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Genetic-based interactions among tree neighbors: identification of the most influential neighbors, and estimation of correlations among direct and indirect genetic effects for leaf disease and growth in Eucalyptus globulus

Citation

Costa e Silva, J and Potts, BM and Gilmour, AR and Kerr, RJ, Genetic-based interactions among tree neighbors: identification of the most influential neighbors, and estimation of correlations among direct and indirect genetic effects for leaf disease and growth in Eucalyptus globulus, Heredity, 119 pp. 125-135. ISSN 0018-067X (2017) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2017 Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature

DOI: doi:10.1038/hdy.2017.25

Abstract

An individual’s genes may influence the phenotype of neighboring conspecifics. Such indirect genetic effects (IGEs) are important as they can affect the apparent total heritable variance in a population, and thus the response to selection. We studied these effects in a large, pedigreed population of Eucalyptus globulus using variance component analyses of Mycosphearella leaf disease, diameter growth at age 2 years, and post-infection diameter growth at ages 4 and 8 years. In a novel approach, we initially modeled IGEs using a factor analytic (FA) structure to identify the most influential neighbor positions, with the FA loadings being position-specific regressions on the IGEs. This involved sequentially comparing FA models for the variance–covariance matrices of the direct and indirect effects of each neighbor. We then modeled IGEs as a distance-based, combined effect of the most influential neighbors. This often increased the magnitude and significance of indirect genetic variance estimates relative to using all neighbors. The extension of a univariate IGEs model to bivariate analyses also provided insights into the genetic architecture of this population, revealing that: (1) IGEs arising from increased probability of neighbor infection were not associated with reduced growth of neighbors, despite adverse fitness effects being evident at the direct genetic level; and (2) the strong, genetic-based competitive interactions for growth, established early in stand development, were highly positively correlated over time. Our results highlight the complexities of genetic-based interactions at the multi-trait level due to (co)variances associated with IGEs, and the marked discrepancy occurring between direct and total heritable variances.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:direct and indirect genetic effects, intraspecific interactions, competition, disease infection, heritable variance
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Genetics
Research Field:Population, Ecological and Evolutionary Genetics
Objective Division:Plant Production and Plant Primary Products
Objective Group:Forestry
Objective Field:Hardwood Plantations
Author:Potts, BM (Professor Brad Potts)
Author:Kerr, RJ (Dr Richard Kerr)
ID Code:120294
Year Published:2017
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (LP140100506)
Deposited By:Plant Science
Deposited On:2017-08-20
Last Modified:2017-09-07
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