• We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Logo of geneticsGeneticsCurrent IssueInformation for AuthorsEditorial BoardSubscribeSubmit a Manuscript
Genetics. Jul 1997; 146(3): 881–890.
PMCID: PMC1208058

Genetic and Environmental Responses to Temperature of Drosophila Melanogaster from a Latitudinal Cline


Field-collected Drosophila melanogaster from 19 populations in Eastern Australia were measured for body size traits, and the measurements were compared with similar ones on flies from the same populations reared under standard laboratory conditions. Wild caught flies were smaller, and latitudinal trends in size were greater. Reduced size was caused by fewer cells in the wing, and the steeper cline by greater variation in cell area. The reduction in size in field-collected flies may therefore have been caused by reduced nutrition, and the steeper cline may have been caused by an environmental response to latitudinal variation in temperature. No evidence was found for evolution of size traits in response to laboratory culture. The magnitude of phenotypic plasticity in response to temperature of development time, body size, cell size and cell number was examined for six of the populations, to test for latitudinal variation in plasticity. All characters were plastic in response to temperature. Total development time showed no significant latitudinal variation in plasticity, although larval development time showed a marginally significant effect, with most latitudinal variation at intermediate rearing temperatures. Neither thorax length nor wing size and its cellular components showed significant latitudinal variation in plasticity.

Full Text

The Full Text of this article is available as a PDF (991K).

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Cavicchi S, Guerra D, Giorgi G, Pezzoli C. Temperature-Related Divergence in Experimental Populations of DROSOPHILA MELANOGASTER. I. Genetic and Developmental Basis of Wing Size and Shape Variation. Genetics. 1985 Apr;109(4):665–689. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Coyne JA, Beecham E. Heritability of two morphological characters within and among natural populations of Drosophila melanogaster. Genetics. 1987 Dec;117(4):727–737. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • David JR, Bocquet C. Evolution in a cosmopolitan species: genetic latitudinal clines in Drosophila melanogaster wild populations. Experientia. 1975 Feb 15;31(2):164–166. [PubMed]
  • Delcour J, Lints FA. Environmental and genetic variations of wing size, cell size and cell division rate, in Drosophila melanogaster. Genetica. 1967;37(4):543–556. [PubMed]
  • Dutilleul P, Potvin C. Among-environment heteroscedasticity and genetic autocorrelation: implications for the study of phenotypic plasticity. Genetics. 1995 Apr;139(4):1815–1829. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Imasheva AG, Bubli OA, Lazebny OE. Variation in wing length in Eurasian natural populations of Drosophila melanogaster. Heredity (Edinb) 1994 May;72(Pt 5):508–514. [PubMed]
  • James AC, Azevedo RB, Partridge L. Cellular basis and developmental timing in a size cline of Drosophila melanogaster. Genetics. 1995 Jun;140(2):659–666. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Long AD, Singh RS. Molecules versus morphology: the detection of selection acting on morphological characters along a cline in Drosophila melanogaster. Heredity (Edinb) 1995 Jun;74(Pt 6):569–589. [PubMed]
  • Neat F, Fowler K, French V, Partridge L. Thermal evolution of growth efficiency in Drosophila melanogaster. Proc Biol Sci. 1995 Apr 22;260(1357):73–78. [PubMed]
  • PREVOSTI A. Geographical variability in quantitative traits in populations of Drosophila subobscura. Cold Spring Harb Symp Quant Biol. 1955;20:294–299. [PubMed]
  • Robertson FW. Studies in Quantitative Inheritance. Xii. Cell Size and Number in Relation to Genetic and Environmental Variation of Body Size in Drosophila. Genetics. 1959 Sep;44(5):869–896. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Ruiz-Dubreuil G, Burnet B, Connolly K, Furness P. Larval foraging behaviour and competition in Drosophila melanogaster. Heredity (Edinb) 1996 Jan;76(Pt 1):55–64. [PubMed]
  • Stevenson RD, Hill MF, Bryant PJ. Organ and cell allometry in Hawaiian Drosophila: how to make a big fly. Proc Biol Sci. 1995 Feb 22;259(1355):105–110. [PubMed]

Articles from Genetics are provided here courtesy of Genetics Society of America


Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...


Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...