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Data from: Environmental effects on the structure of the G-matrix


Wood, Corlett Wolfe; Brodie III, Edmund D.; Brodie, Edmund D. (2015), Data from: Environmental effects on the structure of the G-matrix, Dryad, Dataset,


Genetic correlations between traits determine the multivariate response to selection in the short term, and thereby play a causal role in evolutionary change. While individual studies have documented environmentally induced changes in genetic correlations, the nature and extent of environmental effects on multivariate genetic architecture across species and environments remain largely uncharacterized. We reviewed the literature for estimates of the genetic variance-covariance (G) matrix in multiple environments, and compared differences in G between environments to the divergence in G between conspecific populations (measured in a common garden). We found that the predicted evolutionary trajectory differed as strongly between environments as it did between populations. Between-environment differences in the underlying structure of G (total genetic variance and the relative magnitude and orientation of genetic correlations) were equal to or greater than between-population differences. Neither environmental novelty nor the difference in mean phenotype predicted these differences in G. Our results suggest that environmental effects on multivariate genetic architecture may be comparable to the divergence that accumulates over dozens or hundreds of generations between populations. We outline avenues of future research to address the limitations of existing data and characterize the extent to which lability in genetic correlations shapes evolution in changing environments.

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