|Title||Genotype × environment interaction obscures genetic sources of variation in seed size in Dithyrea californica but provides the opportunity for selection on phenotypic plasticity|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2022|
|Authors||Larios, Eugenio, and Susan Mazer|
|Journal||American Journal of Botany|
Premise: In many species, seed size influences individual fitness, but its heritability is low, impeding its evolution. In heterogeneous environments, even if heritability of seed size is low, genetic variation in phenotypic plasticity for seed size may provide the opportunity for selection, but this possibility has rarely been investigated in wild species. The evolutionary trajectory of seed size depends on whether additive, maternal, or non‐additive genetic variance dominates; moreover, the expression of any of these sources of variance may be environment‐dependent, reflecting genetic variation in plasticity. In this study, we examined these sources of variation in seed size and their response to drought in Dithyrea californica.
Methods: We used a diallel design to estimate variance components for seed size in three greenhouse‐raised populations sampled from California and northern Mexico. We replicated diallels in two watering treatments to examine genetic parameters and genotype × environment interactions affecting seed size. We estimated general (GCA) and specific (SCA) combining ability, reciprocal effects (RGCA and RSCA), and their interactions with water availability, and we sought evidence that sexual conflict influences seed size.
Results: Norms of reaction revealed genetic variation in plasticity for seed size in each population. Seed size in D. californica is determined by the combination of watering treatment, GCA and RGCA; parental identity and water availability do not consistently affect seed size, and we detected no evidence for sexual conflict.
Conclusions: Multiple sources of genetic variation in phenotypic plasticity for seed size have the potential to influence its evolutionary trajectory in heterogenous environments.