Post-bottleneck inbreeding accumulation reduces fitness in laboratory populations of <italic>Tribolium castaneum</italic> under environmental stress
Choiniere, Ashley Danielle
MetadataShow full item record
Populations are often driven to extinction due to low genetic diversity. One major cause for loss of genetic diversity in a population is a demographic bottleneck. A demographic bottleneck was imposed on twenty-one populations of <italic>Tribolium castaneum</italic> using multiple strategies. After recovering to original census numbers, the populations were subjected to stressful environments, and fitness was quantified. There was a significant decrease in additive genetic variance in all populations as a result of the bottleneck event (P<0.05). As estimated inbreeding accumulation increased, there was a decrease in the mean of fitness related traits, such as adult weight, total progeny, fecundity and survivorship. This relationship was best explained using quadratic models and became even more significant when the populations were under stress. This suggests that both dominance and epistatic gene effects are playing a role in phenotypic expression of traits and that expression may be flexible, supporting survival and fitness.