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Title: The social lives of hosts and parasites
Author: Quigley, Benjamin J. Z.
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2012
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All organisms are to some degree parasitised and display some form of social behaviour. Host and parasite social interactions are incredibly diverse and occur in all natural populations, therefore understanding such fundamental interactions is of profound importance - particularly from a public health perspective. The work in this thesis is developed in the context of bacteria and virus interactions, using the bacterium Pseudomonas fiourescens and bacteriophage SBW2502 for experiments. Mathematical models are developed in close conjunction with empirical data, with the aim of maintaining a high level of biological relevance of any theoretical undertakings. Chapter 1 demonstrates that selection on non-social traits can limit the invasion of social cheats. This is because beneficial mutations are most likely to arise in the numerically dominant cooperator population, and clonal sweeps would thus purge any genetic diversity. Chapter 2 is a theoretical development of chapter 1, which includes coevolution between hosts and parasites. The model governing the underlying host-parasite infection genetics (Matching Alleles; MA, Gene-for-Gene; GFG, or somewhere in between) has a big impact on the outcome of host social behaviour. Host cooperation is more favourable under a MA model, due to the more frequent switching of host genotypes, which acts to purge genetic diversity and re-establish homogenous cooperating host populations. Chapter 4 explores how host-parasite interactions shape the evolution of parasite diversity.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available