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:4/13/2017)... , April 13, 2017 According to a ... Identity Authentication, Identity Analytics, Identity Administration, and Authorization), Service, Authentication Type, Deployment ... the IAM Market is expected to grow from USD 14.30 Billion in ... Rate (CAGR) of 17.3%. ... MarketsandMarkets Logo ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... , April 11, 2017 No ... but researchers at the New York University Tandon ... of Engineering have found that partial similarities between ... systems used in mobile phones and other electronic ... The vulnerability lies in the fact ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... 2017  The Allen Institute for Cell Science today ... one-of-a-kind portal and dynamic digital window into the human ... first application of deep learning to create predictive models ... and a growing suite of powerful tools. The Allen ... future publicly available resources created and shared by the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/22/2017)... ... May 22, 2017 , ... ... other leaders of the Maryland Biohealth community in developing and issuing recommendations to ... 3 U.S. BioHealth Innovation Hub by 2023. , The recommendations ...
(Date:5/19/2017)... , ... May 19, 2017 , ... In response to ... gait disorders, Biodex Medical Systems, Inc. announces the release of their Gait Trainer 3 ... been joined with a biomedical system to aid in rehabilitating individuals with cerebral palsy, ...
(Date:5/18/2017)... ... May 16, 2017 , ... Clinical Supplies Management (“CSM”), a Great ... company continues to grow. CSM has doubled in size over the past six ... aggressive growth strategy. , Roger Gasper joins CSM as Chief Financial Officer. Roger ...
(Date:5/18/2017)... ... May 17, 2017 , ... ... business process optimization firm for the life sciences and healthcare industries, is honored ... and Traceability for Medical Devices conference in Brussels, Belgium. , Crowley played a ...
Breaking Biology Technology: