Hungry for More: Dr. Ball contributes to a publication in SBB on linking Phosphorus to evolution traits in Nematodes

Dr. Becky Ball, GDC Committee member, recently published in Soil Biology and Biochemistry.  Read the entire text here on the effects of phosphorous-dense environments vs. phosphorus-deficient on growth and development in free-living soil nematodes.


Read the abstract below:

“Ecological stoichiometry is a useful theoretical framework for understanding the sources and controls on nutrient
availability that structure the composition and diversity of biotic communities. One such relationship is that
organismal development rate is positively linked to cellular Phosphorus (P). We hypothesized that P availability,
relative to other nutrients, e.g., nitrogen and carbon, would drive the evolution of traits associated with
organismal growth and development. We examined the effects of P availability both in situ and in vitro, on free-
living soil nematodes. We found that P-deficient environments produce predictable changes in the ecology and
evolution of important life history traits. Our results identify altered rRNA gene copy number and subsequent
changes in gene expression and protein synthesis as mechanisms by which P-deficiency influences these traits.
These findings have important implications for explaining soil ecological and evolutionary patterns across
multiple levels of organization, including the structure and functioning of organisms, populations, communities,
and ecosystems”