A latitudinal cline in a Drosophila clock gene

Proc Biol Sci. 1992 Oct 22;250(1327):43-9. doi: 10.1098/rspb.1992.0128.


The clock gene period determines biological rhythmicity in Drosophila melanogaster and encodes a protein characterized by an alternating series of threonine-glycine pairs. The minisatellite region encoding the threonine-glycine repeat is polymorphic in length in natural Drosophila melanogaster populations. In this paper we report the geographical analysis of this polymorphism within Europe and North Africa. A robust clinal pattern is observed along a north-south axis. We suggest the possibility that the length polymorphism could be maintained by thermal selection because the threonine-glycine region has been shown to provide thermostability to the circadian phenotype.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Africa, Northern
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Biological Clocks / genetics*
  • Biological Evolution
  • DNA, Satellite / genetics
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Europe
  • Female
  • Gene Frequency
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Proteins / genetics
  • Repetitive Sequences, Nucleic Acid


  • DNA, Satellite
  • Proteins