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Abstract Detail



Botany 2015 Colloquium: Integrated perspectives on the ecology, genetics and coevolution of intimate mutualisms

Segraves, Kari A. [1].

The impact of cheating on mutualism.

A critical problem in the study of mutualism is to understand how mutualisms are maintained despite the presence of cheaters, or individuals that reap the benefits of a mutualism without reciprocating. Many theoretical studies have examined the conditions that might favor the stable coexistence of mutualists and cheaters, and recent work suggests that the evolutionary history of a mutualism may strongly impact coexistence with cheaters. For many mutualisms involving plants, understanding the long-term ecological and evolutionary dynamics of mutualism is complicated by phylogenetic history, long lifespans, and the ability to manipulate community composition and mutualist abundance. For this reason, synthetic microbial systems are becoming an important vehicle to examine mutualism dynamics. Using a synthetic yeast mutualism that mimics plant-mycorrhizal and plant-rhizobium interactions, I examine the ecological and evolutionary consequences of mutualism dynamics with and without exploitation by antagonistic cheater strains. The results suggest that mutualists that have an opportunity to (co)evolve with each other are more resilient to exploitation. These findings suggest that the shared evolutionary history of mutualists may allow adaptations that permit mutualism to be stable in a community context.


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1 - Syracuse University, Biology, 107 College Pl, Syracuse, NY, 13244, USA

Keywords:
mutualism
coevolution
synthetic biology
cheating.

Presentation Type: Colloquium Presentations
Session: C4
Location: Hall C/The Shaw Conference Centre
Date: Tuesday, July 28th, 2015
Time: 3:30 PM
Number: C4008
Abstract ID:303
Candidate for Awards:None


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