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Journal Article

Development, Function, and the Quantitative Genetics of Wing Melanin in Pattern in Pieris Butterflies

Joel G. Kingsolver and Diane C. Wiernasz
Evolution
Vol. 45, No. 6 (Sep., 1991), pp. 1480-1492
DOI: 10.2307/2409894
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2409894
Page Count: 13
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Development, Function, and the Quantitative Genetics of Wing Melanin in Pattern in Pieris Butterflies
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Abstract

Do genetic correlations among phenotypic characters reflect developmental organization or functional coadaptation of the characters? We test these hypotheses for the wing melanin pattern of Pieris occidentalis butterflies, by comparing estimated genetic correlations among wing melanin characters with a priori predictions of the developmental organization and the functional (thermoregulatory) organization of melanin pattern. There were significant broad-sense heritabilities and significant genetic correlations for most melanin characters. Matrix correlation tests revealed significant agreement between the observed genetic correlations and both developmental and functional predictions in most cases; this occurred even when the overlap between developmental and functional predictions was eliminated. These results suggest that both developmental organization and functional coadaptation among melanin characters influence the genetic correlation structure of melanin pattern in this species. These results have two important implications for the evolution of melanin pattern in P occidentalis and other butterflies: 1) most phenotypic variation in pattern may reflect variation among, rather than within, sets of developmentally homologous wing melanin characters; and 2) in a changing selective environment, genetic correlations may retard the disruption of functionally coupled melanin characters, thus affecting the evolutionary response to selection.

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