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Citation
Rutherford, S.L. (2000). From genotype to phenotype: buffering mechanisms and the storage of genetic information.  BioEssays 22(12): 1095--1105.
FlyBase ID
FBrf0133200
Publication Type
Review
Abstract
DNA sequence variation is abundant in wild populations. While molecular biologists use genetically homogeneous strains of model organisms to avoid this variation, evolutionary biologists embrace genetic variation as the material of evolution since heritable differences in fitness drive evolutionary change. Yet, the relationship between the phenotypic variation affecting fitness and the genotypic variation producing it is complex. Genetic buffering mechanisms modify this relationship by concealing the effects of genetic and environmental variation on phenotype. Genetic buffering allows the build-up and storage of genetic variation in phenotypically normal populations. When buffering breaks down, thresholds governing the expression of previously silent variation are crossed. At these thresholds, phenotypic differences suddenly appear and are available for selection. Thus, buffering mechanisms modulate evolution and regulate a balance between evolutionary stasis and change. Recent work provides a glimpse of the molecular details governing some types of genetic buffering.
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    Language of Publication
    English
    Additional Languages of Abstract
    Parent Publication
    Publication Type
    Journal
    Abbreviation
    BioEssays
    Title
    BioEssays
    Publication Year
    1984-
    ISBN/ISSN
    0265-9247
    Data From Reference
    Genes (6)