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Molecular Ecology and Evolutionary Genetics of Species Interactions

Mating moths

To explain how biological diversity comes into existence and is maintained, it is important to identify processes involved in adaptation, differentiation and speciation. In this theme, we focus on three subthemes: chemical interactions within and between species, interactions between pollinators and plants, and symbiotic interactions between arthropod hosts, microbes and fungi.

Caterpillar eating

Chemical interactions within and between species

Many interactions between individuals are through chemical communication, such as sexual communication with pheromones (see personal web page Astrid Groot), plant recognition (see personal web page Peter Roessingh) and manipulation of plant defence systems by herbivores (see personal web page Merijn Kant).

Interactions between pollinators and plants

See personal web page Gerard Oostermeijer.

Symbiotic interactions between arthropods, microbes and fungi

Many traits of arthropods, such as mode of reproduction, food plant choice, interaction with defence system of food plants and reproductive isolation, are affected or altered by their symbionts (see personal web page Hans Breeuwer). We aim to determine the molecular ecological mechanisms of traits involved in these interactions to understand the proximate and ultimate factors that affect their evolution.

Involved staff members

Prof. dr. A.T. (Astrid) Groot

Faculty of Science

Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics

Dr. P. (Peter) Roessingh

Faculty of Science

Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics

Dr. M. (Merijn) Kant

Faculty of Science

Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics

Dr. J.A.J. (Hans) Breeuwer

Symbionts

Prof. dr. T. (Teun) Boekhout

Faculty of Science

Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics

Dr. J.G.B. (Gerard) Oostermeijer

Faculty of Science

Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics