William T. Starmer

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Vertebrate vision is mediated by five groups of visual pigments, each absorbing a specific wavelength of light between ultraviolet and red. Despite extensive mutagenesis analyses, the mechanisms by which contemporary pigments absorb variable wavelengths of light are poorly understood. We show that the molecular basis of the spectral tuning of contemporary(More)
Yeast communities of decayingStenocereus gummosus were analyzed for spatial, temporal, and physiological characteristics. Analysis of random samples within plants, between plants, and between localities shows that the species proportions of the yeast community are relatively constant within plants and between localities, but that there is significant(More)
Postcopulatory sexual selection favours males which are strong offensive and defensive sperm competitors. As a means of identifying component traits comprising each strategy, we used an experimental evolution approach. Separate populations of Drosophila melanogaster were selected for enhanced sperm offence and defence. Despite using a large outbred(More)
We studied specific yeast communities vectored by beetles, drosophilids, and bees that visit ephemeral flowers, mostly in the genus Hibiscus and in the families Convolvulaceae and Cactaceae, in the Neotropical, Nearctic, and Australian biogeographic regions. The communities consist mostly of yeasts in four clades centered around the genera Metschnikowia,(More)
BACKGROUND Identifying traits that reproductively isolate species, and the selective forces underlying their divergence, is a central goal of evolutionary biology and speciation research. There is growing recognition that postcopulatory sexual selection, which can drive rapid diversification of interacting ejaculate and female reproductive tract traits that(More)
  • M Polak, W T Starmer
  • Proceedings. Biological sciences
  • 1998
A trade-off between sex and somatic maintenance is fundamental to life-history theory. Tests of this trade-off usually emphasize deleterious consequences of increased reproduction on life span. Here we show the reverse effect, that reductions in the expected life span elevate sexual activity. Experimentally parasitized male Drosophila nigrospiracula lived(More)
Contrary to early predictions of sperm competition theory, postcopulatory sexual selection favoring increased investment per sperm (e.g., sperm size, sperm quality) has been demonstrated in numerous organisms. We empirically demonstrate for Drosophila melanogaster that both sperm quality and sperm quantity independently contribute to competitive male(More)
The mutualistic interactions of cactophilicDrosophila and their associated yeasts in the Sonoran Desert are studied as a system which has evolved within the framework of their host cactus stem chemistry. Because theDrosophila-yeast system is saphrophytic, their responses are not thought to directly influence the evolution of the host. Host cactus stem(More)
The yeast communities from slime fluxes of three deciduous trees (Prosopis juliflora, Populus fremontii and Quercus emoryi) and the necroses of two cacti (Opuntia phaeacantha and Carnegiea gigantea) were surveyed in the region of Tucson, Arizona. In addition, the yeasts carried by dipterans associated with the fluxes or necroses (Drosophila carbonaria, D.(More)
The killer phenomenon of yeasts was investigated in naturally occurring yeast communities. Yeast species from communities associated with the decaying stems and fruits of cactus and the slime fluxes of trees were studied for production of killer toxins and sensitivity to killer toxins produced by other yeasts. Yeasts found in decaying fruits showed the(More)