Evolutionary quantitative genetics of non-linear developmental system
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In quantitative genetics, the effects of developmental relationships among traits on microevolution are generally represented by the contribution of pleiotropy to additive genetic covariances. Pleiotropic additive genetic covariances arise only from the average effects of alleles on multiple traits, and therefore the evolutionary importance of non-linearities in development are generally neglected in quantitative genetic views on evolution. However, non-linearities in relationships among traits at the level of whole organisms are undeniably important to biology in general, and therefore critical to understanding evolution. I outline a system for characterising key quantitative parameters in non-linear developmental systems, which yields expressions for quantities such as trait means and phenotypic and genetic covariance matrices. I then develop a system for quantitative prediction of evolution in non-linear developmental systems. I apply the system to generating a new hypothesis for why direct stabilising selection is rarely observed. Other uses will include separation of purely correlative from direct and indirect causal effects in studying mechanisms of selection, generation of predictions of medium-term evolutionary trajectories rather than immediate predictions of evolutionary change over single generation time-steps, and the development of efficient and biologically-motivated models for separating additive from epistatic genetic variances and covariances.
Morrissey , M B 2015 , ' Evolutionary quantitative genetics of non-linear developmental system ' Evolution , vol 69 , no. 8 , pp. 2050-2066 . DOI: 10.1111/evo.12728
© 2015, Publisher / the Author(s). This work is made available online in accordance with the publisher’s policies. This is the author created, accepted version manuscript following peer review and may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at onlinelibrary.wiley.com / https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/evo.12728
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