Adaptation costs to constant and alternating polluted environments

Journal paper
Morgan Dutilleul, Denis Réale, Benoit Goussen, Catherine Lecomte, Simon Galas, Jean‐Marc Bonzom
Evolutionary Applications, DOI 10.1111/eva.12510
Publication year: 2017

Abstract:

Some populations quickly adapt to strong and novel selection pressures caused by anthropogenic stressors. However, this short-term evolutionary response to novel and harsh environmental conditions may lead to adaptation costs, and evaluating these costs is important if we want to understand the evolution of resistance to anthropogenic stressors. In this experimental evolution study, we exposed Caenorhabditis elegans populations to uranium (U populations), salt (NaCl populations), alternating uranium/salt treatments (U/NaCl populations), and to a control environment (C populations), over 22 generations. In parallel, we ran common-garden and reciprocal-transplant experiments to assess the adaptive costs for populations that have evolved in the different environmental conditions. Our results showed rapid evolutionary changes in life history characteristics of populations exposed to the different pollution regimes. Furthermore, adaptive costs depended on the type of pollutant: pollution-adapted populations had lower fitness than C populations, when the populations were returned to their original environment. Fitness in uranium environments was lower for NaCl populations than for U populations. In contrast, fitness in salt environments was similar between U and NaCl populations. Moreover, fitness of U/NaCl populations showed similar or higher fitness in both the uranium and the salt environments compared to populations adapted to constant uranium or salt environments. Our results show that adaptive evolution to a particular stressor, can lead to either adaptive costs or benefits once in contact with another stressor. Furthermore, we did not find any evidence that adaptation to alternating stressors was associated with additional adaption costs. This study highlights the need to incorporate adaptive cost assessments when undertaking ecological risk assessments of pollutants.

Modelling survival: exposure pattern, species sensitivity and uncertainty

Journal paper
Roman Ashauer, Carlo Albert, Starrlight Augustine, Nina Cedergreen, Sandrine Charles, Virginie Ducrot, Andreas Focks, Faten Gabsi, André Gergs, Benoit Goussen, Tjalling Jager, Nynke I. Kramer, Anna-Maija Nyman, Veronique Poulsen, Stefan Reichenberger, Ralf B. Schäfer, Paul J. Van den Brink, Karin Veltman, Sören Vogel, Elke I. Zimmer, Thomas G. Preuss
Scientific Reports 6:29178. DOI 10.1038/srep29178
Publication year: 2016

Abstract:

The General Unified Threshold model for Survival (GUTS) integrates previously published toxicokinetic-toxicodynamic models and estimates survival with explicitly defined assumptions. Importantly, GUTS accounts for time-variable exposure to the stressor. We performed three studies to test the ability of GUTS to predict survival of aquatic organisms across different pesticide exposure patterns, time scales and species. Firstly, using synthetic data, we identified experimental data requirements which allow for the estimation of all parameters of the GUTS proper model. Secondly, we assessed how well GUTS, calibrated with short-term survival data of Gammarus pulex exposed to four pesticides, can forecast effects of longer-term pulsed exposures. Thirdly, we tested the ability of GUTS to estimate 14-day median effect concentrations of malathion for a range of species and use these estimates to build species sensitivity distributions for different exposure patterns. We find that GUTS adequately predicts survival across exposure patterns that vary over time. When toxicity is assessed for time-variable concentrations species may differ in their responses depending on the exposure profile. This can result in different species sensitivity rankings and safe levels. The interplay of exposure pattern and species sensitivity deserves systematic investigation in order to better understand how organisms respond to stress, including humans.

Supporting information

Integrated presentation of ecological risk from multiple stressors

Journal paper
Benoit Goussen , Oliver R. Price, Cecilie Rendal, Roman Ashauer
Scientific Reports 6:36004. DOI 10.1038/srep36004
Publication year: 2016

Abstract:

Current environmental risk assessments (ERA) do not account explicitly for ecological factors (e.g. species composition, temperature or food availability) and multiple stressors. Assessing mixtures of chemical and ecological stressors is needed as well as accounting for variability in environmental conditions and uncertainty of data and models. Here we propose a novel probabilistic ERA framework to overcome these limitations, which focusses on visualising assessment outcomes by construct-ing and interpreting prevalence plots as a quantitative prediction of risk. Key components include environmental scenarios that integrate exposure and ecology, and ecological modelling of relevant endpoints to assess the effect of a combination of stressors. Our illustrative results demonstrate the importance of regional differences in environmental conditions and the confounding interactions of stressors. Using this framework and prevalence plots provides a risk-based approach that combines risk assessment and risk management in a meaningful way and presents a truly mechanistic alternative to the threshold approach. Even whilst research continues to improve the underlying models and data, regulators and decision makers can already use the framework and prevalence plots. The integration of multiple stressors, environmental conditions and variability makes ERA more relevant and realistic

Transgenerational Adaptation to Pollution Changes Energy Allocation in Populations of Nematodes

Journal paper
Benoit Goussen, Alexandre R.R. Péry, Jean-Marc Bonzom, Rémy Beaudouin
Environmental Science & Technology 49(20):12500–12508. DOI 10.1021/acs.est.5b03405
Publication year: 2015

