Temperature-related genetic changes in laboratory populations of Drosophila subobscura: Evidence against simple climatic-based explanations for latitudinal clines

Mauro Santos, Walkiria Céspedes, Joan Balanyà, Vincenzo Trotta, Federico C.F. Calboli, Antonio Fontdevila, Luís Serra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

61 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Parallel latitudinal clines to the long-standing ones in the original Palearctic populations have independently evolved at different rates for chromosomal polymorphism and body size in South and North American populations of Drosophila subobscura since colonization around 25 years ago. This strongly suggests that (micro) evolutionary changes are largely predictable, but the underlying mechanisms are unknown. The putative role of temperature per se was investigated by using three sets of populations at each of three temperatures (13°, 18°, and 22°C) spanning much of the tolerable range for this species. We found a lower chromosomal diversity at the warmest temperature; a quick and consistent shift in gene arrangement frequencies in response to temperature; an evolutionary decrease in wing size, mediated by both cell area and cell number, at 18°C; no relationship between wing size and those inversions involved in latitudinal clines; and a shortening of the basal length of longitudinal vein IV relative to its total length with increasing standard dose. The trends for chromosomal polymorphism and body size were generally inconsistent from simple climatic-based explanations of worldwide latitudinal patterns. The findings are discussed in the light of available information on D. subobscura and results from earlier thermal selection experiments with various Drosophila species.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)258-273
JournalAmerican Naturalist
Volume165
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2005

Keywords

  • Chromosome polymorphism
  • Clinal variation
  • Drosophila subobscura
  • Thermal evolution
  • Wing shape
  • Wing size

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