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Complex interactions underpin social behaviour in Dictyostelium giganteum


Sathe, Santosh; Nanjundiah, Vidyanand (2018). Complex interactions underpin social behaviour in Dictyostelium giganteum. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology:72:167.

Abstract

In the wild, social groups of the cellular slime mould amoeba Dictyostelium giganteum are genetically heterogeneous more often than not. When studied as 1:1 binary mixes, amoebae of one strain almost always form more spores than the other, an observation that leads one to wonder what might be responsible for the long-term persistence of different strains in nature. We have monitored a number of individual and collective traits bearing on reproductive fitness in chimaeras of Dictyostelium giganteum obtained by mixing pairs of starved amoebae belonging to distinct wild-type strains in proportions ranging from 1:9 to 9:1. The main findings are that intercellular interactions take place at more than one stage of the life cycle and that generalisations drawn after mixing cells only in a 1:1 ratio can be misleading. A strain that does better than another in respect of some component of fitness (for example, spore formation) may do worse in respect of a different component (for example, growth rate). Also, a strain that is a more efficient sporulator than a second strain in one context may be less efficient in another context. In addition to such trade-offs, spore formation in chimaeras can exhibit negative frequency dependence, which too can lead to stable co-existence.

Abstract

In the wild, social groups of the cellular slime mould amoeba Dictyostelium giganteum are genetically heterogeneous more often than not. When studied as 1:1 binary mixes, amoebae of one strain almost always form more spores than the other, an observation that leads one to wonder what might be responsible for the long-term persistence of different strains in nature. We have monitored a number of individual and collective traits bearing on reproductive fitness in chimaeras of Dictyostelium giganteum obtained by mixing pairs of starved amoebae belonging to distinct wild-type strains in proportions ranging from 1:9 to 9:1. The main findings are that intercellular interactions take place at more than one stage of the life cycle and that generalisations drawn after mixing cells only in a 1:1 ratio can be misleading. A strain that does better than another in respect of some component of fitness (for example, spore formation) may do worse in respect of a different component (for example, growth rate). Also, a strain that is a more efficient sporulator than a second strain in one context may be less efficient in another context. In addition to such trade-offs, spore formation in chimaeras can exhibit negative frequency dependence, which too can lead to stable co-existence.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Department of Plant and Microbial Biology
Dewey Decimal Classification:580 Plants (Botany)
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Life Sciences > Animal Science and Zoology
Uncontrolled Keywords:Animal Science and Zoology, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Language:English
Date:1 October 2018
Deposited On:05 Feb 2019 14:53
Last Modified:29 Jul 2020 09:10
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0340-5443
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00265-018-2572-9

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