King Lab

About the Group

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Parasites are everywhere, and their antagonism can be severe and specific. Thus, host-parasite interactions provide a powerful framework to elucidate the drivers and consequences of rapid evolutionary change in nature.

Our research focuses on the ecological and genetic drivers and consequences of rapid host-parasite evolution.  This involves using experimental evolution, genomics, mathematical modelling, and collections from natural populations. Our projects explore the links between host-parasite interactions and big problems in evolutionary biology.....virulence, rapid evolution, sexual reproduction, genetic diversity, and community diversity. 

For more information visit: thekinglab.com

Recent Publications

Bankers, L., Dahan, D., Neiman, M., Adrian-Tucci, C., Frost, C., Hurst, G.D.D., King, K.C. 2020. Invasive freshwater snails form novel microbial relationships. Evolutionary Applications.

Ford, S.A., King, K.C. 2020. In vivo microbial coevolution favours host protection and plastic downregulation of immunity. Molecular biology and evolution.

King, K.C., Hurst, G.D.D., Lewis, Z. 2020. Let's emerge from the pandemic lockdown into a fairer academic world. Curr Biol.

Kloock, A., Bonsall, M., King, K. 2020. Evolution and maintenance of microbe-mediated protection under occasional pathogen infection. Ecology and Evolution.

Dahan, D., Preston, G.M., Sealey, J., King, K.C. 2020. Impacts of a novel defensive symbiosis on the nematode host microbiome. BMC microbiology.

Hall, A.R., Ashby, B., Bascompte, J., King, K.C. 2020. Measuring Coevolutionary Dynamics in Species-Rich Communities. Trends in ecology & evolution.

Frost, C.L., Siozios, S., Nadal-Jimenez, P., Brockhurst, M.A., King, K.C., Darby, A.C., Hurst, G.D.D. 2020. The Hypercomplex Genome of an Insect Reproductive Parasite Highlights the Importance of Lateral Gene Transfer in Symbiont Biology. MBIO.

King, K.C., Stevens, E., Drew, G.C. 2020. Microbiome: Evolution in a World of Interaction. Curr Biol.

Frost, C.L., Siozios, S., Nadal-Jimenez, P., Brockhurst, M.A., King, K.C., Darby, A.C., Hurst, G.D.D. 2020. The Hypercomplex Genome of an Insect Reproductive Parasite Highlights the Importance of Lateral Gene Transfer in Symbiont Biology. MBIO.

Pike, V.L., Ford, S.A., King, K.C., Rafaluk-Mohr, C. 2019. Fecundity compensation is dependent on the generalized stress response in a nematode host. Ecology and evolution.

Ekroth, A.K.E., Rafaluk-Mohr, C., King, K.C. 2019. Host genetic diversity limits parasite success beyond agricultural systems: a meta-analysis. Proceedings. Biological sciences.

Meirmans, S., Butlin, R.K., Charmantier, A., Engelstädter, J., Groot, A.T., King, K.C., Kokko, H., Reid, J.M., Neiman, M. 2019. Science policies: How should science funding be allocated? An evolutionary biologists' perspective. J Evol Biol.

Pike, V.L., Lythgoe, K.A., King, K.C. 2019. On the diverse and opposing effects of nutrition on pathogen virulence. Proceedings. Biological sciences.

King, K.C. 2019. Defensive symbionts. Curr Biol.

Rafaluk-Mohr, C., Ashby, B., Dahan, D.A., King, K.C. 2018. Mutual fitness benefits arise during coevolution in a nematode-defensive microbe model. Evolution letters.

Ekroth, A.K.E., Rafaluk-Mohr, C., King, K.C. 2019. Host genetic diversity limits parasite success beyond agricultural systems: a meta-analysis. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 286.

Pike, V., Lythgoe, K., King, K.C. 2019. On the diverse and opposing effects of nutrition on pathogen virulence. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 286

Betts, A., Gray, C., Zelek, M., Maclean, R.C.*, King, K.C.* 2018. High parasite diversity accelerates host adaptation and diversification. Science. 

Rafaluk-Mohr, C., Ashby, B., Dahan, D., King, K.C. 2018. Mutual fitness benefits arise during coevolution in a nematode-defensive microbe model. Evolution Letters.

Ashby, B., King, K.C. 2017. Friendly foes: the evolution of host protection by a parasite. Evolution Letters.                                          

King, K.C., Bonsall, M.B. 2017. The evolutionary and coevolutionary consequences of defensive microbes for host-parasite interactions. BMC Evolutionary Biology 17, 190.

Decaestecker, E., King, K.C. Evolutionary ecology of host-parasite interactions with a focus on Red Queen dynamics. Elsevier Encyclopedia of Ecology.

Reznick, D.N., King, K.C. 2017. News and Views. Antibiotic resistance: evolution without trade-offs. Nature Ecology and Evolution 

Ford, S.A., Williams, D., Paterson, S., King, K.C. 2017. Coevolutionary dynamics between defensive microbes and pathogens driven by fluctuating selection. Molecular Ecology 26, 1778-1789.

Ford, S.A., Kao, D., Williams, D., King, K.C. 2016. Microbe-mediated host defence drives the evolution of reduced pathogen virulence. Nature Communications 7, 13430

Betts, A., Rafaluk, C., King, K.C. 2016. Host and parasite evolution in a Tangled Bank. Trends in Parasitology 32, 863-873.

Tackacs-Vesbach, C., King, K.C., Van Horn, D., Larkin, K., Neiman, M. 2016. Distinct microbiomes in sexual vs. asexual Potamopyrgus antipodarum, a New Zealand freshwater snail. PLoS One 11, e0161050.

Parratt, S.R., Frost, C.L., Schenkel, M.A., Rice, A., Hurst, G.D.D.*, King, K.C.* 2016. Superparasitism drives heritable symbiont epidemiology and host sex ratio in a wasp. PLoS Pathogens 12, e1005629
*Authors contributed equally

Ford, S.A., King, K.C. 2016. Harnessing the power of defensive microbes: evolutionary implications in nature and disease control. PLoS Pathogens 12, e1005465

Vale, P.F., McNally, L., Doeschl-Wilson, A., King, K.C., Popat, R., Domingo-Sananes, M.R., Allen, J.E., Soares, M.P., Kummerli, R. 2016. Beyond killing: can we find new ways to manage infection? Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health 1, eow012.

Betts, A., Gifford, D., MacLean, R.C., King, K.C. 2016. Parasite diversity drives rapid host dynamics and evolution of resistance in a bacteria-phage system. Evolution 70, 969-978

King, K.C., Brockhurst, M.A., Vasieva, O., Paterson, S., Betts, A., Ford, S.A., Frost, C.L., Horsburgh, M., Haldenby, S., Hurst, G.D.D. 2016. Rapid evolution of microbe-mediated protection against pathogens in a worm host. The ISME Journal 10, 1915–1924.  

National Geographic, Ed Yong blog: http://phenomena.nationalgeographic.com/2016/03/28/microbes-can-quickly-evolve-to-protect-hosts-from-disease/