Susanna Puustinen

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To examine putative specialization of a hemiparasitic plant to the most beneficial host species, we studied genetic variation in performance and trade-offs between performance on different host species in the generalist hemiparasite, Rhinanthus serotinus. We grew 25 maternal half-sib families of the parasite on Agrostis capillaris and Trifolium pratense and(More)
Host organisms are believed to evolve defense mechanisms (i.e., resistance and/or tolerance) under selective pressures exerted by natural enemies. A prerequisite for the evolution of resistance and tolerance is the existence of genetic variation in these traits for natural selection to act. However, selection for resistance and/or tolerance may be(More)
Coevolution may lead to local adaptation of parasites to their sympatric hosts. Locally adapted parasites are, on average, more infectious to sympatric hosts than to allopatric hosts of the same species or their fitness on the sympatric hosts is superior to that on allopatric hosts. We tested local adaptation of a hemiparasitic plant, Rhinanthus serotinus(More)
Plant resistance and tolerance to herbivores, parasites, pathogens, and abiotic factors may involve two types of costs. First, resistance and tolerance may be costly in terms of plant fitness. Second, resistance and tolerance to multiple enemies may involve ecological trade-offs. Our study species, the stinging nettle ( Urtica dioica L.) has significant(More)
Theoretical models predict that parasite relatedness affects the outcome of competition between parasites, and the evolution of parasite virulence. We examined whether parasite relatedness affects competition between parasitic plants (Cuscuta europaea) that share common host plants (Urtica dioica). We infected hosts with two parasitic plants that were(More)
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