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The evolution of mechanism underlying the allocation of resources and consequences on the shape of trade-offs in multicellular organisms

Abstract : In order to grow, survive or reproduce, all organisms need energy, usually acquired through diet. However, this food resource is present both in fluctuating and limited quantities in the environment, forcing living beings to compromise and thus to divide their energy between their different functions. These evolutionary compromises, visible at the scale of a population in the form of a negative relationship between traits, are called trade-off. Trade-offs have long been considered as the result of a differential resource allocation and as immutable. Therefore, allocating more energy to a trait such as survival necessarily reduces the amount that can be redistributed to other traits, such as fecundity or growth. It is noteworthy that the differential allocation of resources is a process regulated by an endocrine mechanism, itself genetically coded and thereby able to evolve. The aim of my PhD thesis was to understand, theoretically, (i) how the evolution of the endocrine mechanism impacts the shape of trade-offs and (ii) how the shape of trade-offs itself evolves.To do so, I first developed evolutionary models where the allocation of resources is governed by an endocrine system. This system can evolve under the effect of mutations that impact both the expression and the conformation of hormones and receptors constituting this endocrine system. Thanks to this model, I show that the negative relationships between traits can evolve and that their shape strongly depends on a parameter rarely considered: the cost of storage. In a second step, I studied the impact of temporal variability in food abundance on the endocrine mechanisms responsible for the differential allocation of resources.Lastly, my thesis project includes a component complementary to the theoretical part, which attempts to empirically test certain of the expressed predictions. I conducted an artificial selection experiment in which I controlled the topology of a fitness landscape, thus allowing to select combinations of traits not belonging to the phenotypic relationship usually observed. This experiment, implemented in Drosophila melanogaster for 10 generations, has shown that evolution can indeed occur in this context, thereby partially challenging our understanding of the mechanisms underlying the expression of phenotypic traits
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Submitted on : Tuesday, May 19, 2020 - 10:19:41 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, May 26, 2020 - 7:51:42 AM


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  • HAL Id : tel-02611778, version 2



Salomé Bourg. The evolution of mechanism underlying the allocation of resources and consequences on the shape of trade-offs in multicellular organisms. Populations and Evolution [q-bio.PE]. Université de Lyon, 2019. English. ⟨NNT : 2019LYSE1266⟩. ⟨tel-02611778v2⟩



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