An analysis of G matrix variation in two closely related cricket species, Gryllus firmus and G. pennsylvanicus


MattieuBégin, Department of Biology, McGill University, 1205 Dr Penfield Avenue, Montréal, Québec, H3A 1B1, Canada. Tel.: +1 514 398 4949; fax: +1 514 398 5069; e-mail:


An important issue in evolutionary biology is understanding the pattern of G matrix variation in natural populations. We estimated four G matrices based on the morphological traits of two cricket species, Gryllus firmus and G. pennsylvanicus, each reared in two environments. We used three matrix comparison approaches, including the Flury hierarchy, to improve our ability to perceive all aspects of matrix variation. Our results demonstrate that different methods perceive different aspects of the matrices, which suggests that, until more is known about these methods, future studies should use several different statistical approaches. We also found that the differences in G matrices within a species can be larger than the differences between species. We conclude that the expression of the genetic architecture can vary with the environment and that future studies should compare G matrices across several environments. We also conclude that G matrices can be conserved at the level of closely related species.