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Mechanisms Maintaining Additive Genetic Variance in Fitness in Red Squirrels

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dc.contributor.advisor McAdam, Andrew McFarlane, Samantha Eryn 2012-07-25 2012-08-16T21:06:04Z 2012-08-16T21:06:04Z 2012-08-16
dc.description.abstract A trait must genetically correlate with fitness in order to evolve, however, theory suggests that strong directional selection should erode additive genetic variance (Va) in fitness and limit future evolutionary potential. Sexual antagonism and temporal fluctuations in selection are mechanisms that could maintain Va in fitness. Maternal genetic effects could be an additional source of adaptive genetic variation. I used ‘animal models’ to examine a long-term population of red squirrels to determine 1) if either sexual antagonism or temporal fluctuations in selection were maintaining direct Va in fitness or 2) if maternal genetic effects were a source of indirect Va in fitness. While there were environmental trade-offs on juvenile survival, neither sexual antagonism nor temporal fluctuations in selection maintained Va in fitness. Maternal genetic effects on fitness were significant and provide the Va in fitness needed for rapid microevolution. This is the first instance of maternal genetic effects demonstrated as the only genetic variance available for microevolution. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Northern Scientific Training Program, the Arctic Institute of North America, American Society of Mammologists, Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship in Science and Technology, NSERC Discovery (to Andrew McAdam), NSF (to Andrew McAdam) en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject additive genetic variance en_US
dc.subject Robertson-Price Identity en_US
dc.subject fitness en_US
dc.subject animal model en_US
dc.subject maternal effects en_US
dc.subject indirect genetic effects en_US
dc.subject red squirrels en_US
dc.subject genetic correlation en_US
dc.title Mechanisms Maintaining Additive Genetic Variance in Fitness in Red Squirrels en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US Integrative Biology en_US Master of Science en_US Department of Integrative Biology en_US

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