Quantitative genetic effects of bottlenecks: Experimental evidence from a wild plant species, Nigella degenii

Andersson, Stefan, Ellmer, Maarten, Jorgensen, Tove H. and Palmé, Anna (2010) Quantitative genetic effects of bottlenecks: Experimental evidence from a wild plant species, Nigella degenii. Journal of Heredity, 101 (3). pp. 298-307. ISSN 0022-1503

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Understanding the genetic consequences of changes in population size is fundamental in a variety of contexts, such as adaptation and conservation biology. In the study presented here, we have performed a replicated experiment with the plant Nigella degenii to explore the quantitative genetic effects of a single-founder bottleneck. In agreement with additive theory, the bottleneck reduced the mean (co)variance within lines and caused stochastic, line-specific changes in the genetic (co)variance structure. However, a significant portion of the (co)variance structure was conserved, and 2 characters—leaf and flower (sepal) size—turned out to be positively correlated in all data sets, indicating a potential for correlated evolution in these characters, even after a severe bottleneck. The hierarchical partitioning of genetic variance for flower size was in good agreement with predictions from additive theory, whereas the remaining characters showed an excess of within-line variance and a deficiency of among-line variance. The latter discrepancies were most likely a result of selection, given the small proportion of lines (23%) that remained viable until the end of the experiment. Our results suggest that bottlenecked populations of N. degenii generally have a lower adaptive potential than the ancestral population but also highlight the idiosyncratic nature of bottleneck effects.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Biological Sciences
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Science > Research Centres > Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Conservation
Depositing User: Users 2731 not found.
Date Deposited: 17 May 2011 12:54
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2024 01:21
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/30663
DOI: 10.1093/jhered/esp108

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