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Modularity, Functional Performance and Natural Selection: integrating quantitative genetics and ecophysiology to understand the morphological evolution of tropidurinae lizards

Grant number: 15/19556-4
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2016
Effective date (End): March 31, 2020
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Genetics - Quantitative Genetics
Principal Investigator:Gabriel Henrique Marroig Zambonato
Grantee:Monique Nouailhetas Simon
Host Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):16/22159-0 - Insights of functional performance into morphological modularity: how does selection for performance contribute to trait interactions?, BE.EP.PD


The theory of morphological integration states that the genetic architecture has a modular pattern, in which a set of genes influences more strongly a unique character complex that exerts a specific function, affecting in a lesser extent other characters of the organism. In general, the modularity of a phenotypic structure is assessed in a hypothesis testing framework, whereby previous information on the structure development and/or function is used. However, this approach incorporates the system functionality in an indirect manner in order to infer about modularity. An alternative approach is to directly measure the variation in the character complex associated to variation in the function it is expected to execute. Arnold's paradigm, widely used in ecomorphology and ecophysiology studies, provides exactly that measure by means of performance gradients. Performance gradients measure how much variation in performance is explained by variation in morphology/physiology. Yet, functional performance studies do not normally infer about modularity and modularity studies do not explicitly measure the influence of modules on functional performance. The proposition of this project is to integrate the approaches adopted in modularity theory with Arnold's paradigm to study the relationships between the skull and limbs of tropidurinae lizards with bite force and running speed, respectively. We aim to elucidate whether characters detected as modules actually influence a specific function.

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
SIMON, MONIQUE NOUAILHETAS; MARROIG, GABRIEL; ARNOLD, STEVAN J.. etecting patterns of correlational selection with sampling error: A simulation stud. Evolution, v. 76, n. 2, . (15/19556-4, 16/22159-0)
ROTHIER, PRISCILA S.; SIMON, MONIQUE N.; MARROIG, GABRIEL; HERREL, ANTHONY; KOHLSDORF, TIANA. evelopment and function explain the modular evolution of phalanges in gecko lizard. PROCEEDINGS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY B-BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES, v. 289, n. 1966, . (12/18269-3, 16/03953-7, 15/19556-4, 20/14780-1, 15/07650-6, 14/26287-7)
SIMON, MONIQUE NOUAILHETAS; BRANDT, RENATA; KOHLSDORF, TIANA; ARNOLD, STEVAN J.. Bite performance surfaces of three ecologically divergent Iguanidae lizards: relationships with lower jaw bones. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, v. 127, n. 4, p. 810-825, . (15/19556-4, 16/22159-0, 15/07650-6, 13/14125-0)

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