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Creators/Authors contains: "Jeyasingh, Punidan D."

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  2. Abstract

    Our understanding of the mechanisms mediating the resilience of organisms to environmental change remains lacking. Heavy metals negatively affect processes at all biological scales, yet organisms inhabiting contaminated environments must maintain homeostasis to survive. Tar Creek in Oklahoma, USA, contains high concentrations of heavy metals and an abundance of Western mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis), though several fish species persist at lower frequency. To test hypotheses about the mechanisms mediating the persistence and abundance of mosquitofish in Tar Creek, we integrated ionomic data from seven resident fish species and transcriptomic data from mosquitofish. We predicted that mosquitofish minimize uptake of heavy metals more than other Tar Creek fish inhabitants and induce transcriptional responses to detoxify metals that enter the body, allowing them to persist in Tar Creek at higher density than species that may lack these responses. Tar Creek populations of all seven fish species accumulated heavy metals, suggesting mosquitofish cannot block uptake more efficiently than other species. We found population‐level gene expression changes between mosquitofish in Tar Creek and nearby unpolluted sites. Gene expression differences primarily occurred in the gill, where we found upregulation of genes involved with lowering transfer of metal ions from the blood into cells and mitigating free radicals. However, many differentially expressed genes were not in known metal response pathways, suggesting multifarious selective regimes and/or previously undocumented pathways could impact tolerance in mosquitofish. Our systems‐level study identified well characterized and putatively new mechanisms that enable mosquitofish to inhabit heavy metal‐contaminated environments.

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  3. Abstract

    Speciation genomic studies have revealed that genomes of diverging lineages are shaped jointly by the actions of gene flow and selection. These evolutionary forces acting in concert with processes such as recombination and genome features such as gene density shape a mosaic landscape of divergence. We investigated the roles of recombination and gene density in shaping the patterns of differentiation and divergence between the cyclically parthenogenetic ecological sister‐taxa,Daphnia pulicariaandDaphnia pulex. First, we assembled a phased chromosome‐scale genome assembly using trio‐binning forD.pulicariaand constructed a genetic map using an F2‐intercross panel to understand sex‐specific recombination rate heterogeneity. Finally, we used a ddRADseq data set with broad geographic sampling ofD.pulicaria,D.pulex, and their hybrids to understand the patterns of genome‐scale divergence and demographic parameters. Our study provides the first sex‐specific estimates of recombination rates for a cyclical parthenogen, and unlike other eukaryotic species, we observed male‐biased heterochiasmy inD.pulicaria, which may be related to this somewhat unique breeding mode. Additionally, regions of high gene density and recombination are generally more divergent than regions of suppressed recombination. Outlier analysis indicated that divergent genomic regions are probably driven by selection onD.pulicaria, the derived lineage colonizing a novel lake habitat. Together, our study supports a scenario of selection acting on genes related to local adaptation shaping genome‐wide patterns of differentiation despite high local recombination rates in this species complex. Finally, we discuss the limitations of our data in light of demographic uncertainty.

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  4. Abstract

    Microevolution can have consequences at higher levels of ecological organization. Although divergence among populations can be rapid and driven by anthropogenic changes to the environment, the ecological relevance of evolution induced by human activities remains poorly understood.

    A frequent way in which human activities drive microevolution is the increase in supply of nutrients such as phosphorus (P) that are required for fitness‐relevant traits such as growth and reproduction. Because higher P concentrations decrease P‐use efficiency and feeding rate in heterotrophic consumers such asDaphnia, we hypothesized that such adjustments should alter consumer–resource dynamics.

    We examined how cultural eutrophication in temperate lakes causes trait variation in the grazerDaphnia pulicaria. We tested for variation inDaphniatraits and genetic variation in the metabolic enzyme phosphoglucose isomerase (Pgi) which are each known to respond to eutrophication. We then examined the impact of this variation on consumer–resource dynamics using a combination of experiments and a multi‐lake survey.

    We found thatDaphniafrom hypereutrophic lakes responded to experimental hypereutrophic conditions with increased growth rates and fecundity when raised on P‐fertilized seston, but had reduced performance on P‐poor seston relative to eutrophic sourceDaphnia. These results suggest thatDaphniamay face a trade‐off in performance at low versus excess P that may be mediated in part by genetic variation at thePgilocus.

    The variation observed in laboratory growth experiments scaled up toDaphniapopulations in both mesocosm experiments and among lakes. In both the mesocosm experiment and in the lake survey,Daphniafrom hypereutrophic source lakes reached high biomass while phytoplankton biomass also remained high.

    Given the prevalence and rapid eutrophication of freshwater ecosystems worldwide, these results indicate that considering the potential effects of evolutionary change in ecosystem models could be useful in forecasting the effects of anthropogenic environmental change on pivotal ecosystem services.

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  5. Abstract

    The growth rate hypothesis posits that the rate of protein synthesis is constrained by phosphorus (P) supply. P scarcity invokes differential expression of genes involved in processing of most if not all elements encompassing an individual (the ionome). Whether such ionome‐wide adjustments to P supply impact growth and trophic interactions remains unclear. We quantified the ionomes of a resource‐consumer pair in contrasting P supply conditions. Consumer growth penalty was driven by not only P imbalance between trophic levels but also imbalances in other elements, reflecting complex physiological adjustments made by both the resource and the consumer. Mitigating such imbalances requires energy and should impact the efficiency at which assimilated nutrients are converted to biomass. Correlated shifts in the handling of multiple elements, and variation in the supplies of such elements could underlie vast heterogeneity in the rates at which organisms and ecosystems accrue biomass as a function of P supply.

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