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Paper about threshold traits in Proc B

posted Dec 16, 2015, 11:46 PM by Bruno Buzatto   [ updated Dec 16, 2015, 11:58 PM ]

Proc B just published online a paper that I wrote in collaboration with Mat Buoro, Wade Hazel and Joe Tomkins. We used two quantitative genetics experiments to dissect the genetic architecture of a threshold trait — the male dimorphic forceps of male earwigs — and test key assumptions of the 'environmental threshold model'. The media summary I wrote for Proc B is below if you want to know more about this work:

The all-or-none expression of phenotypes dependent on the environment underlies dimorphisms in color, morphology, and behavior. The genetics of these traits is challenging to study because the observable environmental cue is separate from the biological pathway that induces the switch between phenotypes. We examine the cryptic variation underlying the translation of cue to phenotype for male dimorphism in earwigs. Using pedigree information, we dissect the genetic architecture of the threshold expression of forceps, measuring the correlation between observable and cryptic ‘proximate’ cues. Our results support key evolutionary ideas related to conditional strategies and improves our understanding of environmentally cued decisions.