Chapter 7 Beyond alleles: quantitative genetics and the ...

Chapter 7 Beyond alleles: quantitative genetics and the ...

Chapter 7 Beyond alleles: quantitative genetics and the evolution of phenotypes Continuous traits have a complex genetic basis

Polygenic trait: influenced by many genetic loci Interaction between alleles (epistasis) Interaction with environment (phenotypic plasticity) Quantitative genetics: study of the genetic mechanisms of continuous

phenotypic traits Epistasis Epistasis is a phenomenon in which the expression of one gene depends on the presence of one or more "'modifier genes'." A gene whose phenotype is expressed is called epistatic, while one

whose phenotype is altered or suppressed is called hypostatic. Epistasis Labradors showing the two eumelanin color phenotypes: Black (BB,Bb) and Chocolate

(bb). Labradors with the recessive (ee) and dominant (EE, Ee) phenotypes for the expression of eumelanin pigment in the fur. Phenotypic plasticity

Phenotypic plasticity is the ability of an organism to change its phenotype in response to changes in the environment. Phenotypic plasticity encompasses all types of environmentally induced changes (e.g. morphological, physiological, behavioral) that may or may not be permanent throughout an individuals lifespan.

It is NOT evolution. Phenomenon in Daphnia, known today as cyclomorphosis When exposed to the presence of a predator they respond by altering the shape of their body to produce a helmet or neck teeth effective in reducing

predation pressure So When components of variation are additive, genetic and environmental variance sum to total phenotypic variance Heritability is the proportion of phenotypic variance due to genetic differences

Broad sense heritability includes: Additive effects Dominance effects Epistatic effects Maternal/Paternal environmental effects Natural Selection The process in nature by which, according

to Darwin's theory of evolution, only the organisms best adapted to their environment tend to survive and transmit their genetic characteristics in increasing numbers to succeeding generations while those less adapted tend to be eliminated. Natural selection is a mechanism that causes

evolution. It occurs when some kinds of organisms in a population leave more offspring than other kinds of organisms; the result is that the kinds of organisms who leave more offspring will increase in frequency over time. Natural selection can be understood as a logical argument in

which a conclusion follows from a set of premises (or a result follows from a set of initial conditions). Natural selection will operate on anything that has the following properties: reproduction inheritance variation in fitness variation in individual characteristic

reproduction New generation must exist inheritance like must reproduce like variation in fitness

Some individuals are more likely to reproduce The fitness of an organism, in its simplest evolutionary sense, is how many successful offspring an individual has variation in individual characteristic There must be variation in phenotype (ergo genotype)

Modes of selection Directional Selection Directional selection favors those individuals who have extreme variations in traits within a population. Directional Selection

A useful example can be found in the breeding of the greyhound dog. Early breeders were interested in dog with the greatest speed. They carefully selected from a group of hounds those who ran the fastest. Directional Selection

From their offspring, the greyhound breeders again selected those dogs who ran the fastest. By continuing this selection for those dogs who ran faster than most of the hound dog population, they gradually produced a dog who could run up to 64km/h (40mph). The greyhound was originally used to hunt the fastest of game, fox and deer. Their

breed dates to Egypt in 3BCE. Cumulative effects of directional selection can be large Or Stabilizing selection

Stabilizing selection favors the norm, the common, average traits in a population. Look at the Siberian Husky, a dog bred for working in the snow. Stabilizing selection The Siberian Husky is a medium dog, males weighing 16-27kg (35-60lbs). These

dogs have strong pectoral and leg muscles, allowing it to move through dense snow. If the Siberian Husky had heavier muscles, it would sink deeper into the snow, so they would move slower or would sink and get stuck in the snow.

Stabilizing selection Yet if the Siberian Husky had lighter muscles, it would not be strong enough to pull sleds and equipment, so the dog would have little value as a working dog. So stabilizing selection has chosen a norm for the size of the Siberian Husky.

Disruptive selection Disruptive (diversifying) selection, like directional selection, favors the extremes traits in a population. Disruptive selection differs in that sudden changes in the environment creates a sudden force favoring that extreme.

Disruptive selection Think about the changes in the environment when that meteor crashed into Earth 65mya. A sudden decrease in light levels as the dust rose over large portions of the Earth. Extremely large tidal waves washing miles over the land. Increased seismic activity.

Disruptive selection The sudden lost of food along the coast, possible plague due to the high initial death rate, dust filling the lungs of animals would have been the most stressful on larger animals. Large animals need a large oxygen supply

to supply energy to their muscles. They also need a large, constant supply of food. Disruptive selection The sudden drop of oxygen due to the dust, and the drop in fresh food, large animals would be stressed. If a plague started by the high death rate also hit these stressed animals,

they would have been sorely pushed to survive. Evidence shows that they did not. So disruptive selection occurs quickly, selecting for those extreme traits that help organisms survive in the new environmental conditions. Disruptive selection So disruptive selection occurs quickly,

selecting for those extreme traits that help organisms survive in the new environmental conditions. Evolutionary response to selection How much the population changes depends on: Selection differential (S)

Heritability Selection coefficient the selection coefficient is a measure of the relative fitness of a phenotype. Usually denoted by the letter s, it compares the fitness of a phenotype to another favored phenotype, and is the proportional amount that the considered

phenotype is less fit as measured by fertile progeny. s = 0 then is selectively neutral compared to the favored phenotype, while s = 1 indicates complete lethality. Selection differential measures the strength of selection

So.. Evolution and selection are not the same Selection can occur without evolution The magnitude of change depends on: Strength of selection (selection differential) Heritability

Quantitative trait loci (QTLs) Quantitative trait loci (QTLs) are stretches of DNA containing or linked to the genes that underlie a quantitative trait. Mapping regions of the genome that contain genes involved in specifying a quantitative trait is done using molecular

tags, commonly SNPs. Quantitative traits refer to phenotypes (characteristics) that vary in degree and can be attributed to polygenic effects, i.e., product of two or more genes, and their environment.

QTL analysis of coat color in mice QTL analysis of coat color in mice Expression of Agouti during development influences coat color Genetic manipulation of dark mice makes

them lighter QTL analysis of osteoporosis Rapid change can lead to mismatch between plastic traits and environment

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