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Journal Article

Experimental Evolution of Resistance in Brassica rapa: Correlated Response of Tolerance in Lines Selected for Glucosinolate Content

Kirk A. Stowe
Evolution
Vol. 52, No. 3 (Jun., 1998), pp. 703-712
DOI: 10.2307/2411265
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2411265
Page Count: 10
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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.
Experimental Evolution of Resistance in Brassica rapa: Correlated Response of Tolerance in Lines Selected for Glucosinolate Content
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Abstract

The evolutionary response of plant populations to selection for increased defense may be constrained by costs of defense. The purpose of this study was to investigate such constraints on the evolution of defense due to a cost of defense manifested as a trade-off between defense and tolerance. Variation in the response to artificial damage (tolerance) among lines of Brassica rapa that had been artificially selected for foliar glucosinolate content (defense) was examined. Leaf area was removed from replicates of three selection lines (high glucosinolates, control, and low glucosinolates) at three damage levels (0%, 20%, and 60% damage). An external cost of defense would result in a statistically significant selection line by damage treatment interaction, with those selected for high defense expressing less tolerance than those selected for low defense. Damage treatment had a significant overall effect on estimated total fitness, with fitness declining with increasing damage level. Further, selection line also had a significant overall effect on estimated total fitness, with low-defense selection lines having higher fitness compared to both control and high-defense selection lines. More importantly, a cost of defense in terms of tolerance was demonstrated by a significant selection line-by-damage treatment interaction. This interaction was in the direction to demonstrate a genetic trade-off between defense and tolerance, with low-defense selection lines decreasing estimated total fitness in response to damage less than both control and high-defense selection lines. Variation in tolerance among selection lines was due to the greater ability of low-defense lines to maintain fruit and seed production despite the presence of damage. In terms of tolerance, this cost of glucosinolate production in B. rapa could constrain the evolution of increased defense and, in so doing, maintain individuals within the population that are poorly defended yet tolerant.

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