• We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Logo of geneticsGeneticsCurrent IssueInformation for AuthorsEditorial BoardSubscribeSubmit a Manuscript
Genetics. Nov 1994; 138(3): 773–785.
PMCID: PMC1206226

The Effects of Spontaneous Mutation on Quantitative Traits. I. Variances and Covariances of Life History Traits

Abstract

We have accumulated spontaneous mutations in the absence of natural selection in Drosophila melanogaster by backcrossing 200 heterozygous replicates of a single high fitness second chromosome to a balancer stock for 44 generations. At generations 33 and 44 of accumulation, we extracted samples of chromosomes and assayed their homozygous performance for female fecundity early and late in adult life, male and female longevity, male mating ability early and late in adult life, productivity (a measure of fecundity times viability) and body weight. The variance among lines increased significantly for all traits except male mating ability and weight. The rate of increase in variance was similar to that found in previous studies of egg-to-adult viability, when calculated relative to trait means. The mutational correlations among traits were all strongly positive. Many correlations were significantly different from 0, while none was significantly different from 1. These data suggest that the mutation-accumulation hypothesis is not a sufficient explanation for the evolution of senescence in D. melanogaster. Mutation-selection balance does seem adequate to explain a substantial proportion of the additive genetic variance for fecundity and longevity.

Full Text

The Full Text of this article is available as a PDF (1.4M).

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Barton NH. Pleiotropic models of quantitative variation. Genetics. 1990 Mar;124(3):773–782. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Barton NH, Turelli M. Evolutionary quantitative genetics: how little do we know? Annu Rev Genet. 1989;23:337–370. [PubMed]
  • Charlesworth B. Mutation-selection balance and the evolutionary advantage of sex and recombination. Genet Res. 1990 Jun;55(3):199–221. [PubMed]
  • Charlesworth B, Lapid A, Canada D. The distribution of transposable elements within and between chromosomes in a population of Drosophila melanogaster. I. Element frequencies and distribution. Genet Res. 1992 Oct;60(2):103–114. [PubMed]
  • Crow JF. How much do we know about spontaneous human mutation rates? Environ Mol Mutagen. 1993;21(2):122–129. [PubMed]
  • Felsenstein J. The evolutionary advantage of recombination. Genetics. 1974 Oct;78(2):737–756. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Haigh J. The accumulation of deleterious genes in a population--Muller's Ratchet. Theor Popul Biol. 1978 Oct;14(2):251–267. [PubMed]
  • Hamilton WD. The moulding of senescence by natural selection. J Theor Biol. 1966 Sep;12(1):12–45. [PubMed]
  • Hill WG. Rates of change in quantitative traits from fixation of new mutations. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1982 Jan;79(1):142–145. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Houle D. Comparing evolvability and variability of quantitative traits. Genetics. 1992 Jan;130(1):195–204. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Houle D, Hoffmaster DK, Assimacopoulos S, Charlesworth B. The genomic mutation rate for fitness in Drosophila. Nature. 1992 Sep 3;359(6390):58–60. [PubMed]
  • Hughes KA, Charlesworth B. A genetic analysis of senescence in Drosophila. Nature. 1994 Jan 6;367(6458):64–66. [PubMed]
  • Keightley PD, Hill WG. Quantitative genetic variability maintained by mutation-stabilizing selection balance in finite populations. Genet Res. 1988 Aug;52(1):33–43. [PubMed]
  • Kondrashov AS. Deleterious mutations and the evolution of sexual reproduction. Nature. 1988 Dec 1;336(6198):435–440. [PubMed]
  • Kondrashov AS, Turelli M. Deleterious mutations, apparent stabilizing selection and the maintenance of quantitative variation. Genetics. 1992 Oct;132(2):603–618. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Lynch M. The rate of polygenic mutation. Genet Res. 1988 Apr;51(2):137–148. [PubMed]
  • Montgomery E, Charlesworth B, Langley CH. A test for the role of natural selection in the stabilization of transposable element copy number in a population of Drosophila melanogaster. Genet Res. 1987 Feb;49(1):31–41. [PubMed]
  • Mukai T, Yamazaki T. The genetic structure of natural populations of Drosophila melanogaster. V. Coupling-repulsion effect of spontaneous mutant polygenes controlling viability. Genetics. 1968 Aug;59(4):513–535. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Mukai T, Yamazaki T. The genetic structure of natural populations of Drosophila melanogaster. X. Developmental time and viability. Genetics. 1971 Nov;69(3):385–398. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Mukai T, Chigusa SI, Mettler LE, Crow JF. Mutation rate and dominance of genes affecting viability in Drosophila melanogaster. Genetics. 1972 Oct;72(2):335–355. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Mukai T, Cardellino RA, Watanabe TK, Crow JF. The genetic variance for viability and its components in a local population of Drosophila melanogaster. Genetics. 1974 Dec;78(4):1195–1208. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Ohnishi O. Spontaneous and ethyl methanesulfonate-induced mutations controlling viability in Drosophila melanogaster. III. Heterozygous effect of polygenic mutations. Genetics. 1977 Nov;87(3):547–556. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Rose MR, Charlesworth B. Genetics of life history in Drosophila melanogaster. I. Sib analysis of adult females. Genetics. 1981 Jan;97(1):173–186. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Rose MR, Charlesworth B. Genetics of life history in Drosophila melanogaster. II. Exploratory selection experiments. Genetics. 1981 Jan;97(1):187–196. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Simmons MJ, Crow JF. Mutations affecting fitness in Drosophila populations. Annu Rev Genet. 1977;11:49–78. [PubMed]
  • Simmons MJ, Preston CR, Engels WR. Pleiotropic Effects on Fitness of Mutations Affecting Viability in DROSOPHILA MELANOGASTER. Genetics. 1980 Feb;94(2):467–475. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

Articles from Genetics are provided here courtesy of Genetics Society of America

Formats: