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Experimental studies of group selection: a genetical perspective

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Studies of group selection have been done with both natural and manipulated populations using plants, insects and birds. Group selection occurred in all studies and often the strength of group selection was equal to that of individual selection. Laboratory selection experiments resulted in the opposite response to individual selection than that predicted. Selection with plants for high leaf area resulted in plants with smaller leaf area and selection for high emigration rate in beetles produced lines with lower rates. The selected traits included interactions among individuals. Theoretical studies have shown that genetically based interactions among individuals can interfere with individual selection. Evolution can be partitioned into selection and the response to selection. A response to selection requires genetic variation. Properties of group genetic structure for the natural populations are discussed. The experimental populations had controlled group structure and demonstrate that populations can respond to group selection under some genetic structures.

Document Type: Review Article

Affiliations: Dept. of Biology, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405-0086, USA.

Publication date: January 1, 2000


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