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Data from: Vertically transmitted symbiont reduces host fitness along temperature gradient

Citation

Dusi, Eike et al. (2014), Data from: Vertically transmitted symbiont reduces host fitness along temperature gradient, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.hk46g

Abstract

Parasites with exclusive vertical transmission from host parent to offspring are an evolutionary puzzle. With parasite fitness entirely linked to host reproduction, any fitness cost for infected hosts risks their selective elimination. Environmental conditions likely influence parasite impact, and thereby the success of purely vertical transmission strategies. We tested for temperature-dependent virulence of Caedibacter taeniospiralis, a vertically transmitted bacterial symbiont of the protozoan Paramecium tetraurelia. We compared growth of infected and cured host populations at five temperatures (16-32°C). Infection reduced host density at all temperatures, with a peak at 28°C. These patterns were largely consistent across five infected Paramecium strains. Similar to Wolbachia symbionts, C. taeniospiralis may compensate fitness costs by conferring to the host a 'killer trait', targeting uninfected competitors. Considerable loss of infection at 32°C suggests that killer efficacy is not universal and that limited heat tolerance restricts the conditions for persistence of C. taeniospiralis.

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