PROPERTIES OF SPONTANEOUS MUTATIONAL VARIANCE AND COVARIANCE FOR WING SIZE AND SHAPE IN DROSOPHILA MELANOGASTER

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Abstract

We estimated mutational variance–covariance matrices, M, for wing shape and size in two genotypes of Drosophila melanogaster after 192 generations of mutation accumulation. We characterized 21 potentially independent aspects of wing shape and size using geometric morphometrics, and analyzed the data using a likelihood-based factor-analytic approach. We implement a previously unused analysis that describes those directions with the greatest difference in evolvability between pairs of matrices. There are significant mutational effects on 19 of 21 possible aspects of wing form, consistent with the high dimensionality of standing genetic variation for wing shape previously identified in D. melanogaster. Mutations have partially recessive effects, consistent with average dominance around 0.25. Sex-specific matrices are relatively similar, although male-specific matrices are slightly larger, as expected due to dosage compensation on the X chromosome. Genotype-specific matrices are quite different. Matrices may differ both because of sampling error based on small samples of mutations with large phenotypic effects, and because of the mutational properties of the genotypes. Genotypic differences are likely to be involved, as the two genotypes have different molecular mutation rates and properties.

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