PhD ceremony: B.K. Grillenberger, 16.15 uur, Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen
Thesis: Biogeography, population genetics and mating systems of natural Nasonia populations
Promotor(s): prof. L.W. Beukeboom, prof. R. Bijlsma, prof. J. Gadau
Faculty: Mathematics and Natural Sciences
Evolutionary biology tries to gain a thorough understanding of the evolutionary processes that lead to the enormous biodiversity. The jewel wasps of the genus Nasonia became a model organism in evolutionary biology for a variety of behavioural, developmental and genetic studies. A particular fruitful field of research has been sex allocation, which is the main focus of this thesis.
In this thesis Grillenberger provide information on the population genetic structure, phylogeography, reproductive strategies and dispersal abilities of field populations of the model organism Nasonia, in order to judge the validity of previous results on sex allocation behaviour derived from laboratory experiments under natural conditions. I also evaluate the precision of adaptation in sex and resource allocation of Nasonia in field populations to gain a better understanding of the multiple selective forces that shape life history traits.
Grillenberger found that most assumptions made in the recent sex allocation theory are fulfilled by Nasonia vitripennis. Other assumptions of more basic models are clearly violated. While the predictions of sex allocation theory are largely met, limited information seems to constrain the adaptive response of an individual. Limited information seems as well a constraint for N. vitripennis females which are unable to recognize eggs of N. giraulti as being heterospecific.
The results of this study will help to place the many results of theoretical and laboratory studies in an ecological context and can help to identify remaining questions about parasitoid life history evolution.
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