Arnold Library

The genetic architecture of parallel armor plate reduction in threespine sticklebacks.

Colosimo, Pamela F and Peichel, Catherine L and Nereng, Kirsten and Blackman, Benjamin K and Shapiro, Michael D and Schluter, Dolph and Kingsley, David M (2004) The genetic architecture of parallel armor plate reduction in threespine sticklebacks. PLoS biology, 2 (5). E109. ISSN 1545-7885

Article URL:


How many genetic changes control the evolution of new traits in natural populations? Are the same genetic changes seen in cases of parallel evolution? Despite long-standing interest in these questions, they have been difficult to address, particularly in vertebrates. We have analyzed the genetic basis of natural variation in three different aspects of the skeletal armor of threespine sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus): the pattern, number, and size of the bony lateral plates. A few chromosomal regions can account for variation in all three aspects of the lateral plates, with one major locus contributing to most of the variation in lateral plate pattern and number. Genetic mapping and allelic complementation experiments show that the same major locus is responsible for the parallel evolution of armor plate reduction in two widely separated populations. These results suggest that a small number of genetic changes can produce major skeletal alterations in natural populations and that the same major locus is used repeatedly when similar traits evolve in different locations.

Item Type: Article or Abstract
Additional Information: This article is available Open Access via PubMed Central and at the Publisher's web site - see Article URL for access.
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.0020109
PubMed ID: 15069472
PMCID: PMC385219
Grant Numbers: 1P50 HG02568
Keywords or MeSH Headings: Alleles; Animal Structures; Animals; Chromosome Mapping; Crosses, Genetic; Evolution; Evolution, Molecular; Female; Genetic Complementation Test; Genotype; Male; Models, Genetic; Molecular Sequence Data; Mutation; Phenotype; Quantitative Trait Loci; Selection (Genetics); Smegmamorpha/anatomy & histology/embryology; Variation (Genetics);
Subjects: Cellular and Organismal Processes > Evolution
Cellular and Organismal Processes > Development
Depositing User: Library Staff
Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2008 16:53
Last Modified: 13 May 2010 20:59

Repository Administrators Only

View Item View Item