Highly polygenic variation in environmental perception determines dauer larvae formation in growing populations of Caenorhabditis elegans

Green, J., Stastna, J., Orbidans, H. and Harvey, S. (2014) Highly polygenic variation in environmental perception determines dauer larvae formation in growing populations of Caenorhabditis elegans. PLoS One, 9 (11). e112830.

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Determining how complex traits are genetically controlled is a requirement if we are to predict how they evolve and how they might respond to selection. This requires understanding how distinct, and often more simple, life history traits interact and change in response to environmental conditions. In order to begin addressing such issues, we have been analyzing the formation of the developmentally arrested dauer larvae of Caenorhabditis elegans under different conditions.
RESULTS: We find that 18 of 22 previously identified quantitative trait loci (QTLs) affecting dauer larvae formation in growing populations, assayed by determining the number of dauer larvae present at food patch exhaustion, can be recovered under various environmental conditions. We also show that food patch size affects both the ability to detect QTLs and estimates of effect size, and demonstrate that an allele of nath-10 affects dauer larvae formation in growing populations. To investigate the component traits that affect dauer larvae formation in growing populations we map, using the same introgression lines, QTLs that affect dauer larvae formation in response to defined amounts of pheromone. This identifies 36 QTLs, again demonstrating the highly polygenic nature of the genetic variation underlying dauer larvae formation.
CONCLUSIONS: These data indicate that QTLs affecting the number of dauer larvae at food exhaustion in growing populations of C. elegans are highly reproducible, and that nearly all can be explained by variation affecting dauer larvae formation in response to defined amounts of pheromone. This suggests that most variation in dauer larvae formation in growing populations is a consequence of variation in the perception of the food and pheromone environment (i.e. chemosensory variation) and in the integration of these cues.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science > QL Zoology > QL0001 General
Divisions: pre Nov-2014 > Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > Geographical and Life Sciences
Depositing User: Dr Simon Harvey
Date Deposited: 28 Oct 2014 16:45
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2014 14:12
URI: https://create.canterbury.ac.uk/id/eprint/12841

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00