Evolution of a polyphenism by genetic accommodation.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

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.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Suzuki, Y; Nijhout, HF

Published Date

  • February 2006

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 311 / 5761

Start / End Page

  • 650 - 652

PubMed ID

  • 16456077

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1095-9203

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0036-8075

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1126/science.1118888


  • eng