OOS 11-3
The ecological and evolutionary ramifications of evolutionary change during plant domestication on generalist herbivores

Monday, August 10, 2015: 2:10 PM
343, Baltimore Convention Center
Martin M. Turcotte, Institut fur Integrative Biologie, ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
Amaneet K. Lochab, Biology, University of Toronto at Mississauga, Canada
Nash E. Turley, Plant Biology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Marc T. J. Johnson, Biology, University of Toronto Mississauga, Mississauga, ON, Canada
Background/Question/Methods:   Interactions between community ecology and rapid evolution can potential drive new ecological and evolutionary outcomes. The domestication of plants into crops can be viewed as a rapid evolutionary process occurring over hundreds of years, or less, and is of tremendous economical and societal importance. Although crop resistance has been a focus of scientific research we addressed the unresolved question of how the process of plant domestication itself impacts ecological and evolutionary interactions with herbivores. We did so by experimentally comparing the performance of two generalist pest herbivores, from different feeding guilds, growing on 29 crop species and their closely related wild relatives.

Results/Conclusions:   We found that domestication does not consistently reduce plant resistance as predicted by theory highlighting the importance of studying multiple independent domestication events.  In addition, using a subset of the species, we asked how domestication impacts current pest evolutionary dynamics. We found that aphids evolve 13.5% more slowly and maintained 10.4% higher genotypic diversity on crops than on wild relatives. Together these results suggest unexpected causal interactions between plant evolution and herbivore ecology and evolution.