Affordable Access

Mortality selection during the 2003 European heat wave in three-spined sticklebacks: effects of parasites and MHC genotype

Authors
Publication Date
Disciplines
  • Biology
  • Ecology
  • Geography

Abstract

1471-2148-8-124.fm ral ss BioMed CentBMC Evolutionary Biology Open AcceResearch article Mortality selection during the 2003 European heat wave in three-spined sticklebacks: effects of parasites and MHC genotype K Mathias Wegner*1,2, Martin Kalbe2, Manfred Milinski2 and Thorsten BH Reusch2,3 Address: 1Department of Integrative Biology (IBZ), Experimental Ecology, ETH Zürich, Universitätstrasse 16, CH – 8092 Zürich, Switzerland, 2Max- Planck-Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Department of Evolutionary Ecology, August-Thienemann-Str. 2, 24306 Plön, Germany and 3Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity, Evolutionary Ecology, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität, Hüfferstrasse 1, 48149 Münster, Germany Email: K Mathias Wegner* - [email protected]; Martin Kalbe - [email protected]; Manfred Milinski - milinski@mpil- ploen.mpg.de; Thorsten BH Reusch - [email protected] * Corresponding author Abstract Background: Ecological interaction strength may increase under environmental stress including temperature. How such stress enhances and interacts with parasite selection is almost unknown. We studied the importance of resistance genes of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II in 14 families of three-spined sticklebacks Gasterosteus aculeatus exposed to their natural macroparasites in field enclosures in the extreme summer of 2003. Results: After a mass die-off during the 2003-European heat wave killing 78% of 277 experimental fish, we found strong differences in survival among and within families. In families with higher average parasite load fewer individuals survived. Multivariate analysis revealed that the composition of the infecting parasite fauna was family specific. Within families, individuals with an intermediate number of MHC class IIB sequence variants survived best and had the lowest parasite load among survivors, suggesting a direct functional link between MHC diversity and fitness. The within family MHC effects were, however, small co

There are no comments yet on this publication. Be the first to share your thoughts.