Data from: Patterns of genetic variation in desiccation tolerance in embryos of the terrestrial-breeding frog, Pseudophryne guentheri



Data files containing measurements of all variables - survival, time to hatch (TTH), mass, size, and shape (centroid and relative warps RWs).

Environmental change often requires evolutionary responses, and therefore understanding the genetic architecture of susceptible populations is essential for predicting their capacity to respond adaptively. However, quantitative genetic studies are rarely targeted at populations considered vulnerable to such environmental perturbations. Here, we assess the level of heritable variation in the ability of embryos to tolerate desiccation stress in Pseudophryne guentheri, a terrestrial-breeding frog that is currently experiencing a drying climate. We applied a North Carolina II breeding design to identify sources of genetic and environmental variance, and genotype-by-environment interactions (GEIs), underlying the expression of embryo survival, hatching times, hatchling mass, size and shape. Our analysis revealed highly significant effects of water potential and maternal effects on all measured traits, while additive genetic effects were significant for hatchling shape and non-additive effects were observed for embryo survival. Interestingly, GEIs, including for some traits complex three-way sire-by-dam-by-environment interactions, were significant, indicating that progeny from certain male-female crosses were more tolerant to water stress than others. These findings suggest a limited capacity of P. guentheri to respond to a drying climate, but also reveal that the detrimental effects of non-viable male-female crosses (i.e. genetic incompatibility) can be masked in benign environments.
Date made available13 Feb 2012
Geographical coverageWestern Australia
Geospatial point-31.628378,115.810006Show on map


  • Adaptation
  • Genetic Variation
  • Heritability
  • Maternal Effect
  • Phenotypic Plasticity
  • Pseudophryne guentheri

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