Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Lab meeting: Running with the Red Queen

Posted by Katie Duryea

Following our discussions in lab meeting this week, I propose we devote next week's lab meeting to discussing a recent paper by Brockhurst et al. on the Red Queen hypothesis.

The Red Queen hypothesis was first proposed by Van Valen in 1973 to describe how interactions among species can often be a rapid driving force in evolution. This is because evolutionary change in one species may be matched by coevolutionary change in another species. Or, to make the analogy with Lewis Carroll's Red Queen, a species must be continually adapting just to keep pace with its enemies.

"Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!" -Lewis Carroll, 1871

Since it was first proposed by Van Valen over 40 years ago, the Red Queen process has been applied to a number of inter and intraspecific conflicts (including intragenomic conflict and sexual conflict). In their recent paper, Brockhurst et al. develop a framework for distinguishing three modes of Red Queen dynamics based on the mode of selection (fluctuating or directional) and the genetic architecture of the traits under selection. Does this framework help us to better understand evolutionary conflicts? Let's discuss! 

When: Tuesday, November 18, 10:30
Where: Argumentet, 2nd floor, Ecology building

Running with the Red Queen: The Role of biotic conflicts in evolution


What are the Causes of Natural Selection? Over 40 years ago, Van Valen to proposed the Red Queen hypothesis, Which emphasized the primacy of conflict biotic over abiotic forces in driving selection. Species must continually evolve to survive in the face of evolving Their enemies, yet on average Their fitness remains Unchanged. We define three modes of the Red Queen Coevolution to unify bothering fluctuating and directional selection within the Red Queen framework. Empirical Evidence from natural interspecific antagonisms Provides support for each of These modes of Coevolution and Suggests That They thwart operate Simultaneously. We argue That understanding the evolutionary forces Associated with interspecific interactions requires incorporation of a community framework, in Which new interactions Occur frequently. During Their early Phases, These newly Established interactions are likely to drive the evolution of Both parties. We argue Further That a more complete synthesis of the Red Queen forces requires incorporation of the evolutionary conflicts within species That Arise from sexual reproduction. Reciprocally, taking the Red Queen's perspective advances our understanding of the evolution of These intraspecific conflicts.

No comments:

Post a Comment