Publications [#229657] of H. Frederik Nijhout
- Suzuki, Y; Nijhout, HF, Evolution of a polyphenism by genetic accommodation.,
Science (New York, N.Y.), vol. 311 no. 5761
pp. 650-652 , [doi]
(last updated on 2019/10/14)
Polyphenisms are adaptations in which a genome is associated with discrete alternative phenotypes in different environments. Little is known about the mechanism by which polyphenisms originate. We show that a mutation in the juvenile hormone-regulatory pathway in Manduca sexta enables heat stress to reveal a hidden reaction norm of larval coloration. Selection for increased color change in response to heat stress resulted in the evolution of a larval color polyphenism and a corresponding change in hormonal titers through genetic accommodation. Evidently, mechanisms that regulate developmental hormones can mask genetic variation and act as evolutionary capacitors, facilitating the origin of novel adaptive phenotypes.