What is phenotypic plasticity and why is it important?
Many organisms have the ability to express different phenotypes in response to environmental conditions. Such phenotypic plasticity allows individual organisms to develop appropriate morphological, physiological, or behavioral traits that better fit a particular environment that they encounter.
Does phenotypic plasticity result in evolution?
The process of adaptation to novel environmental conditions can occur via two mechanisms: (1) the expression of phenotypic plasticity (the ability of one genotype to express varying phenotypes when exposed to different environmental conditions), and (2) evolution via selection for particular phenotypes, resulting in …
Does genetic variation cause phenotypic variation?
Variation allows some individuals within a population to adapt to the changing environment. Because natural selection acts directly only on phenotypes, more genetic variation within a population usually enables more phenotypic variation.
Does phenotypic plasticity change genotype?
Phenotypic plasticity can be defined as ‘the ability of individual genotypes to produce different phenotypes when exposed to different environmental conditions’ (Pigliucci et al. … As with any organismal trait, the way in which an individual responds to environmental influences is subject to evolutionary change.
What is the advantage of phenotypic plasticity over gene mutations in creating new phenotypes?
Phenotypic plasticity allows a genotype to produce more than one distinct phenotype [17–19]. Such alternative phenotypes are induced by non-genetic perturbations. Non-genetic perturbations influence the formation of all kinds of phenotypes, but molecular phenotypes illustrate this influence especially well.
How does phenotypic plasticity relate to adaptation?
Local adaptation involves genetic differentiation specific to each environment, whereas phenotypic plasticity allows single genotypes to express different phenotypes under diverse environmental conditions.
Does phenotypic plasticity change allele frequencies?
The evolution of allele frequencies results from different reproductive efficiencies (fitness between genotypes) and so tends to reduce the genetic diversity within a population. … Through phenotypic plasticity, the plastic traits of individuals are modified without modifying the genetic diversity of the population.
How does phenotypic plasticity affect natural selection?
Plasticity can affect an individual’s response to selection and so may modify the end result of genetic diversity evolution at population level. Genetic diversity increases the ability of populations or communities to adapt to new environmental conditions. Adaptive plasticity increases individual fitness.
How does phenotypic plasticity influence evolutionary trajectories?
Phenotypic plasticity promotes persistence in a new environment. A change in the environment can release cryptic genetic variation via phenotypic plasticity, in turn impacting the rate of evolutionary responses.
What causes phenotypic variations?
What Causes Phenotypic Variation? As mentioned above, phenotypes can be caused by genes, environmental factors, or both. … For example, body weight in humans may be influenced by genes but is also influenced by diet. In this case, diet is an example of an environmental factor.
What causes phenotypic plasticity?
Phenotypic plasticity describes the process that allows individuals to alter their phenotype in response to environmental change alter their phenotype due to new environments. … This change in gene expression allows for phenotypic plasticity, as changes in mRNA expression have a direct link to protein abundance.
What are the factors that affect the phenotypic variation?
Two types of factors are recognized as contributing to the phenotypic variation in a population, genetic and environmental.
Are phenotypic changes permanent?
Fundamental to the way in which organisms cope with environmental variation, phenotypic plasticity encompasses all types of environmentally induced changes (e.g. morphological, physiological, behavioural, phenological) that may or may not be permanent throughout an individual’s lifespan. …
Do invasive species show higher phenotypic plasticity than native species and if so is it adaptive?
Our analysis shows that invasive species demonstrate significantly higher phenotypic plasticity than non-invasive species. … Invasive species were nearly always more plastic in their response to greater resource availability than non-invasives but this plasticity was only sometimes associated with a fitness benefit.
Can phenotype change without a change in genotype?
Different phenotypes can be generated without changes to the genotype through a process called Epigenetics. Epigenetics, meaning “above genes”, is the study of changes to the phenotype caused by changes in gene expression and not the alteration of the genetic code.