Jul 27, 2015

Dis-integrating the fly: A mutational perspective on phenotypic integration and covariation

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Annat Haber, Ian Dworkin


The structure of environmentally induced phenotypic covariation can influence the effective strength and magnitude of natural selection. Yet our understanding of the factors that contribute to and influence the evolutionary lability of such covariation is poor. Most studies have either examined environmental variation without accounting for covariation, or examined phenotypic and genetic covariation without distinguishing the environmental component. In this study we examined the effect of mutational perturbations on different properties of environmental covariation, as well as mean shape. We use strains of Drosophila melanogaster bearing well-characterized mutations known to influence wing shape, as well as naturally-derived strains, all reared under carefully-controlled conditions and with the same genetic background. We find that mean shape changes more freely than the covariance structure, and that different properties of the covariance matrix change independently from each other. The perturbations affect matrix orientation more than they affect matrix eccentricity or total variance. Yet, mutational effects on matrix orientation do not cluster according to the developmental pathway that they target. These results suggest th...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Biochemical Pathway
Extracellular Matrix
Genetic Activator
Drosophila melanogaster
Orientation (spatial)
Psychological Orientation

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