Contrasting patterns of phenotypic variation linked to chromosomal inversions in native and colonizing populations of Drosophila subobscura

I. Fragata, J. BalanyÀ, C. Rego, M. Matos, E. L. Rezende, M. Santos

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17 Citations (Scopus)


In fewer than two decades after invading the Americas, the fly Drosophila subobscura evolved latitudinal clines for chromosomal inversion frequencies and wing size that are parallel to the long-standing ones in native Palearctic populations. By sharp contrast, wing shape clines also evolved in the New World, but the relationship with latitude was opposite to that in the Old World. Previous work has suggested that wing trait differences among individuals are partially due to the association between chromosomal inversions and particular alleles which influence the trait under consideration. Furthermore, it is well documented that a few number of effective individuals founded the New World populations, which might have modified the biometrical effect of inversions on quantitative traits. Here we evaluate the relative contribution of chromosomal inversion clines in shaping the parallel clines in wing size and contrasting clines in wing shape in native and colonizing populations of the species. Our results reveal that inversion-size and inversion-shape associations in native and colonizing (South America) populations are generally different, probably due to the bottleneck effect. Contingent, unpredictable evolution was suggested as an explanation for the different details involved in the otherwise parallel wing size clines between Old and New World populations of D. subobscura. We challenge this assertion and conclude that contrasting wing shape clines came out as a correlated response of inversion clines that might have been predicted considering the genetic background of colonizers. © 2009 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-123
JournalJournal of Evolutionary Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010


  • Chromosomal polymorphisms
  • Clinal variation
  • Contingent evolution
  • Drosophila subobscura
  • Founder effects
  • Hitchhiking
  • Wing shape
  • Wing size


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