POPULATION GENETICS OF EUPHYDRYAS BUTTERFLIES. I. GENETIC VARIATION AND THE NEUTRALITY HYPOTHESIS Stephen W. McKechnie 1 , Paul R. Ehrlich 1 , and Raymond R. White 1 1 Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University, Stanford California 94305 Twenty-one populations of the checkerspot butterfly, Euphydryas editha , and ten populations of Euphydryas chalcedona were sampled for genetic variation at eight polymorphic enzyme loci. Both species possessed loci that were highly variable from population to population and loci that were virtually identical across all populations sampled. Our data indicate that the neutrality hypothesis is untenable for the loci studied, and therefore selection is indicated as the major factor responsible for producing these patterns. Thorough ecological work allowed gene flow to be ruled out (in almost all instances) as a factor maintaining similar gene frequencies across populations. The Lewontin-Krakauer test indicated magnitudes of heterogeneity among standardized variances of gene frequencies inconsistent with the neutrality hypothesis. The question of whether or not to correct this statistic for sample size is discussed. Observed equitability of gene frequencies of multiple allelic loci was found to be greater than that predicted under the neutrality hypothesis. Genetic differentiation presisting through two generations was found between the one pair of populations known to exchange significant numbers of individuals per generation. Two matrices of genetic distance between populations, based on the eight loci sampled, were found to be significantly correlated with a matrix of environmental distance, based on measures of fourteen environmental parameters. Correlations between gene frequencies and environmental parameters, results of multiple regression analysis, and results of principle component analysis showed strong patterns of association and of "explained" variation. The correlation analyses suggest which factors might be further investigated as proximate selective agents. Submitted on February 14, 1975 Revised on May 12, 1975
Genetics – Genetics Society of America
Published: Nov 5, 1975
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