groundwater, and increase nitrogen use efficiency of cropping syste...

  18. The integrated phenotype.

    PubMed

    Murren, Courtney J

    2012-07-01

    Proper functioning of complex phenotypes requires that multiple traits work together. Examination of relationships among traits within and between complex characters and how they interact to function as a whole organism is critical to advancing our understanding of evolutionary developmental plasticity. Phenotypic integration refers to the relationships among multiple characters of a complex phenotype, and their relationships with other functional units (modules) in an organism. In this review, I summarize a brief history of the concept of phenotypic integration in plant and animal biology. Following an introduction of concepts, including modularity, I use an empirical case-study approach to highlight recent advance in clarifying the developmental and genomic basis of integration. I end by highlighting some novel approaches to genomic and epigenetic perturbations that offer promise in further addressing the role of phenotypic integration in evolutionary diversification. In the age of the phenotype, studies that examine the genomic and developmental changes in relationships of traits across environments will shape the next chapter in our quest for understanding the evolution of complex characters.

  19. Farm surpluses: sources for plastics

    SciTech Connect

    Hardin, B.

    1986-10-01

    Starch from corn may soon replace petrochemicals in plastic films. And glycerol - a byproduct from processing of animal fats, soybeans, and other vegetable oil crops - may one day compete with petrochemicals in acrylic plastic manufacturing. These are two examples of how research may help convert the nation's surplus farm commodities into needed industrial products. Studies at the USDA Agricultural Research Service center in Peoria, IL, show that starch can be blended into plastic films that may serve as biodegradable mulches for tomatoes and other high-value crops. We are working on new formulas for mulches that micro-organisms can break down after a crop is harvested, says chemist Felix Otey. This feature preserves the environment and saves the expense of having to remove and burn or bury the mulches. Home gardeners and farmers use plastic mulches to protect crops from weeds and drought and extend the growing season by warming the soil sooner in the spring. And farmers use them to produce an earlier crop that commands a good price.

  20. Plastic Jellyfish.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moseley, Christine

    2000-01-01

    Presents an environmental science activity designed to enhance students' awareness of the hazards of plastic waste for wildlife in aquatic environments. Discusses how students can take steps to reduce the effects of plastic waste. (WRM)

  1. Patterns of domestication in the Ethiopian oil-seed crop noug (Guizotia abyssinica).

    PubMed

    Dempewolf, Hannes; Tesfaye, Misteru; Teshome, Abel; Bjorkman, Anne D; Andrew, Rose L; Scascitelli, Moira; Black, Scott; Bekele, Endashaw; Engels, Johannes M M; Cronk, Quentin C B; Rieseberg, Loren H

    2015-06-01

    Noug (Guizotia abyssinica) is a semidomesticated oil-seed crop, which is primarily cultivated in Ethiopia. Unlike its closest crop relative, sunflower, noug has small seeds, small flowering heads, many branches, many flowering heads, and indeterminate flowering, and it shatters in the field. Here, we conducted common garden studies and microsatellite analyses of genetic variation to test whether high levels of crop-wild gene flow and/or unfavorable phenotypic correlations have hindered noug domestication. With the exception of one population, analyses of microsatellite variation failed to detect substantial recent admixture between noug and its wild progenitor. Likewise, only very weak correlations were found between seed mass and the number or size of flowering heads. Thus, noug's 'atypical' domestication syndrome does not seem to be a consequence of recent introgression or unfavorable phenotypic correlations. Nonetheless, our data do reveal evidence of local adaptation of noug cultivars to different precipitation regimes, as well as high levels of phenotypic plasticity, which may permit reasonable yields under diverse environmental conditions. Why noug has not been fully domesticated remains a mystery, but perhaps early farmers selected for resilience to episodic drought or untended environments rather than larger seeds. Domestication may also have been slowed by noug's outcrossing mating system.

  2. Plasticity of the Berry Ripening Program in a White Grape Variety

    PubMed Central

    Dal Santo, Silvia; Fasoli, Marianna; Negri, Stefano; D'Incà, Erica; Vicenzi, Nazareno; Guzzo, Flavia; Tornielli, Giovanni Battista; Pezzotti, Mario; Zenoni, Sara

    2016-01-01

    Grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.) is considered one of the most environmentally sensitive crops and is characterized by broad phenotypic plasticity, offering important advantages such as the large range of different wines that can be produced from the same cultivar, and the adaptation of existing cultivars to diverse growing regions. The uniqueness of berry quality traits reflects complex interactions between the grapevine plant and the combination of natural factors and human cultural practices which leads to the expression of wine typicity. Despite the scientific and commercial importance of genotype interactions with growing conditions, few studies have characterized the genes and metabolites directly involved in this phenomenon. Here, we used two large-scale analytical approaches to explore the metabolomic and transcriptomic basis of the broad phenotypic plasticity of Garganega, a white berry variety grown at four sites characterized by different pedoclimatic conditions (altitudes, soil texture, and composition). These conditions determine berry ripening dynamics in terms of sugar accumulation and the abundance of phenolic compounds. Multivariate analysis unraveled a highly plastic metabolomic response to different environments, especially the accumulation of hydroxycinnamic and hydroxybenzoic acids and flavonols. Principal component analysis (PCA) revealed that the four sites strongly affected the berry transcriptome allowing the identification of environmentally-modulated genes and the plasticity of commonly-modulated transcripts at different sites. Many genes that control transcription, translation, transport, and carbohydrate metabolism showed different expression depending on the environmental conditions, indicating a key role in the observed transcriptomic plasticity of Garganega berries. Interestingly, genes representing the phenylpropanoid/flavonoid pathway showed plastic responses to the environment mirroring the accumulation of the corresponding

  3. Plasticity of the Berry Ripening Program in a White Grape Variety.

    PubMed

    Dal Santo, Silvia; Fasoli, Marianna; Negri, Stefano; D'Incà, Erica; Vicenzi, Nazareno; Guzzo, Flavia; Tornielli, Giovanni Battista; Pezzotti, Mario; Zenoni, Sara

    2016-01-01

    Grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.) is considered one of the most environmentally sensitive crops and is characterized by broad phenotypic plasticity, offering important advantages such as the large range of different wines that can be produced from the same cultivar, and the adaptation of existing cultivars to diverse growing regions. The uniqueness of berry quality traits reflects complex interactions between the grapevine plant and the combination of natural factors and human cultural practices which leads to the expression of wine typicity. Despite the scientific and commercial importance of genotype interactions with growing conditions, few studies have characterized the genes and metabolites directly involved in this phenomenon. Here, we used two large-scale analytical approaches to explore the metabolomic and transcriptomic basis of the broad phenotypic plasticity of Garganega, a white berry variety grown at four sites characterized by different pedoclimatic conditions (altitudes, soil texture, and composition). These conditions determine berry ripening dynamics in terms of sugar accumulation and the abundance of phenolic compounds. Multivariate analysis unraveled a highly plastic metabolomic response to different environments, especially the accumulation of hydroxycinnamic and hydroxybenzoic acids and flavonols. Principal component analysis (PCA) revealed that the four sites strongly affected the berry transcriptome allowing the identification of environmentally-modulated genes and the plasticity of commonly-modulated transcripts at different sites. Many genes that control transcription, translation, transport, and carbohydrate metabolism showed different expression depending on the environmental conditions, indicating a key role in the observed transcriptomic plasticity of Garganega berries. Interestingly, genes representing the phenylpropanoid/flavonoid pathway showed plastic responses to the environment mirroring the accumulation of the corresponding

  4. Genomics reveals new landscapes for crop improvement

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    The sequencing of large and complex genomes of crop species, facilitated by new sequencing technologies and bioinformatic approaches, has provided new opportunities for crop improvement. Current challenges include understanding how genetic variation translates into phenotypic performance in the field. PMID:23796126

  5. Genetics and consequences of crop domestication

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Phenotypic variation has been manipulated by humans during crop domestication, which occurred primarily between 3,000 and 10,000 years ago in the various centers of origin around the world. The process of domestication has profound consequences on crops, where the domesticate has moderately reduced ...

  6. Plastics Technology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barker, Tommy G.

    This curriculum guide is designed to assist junior high schools industrial arts teachers in planning new courses and revising existing courses in plastics technology. Addressed in the individual units of the guide are the following topics: introduction to production technology; history and development of plastics; safety; youth leadership,…

  7. Patterns of domestication in the Ethiopian oil-seed crop noug (Guizotia abyssinica)

    PubMed Central

    Dempewolf, Hannes; Tesfaye, Misteru; Teshome, Abel; Bjorkman, Anne D; Andrew, Rose L; Scascitelli, Moira; Black, Scott; Bekele, Endashaw; Engels, Johannes M M; Cronk, Quentin C B; Rieseberg, Loren H

    2015-01-01

    Noug (Guizotia abyssinica) is a semidomesticated oil-seed crop, which is primarily cultivated in Ethiopia. Unlike its closest crop relative, sunflower, noug has small seeds, small flowering heads, many branches, many flowering heads, and indeterminate flowering, and it shatters in the field. Here, we conducted common garden studies and microsatellite analyses of genetic variation to test whether high levels of crop–wild gene flow and/or unfavorable phenotypic correlations have hindered noug domestication. With the exception of one population, analyses of microsatellite variation failed to detect substantial recent admixture between noug and its wild progenitor. Likewise, only very weak correlations were found between seed mass and the number or size of flowering heads. Thus, noug's ‘atypical’ domestication syndrome does not seem to be a consequence of recent introgression or unfavorable phenotypic correlations. Nonetheless, our data do reveal evidence of local adaptation of noug cultivars to different precipitation regimes, as well as high levels of phenotypic plasticity, which may permit reasonable yields under diverse environmental conditions. Why noug has not been fully domesticated remains a mystery, but perhaps early farmers selected for resilience to episodic drought or untended environments rather than larger seeds. Domestication may also have been slowed by noug's outcrossing mating system. PMID:26029260

  8. The plasticity of the grapevine berry transcriptome

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Phenotypic plasticity refers to the range of phenotypes a single genotype can express as a function of its environment. These phenotypic variations are attributable to the effect of the environment on the expression and function of genes influencing plastic traits. We investigated phenotypic plasticity in grapevine by comparing the berry transcriptome in a single clone of the vegetatively-propagated common grapevine species Vitis vinifera cultivar Corvina through 3 consecutive growth years cultivated in 11 different vineyards in the Verona area of Italy. Results Most of the berry transcriptome clustered by year of growth rather than common environmental conditions or viticulture practices, and transcripts related to secondary metabolism showed high sensitivity towards different climates, as confirmed also by metabolomic data obtained from the same samples. When analyzed in 11 vineyards during 1 growth year, the environmentally-sensitive berry transcriptome comprised 5% of protein-coding genes and 18% of the transcripts modulated during berry development. Plastic genes were particularly enriched in ontology categories such as transcription factors, translation, transport, and secondary metabolism. Specific plastic transcripts were associated with groups of vineyards sharing common viticulture practices or environmental conditions, and plastic transcriptome reprogramming was more intense in the year characterized by extreme weather conditions. We also identified a set of genes that lacked plasticity, showing either constitutive expression or similar modulation in all berries. Conclusions Our data reveal candidate genes potentially responsible for the phenotypic plasticity of grapevine and provide the first step towards the characterization of grapevine transcriptome plasticity under different agricultural systems. PMID:23759170

  9. Sunflower crop

    SciTech Connect

    Beard, B.H.

