Selection Experiments as a Tool in Evolutionary and Comparative Physiology: Insights into Complex Traits—an Introduction to the Symposium1

  title={Selection Experiments as a Tool in Evolutionary and Comparative Physiology: Insights into Complex Traits—an Introduction to the Symposium1},
  author={John G. Swallow and Theodore Garland},
  booktitle={Integrative and Comparative Biology},
‘‘The whole organism is so tied together that when slight variations in one part occur, and are accumulated through natural selection, other parts become modified. This is a very important subject, most imperfectly understood.’’ (Darwin, 1859, The Origin of Species). ‘‘Hence if man goes on selecting, and thus augmenting, any peculiarity, he will almost certainly modify unintentionally other parts of the structure, owing to the mysterious laws of correlation.’’ (Darwin, 1859, The Origin of… 

Genetic approaches in comparative and evolutionary physiology.

This review explains how the tools and theory of quantitative genetics, population genetics, and molecular evolution can inform the understanding of mechanism and process in physiological evolution and highlights the role of organismal physiology in the functional synthesis of evolutionary biology.

Individual variation in endocrine systems: moving beyond the ‘tyranny of the Golden Mean’

  • T. Williams
  • Biology
    Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
  • 2007
This paper reviews the state of knowledge of the magnitude, mechanisms and functional significance of phenotypic variation, plasticity and flexibility in endocrine systems, and argues for a renewed focus on inter-individual variability.

Hormones and the Evolution of Complex Traits: Insights from Artificial Selection on Behavior.

Results to date identify promising avenues for further studies on the endocrine basis of activity levels, and ways in which behavior coadapts with other aspects of the phenotype can be studied directly through artificial selection and experimental evolution.

Locomotion in response to shifting climate zones: not so fast.

This work reveals how integration of physiology with population biology and functional genomics can be especially informative in understanding how a species' locomotor capacity may be rapid enough to escape changing climate.

Phylogenetic approaches in comparative physiology

It is the personal opinion that the incorporation of phylogeny information into comparative studies has been highly beneficial, not only because it can improve the reliability of statistical inferences, but also because it continually emphasizes the potential importance of past evolutionary history in determining current form and function.

Phenotypic plasticity and experimental evolution

It is suggested that any selection experiment in which the selective event is more than instantaneous should explore whether plasticity in the appropriate (adaptive) direction has increased as a component of the response to selection.

Phenotypic plasticity: molecular mechanisms and adaptive significance.

A brief historical outlook on phenotypic plasticity is provided; its potential adaptive significance is examined; recent molecular approaches that provide novel insight into underlying mechanisms are emphasized; and examples in fishes and insects are highlighted.

Laboratory Evolution of the Migratory Polymorphism in the Sand Cricket: Combining Physiology with Quantitative Genetics

The pattern of evolutionary change in a laboratory population of the wing‐dimorphic sand cricket Gryllus firmus resulting from relaxation of selection favoring the migratory (long‐winged) morph is analyzed to demonstrate the power of combining quantitative genetic and physiological approaches for understanding the evolution of complex traits.

The taming of the neural crest: a developmental perspective on the origins of morphological covariation in domesticated mammals

An in-depth examination within the phylogenetic framework of mammals including domesticated forms reveals that the distribution of such traits is not universal, with canids being the only group showing a large set of predicted features.

Extending the Concept of Diversity Partitioning to Characterize Phenotypic Complexity

This work illustrates how total trait diversity can be partitioned into within-individual complexity (α diversity) and between-individual components (β diversity), and suggests adopting well-known diversity indices from community ecology to describe phenotypic complexity as the diversity of distinct subsidiary components of a trait.



Introduction to the Symposium: What is Evolutionary Physiology?

The importance of genetic pleiotropies and phylogenetic constraints in contorting straightforward evolutionary "progress" is becoming clear and present significant challenges to ecologists and evolutionary biologists in their attempts to understand the evolution of life history traits.

New Directions in Comparative Physiology and Biochemistry: Mechanisms, Adaptations, and Evolution

New and more sophisticated applications of this approach, together with progress in understanding both animal phylogeny and mechanisms/adaptations, all promise to allow us to fulfill the authors' second historic goal.

Experimental Evolution and the Krogh Principle: Generating Biological Novelty for Functional and Genetic Analyses1

Experimental evolution can be a valuable method to produce and investigate new physiological variants and traits and is proposed to be a logical extension of the Krogh principle that the authors use biological methodologies to create novel organisms ideally suited for particular physiological studies.

Laboratory selection for the comparative physiologist.

  • A. Gibbs
  • Biology
    The Journal of experimental biology
  • 1999
Recent results and potential directions for selection experiments in comparative physiology suggest new insights into physiological mechanisms, which might not be available using other experimental approaches.

Selection experiments: an under-utilized tool in biomechanics and organismal biology

Questions in ‘evolutionary biomechanics’ range along a continuum that is bounded by the purely evolutionary (e.g. How have morphological features changed over time?) and the purely mechanistic (e.g.

Introduction to quantitative genetics

For the next few weeks the course is going to be exploring a field that’s actually older than classical population genetics, although the approach it’ll be taking to it involves the use of population genetic machinery.

The Use of Selection to Probe Patterns of Pleiotropy in Fitness Characters

This paper focuses on the ways in which fitness characters can be correlated with each other because of pleiotropy, and investigates the correlation between sprint speed and endurance in vertebrate characters.

Selection experiments and the study of phenotypic plasticity 1

The article describes how to carry out laboratory selection experiments, summarize past efforts, and suggest further avenues of research.

How and When Selection Experiments Might Actually be Useful1

This work discusses theoretical and methodological considerations that play critical roles in designing selection experiments that are relevant to evolutionary patterns of trait variation and focuses on the critical role of selection intensity and the consequences of experiments with different intensities.

Analyses of Physiological Evolutionary Response

The techniques of Travisano et al. are reviewed and it is shown that these approaches can be used to investigate the relative roles of adaptation, history, and chance in the evolutionary responses of populations of Drosophila melanogaster to selection for enhanced desiccation resistance.