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Research article2020Peer reviewedOpen access

Dissecting the Genetic Regulation of Yeast Growth Plasticity in Response to Environmental Changes

Zan, Yanjun; Carlborg, Orjan


Variable individual responses to environmental changes, such as phenotype plasticity, are heritable, with some genotypes being robust and others plastic. This variation for plasticity contributes to variance in complex traits as genotype-by-environment interactions (G x E). However, the genetic basis of this variability in responses to the same external stimuli is still largely unknown. In an earlier study of a large haploid segregant yeast population, genotype-by-genotype-by-environment interactions were found to make important contributions to the release of genetic variation in growth responses to alterations of the growth medium. Here, we explore the genetic basis for heritable variation of different measures of phenotype plasticity in the same dataset. We found that the central loci in the environmentally dependent epistatic networks were associated with overall measures of plasticity, while the specific measures of plasticity identified a more diverse set of loci. Based on this, a rapid one-dimensional genome-wide association (GWA) approach to overall plasticity is proposed as a strategy to efficiently identify key epistatic loci contributing to the phenotype plasticity. The study thus provided both analytical strategies and a deeper understanding of the complex genetic regulation of phenotype plasticity in yeast growth.


yeast growth; genotype by environment interactions; epistasis; genetic networks; phenotype plasticity

Published in

2020, Volume: 11, number: 11, article number: 1279
Publisher: MDPI

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Environmental Sciences

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