    1981-05-01

    A review of the sunflower as a major commercial crop, including its history, cultivation, hybridization and uses. It is grown principally for its oil which is high in polyunsaturated fatty acids and used in a variety of foods. Recently it has been tested in diesel engines and a high protein meal is produced from the seed residues.

  10. Connecting Biochemical Photosynthesis Models with Crop Models to Support Crop Improvement

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Alex; Song, Youhong; van Oosterom, Erik J.; Hammer, Graeme L.

    2016-01-01

    The next advance in field crop productivity will likely need to come from improving crop use efficiency of resources (e.g., light, water, and nitrogen), aspects of which are closely linked with overall crop photosynthetic efficiency. Progress in genetic manipulation of photosynthesis is confounded by uncertainties of consequences at crop level because of difficulties connecting across scales. Crop growth and development simulation models that integrate across biological levels of organization and use a gene-to-phenotype modeling approach may present a way forward. There has been a long history of development of crop models capable of simulating dynamics of crop physiological attributes. Many crop models incorporate canopy photosynthesis (source) as a key driver for crop growth, while others derive crop growth from the balance between source- and sink-limitations. Modeling leaf photosynthesis has progressed from empirical modeling via light response curves to a more mechanistic basis, having clearer links to the underlying biochemical processes of photosynthesis. Cross-scale modeling that connects models at the biochemical and crop levels and utilizes developments in upscaling leaf-level models to canopy models has the potential to bridge the gap between photosynthetic manipulation at the biochemical level and its consequences on crop productivity. Here we review approaches to this emerging cross-scale modeling framework and reinforce the need for connections across levels of modeling. Further, we propose strategies for connecting biochemical models of photosynthesis into the cross-scale modeling framework to support crop improvement through photosynthetic manipulation. PMID:27790232

  11. Plastic condoms.

    PubMed

    1968-01-01

    Only simple equipment, simple technology and low initial capital investment are needed in their manufacture. The condoms can be made by people who were previously unskilled or only semi-skilled workers. Plastic condoms differ from those made of latex rubber in that the nature of the plastic film allows unlimited shelf-life. Also, the plastic has a higher degree of lubricity than latex rubber; if there is a demand for extra lubrication in a particular market, this can be provided. Because the plastic is inert, these condoms need not be packaged in hermetically sealed containers. All these attributes make it possible to put these condoms on the distributors' shelves in developing countries competitively with rubber condoms. The shape of the plastic condom is based on that of the lamb caecum, which has long been used as luxury-type condom. The plastic condom is made from plastic film (ethylene ethyl acrilate) of 0.001 inch (0.0254 mm.) thickness. In addition, a rubber ring is provided and sealed into the base of the condom for retention during coitus. The advantage of the plastic condom design and the equipment on which it is made is that production can be carried out either in labour-intensive economy or with varying degrees of mechanization and automation. The uniform, finished condom if made using previously untrained workers. Training of workers can be done in a matter of hours on the two machines which are needed to produce and test the condoms. The plastic film is provided on a double wound roll, and condom blanks are prepared by means of a heat-sealing die on the stamping machine. The rubber rings are united to the condom blanks on an assembly machine, which consists of a mandrel and heat-sealing equipment to seal the rubber ring to the base of the condom. Built into the assembly machine is a simple air-testing apparatus that can detect the smallest pinhole flaw in a condom. The manufacturing process is completed by unravelling the condom from the assembly

  12. 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

  13. Genetics and consequences of crop domestication.

    PubMed

    Flint-Garcia, Sherry A

    2013-09-01

    Phenotypic variation has been manipulated by humans during crop domestication, which occurred primarily between 3000 and 10000 years ago in the various centers of origin around the world. The process of domestication has profound consequences on crops, where the domesticate has moderately reduced genetic diversity relative to the wild ancestor across the genome, and severely reduced diversity for genes targeted by domestication. The question that remains is whether reduction in genetic diversity has affected crop production today. A case study in maize ( Zea mays ) demonstrates the application of understanding relationships between genetic diversity and phenotypic diversity in the wild ancestor and the domesticate. As an outcrossing species, maize has tremendous genetic variation. The complementary combination of genome-wide association mapping (GWAS) approaches, large HapMap data sets, and germplasm resources is leading to important discoveries of the relationship between genetic diversity and phenotypic variation and the impact of domestication on trait variation.

  14. Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Statistics

    MedlinePlus

    2014 Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Statistics Cosmetic Procedure Trends 2014 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report Please credit the AMERICAN SOCIETY OF PLASTIC SURGEONS when citing statistical data or using ...

  15. Plastics Technician.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ohio State Univ., Columbus. Center on Education and Training for Employment.

    This document contains 16 units to consider for use in a tech prep competency profile for the occupation of plastics technician. All the units listed will not necessarily apply to every situation or tech prep consortium, nor will all the competencies within each unit be appropriate. Several units appear within each specific occupation and would…

  16. PPARs and Adipose Cell Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Casteilla, Louis; Cousin, Béatrice; Carmona, Mamen

    2007-01-01

    Due to the importance of fat tissues in both energy balance and in the associated disorders arising when such balance is not maintained, adipocyte differentiation has been extensively investigated in order to control and inhibit the enlargement of white adipose tissue. The ability of a cell to undergo adipocyte differentiation is one particular feature of all mesenchymal cells. Up until now, the peroxysome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) subtypes appear to be the keys and essential players capable of inducing and controlling adipocyte differentiation. In addition, it is now accepted that adipose cells present a broad plasticity that allows them to differentiate towards various mesodermal phenotypes. The role of PPARs in such plasticity is reviewed here, although no definite conclusion can yet be drawn. Many questions thus remain open concerning the definition of preadipocytes and the relative importance of PPARs in comparison to other master factors involved in the other mesodermal phenotypes. PMID:17710234

  17. Managing cover crops on strawberry furrow bottoms

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Bare furrows in strawberry fields with plastic mulch covered beds can lead to lots of soil erosion and runoff during winter rainy periods. This article describes how growers can plant and manage cover crops in these furrows to minimize runoff and soil erosion. This is based on on-going research at...

  18. Plastic bronchitis.

    PubMed

    Singhi, Anil Kumar; Vinoth, Bharathi; Kuruvilla, Sarah; Sivakumar, Kothandam

    2015-01-01

    Plastic bronchitis, a rare but serious clinical condition, commonly seen after Fontan surgeries in children, may be a manifestation of suboptimal adaptation to the cavopulmonary circulation with unfavorable hemodynamics. They are ominous with poor prognosis. Sometimes, infection or airway reactivity may provoke cast bronchitis as a two-step insult on a vulnerable vascular bed. In such instances, aggressive management leads to longer survival. This report of cast bronchitis discusses its current understanding. PMID:26556975

  19. Increased occurrence of pesticide residues on crops grown in protected environments compared to crops grown in open field conditions.

    PubMed

    Allen, Gina; Halsall, Crispin J; Ukpebor, Justina; Paul, Nigel D; Ridall, Gareth; Wargent, Jason J

    2015-01-01

    Crops grown under plastic-clad structures or in greenhouses may be prone to an increased frequency of pesticide residue detections and higher concentrations of pesticides relative to equivalent crops grown in the open field. To test this we examined pesticide data for crops selected from the quarterly reports (2004-2009) of the UK's Pesticide Residue Committee. Five comparison crop pairs were identified whereby one crop of each pair was assumed to have been grown primarily under some form of physical protection ('protected') and the other grown primarily in open field conditions ('open'). For each pair, the number of detectable pesticide residues and the proportion of crop samples containing pesticides were statistically compared (n=100 s samples for each crop). The mean concentrations of selected photolabile pesticides were also compared. For the crop pairings of cabbage ('open') vs. lettuce ('protected') and 'berries' ('open') vs. strawberries ('protected') there was a significantly higher number of pesticides and proportion of samples with multiple residues for the protected crops. Statistically higher concentrations of pesticides, including cypermethrin, cyprodinil, fenhexamid, boscalid and iprodione were also found in the protected crops compared to the open crops. The evidence here demonstrates that, in general, the protected crops possess a higher number of detectable pesticides compared to analogous crops grown in the open. This may be due to different pesticide-use regimes, but also due to slower rates of pesticide removal in protected systems. The findings of this study raise implications for pesticide management in protected-crop systems.

  20. Increased occurrence of pesticide residues on crops grown in protected environments compared to crops grown in open field conditions.

    PubMed

    Allen, Gina; Halsall, Crispin J; Ukpebor, Justina; Paul, Nigel D; Ridall, Gareth; Wargent, Jason J

    2015-01-01

    Crops grown under plastic-clad structures or in greenhouses may be prone to an increased frequency of pesticide residue detections and higher concentrations of pesticides relative to equivalent crops grown in the open field. To test this we examined pesticide data for crops selected from the quarterly reports (2004-2009) of the UK's Pesticide Residue Committee. Five comparison crop pairs were identified whereby one crop of each pair was assumed to have been grown primarily under some form of physical protection ('protected') and the other grown primarily in open field conditions ('open'). For each pair, the number of detectable pesticide residues and the proportion of crop samples containing pesticides were statistically compared (n=100 s samples for each crop). The mean concentrations of selected photolabile pesticides were also compared. For the crop pairings of cabbage ('open') vs. lettuce ('protected') and 'berries' ('open') vs. strawberries ('protected') there was a significantly higher number of pesticides and proportion of samples with multiple residues for the protected crops. Statistically higher concentrations of pesticides, including cypermethrin, cyprodinil, fenhexamid, boscalid and iprodione were also found in the protected crops compared to the open crops. The evidence here demonstrates that, in general, the protected crops possess a higher number of detectable pesticides compared to analogous crops grown in the open. This may be due to different pesticide-use regimes, but also due to slower rates of pesticide removal in protected systems. The findings of this study raise implications for pesticide management in protected-crop systems. PMID:25465948

  1. 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.

