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Maternal Inheritance and Its Effect on Adaptive Evolution: A Quantitative Genetic Analysis of Maternal Effects in a Natural Plant Population

Denise A. Thiede
Evolution
Vol. 52, No. 4 (Aug., 1998), pp. 998-1015
DOI: 10.2307/2411232
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2411232
Page Count: 18
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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.
Maternal Inheritance and Its Effect on Adaptive Evolution: A Quantitative Genetic Analysis of Maternal Effects in a Natural Plant Population
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Abstract

A mother can influence a trait in her offspring both by the genes she transmits (Mendelian inheritance) and by maternal attributes that directly affect that trait in her offspring (maternal inheritance). Maternal inheritance can alter the direction, rate, and duration of adaptive evolution from standard Mendelian models and its impact on adaptive evolution is virtually unexplored in natural populations. In a hierarchical quantitative genetic analysis to determine the magnitude and structure of maternal inheritance in the winter annual plant, Collinsia verna, I consider three potential models of inheritance. These range from a standard Mendelian model estimating only direct (i.e., Mendelian) additive and environmental variance components to a maternal inheritance model estimating six additive and environmental variance components: direct additive (σ2 Ao ) and environmental (σ2 Eo ) variances; maternal additive (σ2 Am ) and environmental (σ2 Em ) variances; and the direct-maternal additive (σAoA m ) and environmental (σEoE m ) covariances. The structure of maternal inheritance differs among the 10 traits considered at four stages in the life cycle. Early in the life cycle, seed weight and embryo weight display substantial σ2 Am , a negative σAoA m , and a positive σEoE m . Subsequently, cotyledon diameter displays σ2 Ao and σ2 Am of roughly the same magnitude and negative σAoA m . For fall rosettes, leaf number and length are best described by a Mendelian model. In the spring, leaf length displays maternal inheritance with significant σ2 Ao and σ2 Am and a negative σAoA m . All maternally inherited traits show significant negative σAoA m . Predicted response to selection under maternal inheritance depends on σ2 Ao and σ2 Am as well as σAoA m . Negative σAoA m results in predicted responses in the opposite direction to selection for seed weight and embryo weight and predicted responses near zero for all subsequent maternally inherited traits. Maternal inheritance persists through the life cycle of this annual plant for a number of size-related traits and will alter the direction and rate of evolutionary response in this population.

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