Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Ability to tolerate enemies influences coevolution

19.03.2010
Stay and fight, or flee? These are usually the alternatives facing a victim when it is attacked by an enemy. Two researchers from Lund University have now collected and discussed various examples from the animal world where the victim makes use of another possibility.

"The victim can allow the enemy to remain and instead try to live with the consequences", explains Erik Svensson, Professor of Animal Ecology at Lund University.

There are many examples of 'coevolution', i.e. where the enemy and the victim influence each other's development in close interaction. In several plant studies it is for instance a relationship between a parasite (the enemy) and its host plant (the victim). Erik Svensson and his colleague Lars Råberg have recently published an article in the journal Trends in Ecology & Evolution, in which they discuss the evolution of enemy-victim relations in animals.

The cuckoo's brood parasitism is a classic example. The great spotted cuckoo lays its eggs in the nest of the European magpie and lets the magpie pair raise its young. The magpie can in turn respond by trying to recognise alien eggs and reject them; this is a form of resistance. However, there is a risk that the magpie may accidently reject one of its own eggs. In addition, the magpies that reject cuckoos' eggs run a higher risk of having their nests destroyed by adult cuckoos. There is evidence that magpies that live in close proximity to great spotted cuckoos actually compensate for this by laying more eggs than magpies that breed in areas where cuckoos are not present. One reason for this could be that it is a way to compensate for the eggs that risk being destroyed. This defence tactic is classified as tolerance, rather than resisistance. It means that the victim tries to live with the presence of the enemy instead of resisting.

Erik Svensson conducts research on damselflies. He has shown that enemy-victim relationships can also occur within the same species. When damselflies mate, the male clasps the female's thorax. Immediately after fertilisation, the female begins laying eggs. Yet females are constantly subject to mating attempts and harassment from other males, which incur costs in the form of a reduced number of eggs. However, some females have developed a higher tolerance to this mating harassment, which means that they are able to partly buffer the negative effects of mating harassment on their egg laying.

Lars Råberg has studied tolerance in mice. He has performed an experiment in which he infected different mouse strains with malaria. It was apparent that the different mice did not become ill to the same extent, despite the fact that they had the same number of parasites in their bodies. Thus tolerance can also reflect itself in how sensitive a victim is to an enemy.

"This is a new way of viewing the evolution of enemy-victim interactions in animals. The role of tolerance in suchinteractions have previously been discussed primarily in the context of the plant world. We believe that tolerance could be at least as important as resistance in animal co-evolution between enemies and their victims", says Erik Svensson.

For more information, please contact:
Erik Svensson, Professor of Animal Ecology, Lund University
Erik.Svensson@zooekol.lu.se, tel. +46 (0)46 222 3819 or +46 (0)705 970403
Lars Råberg, researcher in Animal Ecology, Lund University
Lars.Raberg@zooekol.lu.se, tel. +46 (0)46 222 3766 or +46 (0)733 109957
Pressofficer Lena Björk Blixt; +46-46 222 71 86; Lena.Bjork_Blixt@kanslin.lu.se

Lena Björk Blixt | idw
Further information:
http://www.lu.se
http://www.vr.se

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht First transcription atlas of all wheat genes expands prospects for research and cultivation
17.08.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Pflanzengenetik und Kulturpflanzenforschung

nachricht Staying in Shape
16.08.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für molekulare Zellbiologie und Genetik

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

2018 Work Research Conference

25.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum material is promising 'ion conductor' for research, new technologies

17.08.2018 | Materials Sciences

Low bandwidth? Use more colors at once

17.08.2018 | Information Technology

Protecting the power grid: Advanced plasma switch for more efficient transmission

17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>