Latitudinal variation in wild populations of Drosophila melanogaster: heritabilities and reaction norms

Authors

  • J. Van ‘t Land,

    1. Department of Genetics, University of Groningen, PO Box 14, 9700 AA Haren, The Netherlands
    2. University College London, Department of Biology, Wolfson House, 4 Stephenson Way, London NW1 2HE, UK
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  • P. Van Putten,

    1. Department of Genetics, University of Groningen, PO Box 14, 9700 AA Haren, The Netherlands
    2. University College London, Department of Biology, Wolfson House, 4 Stephenson Way, London NW1 2HE, UK
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  • Zwaan,

    1. Department of Genetics, University of Groningen, PO Box 14, 9700 AA Haren, The Netherlands
    2. University College London, Department of Biology, Wolfson House, 4 Stephenson Way, London NW1 2HE, UK
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  • Kamping,

    1. Department of Genetics, University of Groningen, PO Box 14, 9700 AA Haren, The Netherlands
    2. University College London, Department of Biology, Wolfson House, 4 Stephenson Way, London NW1 2HE, UK
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  • W. Van Delden

    1. Department of Genetics, University of Groningen, PO Box 14, 9700 AA Haren, The Netherlands
    2. University College London, Department of Biology, Wolfson House, 4 Stephenson Way, London NW1 2HE, UK
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Bas Zwaan Leiden University, Institute of Evolutionary and Ecological Sciences, Research Group in Evolutionary Biology, PO Box 9516, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands.

Abstract

Large amounts of genetic variation for wing length and wing area were demonstrated both within and between Drosophila melanogaster populations along a latitudinal gradient in South America. Wing length and wing area showed a strong positive correlation with latitude in both wild flies and laboratory-raised descendants. Large population differences were observed for heritability and coefficient of variation of these two traits, whereas relatively small population differences were found for development time, viability, pupal mortality, sex ratio and their norms of reaction to four developmental temperatures. No clear-cut latitudinal clines were established for these life-history characters. These results are discussed in the light of Bergmann's Rule and the relation between larval development and adult body size.

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