  2. Firewood crops

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1980-01-01

    This report does not suggest a solution to the entire firewood crisis but examines one part of the solution: the selection of species suitable for deliberate cultivation as firewood crops in developing countries. Primary emphasis is placed on species suitable for growing firewood for individual family needs. However, species suited to plantation cultivation for fueling small industrial factories, electric generators, and crop dryers are also considered. Most of the plants are little known in traditional forest production. Some are woody shrubs rather than forest trees, but even these may meet many requirements for small-scale village use. Particular attention was paid to multi-purpose plants that have uses in addition to providing fuel, plants that adapt well to different sites and require little care, plants for problem environments and plants not consumed by goats and wildlife. Special consideration was given to nitrogen-fixing ability, rapid growth, ability to coppice, ability to produce wood of high calorific value that burns without sparks or toxic smoke and ability to grow successfully in a wide range of environments. After an introduction on wood as fuel, more than 60 fuel-wood species for humid tropical, tropical highland and arid and semi-arid regions are presented. The data on existing plants cover their major attributes, description, distribution, use as fuelwood, yield, other uses, environmental requirements, establishment, pest and diseases and limitations. Appendices include technologies for improving the efficiency of fuelwood use, case studies from Ethiopia and the Republic of Korea and a master list of firewood species.

  3. Developmental plasticity and evolution—quo vadis?

    PubMed Central

    Moczek, A P

    2015-01-01

    The role of developmental (phenotypic) plasticity in ecology and evolution is receiving a growing appreciation among the biologists, and many plasticity-specific concepts have become well established as part of the mainstream evolutionary biological thinking. In this essay, I posit that despite this progress several key perspectives in developmental plasticity remain remarkably traditional, and that it may be time to re-evaluate their continued usefulness in the face of the available evidence as the field looks to its future. Specifically, I discuss the utility of viewing plastic development as ultimately rooted in genes and genomes, and investigate the common notion that the environment—albeit a critical source of information—nevertheless remains passive, external to and separable from the organism responding to it. I end by highlighting conceptual and empirical opportunities that may permit developmental plasticity research to transcend its current boundaries and to continue its contributions toward a holistic and realistic understanding of organismal development and evolution. PMID:26374347

  4. Morphological plasticity of bacteria-Open questions.

    PubMed

    Shen, Jie-Pan; Chou, Chia-Fu

    2016-05-01

    Morphological plasticity of bacteria is a cryptic phenomenon, by which bacteria acquire adaptive benefits for coping with changing environments. Some environmental cues were identified to induce morphological plasticity, but the underlying molecular mechanisms remain largely unknown. Physical and chemical factors causing morphological changes in bacteria have been investigated and mostly associated with potential pathways linked to the cell wall synthetic machinery. These include starvation, oxidative stresses, predation effectors, antimicrobial agents, temperature stresses, osmotic shock, and mechanical constraints. In an extreme scenario of morphological plasticity, bacteria can be induced to be shapeshifters when the cell walls are defective or deficient. They follow distinct developmental pathways and transform into assorted morphological variants, and most of them would eventually revert to typical cell morphology. It is suggested that phenotypic heterogeneity might play a functional role in the development of morphological diversity and/or plasticity within an isogenic population. Accordingly, phenotypic heterogeneity and inherited morphological plasticity are found to be survival strategies adopted by bacteria in response to environmental stresses. Here, microfluidic and nanofabrication technology is considered to provide versatile solutions to induce morphological plasticity, sort and isolate morphological variants, and perform single-cell analysis including transcriptional and epigenetic profiling. Questions such as how morphogenesis network is modulated or rewired (if epigenetic controls of cell morphogenesis apply) to induce bacterial morphological plasticity could be resolved with the aid of micro-nanofluidic platforms and optimization algorithms, such as feedback system control. PMID:27375812

  5. Tolerance of sweet sorghum to Meloidogyne incognita and crop effect on nematode population density

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Sweet sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) is a sugar-producing crop that can be used for biofuel and plastics production, and the crop could be incorporated into annual cropping systems in the southern US. The effect of Meloidogyne incognita on sweet sorghum yield and sugar content has not been reported. Beca...

  6. Advanced phenotyping and phenotype data analysis for the study of plant growth and development

    PubMed Central

    Rahaman, Md. Matiur; Chen, Dijun; Gillani, Zeeshan; Klukas, Christian; Chen, Ming

    2015-01-01

    Due to an increase in the consumption of food, feed, fuel and to meet global food security needs for the rapidly growing human population, there is a necessity to breed high yielding crops that can adapt to the future climate changes, particularly in developing countries. To solve these global challenges, novel approaches are required to identify quantitative phenotypes and to explain the genetic basis of agriculturally important traits. These advances will facilitate the screening of germplasm with high performance characteristics in resource-limited environments. Recently, plant phenomics has offered and integrated a suite of new technologies, and we are on a path to improve the description of complex plant phenotypes. High-throughput phenotyping platforms have also been developed that capture phenotype data from plants in a non-destructive manner. In this review, we discuss recent developments of high-throughput plant phenotyping infrastructure including imaging techniques and corresponding principles for phenotype data analysis. PMID:26322060

  7. Biosolarization in garlic crop

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fabeiro, Concepcion; Andres, Manuela; Wic, Consuelo

    2014-05-01

    watered until field capacity and covered with clear plastic (160 gauges). Plastic remained until 28 October. There have been two soil sampling, July 24 and November 4. Garlic bulbs were planted in December 23. Selected "Morado" variety, obtained free virus by in vitro culture by the own Cooperative was used. The culture will run until July, following homogeneous organic practices for the 5 treatments. The microbiological activity of a soil directly influences the stability and fertility of a crop. The most common indices used to measure the metabolic activity of the soil are, apart from the net nitrogen mineralization, microbial respiration, soil enzyme activities and the energy involved in the processes (Brookes, 1995; Nanipieri, 1994). Soil samples taken in the different experimental conditions were cleaned, sieved and kept in the laboratory at 4° C for immediate analysis of respiration, biomass carbon and enzyme activities (β-glucosidase, phosphatase, urease and dehydrogenase). They were then dried for analysis of physico-chemical parameters, total carbon and nitrogen, phosphorus, conductivity, pH and carbonates. At the time of this summary, biosolarization shows to be effective in controlling weeds before crop planting. The results of soil analysis show a significant effect on the indicators studied.

  8. Development, maternal effects, and behavioral plasticity.

    PubMed

    Mateo, Jill M

    2014-11-01

    Behavioral, hormonal, and genetic processes interact reciprocally, and differentially affect behavior depending on ecological and social contexts. When individual differences are favored either between or within environments, developmental plasticity would be expected. Parental effects provide a rich source for phenotypic plasticity, including anatomical, physiological, and behavioral traits, because parents respond to dynamic cues in their environment and can, in turn, influence offspring accordingly. Because these inter-generational changes are plastic, parents can respond rapidly to changing environments and produce offspring whose phenotypes are well suited for current conditions more quickly than occurs with changes based on evolution through natural selection. I review studies on developmental plasticity and resulting phenotypes in Belding's ground squirrels (Urocitellus beldingi), an ideal species, given the competing demands to avoid predation while gaining sufficient weight to survive an upcoming hibernation, and the need for young to learn their survival behaviors. I will show how local environments and perceived risk of predation influence not only foraging, vigilance, and anti-predator behaviors, but also adrenal functioning, which may be especially important for obligate hibernators that face competing demands on the storage and mobilization of glucose. Mammalian behavioral development is sensitive to the social and physical environments provided by mothers during gestation and lactation. Therefore, maternal effects on offspring's phenotypes, both positive and negative, can be particularly strong. PMID:24820855

  9. The phenotypic variance gradient – a novel concept

    PubMed Central

    Pertoldi, Cino; Bundgaard, Jørgen; Loeschcke, Volker; Barker, James Stuart Flinton

    2014-01-01

    Evolutionary ecologists commonly use reaction norms, which show the range of phenotypes produced by a set of genotypes exposed to different environments, to quantify the degree of phenotypic variance and the magnitude of plasticity of morphometric and life-history traits. Significant differences among the values of the slopes of the reaction norms are interpreted as significant differences in phenotypic plasticity, whereas significant differences among phenotypic variances (variance or coefficient of variation) are interpreted as differences in the degree of developmental instability or canalization. We highlight some potential problems with this approach to quantifying phenotypic variance and suggest a novel and more informative way to plot reaction norms: namely “a plot of log (variance) on the y-axis versus log (mean) on the x-axis, with a reference line added”. This approach gives an immediate impression of how the degree of phenotypic variance varies across an environmental gradient, taking into account the consequences of the scaling effect of the variance with the mean. The evolutionary implications of the variation in the degree of phenotypic variance, which we call a “phenotypic variance gradient”, are discussed together with its potential interactions with variation in the degree of phenotypic plasticity and canalization. PMID:25540685

  10. Modeling continuum of epithelial mesenchymal transition plasticity.

    PubMed

    Mandal, Mousumi; Ghosh, Biswajoy; Anura, Anji; Mitra, Pabitra; Pathak, Tanmaya; Chatterjee, Jyotirmoy

    2016-02-01

    Living systems respond to ambient pathophysiological changes by altering their phenotype, a phenomenon called 'phenotypic plasticity'. This program contains information about adaptive biological dynamism. Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is one such process found to be crucial in development, wound healing, and cancer wherein the epithelial cells with restricted migratory potential develop motile functions by acquiring mesenchymal characteristics. In the present study, phase contrast microscopy images of EMT induced HaCaT cells were acquired at 24 h intervals for 96 h. The expression study of relevant pivotal molecules viz. F-actin, vimentin, fibronectin and N-cadherin was carried out to confirm the EMT process. Cells were intuitively categorized into five distinct morphological phenotypes. A population of 500 cells for each temporal point was selected to quantify their frequency of occurrence. The plastic interplay of cell phenotypes from the observations was described as a Markovian process. A model was formulated empirically using simple linear algebra, to depict the possible mechanisms of cellular transformation among the five phenotypes. This work employed qualitative, semi-quantitative and quantitative tools towards illustration and establishment of the EMT continuum. Thus, it provides a newer perspective to understand the embedded plasticity across the EMT spectrum. PMID:26762753

  11. Hippocampal Y2 receptor-mediated mossy fiber plasticity is implicated in nicotine abstinence-related social anxiety-like behavior in an outbred rat model of the novelty-seeking phenotype

