Browsing by Subject "genetic architecture"

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  • Fraimout, Antoine; Li, Zitong; Sillanpää, Mikko J.; Merilä, Juha (2022)
    Heritable variation in traits under natural selection is a prerequisite for evolutionary response. While it is recognized that trait heritability may vary spatially and temporally depending on which environmental conditions traits are expressed under, less is known about the possibility that genetic variance contributing to the expected selection response in a given trait may vary at different stages of ontogeny. Specifically, whether different loci underlie the expression of a trait throughout development and thus providing an additional source of variation for selection to act on in the wild, is unclear. Here we show that body size, an important life-history trait, is heritable throughout ontogeny in the nine-spined stickleback (Pungitius pungitius). Nevertheless, both analyses of quantitative trait loci and genetic correlations across ages show that different chromosomes/loci contribute to this heritability in different ontogenic time-points. This suggests that body size can respond to selection at different stages of ontogeny but that this response is determined by different loci at different points of development. Hence, our study provides important results regarding our understanding of the genetics of ontogeny and opens an interesting avenue of research for studying age-specific genetic architecture as a source of non-parallel evolution.
  • Saastamoinen, Marjo Anna Kaarina; Bocedi, Greta; Cote, Julien; Legrand, Dephine; Guillaume, Fredric; Wheat, Christopher West; Fronhofer, Emanuel A.; Garcia, Cristina; Henry, Roslyn; Husby, Arild; Baguette, Michelle; Bonte, Dries; Coulon, Aurelie; Kokko, Hanna; Matthysen, Erik; Niitepöld, Kristjan; Nonaka, Etsuko; Stevens , Virginie M.; Travis, Justin MJ; Donohue, Kathlin; Bullock, James M.; del Mar Delgado, Maria (2018)
    Dispersal is a process of central importance for the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of populations and communities, because of its diverse consequences for gene flow and demography. It is subject to evolutionary change, which begs the question, what is the genetic basis of this potentially complex trait? To address this question, we (i) review the empirical literature on the genetic basis of dispersal, (ii) explore how theoretical investigations of the evolution of dispersal have represented the genetics of dispersal, and (iii) discuss how the genetic basis of dispersal influences theoretical predictions of the evolution of dispersal and potential consequences. Dispersal has a detectable genetic basis in many organisms, from bacteria to plants and animals. Generally, there is evidence for significant genetic variation for dispersal or dispersal-related phenotypes or evidence for the micro-evolution of dispersal in natural populations. Dispersal is typically the outcome of several interacting traits, and this complexity is reflected in its genetic architecture: while some genes of moderate to large effect can influence certain aspects of dispersal, dispersal traits are typically polygenic. Correlations among dispersal traits as well as between dispersal traits and other traits under selection are common, and the genetic basis of dispersal can be highly environment-dependent. By contrast, models have historically considered a highly simplified genetic architecture of dispersal. It is only recently that models have started to consider multiple loci influencing dispersal, as well as non-additive effects such as dominance and epistasis, showing that the genetic basis of dispersal can influence evolutionary rates and outcomes, especially under non-equilibrium conditions. For example, the number of loci controlling dispersal can influence projected rates of dispersal evolution during range shifts and corresponding demographic impacts. Incorporating more realism in the genetic architecture of dispersal is thus necessary to enable models to move beyond the purely theoretical towards making more useful predictions of evolutionary and ecological dynamics under current and future environmental conditions. To inform these advances, empirical studies need to answer outstanding questions concerning whether specific genes underlie dispersal variation, the genetic architecture of context-dependent dispersal phenotypes and behaviours, and correlations among dispersal and other traits.
  • Bainbridge, Hannah E.; Brien, Melanie N.; Morochz, Carlos; Salazar, Patricio A.; Rastas, Pasi; Nadeau, Nicola J. (2020)
    Mimetic systems allow us to address the question of whether the same genes control similar phenotypes in different species. Although widespread parallels have been found for major effect loci, much less is known about genes that control quantitative trait variation. In this study, we identify and compare the loci that control subtle changes in the size and shape of forewing pattern elements in twoHeliconiusbutterfly co-mimics. We use quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis with a multivariate phenotyping approach to map the variation in red pattern elements across the whole forewing surface ofHeliconius eratoandHeliconius melpomene. These results are compared with a QTL analysis of univariate trait changes, and show that our resolution for identifying small effect loci is somewhat improved with the multivariate approach, but also that different loci are detected with these different approaches. QTL likely corresponding to the known patterning geneoptixwere found in both species but otherwise, a remarkably low level of genetic parallelism was found. This lack of similarity indicates that the genetic basis of convergent traits may not be as predictable as assumed from studies that focus solely on Mendelian traits.
  • Chebib, Jobran; Guillaume, Frédéric (2021)
    Genetic correlations between traits may cause correlated responses to selection. Previous models described the conditions under which genetic correlations are expected to be maintained. Selection, mutation, and migration are all proposed to affect genetic correlations, regardless of whether the underlying genetic architecture consists of pleiotropic or tightly linked loci affecting the traits. Here, we investigate the conditions under which pleiotropy and linkage have different effects on the genetic correlations between traits by explicitly modeling multiple genetic architectures to look at the effects of selection strength, degree of correlational selection, mutation rate, mutational variance, recombination rate, and migration rate. We show that at mutation-selection(-migration) balance, mutation rates differentially affect the equilibrium levels of genetic correlation when architectures are composed of pairs of physically linked loci compared to architectures of pleiotropic loci. Even when there is perfect linkage (no recombination within pairs of linked loci), a lower genetic correlation is maintained than with pleiotropy, with a lower mutation rate leading to a larger decrease. These results imply that the detection of causal loci in multitrait association studies will be affected by the type of underlying architectures, whereby pleiotropic variants are more likely to be underlying multiple detected associations. We also confirm that tighter linkage between nonpleiotropic causal loci maintains higher genetic correlations at the traits and leads to a greater proportion of false positives in association analyses.
  • Chebib, Jobran; Guillaume, Frédéric (2022)
    Both pleiotropic connectivity and mutational correlations can restrict the decoupling of traits under divergent selection, but it is unknown which is more important in trait evolution. To address this question, we create a model that permits within-population variation in both pleiotropic connectivity and mutational correlation, and compare their relative importance to trait evolution. Specifically, we developed an individual-based stochastic model where mutations can affect whether a locus affects a trait and the extent of mutational correlations in a population. We find that traits can decouple whether there is evolution in pleiotropic connectivity or mutational correlation, but when both can evolve, then evolution in pleiotropic connectivity is more likely to allow for decoupling to occur. The most common genotype found in this case is characterized by having one locus that maintains connectivity to all traits and another that loses connectivity to the traits under stabilizing selection (subfunctionalization). This genotype is favored because it allows the subfunctionalized locus to accumulate greater effect size alleles, contributing to increasingly divergent trait values in the traits under divergent selection without changing the trait values of the other traits (genetic modularization). These results provide evidence that partial subfunctionalization of pleiotropic loci may be a common mechanism of trait decoupling under regimes of corridor selection.