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Periods of low host density impose a constraint on parasites with direct transmission, challenging their permanence in the system. The microsporidium Octosporea bayeri faces such constraint in a metapopulation of its host, the cladoceran Daphnia magna, where ponds frequently lose their host population due to ponds drying out in summer and freezing in(More)
Estimates of phenoloxidase (PO) activity have been suggested as a useful indicator of immunocompetence in arthropods, with the idea that high PO activity would indicate high immunocompetence against parasites and pathogens. Here, we test for variation in PO activity among clones of the planktonic crustacean Daphnia magna and its covariation with(More)
The microsporidium Octosporea bayeri can infect its host, the planktonic crustacean Daphnia magna, vertically and horizontally. The two routes differ greatly in the way the parasite leaves the harbouring host (transmission) and in the way it enters a new, susceptible host (infection). Infections resulting from each route may thus vary in the way they affect(More)
The free-living flatworm, Macrostomum lignano has an impressive regenerative capacity. Following injury, it can regenerate almost an entirely new organism because of the presence of an abundant somatic stem cell population, the neoblasts. This set of unique properties makes many flatworms attractive organisms for studying the evolution of pathways involved(More)
The fresh-water crustacean Daphnia magna may acquire an infection with the microsporidium Octosporea bayeri either by ingesting spores from the water (horizontally), or directly from its mother (vertically). Due to differences in the time and mechanisms of transmission, horizontal and vertical infections may lead to differences in the growth of the parasite(More)
Most sex allocation theory is based on the relationship between the resource investment into male and female reproduction and the consequent fitness returns (often called fitness-gain curves). Here we investigate the effects of resource availability on the sex allocation of a simultaneously hermaphroditic animal, the free-living flatworm Macrostomum(More)
Sex allocation theory is considered as a touchstone of evolutionary biology, providing some of the best supported examples for Darwinian adaptation. In particular, Hamilton's local mate competition theory has been shown to generate precise predictions for extraordinary sex ratios observed in many separate-sexed organisms. In analogy to local mate(More)
Sperm are the most diverse of all animal cell types, and much of the diversity in sperm design is thought to reflect adaptations to the highly variable conditions under which sperm function and compete to achieve fertilization. Recent work has shown that these conditions often evolve rapidly as a consequence of multiple mating, suggesting a role for sexual(More)
Mixed infections, where more than one parasite genotype is present in a single host, have been suggested to be an important factor in host-parasite interactions. As the host represents a limited resource, co-infecting parasite genotypes are expected to be under resource competition. Competition will not only modify the survival of the co-infecting(More)
Sexual selection has initially been thought to occur exclusively at the precopulatory stage in terms of contests among males and female mate choice, but research over the last four decades revealed that it often continues after copulation through sperm competition and cryptic female choice. However, studying these postcopulatory processes remains(More)