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Genetic variation and causes of genotype-environment interaction in the body size of blue tit (Parus caeruleus)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Zoology.
1998 (English)In: Genetics, ISSN 0016-6731, E-ISSN 1943-2631, Vol. 148, no 3, 1233-1244 p.Article in journal (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

In several studies of natural populations of birds, the heritability of body size estimated by parent-offspring regression has been lower when offspring have developed in poor feeding regimens than when they developed in good feeding regimens. This has led to the suggestion that adaptation under poor regimens may be constrained by lack of genetic variation. We examined the influence of environmental conditions on expression of genetic variation in body size of nestling blue tits (Parus caeruleus) by raising full sibs in artificially reduced and enlarged broods, corresponding to good and poor feeding regimens, respectively. Individuals grown in the poor regimen attained smaller body size than their sibs grown in the good regimen. However, there was among-family variation in response to the treatments--i.e., genotype-environment interactions (GEIs). Partitioning the GEI variance into contributions attributable to (1) differences in the among-family genetic variance between the treatments and (2) imperfect correlation of genotypic values across treatments identified the latter as the main cause of the GEI. Parent-offspring regressions were not significantly different when offspring were reared in the good environment (h2 = 0.75) vs. when they were reared in the poor environment (h2 = 0.63). Thus, there was little evidence that genetic variance in body size was lower under the poor conditions than under the good conditions. These results do not support the view that the genetic potential for adaptation to poor feeding conditions is less than that for adaptation to good conditions, but they do suggest that different genotypes may be favored under the different conditions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
1998. Vol. 148, no 3, 1233-1244 p.
National Category
Natural Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-79300PubMedID: 9539438OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-79300DiVA: diva2:107213
Available from: 2008-10-17 Created: 2008-10-17 Last updated: 2013-10-08Bibliographically approved

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