Quantifying natural seasonal variation in mutation parameters with mutation accumulation lines
Mutations create novel genetic variants, but their contribution to variation in fitness and other phenotypes may depend on environmental conditions. Furthermore, natural environments may be highly heterogeneous. We assessed phenotypes associated with survival and reproductive success in over 30,000 plants representing 100 mutation accumulation lines of Arabidopsis thaliana across four temporal environments at a single field site. In each of the four assays, environmental variance was substantially larger than mutational variance. For some traits, whether mutational variance was significantly varied between seasons. The founder genotype had mean trait values near the mean of the distribution of the mutation accumulation lines in all field experiments. New mutations also contributed more phenotypic variation than would be predicted, given phenotypic and sequence-level divergence among natural populations of A.thaliana. The combination of large environmental variance with a mean effect of mutation near zero suggests that mutations could contribute substantially to standing genetic variation.
Rutter, Matthew T., Angela J. Roles, and Charles B. Fenster. 2018. "Quantifying natural seasonal variation in mutation parameters with mutation accumulation lines." Ecology and Evolution 8(11): 5575-5585.
Ecology and Evolution
Arabidopsis thaliana, Environmental variance, Fitness, Mutation, Mutational variance, Standing genetic variation