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Science. 2006 Feb 3;311(5761):650-2.

Evolution of a polyphenism by genetic accommodation.

Author information

1
Department of Biology, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708, USA. ys16@duke.edu

Abstract

Polyphenisms are adaptations in which a genome is associated with discrete alternative phenotypes in different environments. Little is known about the mechanism by which polyphenisms originate. We show that a mutation in the juvenile hormone-regulatory pathway in Manduca sexta enables heat stress to reveal a hidden reaction norm of larval coloration. Selection for increased color change in response to heat stress resulted in the evolution of a larval color polyphenism and a corresponding change in hormonal titers through genetic accommodation. Evidently, mechanisms that regulate developmental hormones can mask genetic variation and act as evolutionary capacitors, facilitating the origin of novel adaptive phenotypes.

PMID:
16456077
DOI:
10.1126/science.1118888
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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