    PubMed Central

    Aydin, Cigdem; Oztan, Ozge; Isgor, Ceylan

    2014-01-01

    Experimentally naïve outbred rats display varying rates of locomotor reactivity in response to the mild stress of a novel environment. Namely, some display high rates (HR) whereas some display low rates (LR) of locomotor reactivity. Previous reports from our laboratory show that HRs, but not LRs, develop locomotor sensitization to a low dose nicotine challenge and exhibit increased social anxiety-like behavior following chronic intermittent nicotine training. Moreover, the hippocampus, specifically hippocampal Y2 receptor (Y2R)-mediated neuropeptide Y signaling is implicated in these nicotine-induced behavioral effects observed in HRs. The present study examines the structural substrates of the expression of locomotor sensitization to a low dose nicotine challenge and associated social anxiety-like behavior following chronic intermittent nicotine exposure during adolescence in the LRHR hippocampi. Our data showed that the expression of locomotor sensitization to the low dose nicotine challenge and the increase in social anxiety-like behavior were accompanied by an increase in mossy fiber terminal field size, as well as an increase in spinophilin mRNA levels in the hippocampus in nicotine pre-trained HRs compared to saline pre-trained controls. Furthermore, a novel, selective Y2R antagonist administered systemically during 1 wk of abstinence reversed the behavioral, molecular and neuromorphological effects observed in nicotine-exposed HRs. These results suggest that nicotine-induced neuroplasticity within the hippocampus may regulate abstinence-related negative affect in HRs, and implicate hippocampal Y2R in vulnerability to the behavioral and neuroplastic effects of nicotine in the novelty-seeking phenotype. PMID:25158103

  12. Chronic variable physical stress during the peripubertal-juvenile period causes differential depressive and anxiogenic effects in the novelty-seeking phenotype: Functional implications for hippocampal and amygdalar BDNF and the mossy fibre plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Oztan, Ozge; Aydin, Cigdem; Isgor, Ceylan

    2011-01-01

    Experimentally naïve rats show variance in their locomotor reactivity to novelty, some displaying higher (HR) while others displaying lower (LR) reactivity, associated with vulnerability to stress. We employed a chronic variable physical stress regimen incorporating intermittent and random exposures of physical stressors or control handling during the peripubertal-juvenile period to assess interactions between stress and the LRHR phenotype in depressive- and anxiety-like behaviors on the forced swim and social interaction tests respectively. A decrease in immobility in the forced swim test along with a decrease in social contact in the social interaction test were observed in the juvenile HRs, coupled with increases in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) mRNA in the hippocampus and in the basolateral amygdala with chronic variable physical stress. In contrast, an increase in immobility in the forced swim test and a decrease in social contact was observed in the LR counterparts coupled with an increase in the BDNF mRNA in the basolateral amygdala following chronic variable physical stress. Furthermore, chronic physical stress led to increased H3 and H4 acetylation at the P2 and P4 promoters of the hippocampal BDNF gene in the HR rats that is associated with increased suprapyramidal mossy fibre (SP-MF) terminal field volume. In contrast, chronic variable physical stress led to decreased H4 acetylation at the P4 promoter, associated with decreased SP-MF volume in the LR rats. These findings show dissociation in depressive- and anxiety-like behaviors following chronic variable physical stress in the juvenile HR animals that may be mediated by increased levels of BDNF in the hippocampus and in the amygdala respectively. Moreover, chronic variable physical stress during the peripubertal-juvenile period results in opposite effects in depressive-like behavior in the LRHR rats by way of inducing differential epigenetic regulation of the hippocampal BDNF gene that, in

  13. Envirotyping for deciphering environmental impacts on crop plants.

    PubMed

    Xu, Yunbi

    2016-04-01

    Global climate change imposes increasing impacts on our environments and crop production. To decipher environmental impacts on crop plants, the concept "envirotyping" is proposed, as a third "typing" technology, complementing with genotyping and phenotyping. Environmental factors can be collected through multiple environmental trials, geographic and soil information systems, measurement of soil and canopy properties, and evaluation of companion organisms. Envirotyping contributes to crop modeling and phenotype prediction through its functional components, including genotype-by-environment interaction (GEI), genes responsive to environmental signals, biotic and abiotic stresses, and integrative phenotyping. Envirotyping, driven by information and support systems, has a wide range of applications, including environmental characterization, GEI analysis, phenotype prediction, near-iso-environment construction, agronomic genomics, precision agriculture and breeding, and development of a four-dimensional profile of crop science involving genotype (G), phenotype (P), envirotype (E) and time (T) (developmental stage). In the future, envirotyping needs to zoom into specific experimental plots and individual plants, along with the development of high-throughput and precision envirotyping platforms, to integrate genotypic, phenotypic and envirotypic information for establishing a high-efficient precision breeding and sustainable crop production system based on deciphered environmental impacts. PMID:26932121

  14. Envirotyping for deciphering environmental impacts on crop plants.

    PubMed

    Xu, Yunbi

    2016-04-01

    Global climate change imposes increasing impacts on our environments and crop production. To decipher environmental impacts on crop plants, the concept "envirotyping" is proposed, as a third "typing" technology, complementing with genotyping and phenotyping. Environmental factors can be collected through multiple environmental trials, geographic and soil information systems, measurement of soil and canopy properties, and evaluation of companion organisms. Envirotyping contributes to crop modeling and phenotype prediction through its functional components, including genotype-by-environment interaction (GEI), genes responsive to environmental signals, biotic and abiotic stresses, and integrative phenotyping. Envirotyping, driven by information and support systems, has a wide range of applications, including environmental characterization, GEI analysis, phenotype prediction, near-iso-environment construction, agronomic genomics, precision agriculture and breeding, and development of a four-dimensional profile of crop science involving genotype (G), phenotype (P), envirotype (E) and time (T) (developmental stage). In the future, envirotyping needs to zoom into specific experimental plots and individual plants, along with the development of high-throughput and precision envirotyping platforms, to integrate genotypic, phenotypic and envirotypic information for establishing a high-efficient precision breeding and sustainable crop production system based on deciphered environmental impacts.

  15. Metastatic Malignant Melanoma With Complete Loss of Differentiation Markers (Undifferentiated/Dedifferentiated Melanoma): Analysis of 14 Patients Emphasizing Phenotypic Plasticity and the Value of Molecular Testing as Surrogate Diagnostic Marker.

    PubMed

    Agaimy, Abbas; Specht, Katja; Stoehr, Robert; Lorey, Thomas; Märkl, Bruno; Niedobitek, Gerald; Straub, Melanie; Hager, Thomas; Reis, Anna-Carinna; Schilling, Bastian; Schneider-Stock, Regine; Hartmann, Arndt; Mentzel, Thomas

    2016-02-01

    Metastatic malignant melanoma is notorious for its phenotypic diversity and loss of differentiation markers. We herein summarized our experience with 14 metastatic melanomas showing complete loss of immunohistochemical melanocytic markers (with or without heterologous differentiation). Patients included 11 men and 3 women aged 24 to 78 years (median, 67 y). Thirteen patients had histologically confirmed primary skin melanoma, and 1 had metastatic melanoma of unknown primary. Undifferentiated metastasis was diagnosed synchronous to primary tumor (n=1), following skin melanoma by 3 months to 9 years (n=11) and preceding it by 1 year (n=1). Sites of undifferentiated metastases were axillary (3), inguinal (1), or submandibular (1) lymph nodes, digestive tract (2), bone/soft tissue (2), lung/pleura (2), and disseminated (n=3). Histology of metastases mimicked undifferentiated pleomorphic or spindle cell sarcoma with variable myxoid and giant cell areas (n=10) and cytokeratin-positive undifferentiated small cell sarcoma (n=1). Three cases showed heterologous dedifferentiation: pleomorphic rhabdomyosarcoma (n=1), teratocarcinosarcoma-like with prominent rhabdomyoblasts (n=1), and adenocarcinoma-like with metaplastic bone (n=1). All cases were negative for S100, melanoma cocktail, HMB45, Melan A, and SOX10. Other markers showed following results: smooth muscle actin (1/14), p16 (1/14), TP53 (2/12), pancytokeratin (4/14), desmin (5/14), h-caldesmon (0/9), and MDM2/CDK4 (0/5). SMARCB1 was intact in 8/8 cases. Genotyping showed BRAF(V600E) mutation (5/14), NRAS mutation (5/14), and BRAF/NRAS wild-type (4/14). In conclusion, undifferentiated/dedifferentiated metastatic melanoma is likely underrecognized and frequently mistaken for undifferentiated sarcoma or other neoplasms. Diagnosis of undifferentiated sarcoma at sites where melanoma metastasis are frequent (eg, inguinal and axillary region) should be made with great caution and warrants exploration of the remote history

  16. Metastatic Malignant Melanoma With Complete Loss of Differentiation Markers (Undifferentiated/Dedifferentiated Melanoma): Analysis of 14 Patients Emphasizing Phenotypic Plasticity and the Value of Molecular Testing as Surrogate Diagnostic Marker.

    PubMed

    Agaimy, Abbas; Specht, Katja; Stoehr, Robert; Lorey, Thomas; Märkl, Bruno; Niedobitek, Gerald; Straub, Melanie; Hager, Thomas; Reis, Anna-Carinna; Schilling, Bastian; Schneider-Stock, Regine; Hartmann, Arndt; Mentzel, Thomas

    2016-02-01

    Metastatic malignant melanoma is notorious for its phenotypic diversity and loss of differentiation markers. We herein summarized our experience with 14 metastatic melanomas showing complete loss of immunohistochemical melanocytic markers (with or without heterologous differentiation). Patients included 11 men and 3 women aged 24 to 78 years (median, 67 y). Thirteen patients had histologically confirmed primary skin melanoma, and 1 had metastatic melanoma of unknown primary. Undifferentiated metastasis was diagnosed synchronous to primary tumor (n=1), following skin melanoma by 3 months to 9 years (n=11) and preceding it by 1 year (n=1). Sites of undifferentiated metastases were axillary (3), inguinal (1), or submandibular (1) lymph nodes, digestive tract (2), bone/soft tissue (2), lung/pleura (2), and disseminated (n=3). Histology of metastases mimicked undifferentiated pleomorphic or spindle cell sarcoma with variable myxoid and giant cell areas (n=10) and cytokeratin-positive undifferentiated small cell sarcoma (n=1). Three cases showed heterologous dedifferentiation: pleomorphic rhabdomyosarcoma (n=1), teratocarcinosarcoma-like with prominent rhabdomyoblasts (n=1), and adenocarcinoma-like with metaplastic bone (n=1). All cases were negative for S100, melanoma cocktail, HMB45, Melan A, and SOX10. Other markers showed following results: smooth muscle actin (1/14), p16 (1/14), TP53 (2/12), pancytokeratin (4/14), desmin (5/14), h-caldesmon (0/9), and MDM2/CDK4 (0/5). SMARCB1 was intact in 8/8 cases. Genotyping showed BRAF(V600E) mutation (5/14), NRAS mutation (5/14), and BRAF/NRAS wild-type (4/14). In conclusion, undifferentiated/dedifferentiated metastatic melanoma is likely underrecognized and frequently mistaken for undifferentiated sarcoma or other neoplasms. Diagnosis of undifferentiated sarcoma at sites where melanoma metastasis are frequent (eg, inguinal and axillary region) should be made with great caution and warrants exploration of the remote history

  17. 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.

