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Genetically controlled environmental variance for sternopleural bristles in Drosophila melanogaster - an experimental test of a heterogeneous variance model

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Abstract:

The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that the environmental variance of sternopleural bristle number in Drosophila melanogaster is partly under genetic control. We used data from 20 inbred lines and 10 control lines to test this hypothesis. Two models were used: a standard quantitative genetics model based on the infinitesimal model, and an extension of this model. In the extended model it is assumed that each individual has its own environmental variance and that this heterogeneity of variance has a genetic component. The heterogeneous variance model was favoured by the data, indicating that the environmental variance is partly under genetic control. If this heterogeneous variance model also applies to livestock, it would be possible to select for animals with a higher uniformity of products across environmental regimes. Also for evolutionary biology the results are of interest as genes affecting the environmental variance may be important for adaptation to changing environmental conditions.

Keywords: Drift; environmental variance; genetic variance; inbreeding; model comparisons

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09064700801959403

Affiliations: 1: University of Aarhus, Department of Genetics and Biotechnology, Tjele, Denmark 2: University of Aarhus, Department of Genetics and Biotechnology, Tjele, Denmark,University of Aarhus, Department of Biological Sciences, Ecology and Genetics, Ny Munkegade, Aarhus C, Denmark 3: University of Aarhus, Department of Biological Sciences, Ecology and Genetics, Ny Munkegade, Aarhus C, Denmark 4: Departamento de Ciencia Animal, Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, Valencia, Spain,Millora i genètica Animal-IRTA-Lleida, Lleida, Spain

Publication date: 2007-12-01

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