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The evolution of alternative developmental pathways: footprints of selection on life-history traits in a butterfly
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology. Uppsala University, Sweden.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4560-6271
2012 (English)In: Journal of Evolutionary Biology, ISSN 1010-061X, E-ISSN 1420-9101, Vol. 25, no 7, 1377-1388 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Developmental pathways may evolve to optimize alternative phenotypes across environments. However, the maintenance of such adaptive plasticity under relaxed selection has received little study. We compare the expression of life-history traits across two developmental pathways in two populations of the butterfly Pararge aegeria where both populations express a diapause pathway but one never expresses direct development in nature. In the population with ongoing selection on both pathways, the difference between pathways in development time and growth rate was larger, whereas the difference in body size was smaller compared with the population experiencing relaxed selection on one pathway. This indicates that relaxed selection on the direct pathway has allowed life-history traits to drift towards values associated with lower fitness when following this pathway. Relaxed selection on direct development was also associated with a higher degree of genetic variation for protandry expressed as within-family sexual dimorphism in growth rate. Genetic correlations for larval growth rate across sexes and pathways were generally positive, with the notable exception of correlation estimates that involved directly developing males of the population that experienced relaxed selection on this pathway. We conclude that relaxed selection on one developmental pathway appears to have partly disrupted the developmental regulation of life-history trait expression. This in turn suggests that ongoing selection may be responsible for maintaining adaptive developmental regulation along alternative developmental pathways in these populations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 25, no 7, 1377-1388 p.
Keyword [en]
developmental plasticity, diapause, direct development, Lepidoptera, Phenotypic plasticity, relaxed selection, seasonal polyphenism, sexual dimorphism protandry, voltinism
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Animal Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-80034DOI: 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2012.02525.xISI: 000305130800014OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-80034DiVA: diva2:551987
Funder
Swedish Research CouncilA multiscale, cross‐disciplinary approach to the study of climate change effect on ecosystem services and biodiversity
Note

AuthorCount:3;

Available from: 2012-09-12 Created: 2012-09-12 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. The diapause switch: Evolution of alternative developmental pathways in a butterfly
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The diapause switch: Evolution of alternative developmental pathways in a butterfly
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Diapause decision is a classic example of a threshold switch mechanism with cascading effects on morphology, behaviour and life-history traits. This thesis addresses the downstream effects of the insect diapause switch, with the main focus on pathway-specific regulation of life-history traits, using the speckled wood butterfly (Pararge aegeria) as a study species. The ultimate pathway decision is made towards the end of larval development and allows the larvae to take into account up-to-date information from the environment about future conditions (Paper I, IV). However, already from an early point in development the larvae are sensitive to environmental cues and continuously adjust their growth trajectory in accordance to current information about the environmental conditions to be expected in future (Paper IV). An asymmetry in the ability to change from one developmental pathway to another at a late point in larval development suggests that the diapause and the direct pathway require different physiological preparations (Paper IV). Pathway-specific regulation of traits downstream of the diapause switch is maintained by ongoing selection. When the direct pathway is not regularly expressed, as with a shift from bivoltinism to univoltinism, relaxed selection on the unexpressed pathway leads to genetic drift and loss of protandry (Paper II, III). Natural populations display local adaptations in the diapause switch with an increase in critical daylengths as there is a gradual shift from bivoltinism to univoltinism (Paper III). This thesis highlights two aspects of the diapause decision, the determination of how and when this decision is made as well as the way the resulting pathways are moulded by selection in order to produce adaptive seasonal polyphenism in life-history traits.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Zoology, Stockholm University, 2014. 18 p.
Keyword
Developmental plasticity, phenotypic plasticity, developmental switch, threshold trait, life-cycle regulation, direct development, Lepidoptera
National Category
Biological Sciences
Research subject
Animal Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-103200 (URN)978-91-7447-917-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-06-12, Magnélisalen, Kemiska övningslaboratoriet, Svante Arrhenius väg 16 B, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 3: Manuscript. Paper 4: Manuscript.

Available from: 2014-05-22 Created: 2014-05-08 Last updated: 2014-05-20Bibliographically approved

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