• Adam K. Chippindale

      Articles written in Journal of Genetics

    • The devil in the details of life-history evolution: Instability and reversal of genetic correlations during selection onDrosophila development

      Adam K. Chippindale Anh L. Ngo Michael R. Rose

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      The evolutionary relationships between three major components of Darwinian fitness, development rate, growth rate and preadult survival, were estimated using a comparison of 55 distinct populations ofDrosophila melanogaster variously selected for age-specific fertility, environmental-stress tolerance and accelerated development. Development rate displayed a strong net negative evolutionary correlation with weight at eclosion across all selection treatments, consistent with the existence of a size-versus-time tradeoff between these characters. However, within the data set, the magnitude of the evolutionary correlation depended upon the particular selection treatments contrasted. A previously proposed tradeoff between preadult viability and growth rate was apparent only under weak selection for juvenile fitness components. Direct selection for rapid development led to sharp reductions in both growth rates and viability. These data add to the mounting results from experimental evolution that illustrate the sensitivity of evolutionary correlations to (i) genotype-by-environment (G X E) interaction, (ii) complex functional-trait interactions, and (iii) character definition. Instability, disappearance and reversal of patterns of genetic covariation often occur over short evolutionary time frames and as the direct product of selection, rather than some stochastic process. We suggest that the functional architecture of fitness is a rapidly evolving matrix with reticulate properties, a matrix that we understand only poorly.

    • Sexual conflict and environmental change: trade-offs within and between the sexes during the evolution of desiccation resistance

      Lucia Kwan Stéphanie Bedhomme N. G. Prasad Adam K. Chippindale

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      Intralocus sexual conflict occurs when males and females experience sex-specific selection on a shared genome. With several notable exceptions, intralocus sexual conflict has been investigated in constant environments to which the study organisms have had an opportunity to adapt. However, a change in the environment can result in differential or even opposing selection pressures on males and females, creating sexual conflict. We used experimental evolution to explore the interaction between intralocus sexual conflict, sexual dimorphism and environmental variation in Drosophila melanogaster. Six populations were selected for adult desiccation resistance (D), with six matched control populations maintained in parallel (C). After 46 generations, the D populations had increased in survival time under arid conditions by 68% and in body weight by 20% compared to the C populations. The increase in size was the result of both extended development and faster growth rate of D juveniles. Adaptation to the stress came at a cost in terms of preadult viability and female fecundity. Because males are innately less tolerant of desiccation stress, very few D males survived desiccation-selection; while potentially a windfall for survivors, these conditions mean that most males’ fitness was determined posthumously. We conjectured that selection for early maturation and mating in males was in conflict with selection for survival and later reproduction in females. Consistent with this prediction, the sexes showed different patterns of age-specific desiccation resistance and resource acquisition, and there was a trend towards increasingly female-biased sexual size dimorphism. However, levels of desiccation resistance were unaffected, with D males and females increasing in parallel. Either there is a strong positive genetic correlation between the sexes that limits independent evolution of desiccation resistance, or fitness pay-offs from the strategy of riding out the stress bout are great enough to sustain concordant selection on the two sexes. We discuss the forces that mould fitness in males under a regimen where trade-offs between survival and reproduction may be considerable.

    • Male-limited evolution suggests no extant intralocus sexual conflict over the sexually dimorphic cuticular hydrocarbons of Drosophila melanogaster

      Stéphanie Bedhomme Adam K. Chippindale N. G. Prasad Matthieu Delcourt Jessica K. Abbott Martin A. Mallet Howard D. Rundle

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      Sexually dimorphic traits are likely to have evolved through sexually antagonistic selection. However, recent empirical data suggest that intralocus sexual conflict often persists, even when traits have diverged between males and females. This implies that evolved dimorphism is often incomplete in resolving intralocus conflict, providing a mechanism for the maintenance of genetic variance in fitness-related traits. We used experimental evolution in Drosophila melanogaster to directly test for ongoing conflict over a suite of sexually dimorphic cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) that are likely targets of sex-specific selection. Using a set of experimental populations in which the transmission of genetic material had been restricted to males for 82 generations, we show that CHCs did not evolve, providing experimental evidence for the absence of current intralocus sexual conflict over these traits. The absence of ongoing conflict could indicate that CHCs have never been the target of sexually antagonistic selection, although this would require the existing dimorphism to have evolved via completely sex-linked mutations or as a result of former, but now absent, pleiotropic effects of the underlying loci on another trait under sexually antagonistic selection. An alternative interpretation, and which we believe to be more likely, is that the extensive CHC sexual dimorphism is the result of past intralocus sexual conflict that has been fully resolved, implying that these traits have evolved genetic independence between the sexes and that genetic variation in them is therefore maintained by alternative mechanisms. This latter interpretation is consistent with the known roles of CHCs in sexual communication in this species and with previous studies suggesting the genetic independence of CHCs between males and females. Nevertheless, direct estimates of sexually antagonistic selection will be important to fully resolve these alternatives.

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