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Quantitative Genetics of the Wing Color Pattern in the Buckeye Butterfly (Precis coenia and Precis evarete): Evidence Against the Constancy of G

Susan M. Paulsen
Evolution
Vol. 50, No. 4 (Aug., 1996), pp. 1585-1597
DOI: 10.2307/2410895
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2410895
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.
Quantitative Genetics of the Wing Color Pattern in the Buckeye Butterfly (Precis coenia and Precis evarete): Evidence Against the Constancy of G
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Abstract

Models for the evolution of continuously varying traits use heritabilities, genetic correlations, and the G-matrix to quantify the genetic variation upon which selection acts. Given estimates of these parameters, it is possible to predict the long-term effects of selection, infer past selective forces responsible for observed differences between populations or species, and distinguish the effects of drift from selection. Application of these methods, however, requires the unproven assumption that the G-matrix remains constant from one generation to the next. This study examines the assumption of constancy for the wing pattern characteristics of two sibling species of butterflies, Precis coenia and P. evarete (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae). Quantitative genetic parameters were estimated from parent-offspring regression. Two approaches were taken to test the null hypothesis of equality between species. First, pairwise tests between corresponding elements of G and between heritabilities and genetic correlations for the two species were constructed. Second, a modification of Bartlett's modified likelihood-ratio test was used to test for equality between the G-matrices. The matrix test failed to detect any between species differences. In contrast, pairwise comparision revealed significant differences. Thus, it appears that constancy cannot be assumed at the species level in quantitative genetic studies. In particular, the assumption of constancy was violated for the trait with the greatest difference in mean phenotype.

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