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Causes of Subindividual Variability: Mutations within individuals and organ-level responses to environmental cues are the main classes of remote causes of within-plant variability in reiterated structures.

Causes of Subindividual Variability: Mutations within individuals and organ-level responses to environmental cues are the main classes of remote causes of within-plant variability in reiterated structures.

Chapter:
(p.98) Chapter Five Causes of Subindividual Variability: Mutations within individuals and organ-level responses to environmental cues are the main classes of remote causes of within-plant variability in reiterated structures.
Source:
Multiplicity in Unity
Author(s):
Carlos M. Herrera
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226327952.003.0005

This chapter explains the remote causes of subindividual variation, that is, those cases where reiterated parts vary because the organism's genes vary or the parts experience varied environments. This variation falls into two classes of genetic heterogeneity within individual and semiautonomous programmed responses of organs within individual to environmental cues, that is, developmental phenotypic plasticity of individual organs as governed by more or less rigid organ-level reaction norms. It is shown that widespread occurrence of organ-level phenotypic plasticity indicates that there is no need to invoke subindividual genetic mosaicism to account for within-plant variation in the phenotypic characteristics of all kinds of reiterated organs. The organ-level phenotypic plasticity provides the conceptual basis as a general phenomenon, which implies that a number of the organismal mechanisms that account for within-plant variation stem from the joint effects of location in the plant.

Keywords:   subindividual variation, genetic heterogeneity, environmental cues, phenotypic plasticity, genetic mosaicism

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