Multilevel selection with kin and non-kin groups, experimental results with japanese quail (coturnix japonica)

W.M. Muir, P. Bijma, A. Schinckel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

An experiment was conducted comparing multilevel selection in Japanese quail for 43 days weight and survival with birds housed in either kin (K) or random (R) groups. Multilevel selection significantly reduced mortality (6.6% K vs. 8.5% R) and increased weight (1.30 g/MG K vs. 0.13 g/MG R) resulting in response an order of magnitude greater with Kin than Random. Thus, multilevel selection was effective in reducing detrimental social interactions, which contributed to improved weight gain. The observed rates of response did not differ significantly from expected, demonstrating that current theory is adequate to explain multilevel selection response. Based on estimated genetic parameters, group selection would always be superior to any other combination of multilevel selection. Further, near optimal results could be attained using multilevel selection if 20% of the weight was on the group component regardless of group composition. Thus, in nature the conditions for multilevel selection to be effective in bringing about social change maybe common. In terms of a sustainability of breeding programs, multilevel selection is easy to implement and is expected to give near optimal responses with reduced rates of inbreeding as compared to group selection, the only requirement is that animals be housed in kin groups.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1598-1606
JournalEvolution
Volume67
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Keywords

  • genetical evolution
  • small populations
  • connected world
  • adaptation
  • tribolium
  • differentiation
  • inheritance
  • covariance
  • transgenes
  • components

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