Evol Ecol Res 14: 285-298 (2012)     Full PDF if your library subscribes.

Lack of genetic variation in developmental instability in zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) wing and tarsus

Stefan Van Dongen1 and Wolfgang Forstmeier2

1Evolutionary Ecology Group, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium and  2Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, Seewiesen, Germany

Correspondence: Stefan Van Dongen, Evolutionary Ecology Group, University of Antwerp, Groenenborgerlaan 171, B-2020 Antwerp, Belgium.
e-mail: stefan.vandongen@ua.ac.be


Question: How much additive genetic variance of developmental instability is maintained under a selection–mutation balance in a domesticated population of zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata)?

Methods: We estimate the heritability and coefficient of additive genetic variance (CVA) of wing and tarsus developmental instability from an animal model.

Results: No significant additive genetic variance was detected. Estimates of additive genetic variance, heritabilities, and CVA were low, but, in contrast to the CVA, moderate heritabilities could not be excluded due to highly skewed distributions.

Conclusions: Although domesticated for more than 100 years, reducing selection pressures, lowering genetic variation for developmental instability, and allowing the accumulation of de novo genetic variance, the CVA of developmental instability is likely to be below 2–3% in this population.

Keywords: Bayesian analysis, developmental instability, evolvability, fluctuating asymmetry, genetic variation.

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