Defences against brood parasites from a social immunity perspective

Cotter, S.C., Pincheira-Donoso, D. ORCID: 0000-0002-0050-6410 and Thorogood, R., 2019. Defences against brood parasites from a social immunity perspective. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 374 (1769): 20180207. ISSN 0962-8436

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Abstract

Parasitic interactions are so ubiquitous that all multicellular organisms have evolved a system of defences to reduce their costs, whether the parasites they encounter are the classic parasites which feed on the individual, or brood parasites which usurp parental care. Many parallels have been drawn between defences deployed against both types of parasite, but typically, while defences against classic parasites have been selected to protect survival, those against brood parasites have been selected to protect the parent's inclusive fitness, suggesting that the selection pressures they impose are fundamentally different. However, there is another class of defences against classic parasites that have specifically been selected to protect an individual's inclusive fitness, known as social immunity. Social immune responses include the anti-parasite defences typically provided for others in kin-structured groups, such as the antifungal secretions produced by termite workers to protect the brood. Defences against brood parasites, therefore, are more closely aligned with social immune responses. Much like social immunity, host defences against brood parasitism are employed by a donor (a parent) for the benefit of one or more recipients (typically kin), and as with social defences against classic parasites, defences have therefore evolved to protect the donor's inclusive fitness, not the survival or ultimately the fitness of individual recipients This can lead to severe conflicts between the different parties, whose interests are not always aligned. Here, we consider defences against brood parasitism in the light of social immunity, at different stages of parasite encounter, addressing where conflicts occur and how they might be resolved. We finish with considering how this approach could help us to address longstanding questions in our understanding of brood parasitism.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Creators: Cotter, S.C., Pincheira-Donoso, D. and Thorogood, R.
Publisher: Royal Society Publishing
Date: 2019
Volume: 374
Number: 1769
ISSN: 0962-8436
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1098/rstb.2018.0207DOI
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Depositing User: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 26 Feb 2019 16:33
Last Modified: 26 Feb 2019 16:33
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/35816

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