Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

In search of genetic constraints limiting the evolution of egg size: direct and correlated responses to artificial selection on a prenatal maternal effector


Pick, J L; Hutter, P; Tschirren, B (2016). In search of genetic constraints limiting the evolution of egg size: direct and correlated responses to artificial selection on a prenatal maternal effector. Heredity, 116(6):542-549.

Abstract

Maternal effects are an important force in nature, but the evolutionary dynamics of the traits that cause them are not well understood. Egg size is known to be a key mediator of prenatal maternal effects with an established genetic basis. In contrast to theoretical expectations for fitness-related traits, there is a large amount of additive genetic variation in egg size observed in natural populations. One possible mechanism for the maintenance of this variation is through genetic constraints caused by a shared genetic basis among traits. Here we created replicated, divergent selection lines for maternal egg investment in Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) to quantify the role of genetic constraints in the evolution of egg size. We found that egg size responds rapidly to selection, accompanied by a strong response in all egg components. Initially, we observed a correlated response in body size, but this response declined over time, showing that egg size and body size can evolve independently. Furthermore, no correlated response in fecundity (measured as the proportion of days on which a female laid an egg) was observed. However, the response to selection was asymmetrical, with egg size plateauing after one generation of selection in the high but not the low investment lines. We attribute this pattern to the presence of genetic asymmetries, caused by directional dominance or unequal allele frequencies. Such asymmetries may contribute to the evolutionary stasis in egg size observed in natural populations, despite a positive association between egg size and fitness.

Abstract

Maternal effects are an important force in nature, but the evolutionary dynamics of the traits that cause them are not well understood. Egg size is known to be a key mediator of prenatal maternal effects with an established genetic basis. In contrast to theoretical expectations for fitness-related traits, there is a large amount of additive genetic variation in egg size observed in natural populations. One possible mechanism for the maintenance of this variation is through genetic constraints caused by a shared genetic basis among traits. Here we created replicated, divergent selection lines for maternal egg investment in Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) to quantify the role of genetic constraints in the evolution of egg size. We found that egg size responds rapidly to selection, accompanied by a strong response in all egg components. Initially, we observed a correlated response in body size, but this response declined over time, showing that egg size and body size can evolve independently. Furthermore, no correlated response in fecundity (measured as the proportion of days on which a female laid an egg) was observed. However, the response to selection was asymmetrical, with egg size plateauing after one generation of selection in the high but not the low investment lines. We attribute this pattern to the presence of genetic asymmetries, caused by directional dominance or unequal allele frequencies. Such asymmetries may contribute to the evolutionary stasis in egg size observed in natural populations, despite a positive association between egg size and fitness.

Statistics

Citations

5 citations in Web of Science®
5 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

3 downloads since deposited on 20 Oct 2016
3 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Language:English
Date:2016
Deposited On:20 Oct 2016 09:55
Last Modified:01 Apr 2017 00:00
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:0018-067X
Funders:Swiss National Science Foundation
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1038/hdy.2016.16

Download

Preview Icon on Download
Preview
Content: Accepted Version
Filetype: PDF
Size: 2MB
View at publisher

TrendTerms

TrendTerms displays relevant terms of the abstract of this publication and related documents on a map. The terms and their relations were extracted from ZORA using word statistics. Their timelines are taken from ZORA as well. The bubble size of a term is proportional to the number of documents where the term occurs. Red, orange, yellow and green colors are used for terms that occur in the current document; red indicates high interlinkedness of a term with other terms, orange, yellow and green decreasing interlinkedness. Blue is used for terms that have a relation with the terms in this document, but occur in other documents.
You can navigate and zoom the map. Mouse-hovering a term displays its timeline, clicking it yields the associated documents.

Author Collaborations