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Parasite-mediated selection in a natural metapopulation of Daphnia magna

Cite this dataset

Cabalzar, Andrea Patricia et al. (2019). Parasite-mediated selection in a natural metapopulation of Daphnia magna [Dataset]. Dryad.


Parasite-mediated selection varying across time and space in metapopulations is expected to result in host local adaptation and the maintenance of genetic diversity in disease-related traits. However, non-adaptive processes like migration and extinction-(re)colonization dynamics might interfere with adaptive evolution. Understanding how adaptive and non-adaptive processes interact to shape genetic variability in life-history and disease-related traits can provide important insights into their evolution in subdivided populations. Here we investigate signatures of spatially fluctuating, parasite-mediated selection in a natural metapopulation of Daphnia magna. Host genotypes from infected and uninfected populations were genotyped at microsatellite markers, and phenotyped for life-history and disease traits in common garden experiments. Combining phenotypic and genotypic data a QST-FST-like analysis was conducted to test for signatures of parasite mediated selection. We observed high variation within and among populations for phenotypic traits, but neither an indication of host local adaptation nor a cost of resistance. Infected populations have a higher gene diversity (Hs) than uninfected populations and Hs is strongly positively correlated with fitness. These results suggest a strong parasite effect on reducing population level inbreeding. We discuss how stochastic processes related to frequent extinction-(re)colonization dynamics as well as host and parasite migration impede the evolution of resistance in the infected populations. We suggest that the genetic and phenotypic patterns of variation are a product of dynamic changes in the host gene pool caused by the interaction of colonization bottlenecks, inbreeding, immigration, hybrid vigor, rare host genotype advantage and parasitism. Our study highlights the effect of the parasite in ameliorating the negative fitness consequences caused by the high drift load in this metapopulation.