Behavioral individuality reveals genetic control of phenotypic variability

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Julien F AyrolesBenjamin L de Bivort

Abstract

Variability is ubiquitous in nature and a fundamental feature of complex systems. Few studies, however, have investigated variance itself as a trait under genetic control. By focusing primarily on trait means and ignoring the effect of alternative alleles on trait variability, we may be missing an important axis of genetic variation contributing to phenotypic differences among individuals[1][1],[2][2]. To study genetic effects on individual-to-individual phenotypic variability (or intragenotypic variability), we used a panel of Drosophila inbred lines[3][3] and focused on locomotor handedness[4][4], in an assay optimized to measure variability. We discovered that some lines had consistently high levels of intragenotypic variability among individuals while others had low levels. We demonstrate that the degree of variability is itself heritable. Using a genome-wide association study (GWAS) for the degree of intragenotypic variability as the phenotype across lines, we identified several genes expressed in the brain that affect variability in handedness without affecting the mean. One of these genes, Ten-a , implicated a neuropil in the central complex[5][5] of the fly brain as influencing the magnitude of behavioral variability, a...Continue Reading

Related Concepts

Alleles
Brain
Drosophila
Genes
Genome
Mice, Inbred A
Cell Line, Tumor
Neuropil
Transgenes
Genetic Syndrome

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