Skip to main content

Data from: Rapid evolution of antioxidant defense in a natural population of Daphnia magna

Cite this dataset

Oexle, Sarah et al. (2016). Data from: Rapid evolution of antioxidant defense in a natural population of Daphnia magna [Dataset]. Dryad.


Natural populations can cope with rapid changes in stressors by relying on sets of physiological defense mechanisms. Little is known onto what extent these physiological responses reflect plasticity and/or genetic adaptation, evolve in the same direction and result in an increased defense ability. Using resurrection ecology, we studied how a natural Daphnia magna population adjusted its antioxidant defense to ultraviolet radiation (UVR) during a period with increasing incident UVR reaching the water surface. We demonstrate rapid evolution of the induction patterns of key antioxidant enzymes under UVR exposure in the laboratory. Notably, evolutionary changes strongly differed among enzymes and mainly involved the evolution of UV-induced plasticity. While D. magna evolved a strong plastic upregulation of glutathione peroxidase under UVR, it evolved a lower plastic upregulation of glutathione S-transferase and superoxide dismutase, and a plastic downregulation of catalase. The differentially evolved antioxidant strategies were collectively equally effective in dealing with oxidative stress since they resulted in the same high levels of oxidative damage (to lipids, proteins and DNA) and lowered fitness (intrinsic growth rate) under UVR exposure. The lack of better protection against UVR may suggest that the UVR exposure did not increase between both periods. Predator-induced evolution to migrate to lower depths that occurred during the same period may have contributed to the evolved defense strategy. Our results highlight the need for a multiple trait approach when focusing on the evolution of defense mechanisms.

Usage notes