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Trait-specific consequences of inbreeding on adaptive phenotypic plasticity

Author:
  • Mads F. Schou
  • Torsten N. Kristensen
  • Volker Loeschcke
Publishing year: 2015-12-01
Language: English
Pages: 1-6
Publication/Series: Ecology and Evolution
Volume: 5
Issue: 1
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

Abstract english

Environmental changes may stress organisms and stimulate an adaptive phenotypic response. Effects of inbreeding often interact with the environment and can decrease fitness of inbred individuals exposed to stress more so than that of outbred individuals. Such an interaction may stem from a reduced ability of inbred individuals to respond plastically to environmental stress; however, this hypothesis has rarely been tested. In this study, we mimicked the genetic constitution of natural inbred populations by rearing replicate Drosophila melanogaster populations for 25 generations at a reduced population size (10 individuals). The replicate inbred populations, as well as control populations reared at a population size of 500, were exposed to a benign developmental temperature and two developmental temperatures at the lower and upper margins of their viable range. Flies developed at the three temperatures were assessed for traits known to vary across temperatures, namely abdominal pigmentation, wing size, and wing shape. We found no significant difference in phenotypic plasticity in pigmentation or in wing size between inbred and control populations, but a significantly higher plasticity in wing shape across temperatures in inbred compared to control populations. Given that the norms of reaction for the noninbred control populations are adaptive, we conclude that a reduced ability to induce an adaptive phenotypic response to temperature changes is not a general consequence of inbreeding and thus not a general explanation of inbreeding–environment interaction effects on fitness components.

Keywords

  • Evolutionary Biology
  • developmental plasticity
  • inbreeding–environment interactions
  • insects
  • pigmentation
  • wing size and shape

Other

Published
  • ISSN: 2045-7758
Mads Schou
E-mail: mads [dot] schou [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se

Postdoctoral fellow

MEMEG

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