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The relative importance of genetic and nongenetic inheritance in traits of varying degree of plasticity in Callosobruchus maculatus
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Animal Ecology.
School of Integrative Biology, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4072, Australia.
Evolution and Ecology Research Centre and School of Biological, Earth, and Environmental Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales 2052, Australia.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Both genetic and nongenetic mechanisms of inheritance are important in the study of a trait’sresponse to environmental change. Here we address the question of whether the relativeimportance of these mechanisms is related to the degree of trait plasticity. We investigate theinfluence of additive genetic effects and non genetic parental effects in traits that differ in theirdegree of plasticity. We predicted that more plastic traits will be more amenable to parentaleffects, and genetic variation/covariance will be more difficult to detect. Our findings are in linewith predictions. We suggest that environment dependent parental effects may influence theevolution of a highly plastic trait to a greater extent than traits with low degrees of plasticity.Hence, due to difficulties in detecting genetic variance and covariances and the potential influenceof environment dependent parental effects on heritability, our ability to predict evolutionarychange in highly plastic traits may be limited.

Keyword [en]
Plasticity, genetic variation, parental effects, host quality, seed beetle
National Category
Evolutionary Biology
Research subject
Animal Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-159281OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-159281DiVA: diva2:443668
Available from: 2011-09-26 Created: 2011-09-26 Last updated: 2016-04-19
In thesis
1. Quantitative Trait Evolution in a Changing Environment in a Seed Beetle
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Quantitative Trait Evolution in a Changing Environment in a Seed Beetle
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

During the last decades the climate has been changing more rapidly than in the preceding periods. This is for instance characterized by an increase in temperature. Interestingly, such changes in the environment are not necessarily constant over time as they often show high levels of fluctuation. Organisms are exposed to these changes and respond to them and a recent theoretical model predicts that fluctuations in the environment are important for populations’ response to climate change. The aim of this thesis is to investigate how populations respond to a changing environment, including fluctuations. My thesis is based on the previously mentioned theoretical model and I used a suite of laboratory experiments on the seed beetle Callsosobruchus maculatus, to test the model predictions in a quantitative genetic framework. First, I assessed the genetic architecture of several life history and morphological traits in order to verify that there is sufficient additive genetic variation for the population to respond to changes in the environment. Second, I tested the detailed model predictions explicitly, by investigating whether different types of environmental fluctuations matter for a population’s response. Third, I investigated changes in quantitative genetic variation after i) a rapid shift in temperature and ii) long term selection under increasing temperature including fluctuations. Fourth, I concentrated on sex differences in response to temperature, and finally, I assessed the relative importance of genetic and nongenetic inheritance for traits that differ in their plastic response to a change in the environment. I found that environmental fluctuations are highly important for a population’s response to environmental change. I could detect changes in a set of quantitative genetic parameters, suggesting that a population’s potential to respond to selection, environmental sensitivity and the evolution of phenotypic plasticity are affected by the selective past. I also found that sexes differ in additive genetic variation and plasticity and that parental effects may play an important role in the evolutionary process. Therefore, future studies would benefit greatly from considering details of the selective past and especially environmental fluctuations during attempts to predict how populations respond to a changing environment, particularly with regards to climate change.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2011. 40 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 858
Keyword
quantitative trait, genetic variance, environmental change, temperature, seed beetle, sexual dimorphism, plasticity, inheritance
National Category
Evolutionary Biology
Research subject
Animal Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-159284 (URN)978-91-554-8169-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-11-12, Zootissalen, EBC, Villavägen 9, Uppsala, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2011-10-20 Created: 2011-09-26 Last updated: 2011-11-04Bibliographically approved

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Hallsson, Lára R.

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