  18. A versatile phenotyping system and analytics platform reveals diverse temporal responses to water availability in Setaria

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    With rapid advances in DNA sequencing, phenotyping has become the rate-limiting step in using large-scale genomic data to understand and improve agricultural crops. Here, the Bellwether Phenotyping platform for controlled-environment plant growth and automated, multimodal phenotyping is described. T...

  19. Functional molecular markers for crop improvement.

    PubMed

    Kage, Udaykumar; Kumar, Arun; Dhokane, Dhananjay; Karre, Shailesh; Kushalappa, Ajjamada C

    2016-10-01

    A tremendous decline in cultivable land and resources and a huge increase in food demand calls for immediate attention to crop improvement. Though molecular plant breeding serves as a viable solution and is considered as "foundation for twenty-first century crop improvement", a major stumbling block for crop improvement is the availability of a limited functional gene pool for cereal crops. Advancement in the next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies integrated with tools like metabolomics, proteomics and association mapping studies have facilitated the identification of candidate genes, their allelic variants and opened new avenues to accelerate crop improvement through development and use of functional molecular markers (FMMs). The FMMs are developed from the sequence polymorphisms present within functional gene(s) which are associated with phenotypic trait variations. Since FMMs obviate the problems associated with random DNA markers, these are considered as "the holy grail" of plant breeders who employ targeted marker assisted selections (MAS) for crop improvement. This review article attempts to consider the current resources and novel methods such as metabolomics, proteomics and association studies for the identification of candidate genes and their validation through virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) for the development of FMMs. A number of examples where the FMMs have been developed and used for the improvement of cereal crops for agronomic, food quality, disease resistance and abiotic stress tolerance traits have been considered. PMID:26171816

  20. Phenotypic approaches to drought in cassava: review.

    PubMed

    Okogbenin, Emmanuel; Setter, Tim L; Ferguson, Morag; Mutegi, Rose; Ceballos, Hernan; Olasanmi, Bunmi; Fregene, Martin

    2013-01-01

    Cassava is an important crop in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Cassava can be produced adequately in drought conditions making it the ideal food security crop in marginal environments. Although cassava can tolerate drought stress, it can be genetically improved to enhance productivity in such environments. Drought adaptation studies in over three decades in cassava have identified relevant mechanisms which have been explored in conventional breeding. Drought is a quantitative trait and its multigenic nature makes it very challenging to effectively manipulate and combine genes in breeding for rapid genetic gain and selection process. Cassava has a long growth cycle of 12-18 months which invariably contributes to a long breeding scheme for the crop. Modern breeding using advances in genomics and improved genotyping, is facilitating the dissection and genetic analysis of complex traits including drought tolerance, thus helping to better elucidate and understand the genetic basis of such traits. A beneficial goal of new innovative breeding strategies is to shorten the breeding cycle using minimized, efficient or fast phenotyping protocols. While high throughput genotyping have been achieved, this is rarely the case for phenotyping for drought adaptation. Some of the storage root phenotyping in cassava are often done very late in the evaluation cycle making selection process very slow. This paper highlights some modified traits suitable for early-growth phase phenotyping that may be used to reduce drought phenotyping cycle in cassava. Such modified traits can significantly complement the high throughput genotyping procedures to fast track breeding of improved drought tolerant varieties. The need for metabolite profiling, improved phenomics to take advantage of next generation sequencing technologies and high throughput phenotyping are basic steps for future direction to improve genetic gain and maximize speed for drought tolerance breeding.

  1. Phenotypic approaches to drought in cassava: review

    PubMed Central

    Okogbenin, Emmanuel; Setter, Tim L.; Ferguson, Morag; Mutegi, Rose; Ceballos, Hernan; Olasanmi, Bunmi; Fregene, Martin

    2012-01-01

    Cassava is an important crop in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Cassava can be produced adequately in drought conditions making it the ideal food security crop in marginal environments. Although cassava can tolerate drought stress, it can be genetically improved to enhance productivity in such environments. Drought adaptation studies in over three decades in cassava have identified relevant mechanisms which have been explored in conventional breeding. Drought is a quantitative trait and its multigenic nature makes it very challenging to effectively manipulate and combine genes in breeding for rapid genetic gain and selection process. Cassava has a long growth cycle of 12–18 months which invariably contributes to a long breeding scheme for the crop. Modern breeding using advances in genomics and improved genotyping, is facilitating the dissection and genetic analysis of complex traits including drought tolerance, thus helping to better elucidate and understand the genetic basis of such traits. A beneficial goal of new innovative breeding strategies is to shorten the breeding cycle using minimized, efficient or fast phenotyping protocols. While high throughput genotyping have been achieved, this is rarely the case for phenotyping for drought adaptation. Some of the storage root phenotyping in cassava are often done very late in the evaluation cycle making selection process very slow. This paper highlights some modified traits suitable for early-growth phase phenotyping that may be used to reduce drought phenotyping cycle in cassava. Such modified traits can significantly complement the high throughput genotyping procedures to fast track breeding of improved drought tolerant varieties. The need for metabolite profiling, improved phenomics to take advantage of next generation sequencing technologies and high throughput phenotyping are basic steps for future direction to improve genetic gain and maximize speed for drought tolerance breeding. PMID

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Wind Turbines Benefit Crops

    ScienceCinema

    Takle, Gene

    2016-07-12

    Ames Laboratory associate scientist Gene Takle talks about research into the effect of wind turbines on nearby crops. Preliminary results show the turbines may have a positive effect by cooling and drying the crops and assisting with carbon dioxide uptake.

  5. Wind Turbines Benefit Crops

    SciTech Connect

    Takle, Gene

    2010-01-01

    Ames Laboratory associate scientist Gene Takle talks about research into the effect of wind turbines on nearby crops. Preliminary results show the turbines may have a positive effect by cooling and drying the crops and assisting with carbon dioxide uptake.

  6. ‘White revolution’ to ‘white pollution’—agricultural plastic film mulch in China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, E. K.; He, W. Q.; Yan, C. R.

    2014-09-01

    Plastic film mulching has played an important role in Chinese agriculture due to its soil warming and moisture conservation effects. With the help of plastic film mulch technology, grain and cash crop yields have increased by 20-35% and 20-60%, respectively. The area of plastic film coverage in China reached approximately 20 million hectares, and the amount of plastic film used reached 1.25 million tons in 2011. While producing huge benefits, plastic film mulch technology has also brought on a series of pollution hazards. Large amounts of residual plastic film have detrimental effects on soil structure, water and nutrient transport and crop growth, thereby disrupting the agricultural environment and reducing crop production. To control pollution, the Chinese government urgently needs to elevate plastic film standards. Meanwhile, research and development of biodegradable mulch film and multi-functional mulch recovery machinery will help promote effective control and management of residual mulch pollution.

  7. 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.

  8. Root Traits and Phenotyping Strategies for Plant Improvement

    PubMed Central

    Paez-Garcia, Ana; Motes, Christy M.; Scheible, Wolf-Rüdiger; Chen, Rujin; Blancaflor, Elison B.; Monteros, Maria J.

    2015-01-01

    Roots are crucial for nutrient and water acquisition and can be targeted to enhance plant productivity under a broad range of growing conditions. A current challenge for plant breeding is the limited ability to phenotype and select for desirable root characteristics due to their underground location. Plant breeding efforts aimed at modifying root traits can result in novel, more stress-tolerant crops and increased yield by enhancing the capacity of the plant for soil exploration and, thus, water and nutrient acquisition. Available approaches for root phenotyping in laboratory, greenhouse and field encompass simple agar plates to labor-intensive root digging (i.e., shovelomics) and soil boring methods, the construction of underground root observation stations and sophisticated computer-assisted root imaging. Here, we summarize root architectural traits relevant to crop productivity, survey root phenotyping strategies and describe their advantages, limitations and practical value for crop and forage breeding programs. PMID:27135332

  9. 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.

  10. Sorghums as energy crops

    SciTech Connect

    Lipinsky, E. S.; Kresovich, S.

    1980-01-01

    The botanical, physiological, and agronomic characteristics of sorghum are described. Integration concepts to improve sorghum prospects are discussed as follows: multiple sweet sorghum crops each year, integration with sugarcane, integration with sugar beets, integration with starch crops, sweet stemmed grain sorghum, and integration with lignocellulosic crops. (MHR)

  11. Cover crops for Alabama

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cover crops are grown to benefit the following crop as well as to improve the soil, but they are normally not intended for harvest. Selecting the right cover crops for farming operations can improve yields, soil and water conservation and quality, and economic productivity. Properly managed cover ...

  12. Cucurbitaceae (Vine Crops)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Cucurbitaceae or vine crop family is a distinct family without any close relatives. The Cucurbitaceae or vine crop family includes many important vegetables collectively referred to as cucurbits. Cucumber, melon, and watermelon are major crop species originally from the Old World (cucumber fro...

  13. Plasticity-Mediated Persistence in New and Changing Environments

    PubMed Central

    Morris, Matthew R. J.