Abstract:

Assessing the evolutionary responses of long-term exposed populations requires multigeneration ecotoxicity tests. However, the analysis of the data from these tests is not straightforward. Mechanistic models allow the in-depth analysis of the variation of physiological traits over many generations, by quantifying the trend of the physiological and toxicological parameters of the model. In the present study, a bioenergetic mechanistic model has been used to assess the evolution of two populations of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans in control conditions or exposed to uranium. This evolutionary pressure resulted in a brood size reduction of 60%. We showed an adaptation of individuals of both populations to experimental conditions (increase of maximal length, decrease of growth rate, decrease of brood size, and decrease of the elimination rate). In addition, differential evolution was also highlighted between the two populations once the maternal effects had been diminished after several generations. Thus, individuals that were greater in maximal length, but with apparently a greater sensitivity to uranium were selected in the uranium population. In this study, we showed that this bioenergetics mechanistic modeling approach provided a precise, certain, and powerful analysis of the life strategy of C. elegans populations exposed to heavy metals resulting in an evolutionary pressure across successive generations

Pollution breaks down genetic architecture of life history traits in Caenorhabditis elegans

Journal paper
Morgan Dutilleul, Benoit Goussen, Jean-Marc Bonzom, Simon Galas, Denis Réale
Plos One 10(2):e0116214 DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0116214
Publication year: 2015

Abstract:

When pollution occurs in an environment, populations present suffer numerous negative and immediate effects on their life history traits. Their evolutionary potential to live in a highly stressful environment will depend on the selection pressure strengths and on the genetic structure, the trait heritability, and the genetic correlations between them. If expression of this structure changes in a stressful environment, it becomes necessary to quantify these changes to estimate the evolutionary potential of the population in this new environment. We studied the genetic structure for survival, fecundity, and early and late growth in isogenic lines of a Caenorhabditis elegans population subject to three different environments: a control environment, an environment polluted with uranium, and a high salt concentration environment. We found a heritability decrease in the polluted environments for fecundity and early growth, two traits that were the most heritable in the control environment. The genetic structure of the traits was particularly affected in the uranium polluted environment, probably due to generally low heritability in this environment. This could prevent selection from acting on traits despite the strong selection pressures exerted on them. Moreover, phenotypic traits were more strongly affected in the salt than in the uranium environment and the heritabilities were also lower in the latter environment. Consequently the decrease in heritability was not proportional to the population fitness reduction in the polluted environments. Our results suggest that pollution can alter the genetic structure of a C. elegans population, and thus modify its evolutionary potential.

Energy-based modelling to assess effects of chemicals on Caenorhabditis elegans: A case study on uranium

Journal paper
Benoit Goussen, Rémy Beaudouin, Morgan Dutilleul, Adeline Buisset-Goussen, Jean-Marc Bonzom, Alexandre R.R. Péry
Chemosphere 120:507-514. DOI 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2014.09.006
Publication year: 2015

Abstract:

The ubiquitous free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a powerful animal model for measuring the evolutionary effects of pollutants which is increasingly used in (eco) toxicological studies. Indeed, toxicity tests with this nematode can provide in a few days data on the whole life cycle. These data can be analysed with mathematical tools such as toxicokinetic-toxicodynamic modelling approaches. In this study, we assessed how a chronic exposure to a radioactive heavy metal (uranium) affects the life-cycle of C. elegans using a mechanistic model. In order to achieve this, we exposed individuals to a range of seven concentrations of uranium. Growth and reproduction were followed daily. These data were analysed with a model for nematodes based on the Dynamic Energy Budget theory, able to handle a wide range of plausible biological parameters values. Parameter estimations were performed using a Bayesian framework. Our results showed that uranium affects the assimilation of energy from food with a no-effect concentration (NEC) of 0.42 mM U which would be the threshold for effects on both growth and reproduction. The sensitivity analysis showed that the main contributors to the model output were parameters linked to the feeding processes and the actual exposure concentration. This confirms that the real exposure concentration should be measured accurately and that the feeding parameters should not be fixed, but need to be reestimated during the parameter estimation process.

An Individual-Based Model of Zebrafish Population Dynamics Accounting for Energy Dynamics

Journal paper
Rémy Beaudouin , Benoit Goussen, Benjamin Piccini, Starrlight Augustine, James Devillers, François Brion, Alexandre R. R. Péry
PloS ONE 10(5): e0125841. DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0125841
Publication year: 2015

Abstract:

Developing population dynamics models for zebrafish is crucial in order to extrapolate from toxicity data measured at the organism level to biological levels relevant to support and enhance ecological risk assessment. To achieve this, a dynamic energy budget for individual zebrafish (DEB model) was coupled to an individual based model of zebrafish population dynamics (IBM model). Next, we fitted the DEB model to new experimental data on zebrafish growth and reproduction thus improving existing models. We further analysed the DEB-model and DEB-IBM using a sensitivity analysis. Finally, the predictions of the DEB-IBM were compared to existing observations on natural zebrafish populations and the predicted population dynamics are realistic. While our zebrafish DEB-IBM model can still be improved by acquiring new experimental data on the most uncertain processes (e.g. survival or feeding), it can already serve to predict the impact of compounds at the population level.

