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Natural adaptation to environmental stress via physiological clock-regulation of stress resistance in Drosophila


Jesper Givskov Sørensen Tel.: +45-8942-3268. Fax: +45-86-127191. E-mail:


In the present study we describe a novel mechanism by which populations, in an interplay between physiology and behaviour, can evolve adaptation to environmental extremes. Comparing Drosophila populations from different climate zones, we found diel shifts in high temperature resistance after maintenance at 25 °C for several generations. Resistance changes that co-occurred with field and laboratory activity of the populations are controlled by the physiological clock and appear to be a consequence of local adaptation to the thermal profiles of the environment of origin.