Laboratory selection experiments using Drosophila: what do they really tell us?

Trends Ecol Evol. 2000 Jan;15(1):32-36. doi: 10.1016/s0169-5347(99)01756-5.


Laboratory selection experiments using Drosophila, and other organisms, are widely used in experimental biology. In particular, such experiments on D. melanogaster life history and stress-related traits have been instrumental in developing the emerging field of experimental evolution. However, similar selection experiments often produce inconsistent correlated responses to selection. Unfortunately, selection experiments are vulnerable to artifacts that are difficult to control. In spite of these problems, selection experiments are a valuable research tool and can contribute to our understanding of evolution in natural populations.