Tobias L. Lenz

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Genetic variation in coding regions is of strong interest for biologists as it represents an important factor that drives evolution. To analyse polymorphic loci, researchers usually rely on commonly used typing techniques such as cloning, SSCP, DGGE or RSCA. However, there are potential pitfalls in screening multi-allelic templates, which are mainly the(More)
Speciation and the maintenance of recently diverged species has been subject of intense research in evolutionary biology for decades. Although the concept of ecological speciation has been accepted, its mechanisms and genetic bases are still under investigation. Here, we present a mechanism for speciation that is orchestrated and strengthened by parasite(More)
Parasitism is a common form of life and represents a strong selective pressure for host organisms. In response to this evolutionary pressure, vertebrates have developed genetically coded defences such as the major histocompatibility complex (MHC). Mechanisms of parasite-mediated selection not only maintain outstanding polymorphism in these genes but have(More)
Since the end of the Pleistocene, the three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) has repeatedly colonized and adapted to various freshwater habitats probably originating from ancestral marine populations. Standing genetic variation and the underlying genomic architecture both have been speculated to contribute to recent adaptive radiations of(More)
Polymorphic genes of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) are regarded as essential genes for individual fitness under conditions of natural and sexual selection. To test this hypothesis, we investigated the ultimate individual fitness trait--that of reproductive success. We used three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus) in seminatural(More)
Although crucial for the understanding of adaptive evolution, genetically resolved examples of local adaptation are rare. To maximize survival and reproduction in their local environment, hosts should resist their local parasites and pathogens. The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) with its key function in parasite resistance represents an ideal(More)
The patterns of genomic divergence during ecological speciation are shaped by a combination of evolutionary forces. Processes such as genetic drift, local reduction of gene flow around genes causing reproductive isolation, hitchhiking around selected variants, variation in recombination and mutation rates are all factors that can contribute to the(More)
Genes of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) code for key functions in the adaptive immune response of vertebrates and most of them show exceptionally high polymorphism. This polymorphism has been associated with the selection by diverse and changing parasite communities. We analysed MHC class IIB diversity, gastrointestinal parasite load and body(More)
Bats account for one-fifth of mammalian species, are the only mammals with powered flight, and are among the few animals that echolocate. The insect-eating Brandt's bat (Myotis brandtii) is the longest-lived bat species known to date (lifespan exceeds 40 years) and, at 4-8 g adult body weight, is the most extreme mammal with regard to disparity between body(More)
In all jawed vertebrates, highly polymorphic genes of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) encode antigen presenting molecules that play a key role in the adaptive immune response. Their polymorphism is composed of multiple copies of recently duplicated genes, each possessing many alleles within populations, as well as high nucleotide divergence(More)