Temporal variation favors the evolution of generalists in experimental populations of Drosophila melanogaster

Catriona Condon, Brandon S. Cooper, Sam Yeaman, Michael Angilletta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

43 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In variable environments, selection should favor generalists that maintain fitness across a range of conditions. However, costs of adaptation may generate fitness trade-offs and lead to some compromise between specialization and generalization that maximizes fitness. Here, we evaluate the evolution of specialization and generalization in 20 populations of Drosophila melanogaster experimentally evolved in constant and variable thermal environments for 3 years. We developed genotypes from each population at two temperatures after which we measured fecundity across eight temperatures. We predicted that constant environments would select for thermal specialists and that variable environments would select for thermal generalists. Contrary to our predictions, specialists and generalists did not evolve in constant and spatially variable environments, respectively. However, temporal variation produced a type of generalist that has rarely been considered by theoretical models of developmental plasticity. Specifically, genotypes from the temporally variable selective environment were more fecund across all temperatures than were genotypes from other environments. These patterns suggest certain allelic effects and should inspire new directions for modeling adaptation to fluctuating environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)720-728
Number of pages9
JournalEvolution
Volume68
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2014

Fingerprint

Drosophila melanogaster
generalist
temporal variation
Population
genotype
fitness
Hot Temperature
Genotype
heat
Temperature
temperature
Fertility
plasticity
fecundity
Theoretical Models
Costs and Cost Analysis
prediction
cost
modeling

Keywords

  • Acclimation
  • Experimental evolution
  • Phenotypic plasticity
  • Specialist-generalist trade-offs
  • Thermal adaptation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics

Cite this

Temporal variation favors the evolution of generalists in experimental populations of Drosophila melanogaster. / Condon, Catriona; Cooper, Brandon S.; Yeaman, Sam; Angilletta, Michael.

In: Evolution, Vol. 68, No. 3, 03.2014, p. 720-728.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Condon, Catriona ; Cooper, Brandon S. ; Yeaman, Sam ; Angilletta, Michael. / Temporal variation favors the evolution of generalists in experimental populations of Drosophila melanogaster. In: Evolution. 2014 ; Vol. 68, No. 3. pp. 720-728.
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