    2014-01-01

    Baldwin's synthesis of the Organicist position, first published in 1896 and elaborated in 1902, sought to rescue environmentally induced phenotypes from disrepute by showing their Darwinian significance. Of particular interest to Baldwin was plasticity's mediating role during environmental change or colonization—plastic individuals were more likely to successfully survive and reproduce in new environments than were nonplastic individuals. Once a population of plastic individuals had become established, plasticity could further mediate the future course of evolution. The evidence for plasticity-mediated persistence (PMP) is reviewed here with a particular focus on evolutionary rescue experiments, studies on invasive success, and the role of learning in survival. Many PMP studies are methodologically limited, showing that preexistent plasticity has utility in new environments (soft PMP) rather than directly demonstrating that plasticity is responsible for persistence (hard PMP). An ideal PMP study would be able to demonstrate that (1) plasticity preexisted environmental change, (2) plasticity was fortuitously beneficial in the new environment, (3) plasticity was responsible for individual persistence in the new environment, and (4) plasticity was responsible for population persistence in succeeding generations. Although PMP is not ubiquitous, Baldwin's hypotheses have been largely vindicated in theoretical and empirical studies, but much work remains. PMID:25386380

  14. Plasticity predicts evolution in a marine alga.

    PubMed

    Schaum, C Elisa; Collins, Sinéad

    2014-10-22

    Under global change, populations have four possible responses: 'migrate, acclimate, adapt or die' (Gienapp et al. 2008 Climate change and evolution: disentangling environmental and genetic response. Mol. Ecol. 17, 167-178. (doi:10.1111/j.1365-294X.2007.03413.x)). The challenge is to predict how much migration, acclimatization or adaptation populations are capable of. We have previously shown that populations from more variable environments are more plastic (Schaum et al. 2013 Variation in plastic responses of a globally distributed picoplankton species to ocean acidification. Nature 3, 298-230. (doi:10.1038/nclimate1774)), and here we use experimental evolution with a marine microbe to learn that plastic responses predict the extent of adaptation in the face of elevated partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2). Specifically, plastic populations evolve more, and plastic responses in traits other than growth can predict changes in growth in a marine microbe. The relationship between plasticity and evolution is strongest when populations evolve in fluctuating environments, which favour the evolution and maintenance of plasticity. Strikingly, plasticity predicts the extent, but not direction of phenotypic evolution. The plastic response to elevated pCO2 in green algae is to increase cell division rates, but the evolutionary response here is to decrease cell division rates over 400 generations until cells are dividing at the same rate their ancestors did in ambient CO2. Slow-growing cells have higher mitochondrial potential and withstand further environmental change better than faster growing cells. Based on this, we hypothesize that slow growth is adaptive under CO2 enrichment when associated with the production of higher quality daughter cells.

  15. 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

  16. Plasticity comparisons between plants and animals: Concepts and mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Borges, Renee M

    2008-06-01

    This review attempts to present an integrated update of the issue of comparisons of phenotypic plasticity between plants and animals by presenting the problem and its integrated solutions via a whole-organism perspective within an evolutionary framework. Plants and animals differ in two important aspects: mobility and longevity. These features can have important implications for plasticity, and plasticity may even have facilitated greater longevity in plants. Furthermore, somatic genetic mosaicism, intra-organismal selection, and genomic instability contribute to the maintenance of an adaptive phenotype that is especially relevant to long-lived plants. It is contended that a cross-kingdom phylogenetic examination of sensors, messengers and responses that constitute the plasticity repertoire would be more useful than dichotomizing the plant and animal kingdoms. Furthermore, physicochemical factors must be viewed cohesively in the signal reception and transduction pathways leading to plastic responses. Comparison of unitary versus modular organisms could also provide useful insights into the range of expected plastic responses. An integrated approach that combines evolutionary theory and evolutionary history with signal-response mechanisms will yield the most insights into phenotypic plasticity in all its forms.

  17. Root phenotyping of new oilseed crop lesquerella germplasm

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The utility of germplasm collections rely on the availability of associated characterization and evaluation data for researchers and germplasm users. The information enables users to select accessions with characters of interest thereby saving time and resources. Most germplasm collections in the US...

  18. Phenotyping for abiotic stress tolerance in maize.

    PubMed

    Masuka, Benhilda; Araus, Jose Luis; Das, Biswanath; Sonder, Kai; Cairns, Jill E

    2012-04-01

    The ability to quickly develop germplasm having tolerance to several complex polygenic inherited abiotic and biotic stresses combined is critical to the resilience of cropping systems in the face of climate change. Molecular breeding offers the tools to accelerate cereal breeding; however, suitable phenotyping protocols are essential to ensure that the much-anticipated benefits of molecular breeding can be realized. To facilitate the full potential of molecular tools, greater emphasis needs to be given to reducing the within-experimental site variability, application of stress and characterization of the environment and appropriate phenotyping tools. Yield is a function of many processes throughout the plant cycle, and thus integrative traits that encompass crop performance over time or organization level (i.e. canopy level) will provide a better alternative to instantaneous measurements which provide only a snapshot of a given plant process. Many new phenotyping tools based on remote sensing are now available including non-destructive measurements of growth-related parameters based on spectral reflectance and infrared thermometry to estimate plant water status. Here we describe key field phenotyping protocols for maize with emphasis on tolerance to drought and low nitrogen.

  19. TALE nucleases and next generation GM crops.

    PubMed

    Mahfouz, Magdy M; Li, Lixin

    2011-01-01

    Site-specific and adaptable DNA binding domains are essential modules to develop genome engineering technologies for crop improvement. Transcription activator-like effectors (TALEs) proteins are used to provide a highly specific and adaptable DNA binding modules. TALE chimeric nucleases (TALENs) were used to generate site-specific double strand breaks (DSBs) in vitro and in yeast, Caenorhabditis elegans, mammalian and plant cells. The genomic DSBs can be generated at predefined and user-selected loci and repaired by either the non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) or homology dependent repair (HDR). Thus, TALENs can be used to achieve site-specific gene addition, stacking, deletion or inactivation. TALE-based genome engineering tools should be powerful to develop new agricultural biotechnology approaches for crop improvement. Here, we discuss the recent research and the potential applications of TALENs to accelerate the generation of genomic variants through targeted mutagenesis and to produce a non-transgenic GM crops with the desired phenotype.

  20. Periodontal Plastic Surgery

    MedlinePlus

    ... Dental Implants Dentures Direct Bonding Implants versus Bridges Orthodontics and Aligners Periodontal Plastic Surgery Porcelain Crowns Porcelain ... Dental Implants Dentures Direct Bonding Implants versus Bridges Orthodontics and Aligners Periodontal Plastic Surgery Porcelain Crowns Porcelain ...

  1. Plasticity and Geotechnics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Hai-Sui

    Plasticity and Geotechnics is the first attempt to summarize and present, in one volume, the major developments achieved to date in the field of plasticity theory for geotechnical materials and its applications to geotechnical analysis and design.

  2. Plastic Surgery for Teenagers

    MedlinePlus

    ... or severe acne and scarring. Teens frequently gain self-esteem and confidence when their physical problems are corrected. ... art as a helpful index of anxiety and self-esteem with plastic surgery. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery 2002. ...

  3. Plastic casting resin poisoning

    MedlinePlus

    Epoxy poisoning; Resin poisoning ... Epoxy and resin can be poisonous if they are swallowed or their fumes are breathed in. ... Plastic casting resins are found in various plastic casting resin products.

  4. Ear Plastic Surgery

    MedlinePlus

    ... Meeting Calendar Find an ENT Doctor Near You Ear Plastic Surgery Ear Plastic Surgery Patient Health Information ... they may improve appearance and self-confidence. Can Ear Deformities Be Corrected? Formation of the ear during ...

  5. Plastic encapsulated parts

    SciTech Connect

    Castillo, T.

    1994-10-01

    Plastic semiconductor packages were characterized as possible alternatives for canned devices, which are susceptible to internal shorts caused by conductive particles. Highly accelerated stress testing (HAST) as well as electrical and mechanical testing were conducted on plastic technology devices.

  6. Pathogen evolution under host avoidance plasticity.

    PubMed

    McLeod, David V; Day, Troy

    2015-09-01

    Host resistance consists of defences that limit pathogen burden, and can be classified as either adaptations targeting recovery from infection or those focused upon infection avoidance. Conventional theory treats avoidance as a fixed strategy which does not vary from one interaction to the next. However, there is increasing empirical evidence that many avoidance strategies are triggered by external stimuli, and thus should be treated as phenotypically plastic responses. Here, we consider the implications of avoidance plasticity for host-pathogen coevolution. We uncover a number of predictions challenging current theory. First, in the absence of pathogen trade-offs, plasticity can restrain pathogen evolution; moreover, the pathogen exploits conditions in which the host would otherwise invest less in resistance, causing resistance escalation. Second, when transmission trades off with pathogen-induced mortality, plasticity encourages avirulence, resulting in a superior fitness outcome for both host and pathogen. Third, plasticity ensures the sterilizing effect of pathogens has consequences for pathogen evolution. When pathogens castrate hosts, selection forces them to minimize mortality virulence; moreover, when transmission trades off with sterility alone, resistance plasticity is sufficient to prevent pathogens from evolving to fully castrate. PMID:26336170

  7. Pathogen evolution under host avoidance plasticity.

    PubMed

    McLeod, David V; Day, Troy

    2015-09-01

    Host resistance consists of defences that limit pathogen burden, and can be classified as either adaptations targeting recovery from infection or those focused upon infection avoidance. Conventional theory treats avoidance as a fixed strategy which does not vary from one interaction to the next. However, there is increasing empirical evidence that many avoidance strategies are triggered by external stimuli, and thus should be treated as phenotypically plastic responses. Here, we consider the implications of avoidance plasticity for host-pathogen coevolution. We uncover a number of predictions challenging current theory. First, in the absence of pathogen trade-offs, plasticity can restrain pathogen evolution; moreover, the pathogen exploits conditions in which the host would otherwise invest less in resistance, causing resistance escalation. Second, when transmission trades off with pathogen-induced mortality, plasticity encourages avirulence, resulting in a superior fitness outcome for both host and pathogen. Third, plasticity ensures the sterilizing effect of pathogens has consequences for pathogen evolution. When pathogens castrate hosts, selection forces them to minimize mortality virulence; moreover, when transmission trades off with sterility alone, resistance plasticity is sufficient to prevent pathogens from evolving to fully castrate.

  8. Pathogen evolution under host avoidance plasticity

    PubMed Central

    McLeod, David V.; Day, Troy

    2015-01-01

    Host resistance consists of defences that limit pathogen burden, and can be classified as either adaptations targeting recovery from infection or those focused upon infection avoidance. Conventional theory treats avoidance as a fixed strategy which does not vary from one interaction to the next. However, there is increasing empirical evidence that many avoidance strategies are triggered by external stimuli, and thus should be treated as phenotypically plastic responses. Here, we consider the implications of avoidance plasticity for host–pathogen coevolution. We uncover a number of predictions challenging current theory. First, in the absence of pathogen trade-offs, plasticity can restrain pathogen evolution; moreover, the pathogen exploits conditions in which the host would otherwise invest less in resistance, causing resistance escalation. Second, when transmission trades off with pathogen-induced mortality, plasticity encourages avirulence, resulting in a superior fitness outcome for both host and pathogen. Third, plasticity ensures the sterilizing effect of pathogens has consequences for pathogen evolution. When pathogens castrate hosts, selection forces them to minimize mortality virulence; moreover, when transmission trades off with sterility alone, resistance plasticity is sufficient to prevent pathogens from evolving to fully castrate. PMID:26336170

  9. Handling Procedures of Vegetable Crops

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Perchonok, Michele; French, Stephen J.

