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Inducible Defenses with a "Twist" : Daphnia barbata Abandons Bilateral Symmetry in Response to an Ancient Predator

Title data

Herzog, Quirin ; Rabus, Max ; Wolfschoon Ribeiro, Bernard ; Laforsch, Christian:
Inducible Defenses with a "Twist" : Daphnia barbata Abandons Bilateral Symmetry in Response to an Ancient Predator.
In: PLoS One. Vol. 11 (2016) Issue 2 . - e0148556.
ISSN 1932-6203
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0148556

Project information

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Open Access PublizierenNo information

Project financing: Universität Bayreuth

Abstract in another language

Predation is one of the most important drivers of natural selection. In consequence a huge variety of anti-predator defenses have evolved in prey species. Under unpredictable and temporally variable predation pressure, the evolution of phenotypically plastic defensive traits is favored. These “inducible defenses”, range from changes in behavior, life history, physiology to morphology and can be found in almost all taxa from bacteria to vertebrates. An important group of model organisms in ecological, evolutionary and environmental research, water fleas of the genus Daphnia (Crustacea: Cladocera), are well known for their ability to respond to predators with an enormous variety of inducible morphological defenses. Here we report on the “twist”, a body torsion, as a so far unrecognized inducible morphological defense in Daphnia, expressed by Daphnia barbata exposed to the predatory tadpole shrimp Triops cancriformis. This defense is realized by a twisted carapace with the helmet and the tail spine deviating from the body axis into opposing directions, resulting in a complete abolishment of bilateral symmetry. The twisted morphotype should considerably interfere with the feeding apparatus of the predator, contributing to the effectiveness of the array of defensive traits in D. barbata. As such this study does not only describe a completely novel inducible defense in the genus Daphnia but also presents the first report of a free living Bilateria to flexibly respond to predation risk by abandoning bilateral symmetry.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Additional notes: BAYCEER135247
Keywords: inducible defenses; predator-prey-interactions; Daphnia; plankton; bilateral symmetry
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Biology > Chair Animal Ecology I
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Biology > Chair Animal Ecology I > Chair Animal Ecology I - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Christian Laforsch
Faculties
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Biology
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 500 Science > 570 Life sciences, biology
500 Science > 590 Animals (Zoology)
Date Deposited: 23 Feb 2016 12:45
Last Modified: 13 Mar 2018 12:05
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/31114