Three selections are better than one: clinal variation of thermal QTL from independent selection experiments in Drosophila

Evolution. 2010 Oct;64(10):2921-34. doi: 10.1111/j.1558-5646.2010.01039.x. Epub 2010 Aug 19.


We report the results of two independent selection experiments that have exposed distinct populations of Drosophila melanogaster to different forms of thermal selection. A recombinant population derived from Arvin California and Zimbabwe isofemale lines was exposed to laboratory natural selection at two temperatures (T(AZ): 18°C and 28°C). Microsatellite mapping identified quantitative trait loci (QTL) on the X-chromosome between the replicate "Hot" and "Cold" populations. In a separate experiment, disruptive selection was imposed on an outbred California population for the "knockdown" temperature (T(KD)) in a thermal column. Microsatellite mapping of the "High" and "Low" populations also uncovered primarily X-linked QTL. Notably, a marker in the shaggy locus at band 3A was significantly differentiated in both experiments. Finer scale mapping of the 3A region has narrowed the QTL to the shaggy gene region, which contains several candidate genes that function in circadian rhythms. The same allele that was increased in frequency in the High T(KD) populations is significantly clinal in North America and is more common at the warm end of the cline (Florida vs. Maine; however, the cline was not apparent in Australia). Together, these studies show that independent selection experiments can uncover the same target of selection and that evolution in the laboratory can recapitulate putatively adaptive clinal variation in nature.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acclimatization
  • Alleles
  • Animals
  • Australia
  • Biological Evolution*
  • California
  • Circadian Rhythm
  • Cold Temperature
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / physiology
  • Florida
  • Genes, X-Linked
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Hot Temperature
  • Maine
  • Microsatellite Repeats
  • Quantitative Trait Loci*
  • Selection, Genetic*