Quantitative genetic variation of metabolism in the nymphs of the sand cricket, Gryllus firmus, inferred from an analysis of inbred-lines

Biol Res. 2007;40(1):5-12. doi: 10.4067/s0716-97602007000100001. Epub 2007 Jul 19.


Compared with morphological and life history traits, quantitative genetic variation of metabolic and related traits in animals has been poorly studied. We used flow-through VCO(2) respirometry and simultaneous activity measurement on nymphs of the sand cricket (Gryllus firmus) from inbred lines to estimate broad-sense heritability of four metabolic variables. In addition, we measured a number of linear dimensions in the adults from the same inbred lines. There were significant multivariate effects of inbred lines for all traits and broad-sense heritability for physiological traits was 4.5%, 5.2%, 10.3% and 8.5% for average, resting, minimum and maximum CO(2) production in nymphs, respectively. Though the MANOVA indicated significant genetic variation among inbred lines in adult morphology, the broad-sense heritabilities were relatively low ranging from 0-18%. Our results indicate that the heritabilities of metabolic measures are large enough to potentially respond to selection.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Gryllidae / genetics*
  • Gryllidae / growth & development
  • Gryllidae / metabolism
  • Inbreeding*
  • Male
  • Nymph / genetics
  • Nymph / growth & development
  • Nymph / metabolism