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The genetic architecture underlying prey-dependent performance in a microbial predator

Stewart, B; Gruenheit, N; Baldwin, A; Chisholm, R; Rozen, D; Harwood, A; Wolf, JB; (2022) The genetic architecture underlying prey-dependent performance in a microbial predator. Nature Communications , 13 (1) , Article 319. 10.1038/s41467-021-27844-x. Green open access

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Abstract

Natural selection should favour generalist predators that outperform specialists across all prey types. Two genetic solutions could explain why intraspecific variation in predatory performance is, nonetheless, widespread: mutations beneficial on one prey type are costly on another (antagonistic pleiotropy), or mutational effects are prey-specific, which weakens selection, allowing variation to persist (relaxed selection). To understand the relative importance of these alternatives, we characterised natural variation in predatory performance in the microbial predator Dictyostelium discoideum. We found widespread nontransitive differences among strains in predatory success across different bacterial prey, which can facilitate stain coexistence in multi-prey environments. To understand the genetic basis, we developed methods for high throughput experimental evolution on different prey (REMI-seq). Most mutations (~77%) had prey-specific effects, with very few (~4%) showing antagonistic pleiotropy. This highlights the potential for prey-specific effects to dilute selection, which would inhibit the purging of variation and prevent the emergence of an optimal generalist predator.

Type: Article
Title: The genetic architecture underlying prey-dependent performance in a microbial predator
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-021-27844-x
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-27844-x
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third-party material in this article are included in the Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: Science & Technology, Multidisciplinary Sciences, Science & Technology - Other Topics, DICTYOSTELIUM-DISCOIDEUM, LOCAL ADAPTATION, TRADE-OFFS, EVOLUTION, FITNESS, SELECTION, HOST, CHEMOTAXIS, MUTATIONS, DIVERSITY
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Genetics, Evolution and Environment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10142445
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