    2004-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is working towards future long duration manned space flights beyond low earth orbit. The duration of these missions may be as long as 2.5 years and will likely include a stay on a lunar or planetary surface. The primary goal of the Advanced Food System in these long duration exploratory missions is to provide the crew with a palatable, nutritious, and safe food system while minimizing volume, mass, and waste. Vegetable crops can provide the crew with added nutrition and variety. These crops do not require any cooking or food processing prior to consumption. The vegetable crops, unlike prepackaged foods, will provide bright colors, textures (crispy), and fresh aromas. Ten vegetable crops have been identified for possible use in long duration missions. They are lettuce, spinach, carrot, tomato, green onion, radish, bell pepper, strawberries, fresh herbs, and cabbage. Whether these crops are grown on a transit vehicle (e.g., International Space Station) or on the lunar or planetary surface, it will be necessary to determine how to safely handle the vegetables while maintaining acceptability. Since hydrogen peroxide degrades into water and oxygen and is generally recognized as safe (GRAS), hydrogen peroxide has been recommended as the sanitizer. The objective of th is research is to determine the required effective concentration of hydrogen peroxide. In addition, it will be determined whether the use of hydrogen peroxide, although a viable sanitizer, adversely affects the quality of the vegetables. Vegetables will be dipped in 1 % hydrogen peroxide, 3% hydrogen peroxide, or 5% hydrogen peroxide. Treated produce and controls will be stored in plastic bags at 5 C for up to 14 days. Sensory, color, texture, and total plate count will be measured. The effect on several vegetables including lettuce, radish, tomato and strawberries has been completed. Although each vegetable reacts to hydrogen peroxide differently, the

  10. Tomorrow's Plastic World

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Macdonald, Averil

    2005-01-01

    Far from being just cheap packaging materials, plastics may be the materials of tomorrow. Plastic can conduct electricity, and this opens up a host of high-tech possibilities in the home and in energy generation. These possibilities are discussed here along with how plastic can be recycled and perhaps even grown.

  11. Processing of plastics

    PubMed Central

    Spaak, Albert

    1975-01-01

    An overview is given of the processing of plastic materials from the handling of polymers in the pellet and powder form to manufacturing of a plastic fabricated product. Various types of equipment used and melt processing ranges of various polymer formulations to make the myriad of plastic products that are commercially available are discussed. PMID:1175556

  12. Plastics in Building.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Skeist, Irving, Ed.

    The evaluation and use of plastics in the construction industry are explained. The contributors offer extensive, timely, and thoroughly researched data on the chemistry, properties, functions, engineering behavior, and specific applications of plastics to building requirements. The major subjects discussed in depth are--(1) the role of plastics in…

  13. Using Dandelions To Demonstrate the Concept of Phenotypic Plasticity.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clifford, Paul; Oxlade, Edwin

    1998-01-01

    Discusses practical work which can be completed in a few hours that enables students to explore the genetics of the dandelion plant, which reproduces asexually. Dandelions, measuring instruments, and student imagination are needed for this activity. (DDR)

  14. Integrating environmental variation, predation pressure, phenotypic plasticity and locomotor performance.

    PubMed

    Fu, Shi-Jian; Cao, Zhen-Dong; Yan, Guan-Jie; Fu, Cheng; Pang, Xu

    2013-10-01

    The Wujiang River, a tributary of the Three Gorges Reservoir, has many dams along its length. These dams alter the river's natural habitat and produce various flow regimes and degrees of predator stress. To test whether the swimming performance and external body shape of pale chub (Zacco platypus) have changed as a result of alterations in the flow regime and predator conditions, we measured the steady (U(crit)) and unsteady (fast-start) swimming performances and morphological characteristics of fish collected from different sites along the Wujiang River. We also calculated the maximum respiratory capacity and cost of transport (COT). We demonstrated significant differences in swimming performance and morphological traits among the sampling sites. Steady swimming performance was positively correlated with water velocity and negatively correlated with the abundance of predators, whereas unsteady swimming performance was negatively correlated with water velocity. The body shape was significantly correlated with both swimming performance and ecological parameters. These findings suggested that selection pressure on swimming performance results in a higher U(crit) and a more streamlined body shape in fast-flow and (or) in habitats with low predator stress and subsequently results in a lower COT. These characteristics were accompanied by a poorer fast-start performance than that of the fish from the slow-flow and (or) high-predator habitats. The divergence in U(crit) may also be due in part to variation in respiratory capacity. PMID:23463244

  15. Phylogenetic patterns and phenotypic plasticity of molluscan sexual systems.

    PubMed

    Collin, Rachel

    2013-10-01

    Molluscs show a wide diversity of sexual systems and strategies. There are both gastropod and bivalve families that are each primarily dioecious, simultaneous hermaphrodites, or sequential hermaphrodites, and other families in which almost every sexual strategy occurs. The multiple evolutionary transitions of sexual systems within molluscs would allow comparative analyses of the associated ecological factors, but data on all but a few groups are too sparse to draw many solid conclusions. The phylogenetic distribution of sexual systems in the Mollusca shows that gastropods and bivalves demonstrate different patterns, possibly associated with the presence/absence of copulation. The distribution of change of sex suggests that, in gastropods, sequential hermaphrodites do not evolve from simultaneous hermaphrodites, and that sex reversal (flip-flopping) occurs in free-spawners but not in copulators. Three well-studied protandrous gastropod groups (calyptraeids, coralliophilids, and patellogastropods) show similar responses to environmental conditions and associations with conspecifics. They all have the following attributes: (1) they are sedentary, (2) they live in groups, patches, or aggregates, and (3) size at sex change varies among sites and among aggregates. In addition the available experimental evidence suggests that (4) the presence of females or large individuals represses growth and sex change of males, and (5) behavior seems to mediate the repressive influence of large females. Available data from other species tend to support these patterns. Finally, the repression of growth of males by females in protandry likely facilitates the evolution of dwarf males.

  16. [Effects of agricultural activities and transgenic crops on agricultural biodiversity].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xi-Tao; Luo, Hong-Bing; Li, Jun-Sheng; Huang, Hai; Liu, Yong-Bo

    2014-09-01

    Agricultural biodiversity is a key part of the ecosystem biodiversity, but it receives little concern. The monoculture, environmental pollution and habitat fragmentation caused by agricultural activities have threatened agricultural biodiversity over the past 50 years. To optimize agricultural management measures for crop production and environmental protection, we reviewed the effects of agricultural activities, including cultivation patterns, plastic mulching, chemical additions and the cultivation of transgenic crops, on agricultural biodiversity. The results showed that chemical pesticides and fertilizers had the most serious influence and the effects of transgenic crops varied with other factors like the specific transgene inserted in crops. The environmental risk of transgenic crops should be assessed widely through case-by-case methods, particularly its potential impacts on agricultural biodiversity. It is important to consider the protection of agricultural biodiversity before taking certain agricultural practices, which could improve agricultural production and simultaneously reduce the environmental impacts.

  17. [Effects of agricultural activities and transgenic crops on agricultural biodiversity].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xi-Tao; Luo, Hong-Bing; Li, Jun-Sheng; Huang, Hai; Liu, Yong-Bo

    2014-09-01

    Agricultural biodiversity is a key part of the ecosystem biodiversity, but it receives little concern. The monoculture, environmental pollution and habitat fragmentation caused by agricultural activities have threatened agricultural biodiversity over the past 50 years. To optimize agricultural management measures for crop production and environmental protection, we reviewed the effects of agricultural activities, including cultivation patterns, plastic mulching, chemical additions and the cultivation of transgenic crops, on agricultural biodiversity. The results showed that chemical pesticides and fertilizers had the most serious influence and the effects of transgenic crops varied with other factors like the specific transgene inserted in crops. The environmental risk of transgenic crops should be assessed widely through case-by-case methods, particularly its potential impacts on agricultural biodiversity. It is important to consider the protection of agricultural biodiversity before taking certain agricultural practices, which could improve agricultural production and simultaneously reduce the environmental impacts. PMID:25757330

  18. International crop information system for germplasm data management.

    PubMed

    Portugal, Arllet; Balachandra, Ranjan; Metz, Thomas; Bruskiewich, Richard; McLaren, Graham

    2007-01-01

    Passport and phenotypic data on germplasm and breeding lines are available from worldwide sources in various electronic formats. These data can be collated into a single database format to enable strategic interrogation to make the best use of data for effective germplasm use and enhancement. The International Crop Information System (http://www.icis.cgiar.org) is an open-source project under development by a global community of crop researchers and includes applications designed to achieve the storage and interrogation of pedigree and phenotypic data. PMID:18287707

  19. International crop information system for germplasm data management.

    PubMed

    Portugal, Arllet; Balachandra, Ranjan; Metz, Thomas; Bruskiewich, Richard; McLaren, Graham

    2007-01-01

    Passport and phenotypic data on germplasm and breeding lines are available from worldwide sources in various electronic formats. These data can be collated into a single database format to enable strategic interrogation to make the best use of data for effective germplasm use and enhancement. The International Crop Information System (http://www.icis.cgiar.org) is an open-source project under development by a global community of crop researchers and includes applications designed to achieve the storage and interrogation of pedigree and phenotypic data.

  20. Epigenetic inheritance and plasticity: The responsive germline.

    PubMed

    Jablonka, Eva

    2013-04-01

    Developmental plasticity, the capacity of a single genotype to give rise to different phenotypes, affects evolutionary dynamics by influencing the rate and direction of phenotypic change. It is based on regulatory changes in gene expression and gene products, which are partially controlled by epigenetic mechanisms. Plasticity involves not just epigenetic changes in somatic cells and tissues; it can also involve changes in germline cells. Germline epigenetic plasticity increases evolvability, the capacity to generate heritable, selectable, phenotypic variations, including variations that lead to novel functions. I discuss studies that show that some complex adaptive responses to new challenges are mediated by germline epigenetic processes, which can be transmitted over variable number of generations, and argue that the heritable variations that are generated epigenetically have an impact on both small-scale and large-scale aspects of evolution. First, I review some recent ecological studies and models that show that germline (gametic) epigenetic inheritance can lead to cumulative micro-evolutionary changes that are rapid and semi-directional. I suggest that "priming" and "epigenetic learning" may be of special importance in generating heritable, fine-tuned adaptive responses in populations. Second, I consider work showing how genomic and environmental stresses can also lead to epigenome repatterning, and produce changes that are saltational.

