Affordable Access

Publisher Website

Phenotypic plasticity can potentiate rapid evolutionary change

Authors
Journal
Journal of Theoretical Biology
0022-5193
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
226
Issue
2
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.jtbi.2003.08.011
Keywords
  • Canalization
  • Genetic Assimilation
  • Phenotypic Plasticity
Disciplines
  • Biology
  • Computer Science
  • Ecology
  • Geography
  • Mathematics

Abstract

Abstract Using a computational model of string-like haploid genotypes, we verify the conjecture (J. Theor. Biol. 188 (1997) 153) that phenotypic plasticity can speed up evolution. The corresponding real-life situation was realized by Waddington in experiments carried out on the fruit fly Drosophila. Waddington found that after selecting for an environmentally induced trait over a number of generations, a new, true-breeding phenotype resulted that was absent in the starting population. The phenomenon, termed ‘genetic assimilation’, continues to attract interest because of the rapidity of the effect and because of its seemingly Lamarckian implications. By making use of a genetic algorithm-based approach developed previously, we show that conventional Darwinian selection acting on regulatory genes can account for genetic assimilation. The essential assumption in our model is that a structural gene can be in either of three allelic states. These correspond to its being (a) ‘on’ or ‘off’ constitutively or (b) in a plastic state in which the probability that it is ‘on’ or ‘off’ is influenced by regulatory loci in a dosage-dependent manner.

There are no comments yet on this publication. Be the first to share your thoughts.

Statistics

Seen <100 times
0 Comments

More articles like this

Phenotypic plasticity can potentiate rapid evoluti...

on Journal of Theoretical Biology Jan 21, 2004

Phenotypic plasticity as a component of evolutiona...

on Trends in Ecology & Evolution August 1991

Phenotypic plasticity as a component of evolutiona...

on Trends in Ecology & Evolution Jan 01, 1991
More articles like this..