Quantitative genetic analysis of responses to larval food limitation in a polyphenic butterfly indicates environment- and trait-specific effects

M. Saastamoinen, J.E. Brommer, P.M. Brakefield, B.J. Zwaan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Different components of heritability, including genetic variance (VG), are influenced by environmental conditions. Here, we assessed phenotypic responses of life-history traits to two different developmental conditions, temperature and food limitation. The former represents an environment that defines seasonal polyphenism in our study organism, the tropical butterfly Bicyclus anynana, whereas the latter represents a more unpredictable environment. We quantified heritabilities using restricted maximum likelihood (REML) procedures within an “Information Theoretical” framework in a full-sib design. Whereas development time, pupal mass, and resting metabolic rate showed no genotype-by-environment interaction for genetic variation, for thorax ratio and fat percentage the heritability increased under the cool temperature, dry season environment. Additionally, for fat percentage heritability estimates increased under food limitation. Hence, the traits most intimately related to polyphenism in B. anynana show the most environmental-specific heritabilities as well as some indication of cross-environmental genetic correlations. This may reflect a footprint of natural selection and our future research is aimed to uncover the genes and processes involved in this through studying season and condition-dependent gene expression
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3576-3589
JournalEcology and Evolution
Volume3
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Keywords

  • bicyclus-anynana
  • phenotypic plasticity
  • life-history
  • adaptive responses
  • reaction norms
  • evolution
  • growth
  • genotype
  • evolvability
  • canalization

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