Environmental influence on the genetic correlations between life-history traits in Caenorhabditis elegans

Heredity (Edinb). 2007 Apr;98(4):206-13. doi: 10.1038/sj.hdy.6800929. Epub 2007 Jan 3.


Empirical evidence is mounting to suggesting that genetic correlations between life-history traits are environment specific. However, detailed knowledge about the loci underlying genetic correlations in different environments is scant. Here, we studied the influence of temperature (12 degrees C and 24 degrees C) on the genetic correlations between egg size, egg number and body mass in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. We used a quantitative trait loci (QTL) approach based on a genetic map with evenly spaced single nucleotide polymorphism markers in an N2 x CB4856 recombinant inbred panel. Significant genetic correlations between various traits were found at both temperatures. We detected pleiotropic or closely linked QTL, which supported the negative correlation between egg size and egg number at 12 degrees C, the positive correlation across temperatures for body mass, and the positive correlation between body mass and egg size at 12 degrees C. The results indicate that specific loci control the covariation in these life-history traits and the locus control is prone to environmental conditions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / genetics*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / growth & development*
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Environment
  • Female
  • Homozygote
  • Male
  • Oviposition
  • Ovum / cytology
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Quantitative Trait Loci
  • Recombination, Genetic