Article: article from journal or magazin.
Genetic correlations and little genetic variance for reaction norms may limit potential for adaptation to pollution by ionic and nanoparticulate silver in a whitefish (Salmonidae).
Ecology and Evolution
For natural populations to adapt to anthropogenic threats, heritable variation must persist in tolerance traits. Silver nanoparticles, the most widely used engineered nanoparticles, are expected to increase in concentrations in freshwaters. Little is known about how these particles affect wild populations, and whether genetic variation persists in tolerance to permit rapid evolutionary responses. We sampled wild adult whitefish and crossed them in vitro full factorially. In total, 2896 singly raised embryos of 48 families were exposed to two concentrations (0.5 μg/L; 100 μg/L) of differently sized silver nanoparticles or ions (silver nitrate). These doses were not lethal; yet higher concentrations prompted embryos to hatch earlier and at a smaller size. The induced hatching did not vary with nanoparticle size and was stronger in the silver nitrate group. Additive genetic variation for hatching time was significant across all treatments, with no apparent environmental dependencies. No genetic variation was found for hatching plasticity. We found some treatment-dependent heritable variation for larval length and yolk volume, and one instance of additive genetic variation for the reaction norm on length at hatching. Our assessment suggests that the effects of silver exposure on additive genetic variation vary according to trait and silver source. While the long-term fitness consequences of low-level silver exposure on whitefish embryos must be further investigated to determine whether it is, in fact, detrimental, our results suggest that the evolutionary potential for adaptation to these types of pollutants may be low.
Additive genetic variance, Coregonid, inducible defense, micropollutant, plasticity, rapid evolution
Web of science
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