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Keywords:

  • domestication;
  • Drosophila subobscura;
  • effect of foundation;
  • evolutionary trajectory;
  • experimental evolution;
  • inbreeding;
  • laboratory adaptation

Abstract

The domestication of plants and animals is historically one of the most important topics in evolutionary biology. The evolutionary genetic changes arising from human cultivation are complex because of the effects of such varied processes as continuing natural selection, artificial selection, deliberate inbreeding, genetic drift and hybridization of different lineages. Despite the interest of domestication as an evolutionary process, few studies of multicellular sexual species have approached this topic using well-replicated experiments. Here we present a comprehensive study in which replicated evolutionary trajectories from several Drosophila subobscura populations provide a detailed view of the evolutionary dynamics of domestication in an outbreeding animal species. Our results show a clear evolutionary response in fecundity traits, but no clear pattern for adult starvation resistance and juvenile traits such as development time and viability. These results supply new perspectives on the confounding of adaptation with other evolutionary mechanisms in the process of domestication.