Neutral Trait (neutral + trait)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts


EVOLUTION, Issue 4 2003
Yamama Naciri-Graven
Abstract We investigated the role of the number of loci coding for a neutral trait on the release of additive variance for this trait after population bottlenecks. Different bottleneck sizes and durations were tested for various matrices of genotypic values, with initial conditions covering the allele frequency space. We used three different types of matrices. First, we extended Cheverud and Routman's model by defining matrices of "pure" epistasis for three and four independent loci; second, we used genotypic values drawn randomly from uniform, normal, and exponential distributions; and third we used two models of simple metabolic pathways leading to physiological epistasis. For all these matrices of genotypic values except the dominant metabolic pathway, we find that, as the number of loci increases from two to three and four, an increase in the release of additive variance is occurring. The amount of additive variance released for a given set of genotypic values is a function of the inbreeding coefficient, independently of the size and duration of the bottleneck. The level of inbreeding necessary to achieve maximum release in additive variance increases with the number of loci. We find that additive-by-additive epistasis is the type of epistasis most easily converted into additive variance. For a wide range of models, our results show that epistasis, rather than dominance, plays a significant role in the increase of additive variance following bottlenecks. [source]

What maintains noncytoplasmic incompatibility inducing Wolbachia in their hosts: a case study from a natural Drosophila yakuba population

S. Charlat
Abstract Cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI) allows Wolbachia to invade hosts populations by specifically inducing sterility in crosses between infected males and uninfected females. In some species, non-CI inducing Wolbachia, that are thought to derive from CI-inducing ancestors, are common. In theory, the maintenance of such infections is not possible unless the bacterium is perfectly transmitted to offspring - and/or provides a fitness benefit to infected females. The present study aims to test this view by investigating a population of Drosophila yakuba from Gabon, West Africa. We did not find any evidence for CI using wild caught females. Infected females from the field transmitted the infection to 100% of their offspring. A positive effect on female fecundity was observed one generation after collecting, but this was not retrieved five generations later, using additional lines. Similarly, the presence of Wolbachia was found to affect mating behaviour, but the results of two experiments realized five generations apart were not consistent. Finally, Wolbachia was not found to affect sex ratio. Overall, our results would suggest that Wolbachia behaves like a neutral or nearly neutral trait in this species, and is maintained in the host by perfect maternal transmission. [source]

Geographical variation of genetic and phenotypic traits in the Mexican sailfin mollies, Poecilia velifera and P. petenensis

Abstract Comparing the patterns of population divergence using both neutral genetic and phenotypic traits provides an opportunity to examine the relative importance of evolutionary mechanisms in shaping population differences. We used microsatellite markers to examine population genetic structure in the Mexican sailfin mollies Poecilia velifera and P. petenensis. We compared patterns of genetic structure and divergence to that in two types of phenotypic traits: morphological characters and mating behaviours. Populations within each species were genetically distinct, and conformed to a model of isolation by distance, with populations within different geographical regions being more genetically similar to one another than were populations from different regions. Bayesian clustering and barrier analyses provided additional support for population separation, especially between geographical regions. In contrast, none of the phenotypic traits showed any type of geographical pattern, and population divergence in these traits was uncorrelated with that found in neutral markers. There was also a weaker pattern of regional differences among geographical regions compared to neutral genetic divergence. These results suggest that while divergence in neutral traits is likely a product of population history and genetic drift, phenotypic divergence is governed by different mechanisms, such as natural and sexual selection, and arises at spatial scales independent from those of neutral markers. [source]

Inevitable evolution: back to The Origin and beyond the 20th Century paradigm of contingent evolution by historical natural selection

Lars Witting
Abstract Since neo-Darwinism arose from the work of Darwin and Mendel evolution by natural selection has been seen as contingent and historical being defined by an a posteriori selection process with no a priori laws that explain why evolution on Earth has taken the direction of the major evolutionary trends and transitions instead of any other direction. Recently, however, major life-history trends and transitions have been explained as inevitable because of a deterministic selection that unfolds from the energetic state of the organism and the density-dependent competitive interactions that arise from self-replication in limited environments. I describe differences and similarities between the historical and deterministic selection processes, illustrate concepts using life-history models on large body masses and limited reproductive rates, review life-history evolution with a wider focus on major evolutionary transitions, and propose that biotic evolution is driven by a universal natural selection where the long-term evolution of fitness-related traits is determined mainly by deterministic selection, while contingency is important predominately for neutral traits. Given suitable environmental conditions, it is shown that selection by energetic state and density-dependent competitive interactions unfolds to higher level selection for life-history transitions from simple asexually reproducing self-replicators to large bodied organisms with senescence and sexual reproduction between males and females, and in some cases, to the fully evolved eusocial colony with thousands of offspring workers. This defines an evolutionary arrow of time for open thermodynamic systems with a constant inflow of energy, predicting similar routes for long-term evolution on similar planets. [source]