Rapid and repeated evolution of mutualism at micro- and macro-evolutionary scales

Thu, Apr 26, 2018, 12:30 pm

Conventional wisdom has it that the evolution of cooperation is undermined by conflicts of interest between partners, yet it is also often suggested that cooperation leads to ecological or evolutionary success. This apparent contradiction may be resolved if cooperation evolves rarely, but creates ecological opportunity. However, my lab’s recent research on the evolution of cooperation in plant-animal and host-microbe mutualisms suggests that mutualism evolves more quickly and more often than expected. I will describe the results of two projects exploring: 1) the experimental evolution of cooperation in rhizobia that fix nitrogen for their hosts, and 2) the macro-evolution of ant-plant mutualisms, and the possibility that ants and plants have diversified in tandem via what we call “cooperation-and-radiate coevolution.” 

Guyot 10
Open to the public

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