Polygenic control of a mating signal in Drosophila

Heredity (Edinb). 1996 Oct;77 ( Pt 4):378-82. doi: 10.1038/hdy.1996.156.


Recent findings show that traits which influence speciation in the melanogaster subgroup of Drosophila can be determined by relatively few loci and/ or be sex-linked. Using backcrosses between D. simulans and D. mauritiana, we show that an acoustic mating signal which plays an important role in courtship (the interpulse interval of the 'lovesong') has a polygenic determination. There is no evidence of single genes of large effect, a disproportionate contribution of the sex chromosome or epistasis. The probability of finding single genes with a large effect on sexual isolation may vary with the mode of signalling involved.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution
  • Crosses, Genetic
  • Drosophila / genetics*
  • Drosophila / physiology*
  • Female
  • Genes, Insect
  • Genetic Variation
  • Homozygote
  • Male
  • Mutation
  • Sexual Behavior, Animal*
  • Species Specificity
  • Vocalization, Animal