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Testing for genetic trade-offs between early- and late-life reproduction in a wild red deer population.

Nussey DH, Wilson AJ, Morris A, Pemberton J, Clutton-Brock T, Kruuk LE - Proc. Biol. Sci. (2008)

Bottom Line: Significant genetic variation for both ageing rates in a key maternal performance measure (offspring birth weight) and ELF was present in this population.We found some evidence for a negative genetic covariance between the rate of ageing in offspring birth weight and ELF, and also for a negative environmental covariance.Our results suggest rare support for the AP theory of ageing from a wild population.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Large Animal Research Group, Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 3EJ, UK. dan.nussey@ed.ac.uk

ABSTRACT
The antagonistic pleiotropy (AP) theory of ageing predicts genetically based trade-offs between investment in reproduction in early life and survival and performance in later life. Laboratory-based research has shown that such genetic trade-offs exist, but little is currently known about their prevalence in natural populations. We used random regression 'animal model' techniques to test the genetic basis of trade-offs between early-life fecundity (ELF) and maternal performance in late life in a wild population of red deer (Cervus elaphus) on the Isle of Rum, Scotland. Significant genetic variation for both ageing rates in a key maternal performance measure (offspring birth weight) and ELF was present in this population. We found some evidence for a negative genetic covariance between the rate of ageing in offspring birth weight and ELF, and also for a negative environmental covariance. Our results suggest rare support for the AP theory of ageing from a wild population.

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The pattern of variation in genotypic reaction norms across ages for offspring birth weight (relative to the population mean age curve in figure 1) implied by the genetic (co)variance structure in our final model (table 1). The lines on the plot illustrate the change in an individual's breeding value with age. The plot is purely illustrative of the broad pattern and is not based on any quantitative estimates from the model.
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fig2: The pattern of variation in genotypic reaction norms across ages for offspring birth weight (relative to the population mean age curve in figure 1) implied by the genetic (co)variance structure in our final model (table 1). The lines on the plot illustrate the change in an individual's breeding value with age. The plot is purely illustrative of the broad pattern and is not based on any quantitative estimates from the model.

Mentions: We found significant additive genetic variance for both female ELF and ageing rates in offspring birth weights. Inclusion of an additive genetic effect in the univariate models of ELF significantly improved the model fit (Χ12=6.00; p=0.015). In the univariate models of offspring birth weight, the additive genetic term for individual slope was significant (Χ22=21.56; p<0.001), as was covariance between genetic elevation and slope terms for offspring birth weight (Χ12=7.708; p=0.006). The permanent environment slope term was not significant (Χ22=1.37; p=0.50) and was dropped from all subsequent models. The genetic covariance between elevation and slope was positive, suggesting an outward fanning pattern of genetic reaction norms (see figure 2 for illustration), and implying that for offspring birth weight must be increasing with age.


Testing for genetic trade-offs between early- and late-life reproduction in a wild red deer population.

Nussey DH, Wilson AJ, Morris A, Pemberton J, Clutton-Brock T, Kruuk LE - Proc. Biol. Sci. (2008)

The pattern of variation in genotypic reaction norms across ages for offspring birth weight (relative to the population mean age curve in figure 1) implied by the genetic (co)variance structure in our final model (table 1). The lines on the plot illustrate the change in an individual's breeding value with age. The plot is purely illustrative of the broad pattern and is not based on any quantitative estimates from the model.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2366114&req=5

fig2: The pattern of variation in genotypic reaction norms across ages for offspring birth weight (relative to the population mean age curve in figure 1) implied by the genetic (co)variance structure in our final model (table 1). The lines on the plot illustrate the change in an individual's breeding value with age. The plot is purely illustrative of the broad pattern and is not based on any quantitative estimates from the model.
Mentions: We found significant additive genetic variance for both female ELF and ageing rates in offspring birth weights. Inclusion of an additive genetic effect in the univariate models of ELF significantly improved the model fit (Χ12=6.00; p=0.015). In the univariate models of offspring birth weight, the additive genetic term for individual slope was significant (Χ22=21.56; p<0.001), as was covariance between genetic elevation and slope terms for offspring birth weight (Χ12=7.708; p=0.006). The permanent environment slope term was not significant (Χ22=1.37; p=0.50) and was dropped from all subsequent models. The genetic covariance between elevation and slope was positive, suggesting an outward fanning pattern of genetic reaction norms (see figure 2 for illustration), and implying that for offspring birth weight must be increasing with age.

Bottom Line: Significant genetic variation for both ageing rates in a key maternal performance measure (offspring birth weight) and ELF was present in this population.We found some evidence for a negative genetic covariance between the rate of ageing in offspring birth weight and ELF, and also for a negative environmental covariance.Our results suggest rare support for the AP theory of ageing from a wild population.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Large Animal Research Group, Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 3EJ, UK. dan.nussey@ed.ac.uk

ABSTRACT
The antagonistic pleiotropy (AP) theory of ageing predicts genetically based trade-offs between investment in reproduction in early life and survival and performance in later life. Laboratory-based research has shown that such genetic trade-offs exist, but little is currently known about their prevalence in natural populations. We used random regression 'animal model' techniques to test the genetic basis of trade-offs between early-life fecundity (ELF) and maternal performance in late life in a wild population of red deer (Cervus elaphus) on the Isle of Rum, Scotland. Significant genetic variation for both ageing rates in a key maternal performance measure (offspring birth weight) and ELF was present in this population. We found some evidence for a negative genetic covariance between the rate of ageing in offspring birth weight and ELF, and also for a negative environmental covariance. Our results suggest rare support for the AP theory of ageing from a wild population.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus