The genetics of phenotypic plasticity. III. Genetic correlations and fluctuating asymmetries

Authors

  • Samuel M. Scheiner,

    1. Department of Biological Sciences Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois 60115, USA
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  • Roberta L. Caplan,

    1. Department of Biological Sciences Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois 60115, USA
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    • 1

      Present address: Department of Microbiology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina 27695 USA.

  • Richard F. Lyman

    1. Department of Biological Sciences Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois 60115, USA
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    • 2

      Present address: Department of Genetics, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina 27695 USA.


Abstract

We examined the relationship of three aspects of development, phenotypic plasticity, genetic correlations among traits, and developmental noise, for thorax length, wing length, and number of sternopleural bristles in Drosophila melanogaster. We used 14 lines which had previously been selected on either thorax length or plasticity of thorax length in response to temperature. A half-sib mating design was used and offspring were raised at 19° C or 25° C. We found that genetic correlations were stable across temperatures despite the large levels of plasticity of these traits. Plasticities were correlated among developmentally related traits, thorax and wing length, but not among unrelated traits, lengths and bristle counts. Amount of developmental noise, measured as fluctuating asymmetry and within-environmental variation, was positively correlated with amount of plasticity only for some traits, thorax length and bristle number, and only at one temperature, 25° C.

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