P-Elements and Quantitative Variation in Drosophila
Mutation is ultimately the source of all evolutionary change. For this reason, much effort has been expended in understanding the nature of mutational changes and in attempting to measure and predict the consequences of variation in rates of mutation on levels of genetic variation and consequent evolutionary rates. The early studies of Clayton and Robertson (1955) suggested that mutation has little effect on response to selection, as did other attempts at manipulating mutation rates using radiation as the mutagenic agent (Clayton and Robertson, 1964; Hollingdale and Barker, 1971; Kitagawa, 1967) in order to experimentally modify evolutionary rates. In general, such studies were relatively disappointing in that the levels of enhancement of genetic variation and rates of evolution were quite small, presumably because of the deleterious effects associated with the radiation-induced mutations. As a practical means of enhancing rates of evolution and genetic improvement in domestic plants and animals, “mutation breeding” using radiation as the mutagenic source has fallen into disfavour.
KeywordsPhenotypic Variance Transposable Element Quantitative Variation Selection Response Selection Experiment
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