PMID: 11005285Sep 27, 2000

Population differentiation in an annual legume: genetic architecture

Evolution; International Journal of Organic Evolution
C B Fenster, L F Galloway


The presence or absence of epistasis, or gene interaction, is explicitly assumed in many evolutionary models. Although many empirical studies have documented a role of epistasis in population divergence under laboratory conditions, there have been very few attempts at quantifying epistasis in the native environment where natural selection is expected to act. In addition, we have little understanding of the frequency with which epistasis contributes to the evolution of natural populations. In this study we used a quantitative genetic design to quantify the contribution of epistasis to population divergence for fitness components of a native annual legume, Chamaecrista fasciculata. The design incorporated the contrast of performance of F2 and F3 segregating progeny of 18 interpopulation crosses with the F1 and their parents. Crosses were conducted between populations from 100 m to 2000 km apart. All generations were grown for two seasons in the natural environment of one of the parents. The F1 often outperformed the parents. This F1 heterosis reveals population structure and suggests that drift is a major contributor to population differentiation. The F2 generation demonstrated that combining genes from different populations can ...Continue Reading


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