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Evolution. 1989 Jan;43(1):105-112. doi: 10.1111/j.1558-5646.1989.tb04210.x.

ARTIFICIAL SELECTION FOR PAEDOMORPHOSIS IN THE SALAMANDER AMBYSTOMA TALPOIDEUM.

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1
Department of Zoology, Duke University, Durham, NC, 27706.

Abstract

Heterochronic ontogenetic mechanisms such as paedomorphosis are potentially important mechanisms of both microevolutionary and macroevolutionary change. The salamander Ambystoma talpoideum is facultatively paedomorphic. Expression of paedomorphosis in this species varies among local natural populations. Two breeding lines, one from a population associated with a temporary pond where metamorphosis to a terrestrial adult always occurs, another from a population associated with a nearly permanent pond where paedomorphosis is common, were selected artificially for paedomorphosis over four generations. The F5 generation of each breeding line was reared in a "common garden" field experiment under two drying regimes to simulate the larval environment in a temporary and in a permanent pond. There was a significantly different response to the drying regimes and to the artificial selection in the two lines. A significant population × selection interaction indicated that the two populations responded differently to artificial selection for paedomorphosis. The presence of heritable genetic variation suggests that evolution and divergence among populations of salamanders is possible with intense natural selection over short periods of ecological time.

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