The quantitative genetics of growth in a field cricket

A. M. Simons, Y. Carrière, D. A. Roff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Because of its relationship with both development time and adult size, the rate of growth in determinately growing organisms is an important aspect of their life histories. We reared sixty-nine families of Gryllus pennsylvanicus derived from a natural population and found significant genetic variation in growth rate as estimated by the slope of linearized growth trajectories. We found no evidence for a genetic tradeoff between rate of growth and survival, nor rate of growth and fecundity. In principle, adult size may be determined both by the rate of growth and the time taken by the nymphs to develop. Our data indicate that variation in adult size is explained by variation in growth rate, not by variation in development time. We conclude with a discussion of the plausible explanations for the presence of genetic variation in growth rate in this natural population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)721-733
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Evolutionary Biology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1998


  • Age at maturity
  • Growth rate
  • Heritability
  • Life-history evolution
  • Size at maturity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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