Residual genetic variability
Abdominal bristle number
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary Six replicate lines of Drosophila melanogaster, which had been selected for increased abdominal bristle number for more than 85 generations, were assayed by hierarchical analysis of variance and offspring on parent regression immediately after selection ceased, and by single-generation realised heritability after more than 25 generations of subsequent relaxed selection. Half-sib estimates of heritability in 5 lines were as high as in the base population and much higher than observed genetic gains would suggest, excluding lack of sufficient additive genetic variance as a cause of ineffective selection in these lines. Also, there was considerable diversity among the six lines in composition of phenotypic variability: in addition to differences in the additive genetic component, one or more of the components due to dominance, epistasis, sex-linkage or genotype-environment interaction appeared to be important in different lines. Even after relaxed selection, single-generation realised heritabilities in four lines were as high as in the base population. As a large proportion of total genetic gain must have been made by fixation of favourable alleles, the compensatory increase of genetic variability has been sought in a genetic model involving genes at low initial frequencies, enhancement of gene effects during selection and/or new mutations.
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