Estimating genetic and environmental components of variance using sexual and clonal Artemia

R. A. Browne, V. Moller, V. E. Forbes, M. H. Depledge

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27 Scopus citations


Reproductive and life span traits were measured for two obligately parthenogenetic (Artemia parthenogenetica) and three sexual (two A. franciscana and one A. sinica) brine shrimp populations. For each population, clonal lineages or single mating pairs were followed through one life cycle. The relative contributions of environmental and genetic components to total phenotypic variation for 10 life-history traits in response to environmental stress (0, 10, 25 ppb Cu) were estimated. Within treatment variation (CVw) was 39% higher for sexual populations than parthenogenetic populations, with significant (p < 0.05) differences in total number of offspring and number of nauplii. CVA (the change in variance due to rearing in different environments), when averaged for all traits and all populations, increased variability by 9.9%. CVA was 44.2% higher for sexual than parthenogenetic populations, with significant differences in number of broods, total number of offspring, and number of nauplii. The average genetic component of variation for the 10 traits was 23.44%, ranging from 5.26% for number of cysts to 44.87% for number of nauplii. For all traits, the environmental component of variance is greater than the genetic component measured, but every trait has a genetic component, which can potentially be acted upon by selection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-119
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 3 2002


  • Artemia parthenogenetica
  • Brine shrimp
  • Copper
  • General-purpose genotype
  • Life-history traits


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