Sara Goodacre besøger CMEC 22.-25 nov – University of Copenhagen

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23. november 2011

Sara Goodacre besøger CMEC 22.-25 nov

Sara Goodacre afholder et seminar "What Makes a Spider Fly? Dispersal, population differentiation and endosymbiont infections in linyphiid spiders".

Tidspunkt: 24. nov 2011 kl. 14.00

Sted: Bygning 10 auditorium A

Sara L. Goodacre
School of Biology, University of Nottingham, NG7 2RD, UK What Makes a Spider Fly? Dispersal, population differentiation and endosymbiont infections in linyphiid spiders

Dispersal plays a key role in shaping important biological and ecological processes such as the spatial structure of populations and their response to temporal changes in the environment. We have studied long-distance, aerial dispersal in linyphiid spiders from heterogeneous environments where re-colonisation is likely to be an important factor in determining population persistence. We find that populations from these areas are infected with a range of maternally inherited endosymbiotic bacteria, one of which appears to reduce the tendency for females to disperse long distances. This bacterium also appears to increase the sensitivity of its spider host to commonly used insecticides, a factor that may be important in determining the likelihood of infections persisting in agricultural settings.
Dispersal facilitates the exchange of genes between populations, counteracting the effects of random genetic drift and the fixation of localised adaptations within a wider meta-population. Decreased dispersal of females in response to bacterial infections is thus expected to increase the rate at which localised variants can be fixed and may also cause local perturbations in the population sex ratio. The potential of maternally acquired bacteria to limit gene flow and alter the population sex ratio directly (rather than indirectly through mechanisms such as effecting cytoplasmic incompatibility, or through killing of males) appears to be unique to spiders. The possibility that the phenomenon occurs in other arthropod communities in response to similar infections should be explored.