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A parasite-mediated life-history shift in Daphnia magna.

Authors
  • Chadwick, William1
  • Little, Tom J
  • 1 School of Biological Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Ashworth Laboratories, The King's Buildings, West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3JT, UK.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Proceedings. Biological sciences
Publication Date
Mar 07, 2005
Volume
272
Issue
1562
Pages
505–509
Identifiers
PMID: 15799946
Source
Medline
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

The impact of parasitism on host populations will be modulated by both genetic variation for susceptibility, and phenotypically plastic-life-history traits that are altered to lessen the fitness consequences of infection. In this study we tested for life-history shifts in the crustacean Daphnia magna following exposure to the horizontally transmitted microsporidian, Glugoides intestinalis. In two separate experiments, we exposed hosts to parasite spores and measured their fecundity relative to controls. We show that host exposed G. intestinalis show fecundity compensation, i.e. hosts shift their life-history strategy towards early production. Our experiments included multiple host genotypes, and subtle differences among them indicated that fecundity compensation could be subject to parasite-mediated natural selection.

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