Evol Ecol Res 9: 935-945 (2007)     Full PDF if your library subscribes.

Evolution of active and passive forms of plasticity: insights from artificially selected Arabidopsis

Nile S. Kurashige‡ and Hilary S. Callahan*

Department of Biological Sciences, Barnard College, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027, USA

Author to whom all correspondence should be addressed.
e-mail: hcallahan@barnard.edu


Questions: Does artificial selection targeting a trait’s plasticity to a given stimulus indirectly alter its plasticity to other stimuli? Is such indirect selection more effective for active forms of plasticity (i.e. enhancements of phenotype–environment matching that improve fitness) than for passive forms of plasticity (i.e. inevitable growth or performance reductions detrimental to fitness)?

Hypothesis: Artificial selection for active plasticity to a light signal will not indirectly alter passive plasticity to cold.

Study organism: Artificial selection lines of Arabidopsis thaliana differentiated for plasticity to a light signal, an active form of plasticity.

Study site: Split-family laboratory experiment.

Methods: Eight replicate juvenile plants from 108 families, 18 from each selection line, were exposed to either 12 days at 5°C or a control treatment. We scored five traits on each individual: number of rosette leaves at bolting, days to bolting, length of the largest leaf at bolting, inflorescence height, and number of fruits produced. Using mixed-model analyses of variance, we tested for significant variation among families and among selection lines.

Results: We observed plasticity to cold, and it was consistent with passive plasticity. There was among-family variation for cold-mediated plasticity of rosette leaf number, but not among-line variation for this plasticity. Passive, cold-mediated plasticity did not evolve via byproduct selection, which constrasts with a previous study documenting byproduct selection on active, photoperiod-mediated plasticity.

Keywords: adaptive phenotypic plasticity, Arabidopsis thaliana, artificial selection, cold acclimation, genetic constraint, genetic differentiation, red : far-red, shade avoidance.

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        © 2007 Hilary S. Callahan. All EER articles are copyrighted by their authors. All authors endorse, permit and license Evolutionary Ecology Ltd. to grant its subscribing institutions/libraries the copying privileges specified below without additional consideration or payment to them or to Evolutionary Ecology, Ltd. These endorsements, in writing, are on file in the office of Evolutionary Ecology, Ltd. Consult authors for permission to use any portion of their work in derivative works, compilations or to distribute their work in any commercial manner.

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