Colour polymorphism is likely to be disadvantageous to some populations and species due to genetic architecture and morph interactions

Peri E. Bolton, Lee A. Rollins, Simon C. Griffith

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Polymorphism describes two or more distinct, genetically determined, phenotypes that co-occur in the same population, where the rarest morph is maintained at a frequency above the mutation rate (Ford 1945; Huxley 1955). In a recent opinion piece, we explored a new idea regarding the role of genetic architectures and morph interactions in colour polymorphisms and how this can negatively affect population performance (Bolton et al. 2015). In this issue of Molecular Ecology, Forsman (2016) thoroughly discusses the current evidence for polymorphisms enhancing population performance and critiques the validity of the definitions of polymorphism we use in our original paper. We respond by clarifying that the negative consequences of polymorphisms that we discussed are likely to be most pertinent in species that have a particular set of characteristics, such as strong sexual or social interactions between morphs and discrete genetic architectures. Although it was not our intention to redefine polymorphism, we do believe that there should be further discussion about refining or characterizing balanced polymorphisms with respect to the degree of morph sympatry, discreteness of traits and their underlying genetic architecture, and the types of selection that drive and maintain the variation. The latter describes whether polymorphism is primarily maintained by external factors such as predation pressure or internal factors such as interactions with members of the same species. The contribution of Forsman (2016) is useful to this discussion, and we hope that our exchange of opinions will inspire new empirical and theoretical ideas on the origin and maintenance of colour polymorphisms.

LanguageEnglish
Pages2713-2718
Number of pages6
JournalMolecular Ecology
Volume25
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016

Fingerprint

polymorphism
Color
genetic polymorphism
color
Sympatry
Population
Mutation Rate
Interpersonal Relations
Ecology
Maintenance
Phenotype
Pressure
molecular ecology
sympatry
refining
morphs
phenotype
mutation
predation
ecology

Keywords

  • adaptation
  • conservation biology
  • ecological genetics
  • evolutionary theory
  • genomics
  • population dynamics

Cite this

@article{333ef8aa52be4cd08d004a9774a7eccb,
title = "Colour polymorphism is likely to be disadvantageous to some populations and species due to genetic architecture and morph interactions",
abstract = "Polymorphism describes two or more distinct, genetically determined, phenotypes that co-occur in the same population, where the rarest morph is maintained at a frequency above the mutation rate (Ford 1945; Huxley 1955). In a recent opinion piece, we explored a new idea regarding the role of genetic architectures and morph interactions in colour polymorphisms and how this can negatively affect population performance (Bolton et al. 2015). In this issue of Molecular Ecology, Forsman (2016) thoroughly discusses the current evidence for polymorphisms enhancing population performance and critiques the validity of the definitions of polymorphism we use in our original paper. We respond by clarifying that the negative consequences of polymorphisms that we discussed are likely to be most pertinent in species that have a particular set of characteristics, such as strong sexual or social interactions between morphs and discrete genetic architectures. Although it was not our intention to redefine polymorphism, we do believe that there should be further discussion about refining or characterizing balanced polymorphisms with respect to the degree of morph sympatry, discreteness of traits and their underlying genetic architecture, and the types of selection that drive and maintain the variation. The latter describes whether polymorphism is primarily maintained by external factors such as predation pressure or internal factors such as interactions with members of the same species. The contribution of Forsman (2016) is useful to this discussion, and we hope that our exchange of opinions will inspire new empirical and theoretical ideas on the origin and maintenance of colour polymorphisms.",
keywords = "adaptation, conservation biology, ecological genetics, evolutionary theory, genomics, population dynamics",
author = "Bolton, {Peri E.} and Rollins, {Lee A.} and Griffith, {Simon C.}",
year = "2016",
month = "6",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1111/mec.13632",
language = "English",
volume = "25",
pages = "2713--2718",
journal = "Molecular Ecology",
issn = "0962-1083",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell, Wiley",
number = "12",

}

Colour polymorphism is likely to be disadvantageous to some populations and species due to genetic architecture and morph interactions. / Bolton, Peri E.; Rollins, Lee A.; Griffith, Simon C.

In: Molecular Ecology, Vol. 25, No. 12, 01.06.2016, p. 2713-2718.

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Colour polymorphism is likely to be disadvantageous to some populations and species due to genetic architecture and morph interactions

AU - Bolton, Peri E.

AU - Rollins, Lee A.

AU - Griffith, Simon C.

PY - 2016/6/1

Y1 - 2016/6/1

N2 - Polymorphism describes two or more distinct, genetically determined, phenotypes that co-occur in the same population, where the rarest morph is maintained at a frequency above the mutation rate (Ford 1945; Huxley 1955). In a recent opinion piece, we explored a new idea regarding the role of genetic architectures and morph interactions in colour polymorphisms and how this can negatively affect population performance (Bolton et al. 2015). In this issue of Molecular Ecology, Forsman (2016) thoroughly discusses the current evidence for polymorphisms enhancing population performance and critiques the validity of the definitions of polymorphism we use in our original paper. We respond by clarifying that the negative consequences of polymorphisms that we discussed are likely to be most pertinent in species that have a particular set of characteristics, such as strong sexual or social interactions between morphs and discrete genetic architectures. Although it was not our intention to redefine polymorphism, we do believe that there should be further discussion about refining or characterizing balanced polymorphisms with respect to the degree of morph sympatry, discreteness of traits and their underlying genetic architecture, and the types of selection that drive and maintain the variation. The latter describes whether polymorphism is primarily maintained by external factors such as predation pressure or internal factors such as interactions with members of the same species. The contribution of Forsman (2016) is useful to this discussion, and we hope that our exchange of opinions will inspire new empirical and theoretical ideas on the origin and maintenance of colour polymorphisms.

AB - Polymorphism describes two or more distinct, genetically determined, phenotypes that co-occur in the same population, where the rarest morph is maintained at a frequency above the mutation rate (Ford 1945; Huxley 1955). In a recent opinion piece, we explored a new idea regarding the role of genetic architectures and morph interactions in colour polymorphisms and how this can negatively affect population performance (Bolton et al. 2015). In this issue of Molecular Ecology, Forsman (2016) thoroughly discusses the current evidence for polymorphisms enhancing population performance and critiques the validity of the definitions of polymorphism we use in our original paper. We respond by clarifying that the negative consequences of polymorphisms that we discussed are likely to be most pertinent in species that have a particular set of characteristics, such as strong sexual or social interactions between morphs and discrete genetic architectures. Although it was not our intention to redefine polymorphism, we do believe that there should be further discussion about refining or characterizing balanced polymorphisms with respect to the degree of morph sympatry, discreteness of traits and their underlying genetic architecture, and the types of selection that drive and maintain the variation. The latter describes whether polymorphism is primarily maintained by external factors such as predation pressure or internal factors such as interactions with members of the same species. The contribution of Forsman (2016) is useful to this discussion, and we hope that our exchange of opinions will inspire new empirical and theoretical ideas on the origin and maintenance of colour polymorphisms.

KW - adaptation

KW - conservation biology

KW - ecological genetics

KW - evolutionary theory

KW - genomics

KW - population dynamics

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85027928861&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://ulrichsweb.serialssolutions.com/title/1505172432701/214217

U2 - 10.1111/mec.13632

DO - 10.1111/mec.13632

M3 - Letter

VL - 25

SP - 2713

EP - 2718

JO - Molecular Ecology

T2 - Molecular Ecology

JF - Molecular Ecology

SN - 0962-1083

IS - 12

ER -