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In JoVE (1)
Other Publications (5)
Articles by William Stutz in JoVE
Generation of Composite Plants in Medicago truncatula used for Nodulation Assays
Ying Deng*, Guohong Mao*, William Stutz, Oliver Yu
Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, St. Louis, Missouri
We demonstrate how hairy root composite plants can be used to study plant-rhizobium interactions and nodulation in the difficult-to-transform species Medicago truncatula.
Other articles by William Stutz on PubMed
Acta Tropica. Nov, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19595660
In Brazil, there are near 20 genera and almost 120 species of scorpions of which 95% reproduce sexually. Parthenogenetic reproduction, however, may also take place. To gain insight into useful molecular markers in parthenogenetic scorpion species, we studied DNA polymorphism using two molecular approaches: simple sequence repeat anchored polymerase chain reaction (SSR-PCR) and sequencing of the cytochrome C oxidase subunit I of the mitochondrial genome, mtDNA (COXI), of Tityus serrulatus. Three different groups were used: group 1, composed of 1 female and 14 descendants; group 2 with 1 female and 17 descendants, both from the city of Uberlândia, State of Minas Gerais (MG), Brazil, and the third group that consisted of three adult scorpions from the city of Belo Horizonte, MG. The profiles generated by SSR-PCR were identical for all specimens, while partial sequencing of COXI showed the presence of SNPs. After aligning COXI contigs, one of the groups presented 18 SNPs and the second 8 SNPs. The two groups were differentiated by two diagnostic SNPs. We did not find evidence of mitochondrial recombination. The results are in agreement with the parthenogenetic mode of reproduction of this species and sequencing of the COXI gene enabled the separation of scorpions groups.
Phenotype-dependent Native Habitat Preference Facilitates Divergence Between Parapatric Lake and Stream Stickleback
Evolution; International Journal of Organic Evolution. Aug, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19473386
Adaptive divergence between adjoining populations reflects a balance between the diversifying effect of divergent selection and the potentially homogenizing effect of gene flow. In most models of migration-selection balance, gene flow is assumed to reflect individuals' inherent capacity to disperse, without regard to the match between individuals' phenotypes and the available habitats. However, habitat preferences can reduce dispersal between contrasting habitats, thereby alleviating migration load and facilitating adaptive divergence. We tested whether habitat preferences contribute to adaptive divergence in a classic example of migration-selection balance: parapatric lake and stream populations of three-spine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus). Using a mark-transplant-recapture experiment on morphologically divergent parapatric populations, we showed that 90% of lake and stream stickleback returned to their native habitat, reducing migration between habitats by 76%. Furthermore, we found that dispersal into a nonnative habitat was phenotype dependent. Stream fish moving into the lake were morphologically more lake-like than those returning to the stream (and the converse for lake fish entering the stream). The strong native habitat preference documented here increases the extent of adaptive divergence between populations two- to fivefold relative to expectations with random movement. These results illustrate the potential importance of adaptive habitat choice in driving parapatric divergence.
Ecological Release from Interspecific Competition Leads to Decoupled Changes in Population and Individual Niche Width
Proceedings. Biological Sciences / The Royal Society. Jun, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20164100
A species's niche width reflects a balance between the diversifying effects of intraspecific competition and the constraining effects of interspecific competition. This balance shifts when a species from a competitive environment invades a depauperate habitat where interspecific competition is reduced. The resulting ecological release permits population niche expansion, via increased individual niche widths and/or increased among-individual variation. We report an experimental test of the theory of ecological release in three-spine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus). We factorially manipulated the presence or absence of two interspecific competitors: juvenile cut-throat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki) and prickly sculpin (Cottus asper). Consistent with the classic niche variation hypothesis, release from trout competition increased stickleback population niche width via increased among-individual variation, while individual niche widths remained unchanged. In contrast, release from sculpin competition had no effect on population niche width, because increased individual niche widths were offset by decreased between-individual variation. Our results confirm that ecological release from interspecific competition can lead to increases in niche width, and that these changes can occur on behavioural time scales. Importantly, we find that changes in population niche width are decoupled from changes in the niche widths of individuals within the population.
Foraging Trait (co)variances in Stickleback Evolve Deterministically and Do Not Predict Trajectories of Adaptive Diversification
Evolution; International Journal of Organic Evolution. Aug, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20199566
How does natural selection shape the structure of variance and covariance among multiple traits, and how do (co)variances influence trajectories of adaptive diversification? We investigate these pivotal but open questions by comparing phenotypic (co)variances among multiple morphological traits across 18 derived lake-dwelling populations of threespine stickleback, and their marine ancestor. Divergence in (co)variance structure among populations is striking and primarily attributable to shifts in the variance of a single key foraging trait (gill raker length). We then relate this divergence to an ecological selection proxy, to population divergence in trait means, and to the magnitude of sexual dimorphism within populations. This allows us to infer that evolution in (co)variances is linked to variation among habitats in the strength of resource-mediated disruptive selection. We further find that adaptive diversification in trait means among populations has primarily involved shifts in gill raker length. The direction of evolutionary trajectories is unrelated to the major axes of ancestral trait (co)variance. Our study demonstrates that natural selection drives both means and (co)variances deterministically in stickleback, and strongly challenges the view that the (co)variance structure biases the direction of adaptive diversification predictably even over moderate time spans.
Does Intraspecific Size Variation in a Predator Affect Its Diet Diversity and Top-down Control of Prey?
PloS One. 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21687670
It has long been known that intraspecific variation impacts evolutionary processes, but only recently have its potential ecological effects received much attention. Theoretical models predict that genetic or phenotypic variance within species can alter interspecific interactions, and experiments have shown that genotypic diversity in clonal species can impact a wide range of ecological processes. To extend these studies to quantitative trait variation within populations, we experimentally manipulated the variance in body size of threespine stickleback in enclosures in a natural lake environment. We found that body size of stickleback in the lake is correlated with prey size and (to a lesser extent) composition, and that stickleback can exert top-down control on their benthic prey in enclosures. However, a six-fold contrast in body size variance had no effect on the degree of diet variation among individuals, or on the abundance or composition of benthic or pelagic prey. Interestingly, post-hoc analyses revealed suggestive correlations between the degree of diet variation and the strength of top-down control by stickleback. Our negative results indicate that, unless the correlation between morphology and diet is very strong, ecological variation among individuals may be largely decoupled from morphological variance. Consequently we should be cautious in our interpretation both of theoretical models that assume perfect correlations between morphology and diet, and of empirical studies that use morphological variation as a proxy for resource use diversity.