Publications by year
Doyle T, Jimenez-Guri E, Hawkes WLS, Massy R, Mantica F, Permanyer J, Cozzuto L, Hermoso Pulido T, Baril T, Hayward A, et al
(2022). Genome-wide transcriptomic changes reveal the genetic pathways involved in insect migration. Mol Ecol
Genome-wide transcriptomic changes reveal the genetic pathways involved in insect migration.
Insects are capable of extraordinary feats of long-distance movement that have profound impacts on the function of terrestrial ecosystems. The ability to undertake these movements arose multiple times through the evolution of a suite of traits that make up the migratory syndrome, however the underlying genetic pathways involved remain poorly understood. Migratory hoverflies (Diptera: Syrphidae) are an emerging model group for studies of migration. They undertake seasonal movements in huge numbers across large parts of the globe and are important pollinators, biological control agents and decomposers. Here, we assembled a high-quality draft genome of the marmalade hoverfly (Episyrphus balteatus). We leveraged this genomic resource to undertake a genome-wide transcriptomic comparison of actively migrating Episyrphus, captured from a high mountain pass as they flew south to overwinter, with the transcriptomes of summer forms which were non-migratory. We identified 1543 genes with very strong evidence for differential expression. Interrogation of this gene set reveals a remarkable range of roles in metabolism, muscle structure and function, hormonal regulation, immunity, stress resistance, flight and feeding behaviour, longevity, reproductive diapause and sensory perception. These features of the migrant phenotype have arisen by the integration and modification of pathways such as insulin signalling for diapause and longevity, JAK/SAT for immunity, and those leading to octopamine production and fuelling to boost flight capabilities. Our results provide a powerful genomic resource for future research, and paint a comprehensive picture of global expression changes in an actively migrating insect, identifying key genomic components involved in this important life-history strategy. Abstract
. Author URL
Shaw RF, Phillips BB, Doyle T, Pell JK, Redhead JW, Savage J, Woodcock BA, Bullock JM, Osborne JL
(2020). Mass-flowering crops have a greater impact than semi-natural habitat on crop pollinators and pollen deposition. Landscape Ecology
Mass-flowering crops have a greater impact than semi-natural habitat on crop pollinators and pollen deposition
Context: Maximising insect pollination of mass-flowering crops is a widely-discussed approach to sustainable agriculture. Management actions can target landscape-scale semi-natural habitat, cropping patterns or field-scale features, but little is known about their relative effectiveness. Objective: to test how landscape composition (area of mass-flowering crops and semi-natural habitat) and field-scale habitat (margins and hedges) affect pollinator species richness, abundance, and pollen deposition within crop fields. Methods: We surveyed all flower visitors (Diptera, Coleoptera and Hymenoptera) in oilseed rape fields and related them to landscape composition and field features. Flower visitors were classified as bees, non-bee pollinators and brassica specialists. Total pollen deposition by individual taxa was estimated using single visit pollen deposition on stigmas combined with insect abundance. Results: the area of mass-flowering crop had a negative effect on the species richness and abundance of bees in fields, but not other flower visitors. The area of semi-natural habitat in the surrounding landscape had a positive effect on bees, but was not as important as the area of mass-flowering crop. Taxonomic richness and abundance varied significantly between years for non-bee pollinators. Greater cover of mass-flowering crops surrounding fields had a negative effect on pollen deposition, but only when non-bee pollinator numbers were reduced. Conclusions: Management choices that result in landscape homogenisation, such as large areas of mass-flowering crops, may reduce pollination services by reducing the numbers of bees visiting fields. Non-bee insect pollinators may buffer these landscape effects on pollen deposition, and management to support their populations should be considered. Abstract
Doyle T, Hawkes WLS, Massy R, Powney GD, Menz MHM, Wotton KR
(2020). Pollination by hoverflies in the Anthropocene. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Pollination by hoverflies in the Anthropocene
Pollinator declines, changes in land use and climate-induced shifts in phenology have the potential to seriously affect ecosystem function and food security by disrupting pollination services provided by insects. Much of the current research focuses on bees, or groups other insects together as ‘non-bee pollinators’, obscuring the relative contribution of this diverse group of organisms. Prominent among the ‘non-bee pollinators’ are the hoverflies, known to visit at least 72% of global food crops, which we estimate to be worth around US$300 billion per year, together with over 70% of animal pollinated wildflowers. In addition, hoverflies provide ecosystem functions not seen in bees, such as crop protection from pests, recycling of organic matter and long-distance pollen transfer. Migratory species, in particular, can be hugely abundant and unlike many insect pollinators, do not yet appear to be in serious decline. In this review, we contrast the roles of hoverflies and bees as pollinators, discuss the need for research and monitoring of different pollinator responses to anthropogenic change and examine emerging research into large populations of migratory hoverflies, the threats they face and how they might be used to improve sustainable agriculture. Abstract
Roberts KE, Meaden S, Sharpe S, Kay S, Doyle T, Wilson D, Bartlett LJ, Paterson S, Boots M (2020). Resource quality determines the evolution of resistance and its genetic basis. Molecular Ecology, 29(21), 4128-4142.
Manley R, Temperton B, Doyle T, Gates D, Hedges S, Boots M, Wilfert L
(2019). Knock-on community impacts of a novel vector: spillover of emerging DWV-B from Varroa-infested honeybees to wild bumblebees. Ecol Lett
Knock-on community impacts of a novel vector: spillover of emerging DWV-B from Varroa-infested honeybees to wild bumblebees.
Novel transmission routes can directly impact the evolutionary ecology of infectious diseases, with potentially dramatic effect on host populations and knock-on effects on the wider host community. The invasion of Varroa destructor, an ectoparasitic viral vector in Western honeybees, provides a unique opportunity to examine how a novel vector affects disease epidemiology in a host community. This specialist honeybee mite vectors deformed wing virus (DWV), an important re-emerging honeybee pathogen that also infects wild bumblebees. Comparing island honeybee and wild bumblebee populations with and without V. destructor, we show that V. destructor drives DWV prevalence and titre in honeybees and sympatric bumblebees. Viral genotypes are shared across hosts, with the potentially more virulent DWV-B overtaking DWV-A in prevalence in a current epidemic. This demonstrates disease emergence across a host community driven by the acquisition of a specialist novel transmission route in one host, with dramatic community level knock-on effects. Abstract
. Author URL