The effect of developmental temperature on the genetic architecture underlying size and thermal clines in Drosophila melanogaster and D-simulans from the east coast of Australia

Belinda Van Heerwaarden, Carla Sgro

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Body size and thermal tolerance clines in Drosophila melanogaster occur along the east coast of Australia. However the extent to which temperature affects the genetic architecture underlying the observed clinal divergence remains unknown. Clinal variation in these traits is associated with cosmopolitan chromosome inversions that cline in D. melanogaster. Whether this association influences the genetic architecture for these traits in D. melanogaster is unclear. Drosophila simulans shows linear clines in body size, but nonlinear clines in cold resistance. Clinally varying inversions are absent in D. simulans. Line-cross and clinal analyses were performed between tropical and temperate populations of D. melanogaster and D. simulans from the east coast of Australia to investigate whether clinal patterns and genetic effects contributing to clinal divergence in wing centroid size, thorax length, wing-to-thorax ratio, cold and heat resistance differed under different developmental temperatures (18 degrees C, 25 degrees C, and 29 degrees C). Developmental temperature influenced the genetic architecture in both species. Similarities between D. melanogaster and D. simulans suggest clinally varying inversion polymorphisms have little influence on the genetic architecture underlying clinal divergence in size in D. melanogaster. Differing genetic architectures across different temperatures highlight the need to consider different environments in future evolutionary and molecular studies of phenotypic divergence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1048 - 1067
Number of pages20
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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