Trade-offs are potentially common among two or more traits whose development is dependent on the same resources. To detect genetic trade-offs, the techniques of quantitative genetics, pedigree analyses, and selection experiments have been used. This study demonstrates genetically based trade-offs between gonads and appendages in hatched larvae of the aphid Prociphilus oriens by focusing on enlarged variance among the families of selfed progeny. The selfed and outbred families were compared in respect to the size of morphological traits, gonad volume, and hatch dates as well as egg volume. Selfing not only increased the among-family variance component in all larval traits examined, but it also increased the mean size of all the morphological traits significantly. In contrast, gonad volume, a fitness component, was reduced with selfing. Calculation of the allometry (log-transformed regression) of larval traits to egg volume indicated that in the outbred group, morphological traits grew slowly relative to egg volume with slopes below 0.25, whereas gonads exhibited isometric growth. With selfing, most morphological traits had significantly steeper slopes, whereas the slope for gonads was greatly decreased. When the effect of egg volume was statistically removed from the means of selfed families, significant negative correlation was detected between the adjusted means of gonad volume and those of tibia length. This result suggests genetic trade-offs between gonad volume and tibia length. Thus, the evidence implies that at the loci governing the development of appendages, the dominant alleles function to canalize the development of tibiae into an optimal size, irrespective of egg volume. It is hypothesized that increased homozygosity of the deleterious recessive alleles reduced gonad volume through increasing the resource allocation to tibiae. The hypothesis of the gonad-appendage trade-off could be applied to explain the phenotypic evolution in some aphid species.
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Vol. 60 • No. 1