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Selected Publication:

[Article in Press]

Type of publication: Journal Article
Type of document: Full Paper

Year: 2021

Authors: Lai, WY; Schlötterer, C

Title: Evolution of phenotypic variance in response to a novel hot environment.

Source: Mol Ecol. 2021;

Authors Vetmeduni Vienna:

Lai Wei-Yun
Schlötterer Christian

Vetmed Research Units
Institute of Population Genetics

Project(s): ERC ADG: The architecture of adaptation

Population Genetics

Shifts in trait means are widely considered as evidence for adaptive responses, but the impact on phenotypic variance remains largely unexplored. Classic quantitative genetics provides a theoretical framework to predict how selection on phenotypic mean affects the variance. In addition to this indirect effect, it is also possible that the variance of the trait is the direct target of selection, but experimentally characterized cases are rare. Here, we studied gene expression variance of Drosophila simulans males before and after 100 generations of adaptation to a novel hot laboratory environment. In each of the two independently evolved populations, the variance of 125 and 97 genes was significantly reduced. We propose that the drastic loss in environmental complexity from nature to the lab may have triggered selection for reduced variance. Our observation that selection could drive changes in the variance of gene expression could have important implications for studies of adaptation processes in natural and experimental populations.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

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