Journal of Ethology

, Volume 36, Issue 2, pp 161–168 | Cite as

Responses to relaxed and reverse selection in strains artificially selected for duration of death-feigning behavior in the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum

  • Kentarou Matsumura
  • Takahisa Miyatake


Divergent lines selected artificially for many generations make it possible to answer two questions: (1) whether genetic variation still exists within the selected population; and (2) whether the selection itself is costly for the selected strain. In previous studies, the red flour beetle Tribolium castaneum was divergently selected artificially for duration of death-feigning, and strains selected for longer (L-strain) and shorter (S-strain) durations of death-feigning have been established (Miyatake et al. 2004, 2008). Because the selection experiments have been conducted for more than 27 generations, genetic variation may be eroded. Furthermore, because another previous study reported physiological costs to L-strains, the L-strains selected artificially for longer duration of death-feigning may have suffered more costs than the S-strains. In the present study, therefore, we relaxed the selection pressure after the 27th or 30th generation of S- and L-strains. We also carried out reverse selection during the most recent eight generations of S- and L-strains. The results showed that each strain clearly responded to relaxation of selection and reverse selection, suggesting that (1) additive genetic variation still existed in both strains after long-term selection, and (2) selection for shorter and longer duration of death-feigning was costly. These results suggest that anti-predator behavior is controlled by many loci, and longer or shorter duration of death-feigning is costly in a laboratory without predators.


Artificial selection Quantitative trait Relaxation of selection Reverse selection Tonic immobility Tribolium castaneum 



This work was supported by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Grants, KAKENHI 26291091 16K14810 and 17H05976 to T.M., and 16J0445818 to K.M.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

K. Matsumura and T. Miyatake declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All applicable international, national, and institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed. We followed all of the Committee on Publication on Ethics (COPE) guidelines.

Research involving human participants and/or animals

This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Japan Ethological Society and Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of Environmental and Life ScienceOkayama UniversityOkayama CityJapan

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