symbiont-mediated phenotypic variation without co-evolution in an insect-fungus association.recent studies have shown that symbionts can be a source of adaptive phenotypic variation for their hosts. it is assumed that co-evolution between hosts and symbionts underlies these ecologically significant phenotypic traits. we tested this assumption in the ectosymbiotic fungal associate of the gall midge asteromyia carbonifera. phylogenetic analysis placed the fungal symbiont within a monophyletic clade formed by botryosphaeria dothidea, a typically free-living (i.e. not associated with an in ...201020840311
differences in spatial distribution, morphology, and communities of herbivorous insects among three cytotypes of solidago altissima (asteraceae).• premise of the study: polyploidy in plants can result in genetic isolation, ecological differences among cytotypes, and, ultimately, speciation. cytotypes should be sympatric only if they are segregated in an ecological niche or through prezygotic isolation. we tested whether sympatric diploid, tetraploid, and hexaploid ramets of solidago altissima l. (asteraceae) differ in their ecological niche. • methods: we measured how cytotypes were distributed within habitats, their morphology, and the ...201121926306
rampant host- and defensive phenotype-associated diversification in a goldenrod gall midge.natural selection can play an important role in the genetic divergence of populations and their subsequent speciation. such adaptive diversification, or ecological speciation, might underlie the enormous diversity of plant-feeding insects that frequently experience strong selection pressures associated with host plant use as well as from natural enemies. this view is supported by increasing documentation of host-associated (genetic) differentiation in populations of plant-feeding insects using a ...201222882228
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