[S31] Evolution across the mutualist-parasite continuum

Symbioses, and other close-knit species relationships, are ubiquitous and important across all ecosystems. Such species interactions vary widely, from costly relationships which drive rapid antagonistic coevolution, to beneficial relationships which facilitate functional diversification. Rather than two extremes however, these interactions should be viewed as a continuum between mutualism and parasitism. This conceptual framework unites researchers studying host-parasite and host-mutualist interactions and explores the potential for transitions along the continuum. Our topic is timely and relevant to the ESEB community. It has broad evolutionary relevance for which many new insights have been generated in the last few years. This symposium will bring together researchers studying the evolution of parasitism and mutualism to: 1) highlight the role of these species interactions in shaping an organismís evolutionary biology; 2) emphasize the importance of linking phenotypic and state-of-the-art genomics analysis in revealing these effects; 3) bring together experimental evolution and field-based approaches in studying evolution across the continuum and 4) assess the role of ecology in shaping the evolutionary stability of these systems. Many important concepts in evolutionary biology will be covered, from coevolution, genetic diversity, virulence, and sex, to ecological networks. Our invited speakers are at the forefront of research on both sides of the continuum and use natural systems while combining genomics and experimental evolution approaches.
Organizers: Ana Duarte, Francisco Encinas-Viso, Aniek Ivens, Kayla King, Ellie Harrison
Invited speakers: Ellen Decaestecker, Hinrich Schulenburg