The inbreeding decline and average dominance of genes affecting male life-history characters in Drosophila melanogaster

Genet Res. 1995 Feb;65(1):41-52. doi: 10.1017/s0016672300032997.


This paper describes the results of assays of male life-history characters in a large outbred laboratory population of D. melanogaster. Lines of flies homozygous for the entire third chromosome and lines of flies carrying two different third chromosomes were assayed for age-specific male mating ability (MMA), age-specific survivorship, male fertility, and body mass. The results of these assays were used to calculate the inbreeding decline associated with each of these traits, the average dominance of deleterious alleles that affect the traits, the genotypic and environmental components of variance for the homozygous lines, and phenotypic and genotypic correlations among the characters. Significant inbreeding decline was found for all characters except the Gompertz intercept and fertility. Early and late MMA show larger effects of inbreeding than any other trait. The inbreeding load for MMA is about the same magnitude as that for egg-to-adult viability, but is substantially less than that associated with total fitness. The estimated inbreeding decline and average dominance of male life-history characters are comparable to estimates for other Drosophila fitness components.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Animals
  • Body Weight / genetics
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Female
  • Fertility / genetics
  • Genes, Dominant*
  • Genes, Insect*
  • Genotype
  • Inbreeding*
  • Longevity / genetics
  • Male