Successfully resisting a pathogen is rarely costly in Daphnia magna

Pierrick Labbe, Pedro Vale, Tom J. Little

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: A central hypothesis in the evolutionary ecology of parasitism is that trade-offs exist between resistance to parasites and other fitness components such as fecundity, growth, survival, and predator avoidance, or resistance to other parasites. These trade-offs are called costs of resistance. These costs fall into two broad categories: constitutive costs of resistance, which arise from a negative genetic covariance between immunity and other fitness-related traits, and inducible costs of resistance, which are the physiological costs incurred by hosts when mounting an immune response. We sought to study inducible costs in depth using the crustacean Daphnia magna and its bacterial parasite Pasteuria ramosa.

Results: We designed specific experiments to study the costs induced by exposure to this parasite, and we re analysed previously published data in an effort to determine the generality of such costs. However, despite the variety of genetic backgrounds of both hosts and parasites, and the different exposure protocols and environmental conditions used in these experiment, this work showed that costs of exposure can only rarely be detected in the D. magna-P. ramosa system.

Conclusions: We discuss possible reasons for this lack of detectable costs, including scenarios where costs of resistance to parasites might not play a major role in the co-evolution of hosts and parasites.

Original languageEnglish
Article number355
Pages (from-to)-
Number of pages12
JournalBMC Evolutionary Biology
Volume10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Nov 2010

Keywords

  • BY-ENVIRONMENT INTERACTIONS
  • HOST-PARASITE COEVOLUTION
  • YELLOW-FEVER MOSQUITO
  • DROSOPHILA-MELANOGASTER
  • EVOLUTIONARY ECOLOGY
  • IMMUNE DEFENSE
  • TRADE-OFFS
  • GENETIC CORRELATION
  • BACTERIAL PATHOGEN
  • TENEBRIO-MOLITOR

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