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Rapid reversal of a potentially constraining genetic covariance between leaf and flower traits in Silene latifolia

Citation

Steven, Janet; Anderson, Ingrid; Brodie, Edmund; Delph, Lynda (2020), Rapid reversal of a potentially constraining genetic covariance between leaf and flower traits in Silene latifolia, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.dbrv15dx7

Abstract

Genetic covariance between two traits generates correlated responses to selection, and may either enhance or constrain adaptation. Silene latifolia exhibits potentially constraining genetic covariance between specific leaf area and flower number in males. Flower number is likely to increase via fecundity selection but the correlated increase in specific leaf area increases mortality, and specific leaf area is under selection to decrease in dry habitats. We selected on trait combinations in two selection lines for four generations to test whether genetic covariance could be reduced without significantly altering trait means. In one selection line, the genetic covariance changed sign and eigenstructure changed significantly, while in the other selection line eigenstructure remained similar to the control line. Changes in genetic variance-covariance structure are therefore possible without the introduction of new alleles, and the responses we observed suggest that founder effects and changes in frequency of alleles of major effect may be acting to produce the changes.

Usage Notes

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Funding

NSF, Award: DEB-0210971