  1. A case for crop wild relative preservation and utilization in potato (Solanum tuberosum L.)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Environmental degradation and climate change pose a threat to global food security. Crop wild relatives (CWR) provide a critical resource to address food security needs by providing genetic diversity for crop improvement, leading to increased plasticity and productivity. However, plant breeders have...

  2. Ocean acidification challenges copepod reproductive plasticity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vehmaa, A.; Almén, A.-K.; Brutemark, A.; Paul, A.; Riebesell, U.; Furuhagen, S.; Engström-Öst, J.

    2015-11-01

    Ocean acidification is challenging phenotypic plasticity of individuals and populations. Calanoid copepods (zooplankton) are shown to be fairly plastic against altered pH conditions, and laboratory studies indicate that transgenerational effects are one mechanism behind this plasticity. We studied phenotypic plasticity of the copepod Acartia bifilosa in the course of a pelagic, large-volume mesocosm study that was conducted to investigate ecosystem and biogeochemical responses to ocean acidification. We measured copepod egg production rate, egg hatching success, adult female size and adult female antioxidant capacity (ORAC) as a function of acidification (fCO2 ~ 365-1231 μatm), and as a function of quantity and quality of their diet. We used an egg transplant experiment to reveal if transgenerational effects can alleviate the possible negative effects of ocean acidification on offspring development. We found significant negative effects of ocean acidification on adult female copepod size and egg hatching success. In addition, we found a threshold of fCO2 concentration (~ 1000 μatm), above which adaptive maternal effects cannot alleviate the negative effects of acidification on egg hatching and nauplii development. We did not find support for the hypothesis that insufficient food quantity (total particulate carbon ~ 55 μm) or quality (C : N) weakens the transgenerational effects. However, females with high ORAC produced eggs with high hatching success. Overall, these results indicate that A. bifilosa could be affected by projected near future CO2 levels.

  3. Application of genomic tools for lesquerella crop improvement

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Lesquerella, a potential new industrial oilseed crop, is valued for its unusual hydroxy fatty acid (20:1OH) which can be used as raw materials for numerous industrial products, such as lubricants, plasticizers and surfactants. As a step towards genetic engineering of lesquerella, we explored a lesqu...

  4. Biodegradability of Plastics

    PubMed Central

    Tokiwa, Yutaka; Calabia, Buenaventurada P.; Ugwu, Charles U.; Aiba, Seiichi

    2009-01-01

    Plastic is a broad name given to different polymers with high molecular weight, which can be degraded by various processes. However, considering their abundance in the environment and their specificity in attacking plastics, biodegradation of plastics by microorganisms and enzymes seems to be the most effective process. When plastics are used as substrates for microorganisms, evaluation of their biodegradability should not only be based on their chemical structure, but also on their physical properties (melting point, glass transition temperature, crystallinity, storage modulus etc.). In this review, microbial and enzymatic biodegradation of plastics and some factors that affect their biodegradability are discussed. PMID:19865515

  5. Biodegradability of plastics.

    PubMed

    Tokiwa, Yutaka; Calabia, Buenaventurada P; Ugwu, Charles U; Aiba, Seiichi

    2009-08-26

    Plastic is a broad name given to different polymers with high molecular weight, which can be degraded by various processes. However, considering their abundance in the environment and their specificity in attacking plastics, biodegradation of plastics by microorganisms and enzymes seems to be the most effective process. When plastics are used as substrates for microorganisms, evaluation of their biodegradability should not only be based on their chemical structure, but also on their physical properties (melting point, glass transition temperature, crystallinity, storage modulus etc.). In this review, microbial and enzymatic biodegradation of plastics and some factors that affect their biodegradability are discussed.

  6. Field Patterns of Leaf Plasticity in Adults of the Long-lived Evergreen Quercus coccifera

    PubMed Central

    Rubio De Casas, Rafael; Vargas, Pablo; Pérez-Corona, Esther; Manrique, Esteban; Quintana, José Ramón; García-Verdugo, Carlos; Balaguer, Luis

    2007-01-01

    Background and Aims Quercus coccifera, as a long-lived sprouter, responds plastically to environmental variation. In this study, the role of foliar plasticity as a mechanism of habitat selection and modification within the canopy and across contrasted habitats was characterized. An examination was made of the differential contribution of inner and outer canopy layers to the crown plasticity expressed in the field by adult individuals and its dependence on environmental and genetic factors. Methods Within-crown variation in eight foliar traits was examined in nine populations dominated by Q. coccifera. The difference between mean trait values at the inner and outer canopy layers was used as a proxy for crown plasticity to light. Correlations between geographic distances, environmental differences (climatic and edaphic) and phenotypic divergence (means and plasticities) were assessed by partial Mantel tests. A subset of field measurements was compared with data from a previous common garden experiment. Key Results Phenotypic adjustment of sun leaves contributed significantly to the field variation in crown plasticity. Plasticity in leaf angle, lobation, xanthophyll cycle pigments and β-carotene content was expressed in sun and shade leaves concurrently and in opposite directions. Phenotypic plasticity was more strongly correlated with environmental variation than mean trait values. Populations of taller plants with larger, thinner (higher specific leaf area) and less spiny leaves exhibited greater plasticity. In these populations, the midday light environment was more uniform at the inner than at the outer canopy layers. Field and common garden data ranked populations in the same order of plasticity. Conclusions The expression of leaf plasticity resulted in a phenotypic differentiation that suggests a mechanism of habitat selection through division of labour across canopy layers. Signs of plasticity-mediated habitat modification were found only in the most plastic

  7. Phenotyping bananas for drought resistance

    PubMed Central

    Ravi, Iyyakkutty; Uma, Subbaraya; Vaganan, Muthu Mayil; Mustaffa, Mohamed M.

    2012-01-01

    Drought has emerged as one of the major constraints in banana production. Its effects are pronounced substantially in the tropics and sub-tropics of the world due to climate change. Bananas are quite sensitive to drought; however, genotypes with “B” genome are more tolerant to abiotic stresses than those solely based on “A” genome. In particular, bananas with “ABB” genomes are more tolerant to drought and other abiotic stresses than other genotypes. A good phenotyping plan is a prerequisite for any improvement program for targeted traits. In the present article, known drought tolerant traits of other crop plants are validated in bananas with different genomic backgrounds and presented. Since, banana is recalcitrant to breeding, strategies for making hybrids between different genomic backgrounds are also discussed. Stomatal conductance, cell membrane stability (CMS), leaf emergence rate, rate of leaf senescence, RWC, and bunch yield under soil moisture deficit stress are some of the traits associated with drought tolerance. Among these stress bunch yield under drought should be given top priority for phenotyping. In the light of recently released Musa genome draft sequence, the molecular breeders may have interest in developing molecular markers for drought resistance. PMID:23443573

  8. 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

  9. PHA bioplastics, biochemicals, and energy from crops.

    PubMed

    Somleva, Maria N; Peoples, Oliver P; Snell, Kristi D

    2013-02-01

    Large scale production of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) in plants can provide a sustainable supply of bioplastics, biochemicals, and energy from sunlight and atmospheric CO(2). PHAs are a class of polymers with various chain lengths that are naturally produced by some microorganisms as storage materials. The properties of these polyesters make them functionally equivalent to many of the petroleum-based plastics that are currently in the market place. However, unlike most petroleum-derived plastics, PHAs can be produced from renewable feedstocks and easily degrade in most biologically active environments. This review highlights research efforts over the last 20 years to engineer the production of PHAs in plants with a focus on polyhydroxybutryrate (PHB) production in bioenergy crops with C(4) photosynthesis. PHB has the potential to be a high volume commercial product with uses not only in the plastics and materials markets, but also in renewable chemicals and feed. The major challenges of improving product yield and plant fitness in high biomass yielding C(4) crops are discussed in detail.

  10. PHA bioplastics, biochemicals, and energy from crops.

    PubMed

    Somleva, Maria N; Peoples, Oliver P; Snell, Kristi D

    2013-02-01

    Large scale production of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) in plants can provide a sustainable supply of bioplastics, biochemicals, and energy from sunlight and atmospheric CO(2). PHAs are a class of polymers with various chain lengths that are naturally produced by some microorganisms as storage materials. The properties of these polyesters make them functionally equivalent to many of the petroleum-based plastics that are currently in the market place. However, unlike most petroleum-derived plastics, PHAs can be produced from renewable feedstocks and easily degrade in most biologically active environments. This review highlights research efforts over the last 20 years to engineer the production of PHAs in plants with a focus on polyhydroxybutryrate (PHB) production in bioenergy crops with C(4) photosynthesis. PHB has the potential to be a high volume commercial product with uses not only in the plastics and materials markets, but also in renewable chemicals and feed. The major challenges of improving product yield and plant fitness in high biomass yielding C(4) crops are discussed in detail. PMID:23294864

  11. Predicting evolutionary rescue via evolving plasticity in stochastic environments.

    PubMed

    Ashander, Jaime; Chevin, Luis-Miguel; Baskett, Marissa L

    2016-09-28

    Phenotypic plasticity and its evolution may help evolutionary rescue in a novel and stressful environment, especially if environmental novelty reveals cryptic genetic variation that enables the evolution of increased plasticity. However, the environmental stochasticity ubiquitous in natural systems may alter these predictions, because high plasticity may amplify phenotype-environment mismatches. Although previous studies have highlighted this potential detrimental effect of plasticity in stochastic environments, they have not investigated how it affects extinction risk in the context of evolutionary rescue and with evolving plasticity. We investigate this question here by integrating stochastic demography with quantitative genetic theory in a model with simultaneous change in the mean and predictability (temporal autocorrelation) of the environment. We develop an approximate prediction of long-term persistence under the new pattern of environmental fluctuations, and compare it with numerical simulations for short- and long-term extinction risk. We find that reduced predictability increases extinction risk and reduces persistence because it increases stochastic load during rescue. This understanding of how stochastic demography, phenotypic plasticity, and evolution interact when evolution acts on cryptic genetic variation revealed in a novel environment can inform expectations for invasions, extinctions, or the emergence of chemical resistance in pests. PMID:27655762