Maternal Investment Influences Expression of Resource Polymorphism in Amphibians: Implications for the Evolution of Novel Resource-Use PhenotypesReport as inadecuate




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Maternal effects—where an individual-s phenotype is influenced by the phenotype or environment of its mother—are taxonomically and ecologically widespread. Yet, their role in the origin of novel, complex traits remains unclear. Here we investigate the role of maternal effects in influencing the induction of a novel resource-use phenotype. Spadefoot toad tadpoles, Spea multiplicata, often deviate from their normal development and produce a morphologically distinctive carnivore-morph phenotype, which specializes on anostracan fairy shrimp. We evaluated whether maternal investment influences expression of this novel phenotype. We found that larger females invested in larger eggs, which, in turn, produced larger tadpoles. Such larger tadpoles are better able to capture the shrimp that induce carnivores. By influencing the expression of novel resource-use phenotypes, maternal effects may play a largely underappreciated role in the origins of novelty.



Author: Ryan A. Martin , David W. Pfennig

Source: http://plos.srce.hr/



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