Why ontogeny matters during adaptation: developmental niche construction and pleiotorpy across the life cycle in Arabidopsis thaliana.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

This case study of adaptation in Arabidopsis thaliana shows that natural selection on early life stages can be intense and can influence the evolution of subsequent traits. Two mechanisms contribute to this influence: pleiotropy across developmental stages and developmental niche construction. Examples are given of pleiotropy of environmentally cued development across life stages, and potential ways that pleiotropy can be relieved are discussed. In addition, this case study demonstrates how the timing of prior developmental transitions determines the seasonal environment experienced subsequently, and that such developmental niche construction alters phenotypic expression of subsequent traits, the expression of genetic variation of those traits, and natural selection on those traits and alleles associated with them. As such, developmental niche construction modifies pleiotropic relationships across the life cycle in ways that influence the dynamics of adaptation. Understanding the genetic basis of life-cycle variation therefore requires consideration of environmental effects on pleiotropy.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Donohue, K

Published Date

  • January 2014

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 68 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 32 - 47

PubMed ID

  • 24117399

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1558-5646

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1558-5646

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/evo.12284


  • eng