Brief Communications Arising | Published:

Wagner et al. reply

Nature volume 456, page E4 (04 December 2008) | Download Citation

Abstract

Reply to: J. Hermisson & A. P. McGregor Nature 456, 10.1038/nature07452 (2008)

In our paper on pleiotropic scaling and the cost of complexity1, we presented evidence for three findings: first, most genes affect a small number of traits (the degree of pleiotropy is low); second, the total effect of a quantitative trait locus (QTL) increases with the degree of pleiotropy, refuting the constant total effect model2,3; and third, the increase in total effect (defined as , where Ai is the effect on character i, that is, half the difference between the genotypic values of the homozygous genotypes) seems to be stronger than predicted by the superposition model4,5 of pleiotropic effects. Hermisson and McGregor6 point out that the last result could be due to multiple mutations being mapped to the same QTL, but only if these mutations affect overlapping sets of traits. We agree that this is a possibility that we could not address with the data at hand.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1.

    et al. Pleiotropic scaling of gene effects and the 'cost of complexity'. Nature 452, 470–472 (2008)

  2. 2.

    Adaptation and the cost of complexity. Evolution Int. J. Org. Evolution 54, 13–20 (2000)

  3. 3.

    , & Scaling of mutational effects in models of pleiotropy. Genetics 164, 1221–1228 (2003)

  4. 4.

    Effects of pleiotropy on predictions concerning mutation-selection balance for polygenic traits. Genetics 111, 165–195 (1985)

  5. 5.

    The influence of variation and of developmental constraints on the rate of multivariate phenotypic evolution. J. Evol. Biol. 1, 45–66 (1988)

  6. 6.

    & Pleiotropic scaling and QTL data. Nature 456 10.1038/nature07452 (2008)

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

  1. *Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut 06520-8106, USA.  gunter.wagner@yale.edu

    • Günter P. Wagner
  2. †Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Washington University, St Louis, Missouri 63110, USA

    • Jane P. Kenney-Hunt
    • , Mihaela Pavlicev
    •  & James M. Cheverud
  3. ‡Center for the Study of Evolution, School of Life Sciences, University of Sussex, Brighton BN1 9QG, UK

    • Joel R. Peck
    •  & David Waxman

Authors

  1. Search for Günter P. Wagner in:

  2. Search for Jane P. Kenney-Hunt in:

  3. Search for Mihaela Pavlicev in:

  4. Search for Joel R. Peck in:

  5. Search for David Waxman in:

  6. Search for James M. Cheverud in:

About this article

Publication history

Published

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nature07453

Further reading

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.

Newsletter Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing