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  Niche partitioning as a selective pressure for the evolution of the Drosophila nervous system

Keesey, I., Grabe, V., Knaden, M., & Hansson, B. S. (submitted). Niche partitioning as a selective pressure for the evolution of the Drosophila nervous system.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/690529 (Preprint)
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 Creators:
Keesey, Ian1, Author              
Grabe, Veit1, Author              
Knaden, Markus2, Author              
Hansson, Bill S.1, Author              
Affiliations:
1Department of Evolutionary Neuroethology, Prof. B. S. Hansson, MPI for Chemical Ecology, Max Planck Society, ou_421894              
2Research Group Dr. M. Knaden, Insect Behavior, Department of Neuroethology, Prof. B. S. Hansson, MPI for Chemical Ecology, Max Planck Society, ou_421913              

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 Abstract: The ecological and developmental selective pressures associated with evolution have shaped most animal traits, such as behavior, morphology and neurobiology. As such, the examination of phylogenetic characteristics of the nervous system can be utilized as a means to assess these traits, and thus, to evaluate the underlying selective pressures that produce evolutionary variation between species. Recent studies across a multitude of Drosophila have hypothesized the existence of a fundamental tradeoff between two primary sensory organs, the eye and the antenna. However, the identification of any potential ecological mechanisms for this observed tradeoff have not been firmly established. Our current study examines two monophyletic species within the obscura group, and asserts that despite their close relatedness and overlapping ecology, they deviate strongly in both visual and olfactory investment. Here we contend that both courtship and microhabitat preferences mirror and support the observed inverse variation in these sensory traits. Moreover, that this variation in visual and olfactory investment between closely-related species seems to provide relaxed competition, a process by which similar species can use a shared environment differently and in ways that help them both coexist. The nervous system has a unique role in evolution as it provides the functional connection between morphology, physiology, and behavior. As such, characterizing any tradeoffs between costs and benefits for the nervous system may be essential to our understanding of animal diversity, as well as vital to our understanding of the selective forces that have shaped the natural world.

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 Dates: 2019-07-02
 Publication Status: Submitted
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 Rev. Type: No review
 Identifiers: Other: HAN336
DOI: 10.1101/690529
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Title: bioRxiv
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