Rapid evolution of phenoloxidase expression, a component of innate immune function, in a natural population of Daphnia magna

Pauwels, Kevin, Luc De Meester, St├ęphanie Put, Ellen Decaestecker, and Robby Stoks

Limnol. Oceanogr., 55(3), 2010, 1408-1413 | DOI: 10.4319/lo.2010.55.3.1408

ABSTRACT: We show rapid microevolution of one component of invertebrate innate immunity, phenoloxidase activity, in a natural population of the water flea Daphnia magna. In Daphnia hatched out of different depths of a sediment core, levels of Daphnia phenoloxidase activity showed genetic variation and increased significantly in less than a decade. We discuss this increase in Daphnia immunity over time in the light of coinciding changes in predator and parasite environment. Together with earlier-found microevolutionary responses in stress protein expression of this Daphnia population, we find simultaneous changes of different defense systems in response towards multiple enemies.

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