Experimental evolution of external immune defences in the red flour beetle

Joop, G., Roth, Olivia, Schmid-Hempel, P. and Kurtz, J. (2014) Experimental evolution of external immune defences in the red flour beetle Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 27 (8). pp. 1562-1571. DOI 10.1111/jeb.12406.

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The red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum, secretes quinones that control the microbial flora in the surrounding environment. These secretions act as an external immune defence that provides protection against pathogens. At high concentrations, however, these secretions are harmful to the host itself, and selection may thus have optimized the level of expression under natural conditions. Here, we show that the expression of external immunity responded to selection during experimental evolution within a few generations. At the same time, one component of internal immune defence (phenoloxidase activity) was compromised in beetles selected for either high or low external defences. Intriguingly, offspring protection against a natural pathogen was reduced in flour obtained from beetle lines selected for low amounts of secretions. Altogether, this suggests that external and internal immune defences work together efficiently under natural conditions, whereas every manipulation on the side of external immune defence comes with costs to the internal immune defence.

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: WOS:000339713100006
Keywords: ecological immunology; experimental evolution; innate immune defence; phenoloxidase; quinone secretion; quinones; Tribolium castaneum
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EV Evolutionary Ecology of Marine Fishes
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1111/jeb.12406
ISSN: 1010-061X
Date Deposited: 15 Sep 2014 09:18
Last Modified: 10 Jul 2017 10:26
URI: http://eprints.uni-kiel.de/id/eprint/25616

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