Rapid evolutionary responses of life history traits to different experimentally-induced pollutions in Caenorhabditis elegans

Journal paper
Morgan Dutilleul, Jean-Marc Bonzom, Catherine Lecomte, Benoit Goussen, Fabrice Daian, Simon Galas, Denis Réale
BMC Evolutionary Biology 14:252 DOI 10.1186/s12862-014-0252-6
Publication year: 2014

Abstract:

Background
Anthropogenic disturbances can lead to intense selection pressures on traits and very rapid evolutionary changes. Evolutionary responses to environmental changes, in turn, reflect changes in the genetic structure of the traits, accompanied by a reduction of evolutionary potential of the populations under selection. Assessing the effects of pollutants on the evolutionary responses and on the genetic structure of populations is thus important to understanding the mechanisms that entail specialization to novel environmental conditions or resistance to novel stressors.
Results
Using an experimental evolution approach we exposed Caenorhabditis elegans populations to uranium, salt and alternating uranium-salt environments over 22 generations. We analyzed the changes in the average values of life history traits and the consequences at the demographic level in these populations. We also estimated the phenotypic and genetic (co)variance structure of these traits at different generations. Compared to populations in salt, populations in uranium showed a reduction of the stability of their trait structure and a higher capacity to respond by acclimation. However, the evolutionary responses of traits were generally lower for uranium compared to salt treatment; and the evolutionary responses to the alternating uranium–salt environment were between those of constant environments. Consequently, at the end of the experiment, the population rate of increase was higher in uranium than in salt and intermediate in the alternating environment.
Conclusions
Our multigenerational experiment confirmed that rapid adaptation to different polluted environments may involve different evolutionary responses resulting in demographic consequences. These changes are partly explained by the effects of the pollutants on the genetic (co)variance structure of traits and the capacity of acclimation to novel conditions. Finally, our results in the alternating environment may confirm the selection of a generalist type in this environment.

Effects of chronic gamma irradiation: a multigenerational study using Caenorhabditis elegans

Journal paper
Adeline Buisset-Goussen, Benoit Goussen, Claire Della-Vedova, Simon Galas, Christelle Adam-Guillermin, Catherine Lecomte-Pradines
Journal of Environmental Radioactivity 127:190-197. DOI 10.1016/j.jenvrad.2014.07.014
Publication year: 2014

Abstract:

The effects of chronic exposure to 137Cs gamma radiation (dose rate ranging from 6.6 to 42.7 mGy h−1) on growth and reproductive ability were carried out over three generations of Caenorhabditis elegans (F0, F1, and F2). Exposure began at the egg stage for the first generation and was stopped at the end of laying of third-generation eggs (F2). At the same time, the two subsequent generations from parental exposure were returned to the control conditions (F1’ and F2’). There was no radiation-induced significant effect on growth, hatchability, and cumulative number of larvae within generations. Moreover, no significant differences were found in growth parameters (hatching length, maximal length, and a constant related to growth rate) among the generations. However, a decrease in the cumulative number of larvae across exposed generations was observed between F0 and F2 at the highest dose rate (238.8 ± 15.4 and 171.2 ± 13.1 number of larvae per individual, respectively). Besides, the F1′ generation was found to lay significantly fewer eggs than the F1 generation for tested dose rates 6.6, 8.1, 19.4, and 28.1 mGy h−1. Our results confirmed that reproduction (here, cumulative number of larvae) is the most sensitive endpoint affected by chronic exposure to ionizing radiation. The results obtained revealed transgenerational effects from parental exposure in the second generation, and the second non-exposed generation was indeed more affected than the second exposed generation.

Consequences on Caenorhabditis elegans life parameters and sensitivity of multi-generation exposure to uranium

Journal paper
Benoit Goussen, Florian Parisot, Rémy Beaudouin, Morgan Dutilleul, Adeline Buisset-Goussen, Alexandre R. R. Péry, Jean-Marc Bonzom
Ecotoxicology 22(5):869-878. DOI 10.1007/s10646-013-1078-5
Publication year: 2013

Abstract:

The assessment of toxic effects at biologically and ecologically relevant scales is an important challenge in ecosystem protection. Indeed, stressors may impact populations at much longer term than the usual timescale of toxicity tests. It is therefore important to study the evolutionary response of a population under chronic stress. We performed a 16-generation study to assess the evolution of two populations of the ubiquitous nematode Caenorhabditis elegans in control conditions or exposed to 1.1 mM of uranium. Several generations were selected to assess growth, reproduction, survival, and dose–responses relationships, through exposure to a range of concentrations (from 0 to 1.2 mM U) with all endpoints measured daily. Our experiment showed an adaptation of individuals to experimental conditions (increase of maximal length and decrease of fecundity) for both populations. We also observed an increase of adverse effects (reduction of growth and fertility) as a function of uranium concentration. We pointed out the emergence of population differentiation for reproduction traits. In contrast, no differentiation was observed on growth traits. Our results confirm the importance of assessing environmental risk related to pollutant through multi-generational studies.