Navigation Links
Pirate-like flies connect symbiosis to diversity
Date:2/5/2013

After a year of studying up close the symbiotic relationship between a mosquito-sized bug and a fungus, a Simon Fraser University biologist has advanced the scientific understanding of biological diversity.

Jeffrey Joy has discovered that symbiosis a relationship between two or more organisms that can be parasitic or mutualistic is as much the mother of biological diversity as predation and competition.

The Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B journal has just published the post-doctoral researcher's findings online. They advance Joy's previous doctoral work under SFU biologist Bernard Crespi that led to a paper, in the same journal, about the remarkable diversity of plant feeding insects.

Joy's latest paper is Symbiosis catalyzes niche expansion and diversification.

After comparing the niche and species diversification of two categories of gall-inducing flies, Joy has concluded that prolific diversity can be a hallmark of symbiotic relationships. No bigger than a speck of dust on your fingertip, these flies (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) are ubiquitous worldwide, with more than 6100 species.

Joy found one group (617 families) of these flies was in a symbiotic relationship with a fungus called Botryosphaeria. Another, much larger control group (2809 families) had no such relationship with the fungus.

Scientists are not yet certain how the fly and fungus came together in the first place. But Joy has discovered that their relationship has evolved at least four different times, since the two first saw symbiosis as opposed to love at first sight.

Flies involved with the fungi have developed the ability to pick up the fungi, store them in biological pockets and deposit them on plants. There, the flies use the fungi to turn plant tissue into food inside a gall, a tumour-like structure that the flies cause on the plant.

"The flies are like pirates," explains Joy. "They use the fungi as boats to float across a genomic sea and board a plant that is genetically far removed from what they would otherwise be able to feed on."

The fungus, which is a broad-feeding plant pathogen, allows the flies to feed on a greater variety of plants compared to their non-symbiotic brethren.

"Symbiotic lineages of these flies have undergone a more than seven-fold expansion in the range of plants they can feed on relative to the lineages without such fungal symbionts. Also, one genus of gall-inducing flies utilizing fungal symbionts is 50 per cent more diverse than its brethren without the symbiotic relationship."

Joy is as excited about discovering how symbiosis between flies and fungi advances evolutionary theories as he is about discovering the relationship itself.

"The goal of this work was to test predictions of evolutionary theories of diversification and symbiosis," explains Joy. "The theory I observed in action is that the evolution of symbiosis catalyzes niche expansion an organism's use of more resources and diversification increased species in lineages.

"These findings expand our understanding of how biological diversity is generated and how processes, such as symbiosis, lead to some remarkable examples of biology, such as the symbiotic mutualism between clownfish and sea anemone."


'/>"/>

Contact: Carol Thorbes
cthorbes@sfu.ca
778-782-3035
Simon Fraser University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Scientists mimic fireflies to make brighter LEDs
2. Treating stable flies in pastures
3. Stopping flies before they mature
4. Protecting US troops against sand flies
5. Viable and fertile fruit flies in the absence of histone H3.3
6. Evolutionary straitjacket means flies cant take the heat
7. Massachusetts butterflies move north as climate warms
8. Hormone in fruit flies sheds light on diabetes cure, weight-loss drug for humans
9. Rewarding work for butterflies
10. Do the worlds smallest flies decapitate tiny ants?
11. Glycogen accumulation in neurons causes brain damage and shortens the lives of flies and mice
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/23/2017)... and ITHACA, N.Y. , ... and Cornell University, a leader in dairy research, today ... bioinformatics designed to help reduce the chances that the ... the onset of this dairy project, Cornell University has ... for Sequencing the Food Supply Chain, a food safety ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... 16, 2017  Veratad Technologies, LLC ( www.veratad.com ), ... and identity verification solutions, announced today they will participate ... May 15 thru May 17, 2017, in ... Trade Center. Identity impacts the lives ... today,s quickly evolving digital world, defining identity is critical ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... , April 24, 2017 Janice ... partner with  Identity Strategy Partners, LLP (IdSP) , ... or without President Trump,s March 6, 2017 ... Entry , refugee vetting can be instilled with greater ... (Right now, all refugee applications are suspended by ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:9/19/2017)... ... September 19, 2017 , ... A best-selling author ... tech companies. “Grit” author Angela Duckworth and her team at Character Lab have ... Cooley, an international law firm with decades of experience supporting high-growth companies in ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... SAN FRANCISCO , Sept. 19, 2017 ... Management Solutions (VLMS) is pleased to announce the strategic ... VTI to provide clients with validation services using the ... a partner, VTI will provide clients with efficient and ... be a marketing partner for the ValGenesis VLMS system. ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... NC (PRWEB) , ... September 19, 2017 , ... ... on band technologies for surgical applications, announced today that two new patents have ... , Michael Albert, MD, Co-Founder of Band-LOK, said, “We continue to explore additional ...
(Date:9/18/2017)... SANTA BARBARA, CALIFORNIA (PRWEB) , ... September 18, ... ... risk management, technological innovation and business process optimization firm for the life sciences ... presentation at the ServiceMax Maximize 2017 conference. , What: Digital Transformation in Medical ...
Breaking Biology Technology: