Patterns of genetic architecture for life-history traits and molecular markers in a subdivided species

Kendall K. Morgan, Justin Hicks, Ken Spitze, Leigh Latta, Michael E. Pfrender, Casse S. Weaver, Marco Ottone, Michael Lynch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Understanding the utility and limitations of molecular markers for predicting the evolutionary potential of natural populations is important for both evolutionary and conservation genetics. To address this issue, the distribution of genetic variation for quantitative traits and molecular markers is estimated within and among 14 permanent lake populations of Daphnia pulicaria representing two regional groups from Oregon. Estimates of population subdivision for molecular and quantitative traits are concordant, with QST generally exceeding GST. There is no evidence that microsatellites loci are less informative about subdivision for quantitative traits than are allozyme loci. Character-specific comparison of QST and GST support divergent selection pressures among populations for the majority of life-history traits in both coast and mountain regions. The level of within-population variation for molecular markers is uninformative as to the genetic variation maintained for quantitative traits. In D. pulicaria, regional differences in the frequency of sex may contribute to variation in the maintenance of expressed within-population quantitative-genetic variation without substantially impacting diversity at the genic level. These data are compared to an identical dataset for 17 populations of the temporary-pond species, D. pulex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1753-1761
Number of pages9
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Daphnia pulex
  • Daphnia pulicaria
  • Genetic architecture
  • Life-history evolution
  • Microsatellite loci
  • Quantitative genetics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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