The evolutionary history of Drosophila buzzatii. XXXIII. Are Opuntia hosts a selective factor for the inversion polymorphism?

Juan J. Fanara, Esteban Hasson, Constantina Rodríguez, Mauro Santos, Antonio Fontdevila

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13 Citations (Scopus)


Previous work has shown fitness differences among chromosomal arrangements by means of selection component analysis in two Drosophila buzzatii natural populations, one of which is native to Argentina and the other a colonized population from Carboneras, Spain. Founder effects or niche shifts were proposed to explain the differences observed in the pattern of pleiotropic effects of inversions on fitness components. In this paper, we address the possible role of niche shifts by determining whether differential attraction to, oviposition on, or utilization of the rotting cladodes of two different Opuntia species (O. quimilo and O. ficus-indica) occurred among individuals carrying different second chromosome karyotypes in a natural Argentinian population. Through the analysis of more than 2500 individuals comprising five different life cycle stages associated with the necroses of these two cactus species, we found that the distributions of inversion frequencies in samples of adult flies, third instar larvae and emerging adults collected on both Opuntia species were not significantly different. Likewise, no evidence of differential oviposition was observed. These findings suggest that niche shifts cannot, solely, account for the changes observed in the Carboneras population. In addition, the selection component analysis did not reveal any significant relationship between chromosomal arrangements and the fitness components tested. These results suggest either that fitness differences might be too small to be detected or that the assumptions of the model concerning the mode of selection may not be tenable in the studied population.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)500-508
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1996


  • cactus hosts
  • Drosophila buzzatii
  • habitat selection
  • inversion polymorphism
  • natural selection


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