Many flowering plants produce highly diverse and specific floral scents that are important for mediating interactions with their pollinators and/or herbivores. The well-known fitness effects and extraordinary diversity of floral scents provide an excellent system for studying the evolution of novel adaptive traits in plants. However, very few studies have revealed how plants evolve new floral scents.
In this study, a group of scientists from Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology and University of Münster uncovered the biosynthetic machinery and evolution of a species-specific nocturnal floral volatile of a wild tobacco (Nicotiana attenuata): benzyl acetone (BA), a compound that mediates both pollinator attraction and florivore deterrence. They demonstrated that three genes, NaPAL4, NaIFR3, and NaCHAL3 are sufficient and necessary for the BA biosynthesis in N. attenuata. They also found that while independent changes in transcription in all three genes contributed to intraspecific variations of floral BA emission, the gain of expression of NaIFR3 resulted in the biosynthesis of BA, which was only found in N. attenuata. Because NaIFR3 evolved from a gene duplication that occurred earlier than the diversification of Nicotiana, this study provided an example that novel metabolic pathways can arise via altering the expression of existing genes.
The study not only revealed how novel adaptive traits have been evolved, but also shows different genetic mechanisms are involved in intra- and interspecific variations of adaptive traits. Scientists found that while all three biosynthetic genes contributed to the intraspecific variations of floral BA emission, only the expression changes in NaIFR3 contributed to differences in floral BA emission among closely related species. The results indicate that adaptive traits might evolve differently between and within species.
The study showed that a new metabolic pathway can arise via expression changes in a single gene. Such mechanism might not only explain the evolution of amazing diversity of specialized metabolites in plants, but also demonstrated the potential of using metabolic engineering in crop development and protection.
Han Guo, Nathalie D Lackus, Tobias G Köllner, Ran Li, Julia Bing, Yangzi Wang, Ian T Baldwin, Shuqing Xu, Evolution of a Novel and Adaptive Floral Scent in Wild Tobacco, Molecular Biology and Evolution, , msz292, https://doi.org/10.1093/molbev/msz292
The University Society Münster has honored the outstanding research achievements of two young scientists of the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster (WWU): In a ceremony the physician Prof. Dr. Maged Alnawaiseh and biologist Dr. Susann Wicke received this years award for the promotion of young scientists. The awards are endowed with 5,000 euros each provided by the University of Münster.
How do animals think and feel? Are there pessimists and optimists among them? How does the environment affect their well-being? Animal researchers investigate all this at the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster (WWU). If you want to learn more about these and other exciting topics, you do not have to go on nature trips or to the lab. With the new program "e-vite a prof!" ("Invite a Professor") scientists of our department will now come to all interested parties and talk about their research results - in schools, clubs or in other groups.
The Science Pub is a well established series of lectures in a relaxed atmosphere. On Monday, 18.02.2019, the latest event took place at Ratskeller in Münster. This was the first Science Pub after the death of Hans-Dieter Görtz who initiated this lecture series. Prof. Dr. Joachim Kurtz was honoured to talk about parasites and their hosts, examining their coevolution. To read a full article on the event written by the Westfälische Nachrichten follow this link.
Die Hochschule Rhein-Waal (HSRW) und die Deutsche Gesellschaft für Limnologie (DGL) freuen sich, Sie zur 34. Jahrestagung der DGL an den Niederrhein einladen zu dürfen. Die diesjährige Jahrestagung wird am 10.–14. September 2018 am Campus Kamp-Lintfort (Kreis Wesel) der Hochschule Niederrhein stattfinden.
Unter dem Motto „Limnologie am Niederrhein: Wissen, Wirtschaft, Wege und Wildnis“ wollen wir uns besonders den vielfältigen Nutzungen der Gewässer und ihres Umfeldes annehmen, die zugleich Belastungen wie Chancen für ihre Entwicklung sein können.
Mehr Informationen gibt es auf der offiziellen Veranstaltungsseite.
"Variation in behaviour among group members often impacts collective outcomes. Individuals may vary both in the task that they perform and in the persistence with which they perform each task. Although both the distribution of individuals among tasks and differences among individuals in behavioural persistence can each impact collective behaviour, we do not know if and how they jointly affect collective outcomes…..Our work provides new insights and generates new hypotheses into how variations in behaviour at both the individual and colony levels jointly impact the trade-off between exploring for new resources and exploiting familiar ones."
Mosqueiro, T., Cook, C., Huerta, R., Gadau, J., Smith, B., & Pinter-Wollman, N. (2017). Task allocation and site fidelity jointly influence foraging regulation in honeybee colonies. Royal Society Open Science, 4(8). DOI: 10.1098/rsos.170344
Am 23.06.2017 fand zum zweiten Mal die Veranstaltung "Biodiversität unter Wasser“ in Kooperation mit dem Institut für Evolution und Biodiversität, Abteilung für Limnologie der Westfälischen Wilhelms- Universität Münster (WWU) und dem Landesfischereiverband Westfalen und Lippe e.V. (LFV) im Blauen Klassenzimmer in Münster statt. Prof. Dr. E. Meyer hielt im Rahmen der Veranstaltung einen Vortag mit dem Titel "Welche Tiere leben unter Wasser? Die heimische Gewässerfauna im Überblick".
Weitere Informationen finden Sie auf der Seite der Natur – und Umweltschutz-Akademie NRW.
On 23. June 2017 the second "Biodiversität unter Wasser" workshop was held an organized in cooperation with the Limnology Group of the Instutute for Evolution and Biodiversity and the Landesfischereiverband Westfalen und Lippe e.V. (LFV). Prof. Dr. E. Meyer gave a talk on the topic of biodiveryity under water titled "Welche Tiere leben unter Wasser? Die heimische Gewässerfauna im Überblick".
For more informations visit the page of the Natur – und Umweltschutz-Akademie NRW.