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Title:Quantitative Genetics of Life History Microevolution in the Cayo Santiago Rhesus Macaques (Macaca Mulatta)
Author(s):Blomquist, Gregory Erik
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Leigh, Steven R.
Department / Program:Anthropology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Biology, Genetics
Abstract:This is a study of the evolutionary genetics of a large colony of free-ranging rhesus macaques on Cayo Santiago, a small island located just off the coast of Puerto Rico. It focuses on documenting genetic and environmental influences on life history variation in female primates. The results are discussed in terms of understanding primate life history and sociality through analyses targeting variation within populations rather than interspecific comparisons. Population patterns of genetic variation and covariation, because of their role in evolutionary theory, are essential parameters to estimate, but are relatively understudied in primates. There are three sets of results. First, variation in female life history and morphology are shown to have a substantial genetic component documented in trait heritabilities and coefficients of additive genetic and residual variation. The patterning of trait heritabilities and coefficients of variation does not fit the classic model predicting lower genetic variation in traits closely associated with fitness. Instead, it accords with schemes emphasizing the developmental and physiological interdependencies among traits. Second, the social rank of female matrilines---sets of females related through maternal genealogy---is shown to have pervasive effects on life history, elevating both the fertility and survival of higher ranked individuals. The most important effect of rank on female fitness is mediated through adult survival rates, though high rank also increases infant survival and young adult fertility. Additionally, predicted breeding values are used to demonstrate homogeneity among rank levels---that observed life history differences between ranked individuals are primarily due to the nutritional and stress environment provided by social rank and not the genes individuals carry. Finally, trade-offs among life history variables are explored. Little to no evidence of trade-offs is found in the phenotypic correlations among traits. However, one key trade-off was identified in the genetic correlation between early fertility and lifespan. This is an important microevolutionary trade-off constraining the evolution of these fitness components and predicted by the antagonistic pleiotropy theory of aging. Analogies between rhesus female and human patterns of resource manipulation to mitigate life history trade-off are suggested.
Issue Date:2007
Description:167 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2007.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3269844
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2007

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