No effect of intraspecific relatedness on public goods cooperation in a complex community
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Many organisms – notably microbes - are embedded within complex communities where cooperative behaviours in the form of excreted public goods can benefit other species. Under such circumstances, intraspecific interactions are likely to be less important in driving the evolution of cooperation. We first illustrate this idea with a simple theoretical model, showing that relatedness – the extent to which individuals with the same cooperative alleles interact with each other - has a reduced impact on the evolution of cooperation when public goods are shared between species. We test this empirically using strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa that vary in their production of metal-chelating siderophores in copper contaminated compost (an interspecific public good). We show that non-siderophore producers grow poorly relative to producers under high relatedness, but this cost can be alleviated by the presence of the isogenic producer (low relatedness) and/or the compost microbial community. Hence, relatedness can become unimportant when public goods provide interspecific benefits.
O'Brien , S , Hesse , E , Luján , A , Hodgson , D , Gardner , A & Buckling , A 2018 , ' No effect of intraspecific relatedness on public goods cooperation in a complex community ' , Evolution , vol. Early View . https://doi.org/10.1111/evo.13479
© 2018 The Author(s). Evolution published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of The Society for the Study of Evolution. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
DescriptionA.B. would like to acknowledge support from NERC (NE/P001130/1) and BBSRC (BB/K003240/1). S.O.B. was funded by a University of Exeter Ph.D studentship (2011–2015). A.G. is supported by a NERC Independent Research Fellowship (NE/K009524/1).
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