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Genetics. 1985 Dec; 111(4): 831–844.
PMCID: PMC1202675

Homozygous and Hemizygous Viability Variation on the X Chromosome of DROSOPHILA MELANOGASTER


We report here a study of viability inbreeding depression associated with the X chromosome of Drosophila melanogaster. Fifty wild chromosomes from Mt. Sinai, New York, and 90 wild chromosomes from Death Valley, California, were extracted using the marked FM6 balancer chromosome and viabilities measured for homozygous and heterozygous females, and for hemizygous males, relative to FM6 males as a standard genotype. No statistically significant female genetic load was observed for either chromosome set, although a 95% confidence limit estimated the total load <0.046 for the samples pooled. About 10% of the Death Valley chromosomes appear to be "supervital" as homozygotes. There is little evidence for a pervasive sex-limited detrimental load on the X chromosome; the evidence indicates nearly identical viability effects in males and homozygous females excluding the supervital chromosomes. The average degree of dominance for viability polygenes is estimated between 0.23 to 0.36, which is consistent with autosomal variation and implies near additivity. We conclude that there is little genetic load associated with viability variation on the X chromosome and that the substantial reduction in total fitness observed for chromosome homozygosity in an earlier study may be due largely to sex-limited fertility in females.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
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