Adaptation through niche construction and microbiome function in Onthophagus beetles
Led by Armin Moczek
This project on Onthophagus dung beetles investigates the roles of the microbiome and larval conditioning in facilitating ecological specialisation across dung types, responses to novel anthropogenic challenges such as antibiotics and toxins, and enabling plastic responses to natural environmental fluctuations. We are testing whether novel microbiome members result in the acquisition and stable non-genetic inheritance of novel functions.
Developmental and ecological benefits of the maternally transmitted microbiota in a dung beetle.
Schwab DB, Riggs HE, Newton ILG, Moczek AP. 2016. Am Nat 188(6):679-692.
EES predictions this project tests
- Conceptual issues
- Evolutionary innovations
- Inclusive inheritance
- Evolutionary diversification