Conflicting processes in the evolution of body size and development time

H. Frederik Nijhout, Derek A. Roff, Goggy Davidowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

54 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Body size and development time of Manduca sexta are both determined by the same set of three developmental-physiological factors. These define a parameter space within which it is possible to analyse and explain how phenotypic change is associated with changes in the underlying factors. Body size and development time are determined by the identical set of underlying factors, so they are not independent, but because the mechanisms by which these factors produce each phenotype are different, the two phenotypes are only weakly correlated, and the correlation is context dependent. We use a mathematical model of this mechanism to explore the association between body size and development time and show that the correlation between these two life-history traits can be positive, zero or negative, depending entirely on where in parameter space a population is located, and on which of the underlying factors has a greater variation. The gradient within this parameter space predicts the unconstrained evolutionary trajectory under directional selection on each trait. Calculations of the gradients for body size and development time revealed that these are nearly orthogonal through much of the parameter space. Therefore, simultaneous directional selection on body size and development time can be neither synergistic nor antagonistic but leads to conflicting selection on the underlying developmental parameters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)567-575
Number of pages9
JournalPhilosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological sciences
Volume365
Issue number1540
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 27 2010

Fingerprint

Body Size
body size
Trajectories
Mathematical models
phenotype
Phenotype
Manduca
Manduca sexta
life history trait
trajectories
Theoretical Models
mathematical models
trajectory
life history
parameter
Population

Keywords

  • Body size
  • Growth
  • Manduca sexta
  • Mathematical model
  • Morphospace
  • Selection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

Cite this

Conflicting processes in the evolution of body size and development time. / Nijhout, H. Frederik; Roff, Derek A.; Davidowitz, Goggy.

In: Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological sciences, Vol. 365, No. 1540, 27.02.2010, p. 567-575.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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