Data from: Behaviour out of control: experimental evolution of resistance to host manipulation
Hafer-Hahmann, Nina (2019), Data from: Behaviour out of control: experimental evolution of resistance to host manipulation, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.cb2f70h
Many parasites alter their host’s phenotype in a manner that enhances their own fitness beyond the benefits they would gain from normal exploitation. Such host manipulation is rarely consistent with the host’s best interests resulting in suboptimal and often fatal behaviour from the host’s perspective. In this case, hosts should evolve resistance to host manipulation. The cestode Schistocephalus solidus manipulates the behaviour of its first intermediate copepod host to reduce its predation susceptibility and avoid fatal premature predation before the parasite is ready for transmission to its subsequent host. Thereafter, S. solidus increases host activity to facilitate transmission. If successful, this host manipulation is necessarily fatal for the host. I selected the copepod Macrocyclops albidus, a first intermediate host of S. solidus, for resistance or susceptibility to host manipulation to investigate their evolvability. Selection on the host indeed increased host manipulation in susceptible and reduced host manipulation in resistant selection lines. Interestingly, this seemed to be at least partly due to changes in the baseline levels of the modified trait (activity) rather than actual changes in resistance or susceptibility to host manipulation. Hence, hosts seem restricted in how rapidly and efficiently they can evolve resistance to host manipulation.