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      Ultrastructural plasticity in the plant-parasitic nematode, Bursaphelenchus xylophilus

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          Abstract

          Phenotypic plasticity is one of the most important strategies used by organisms with low mobility to survive in fluctuating environments. Phenotypic plasticity plays a vital role in nematodes because they have small bodies and lack wings or legs and thus, cannot move far by themselves. Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, the pathogenic nematode species that causes pine wilt disease, experiences fluctuating conditions throughout their life history; i.e., in both the phytophagous and mycetophagous phases. However, whether the functional morphology changes between the life phases of B. xylophilus remains unknown. Our study revealed differences in the ultrastructure of  B. xylophilus between the two phases. Well-developed lateral alae and atrophied intestinal microvilli were observed in the phytophagous phase compared with the mycetophagous phase. The ultrastructure in the phytophagous phase was morphologically similar to that at the dauer stage, which enables the larvae to survive in harsh environments. It suggests that the living tree represents a harsh environment for B. xylophilus, and ultrastructural phenotypic plasticity is a key strategy for B. xylophilus to survive in a living tree. In addition, ultrastructural observations of obligate plant-parasitic species closely related to B. xylophilus revealed that B. xylophilus may be in the process of adapting to feed on plant cells.

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          Developmental plasticity and human health.

          Many plants and animals are capable of developing in a variety of ways, forming characteristics that are well adapted to the environments in which they are likely to live. In adverse circumstances, for example, small size and slow metabolism can facilitate survival, whereas larger size and more rapid metabolism have advantages for reproductive success when resources are more abundant. Often these characteristics are induced in early life or are even set by cues to which their parents or grandparents were exposed. Individuals developmentally adapted to one environment may, however, be at risk when exposed to another when they are older. The biological evidence may be relevant to the understanding of human development and susceptibility to disease. As the nutritional state of many human mothers has improved around the world, the characteristics of their offspring--such as body size and metabolism--have also changed. Responsiveness to their mothers' condition before birth may generally prepare individuals so that they are best suited to the environment forecast by cues available in early life. Paradoxically, however, rapid improvements in nutrition and other environmental conditions may have damaging effects on the health of those people whose parents and grandparents lived in impoverished conditions. A fuller understanding of patterns of human plasticity in response to early nutrition and other environmental factors will have implications for the administration of public health.
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            Phenotypic plasticity for plant development, function and life history.

            A single genotype can produce different phenotypes in different environments. This fundamental property of organisms is known as phenotypic plasticity. Recently, intensive study has shown that plants are plastic for a remarkable array of ecologically important traits, ranging from diverse aspects of morphology and physiology to anatomy, developmental and reproductive timing, breeding system, and offspring developmental patterns. Comparative, quantitative genetics and molecular approaches are leading to new insights into the adaptive nature of plasticity, its underlying mechanisms and its role in the ecological distribution and evolutionary diversification of plants.
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              Evaluating 'Plasticity-First' Evolution in Nature: Key Criteria and Empirical Approaches.

              Many biologists are asking whether environmentally initiated phenotypic change (i.e., 'phenotypic plasticity') precedes, and even facilitates, evolutionary adaptation. However, this 'plasticity-first' hypothesis remains controversial, primarily because comprehensive tests from natural populations are generally lacking. We briefly describe the plasticity-first hypothesis and present much-needed key criteria to allow tests in diverse, natural systems. Furthermore, we offer a framework for how these criteria can be evaluated and discuss examples where the plasticity-first hypothesis has been investigated in natural populations. Our goal is to provide a means by which the role of plasticity in adaptive evolution can be assessed.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                shinya@meiji.ac.jp
                Journal
                Sci Rep
                Sci Rep
                Scientific Reports
                Nature Publishing Group UK (London )
                2045-2322
                14 July 2020
                14 July 2020
                2020
                : 10
                : 11576
                Affiliations
                [1 ]ISNI 0000 0001 2106 7990, GRID grid.411764.1, School of Agriculture, , Meiji University, ; Kawasaki, Kanagawa 214-8571 Japan
                [2 ]Kansai Research Center, Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute (FFPRI), Kyoto, Kyoto 612-0855 Japan
                [3 ]ISNI 0000 0004 1754 9200, GRID grid.419082.6, JST PRESTO, Meiji University, ; Kawasaki, Kanagawa 214-8571 Japan
                Article
                68503
                10.1038/s41598-020-68503-3
                7360551
                32665657
                ef9ee39b-6050-4190-8151-a54e664c80a1
                © The Author(s) 2020

                Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

                History
                : 27 February 2020
                : 8 June 2020
                Funding
                Funded by: FundRef http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100001691, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science;
                Award ID: 19K23679
                Award ID: JP19K15853
                Award Recipient :
                Funded by: JST PRESTO
                Award ID: JPMJPR17Q5
                Award Recipient :
                Categories
                Article
                Custom metadata
                © The Author(s) 2020

                Uncategorized
                evolution,zoology,parasite biology
                Uncategorized
                evolution, zoology, parasite biology

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