The Ecological Genetics of Abnormal Abdomen in Drosophila mercatorum
Natural selection and adaptation are central to theories of organismal evolution. In order to study natural selection in the field, four basic problem areas must be investigated as part of an ecological genetics research program. The first problem is to document the genetic basis of the phenotypic variation observed in nature. Without genetic variation underlying the phenotypic variation, it is impossible to have an evolutionary response to selective forces. The second problem is to determine the phenotypic expression of this genetic variation under field conditions. Phenotypes are the result of genotype-by-environment interactions, and there is no guarantee that phenotypic expression in the laboratory corresponds to that found in nature. The third problem is to relate the phenotypic variation to variation in life history. Natural selection requires fitness differences, and the potential for selection cannot be evaluated in a predictive fashion unless differences in life history attributes can be inferred. The fourth problem is to estimate the structure of the natural population.
KeywordsMorphological Expression Life History Effect Ecological Genetic Early Fecundity Average Excess
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