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Insights of functional performance into morphological modularity: how does selection for performance contribute to trait interactions?

Grant number: 16/22159-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2017
Effective date (End): July 31, 2018
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Genetics - Quantitative Genetics
Principal Investigator:Gabriel Henrique Marroig Zambonato
Grantee:Monique Nouailhetas Simon
Supervisor: Stevan J. Arnold
Host Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: Oregon State University (OSU), United States  
Associated to the scholarship:15/19556-4 - Modularity, Functional Performance and Natural Selection: integrating quantitative genetics and ecophysiology to understand the morphological evolution of tropidurinae lizards, BP.PD


One of the greatest challenges of evolutionary biology is to understand the evolution of complex phenotypes composed of several traits that interact with each other. The theory of phenotypic modularity represents interactions among traits as genetic and phenotypic covariation or correlation. A fundamental undertaking in modularity studies is to uncover which evolutionary forces shaped a certain pattern of trait correlation in natural populations. Riedl's hypothesis states that genetic and developmental modularity evolved to match functional interactions among traits by the action of stabilizing selection. In this proposal, we aim to test Riedl's hypothesis by comparing the pattern of phenotypic covariances among traits with the pattern of stabilizing and correlational selection related to specific functional performances in lizards. We will work with four species of Brazilian tropidurinae lizards that have morphological and ecological divergence. Most specimens have already been CT-scanned to assess their skull or limb bones. We will place 3D landmarks on the bones to extract linear measurements with which we will construct phenotypic covariance matrices (P-matrices) for all species. Then, we will estimate the non-linear regression coefficients of the measurements on bite force and locomotor performance, to construct the functional gamma-matrix (stabilizing and correlational selection). We expect the covariation pattern of the skull and limb traits to be similar to the pattern of selection embedded in the gamma-matrix for bite force and locomotor performance, respectively. (AU)

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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)
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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