• Catherine Beaumont

      Articles written in Journal of Genetics

    • Genetic variability of sexual size dimorphism in a natural population ofDrosophila melanogaster: An isofemale-line approach

      Jean R. David Patricia Gibert Sandrine Mignon-Grasteau HÉlÈne Legout Georges PÉtavy Catherine Beaumont Brigitte Moreteau

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      Most animal species exhibit sexual size dimorphism (SSD). SSD is a trait difficult to quantify for genetical purposes since it must be simultaneously measured on two kinds of individuals, and it is generally expressed either as a difference or as a ratio between sexes. Here we ask two related questions: What is the best way to describe SSD, and is it possible to conveniently demonstrate its genetic variability in a natural population? We show that a simple experimental design, the isofemale-line technique (full-sib families), may provide an estimate of genetic variability, using the coefficient of intraclass correlation. We consider two SSD indices, the female-male difference and the female/male ratio. For two size-related traits, wing and thorax length, we found that both SSD indices were normally distributed. Within each family, the variability of SSD was estimated by considering individual values in one sex (the female) with respect to the mean value in the other sex (the male). In a homogeneous sample of 30 lines ofDrosophila melanogaster, both indices provided similar intraclass correlations, on average 0.21, significantly greater than zero but lower than those for the traits themselves: 0.50 and 0.36 for wing and thorax length respectively. Wing and thorax length were strongly positively correlated within each sex. SSD indices of wing and thorax length were also positively correlated, but to a lesser degree than for the traits themselves. For comparative evolutionary studies, the ratio between sexes seems a better index of SSD since it avoids scaling effects among populations or species, permits comparisons between different traits, and has an unambiguous biological significance. In the case ofD. melanogaster grown at 25‡C, the average female/male ratios are very similar for the wing (1.16) and the thorax (1.15), and indicate that, on average, these size traits are 15–16% longer in females.

    • REML estimates of genetic parameters of sexual dimorphism for wing and thorax length inDrosophila melanogaster

      Sandrine Mignon-Grasteau Jean David Patricia Gibert Hélène Legout Georges Pétavy Brigitte Moreteau Catherine Beaumont

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      Restricted maximum likelihood was used to estimate genetic parameters of male and female wing and thorax length in isofemale lines ofDrosophila melanogaster, and results compared to estimates obtained earlier with the classical analysis of variance approach. As parents within an isofemale line were unknown, a total of 500 parental pedigrees were simulated and mean estimates computed. Full and half sibs were distinguished, in contrast to usual isofemale studies in which animals were all treated as half sibs and hence heritability was overestimated. Heritability was thus estimated at 0.33, 0.38, 0.30 and 0.33 for male and female wing length and male and female thorax length, respectively, whereas corresponding estimates obtained using analysis of variance were 0.46, 0.54, 0.35 and 0.38. Genetic correlations between male and female traits were 0.85 and 0.62 for wing and thorax length, respectively. Sexual dimorphism and the ratio of female to male traits were moderately heritable (0.30 and 0.23 for wing length, 0.38 and 0.23 for thorax length). Both were moderately and positively correlated with female traits, and weakly and negatively correlated with male traits. Such heritabilities confirmed that sexual dimorphism might be a fast evolving trait inDrosophila.

    • REML estimates of genetic parameters of sexual dimorphism for wing and thorax length inDrosophila melanogaster

      Sandrine Mignon-Grasteau Jean David Patricia Gibert Hélène Legout Georges Pétavy Brigitte Moreteau Catherine Beaumont

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