The covariance structure of life-history characters in Daphnia pulex

K. Spitze, J. Burnson, M. Lynch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Although there is no genetic correlation between offspring size and offspring number, present growth and present reproduction are both strongly positively correlated genetically with future reproduction, and early maturity is genetically correlated with larger clutch size. Although the ubiquity of antagonisitc pleiotropy has been recently questioned, there are peculiarities of cyclical parthenogenesis that could lead to positive life-history covariance even when negative covariance would be expected in a similar sexual species. These include the influence of nonadditive gene action on evolution in clonally reproducing organisms, and the periodic release of hidden genetic variance within populations of cyclical parthenogens. Examination of matrix similarity reveals no evidence to suggest that the genetic covariance matrices differ between the populations, but there is considerable evidence that the phenotypic and environmental covariance matrices differ between populations. Results indicate approximate stability of the genetic covariance matrix within species, an important assumption of many phenotypic evolution models, but should caution against the use of phenotypic in place of genetic covariance matrices. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1081-1090
Number of pages10
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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