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Title: The genetic architecture of dewlap pattern in Hispaniola anoles ( Anolis distichus )

Color and pattern are often critical to survival and fitness, but we know little about their genetic architecture and heritability in groups like reptiles. We investigated the genetic architecture for the pattern of the dewlap—an extensible throat fan important for communication—in anole lizards. We studied the Hispaniolan bark anole (Anolis distichus)—a species that exhibits impressive intraspecific dewlap polymorphism across its range—by conducting multigenerational experimental crosses with 2 populations, one with a solid pale yellow dewlap and another with an orange dewlap surrounded by a yellow margin. Upon rejecting the hypothesis that the extent of the orange pattern is a quantitative trait resulting from many loci of minor effect, we used a maximum likelihood model-fitting framework to show that it is better explained as a simple Mendelian trait, with the solid yellow morph being dominant over the blush orange. The relatively simple genetic architecture underlying this important trait helps explain the complex distribution of dewlap color variation across the range of A. distichus and suggests that changes in dewlap color and pattern may evolve rapidly in response to natural selection.

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Author(s) / Creator(s):
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Publisher / Repository:
Oxford University Press
Date Published:
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Medium: X Size: p. 987-994
["p. 987-994"]
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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