Trait-specific trade-offs prevent niche expansion in two parasites

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2020
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Michalakis, Yannis
Lenormand, Thomas
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Journal of Evolutionary Biology. Wiley. 2020, 33(12), pp. 1704-1714. ISSN 1010-061X. eISSN 1420-9101. Available under: doi: 10.1111/jeb.13708
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It is often difficult to determine why parasites do not evolve broader niches, especially when there are closely related and ecologically similar hosts available. We used an experimental evolution approach to test whether source–sink demography or trade‐offs drive specialization, and its underlying traits, in two microsporidian parasites infecting two brine shrimp species. In the field, both parasites regularly infect both hosts, but experiments have shown that they are partially specialized. We serially passaged the parasites on one, the other, or an alternation of the two hosts; after 10 passages, we assayed the infectivity, virulence, and spore production of the evolved lines. Our results indicated a weak between‐host trade‐off acting on infectivity, but a strong trade‐off acting on spore production. Consequently, spore production maintained both parasites’ overall pattern of specialization. This study highlights that when trade‐off shapes differ among traits, one key trait can prevent the evolution of generalism.

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ISO 690LIEVENS, Eva J. P., Yannis MICHALAKIS, Thomas LENORMAND, 2020. Trait-specific trade-offs prevent niche expansion in two parasites. In: Journal of Evolutionary Biology. Wiley. 2020, 33(12), pp. 1704-1714. ISSN 1010-061X. eISSN 1420-9101. Available under: doi: 10.1111/jeb.13708
BibTex
@article{Lievens2020-12Trait-51492,
  year={2020},
  doi={10.1111/jeb.13708},
  title={Trait-specific trade-offs prevent niche expansion in two parasites},
  number={12},
  volume={33},
  issn={1010-061X},
  journal={Journal of Evolutionary Biology},
  pages={1704--1714},
  author={Lievens, Eva J. P. and Michalakis, Yannis and Lenormand, Thomas}
}
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