Javascript is not activated in your browser. This website needs javascript activated to work properly.
You are here

Temperature-dependent costs of parasitism and maintenance of polymorphism under genotype-by-environment interactions

  • P. F. Vale
  • Martin Stjernman
  • T. J. Little
Publishing year: 2008
Language: English
Pages: 1418-1427
Publication/Series: Journal of evolutionary biology
Volume: 21
Issue: 5
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

Abstract english

The maintenance of genetic variation for infection-related traits is often attributed to coevolution between hosts and parasites, but it can also be maintained by environmental variation if the relative fitness of different genotypes changes with environmental variation. To gain insight into how infection-related traits are sensitive to environmental variation, we exposed a single host genotype of the freshwater crustacean Daphnia magna to four parasite isolates (which we assume to represent different genotypes) of its naturally co-occurring parasite Pasteuria ramosa at 15, 20 and 25 degrees C. We found that the cost to the host of becoming infected varied with temperature, but the magnitude of this cost did not depend on the parasite isolate. Temperature influenced parasite fitness traits; we found parasite genotype-by-environment (G x E) interactions for parasite transmission stage production, suggesting the potential for temperature variation to maintain genetic variation in this trait. Finally, we tested for temperature-dependent relationships between host and parasite fitness traits that form a key component of models of virulence evolution, and we found them to be stable across temperatures.


  • Ecology
  • Pasteuria ramosa
  • infectivity
  • host-parasite
  • genotype-by-environment interaction
  • genetic variation
  • cost of parasitism
  • Daphnia magna
  • virulence evolution
  • transmission
  • temperature


  • ISSN: 1420-9101
Martin Stjernman
E-mail: martin [dot] stjernman [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se



+46 46 222 38 20



Research group

Biodiversity and Conservation Science


Predicting effects of the common agricultural policy on farmland birds

Doctoral students and postdocs

PhD students, assistant supervisor

Gabriel Norevik

Downloads & links