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Genetica. 1992;87(3):175-83.

Effects on ADH activity and distribution, following selection for tolerance to ethanol in Drosophila melanogaster.

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  • 1Department of Genetics, University of Groningen, Haren, The Netherlands.


Strains of Drosophila melanogaster homozygous for either the AdhF or the AdhS allele were kept on food supplemented with ethanol for 20 generations. These strains (FE and SE) were tested for tolerance to ethanol and compared with control strains (FN and SN). The E strains showed increased tolerance to ethanol both in the adult and in the juvenile life stages. In adults the increase in tolerance was not accompanied by an increase in overall ADH activity. However, there were changes in the distribution of ADH over the body parts. Flies of the FE strain possessed significantly more ADH in the abdomen, compared with FN. Another set of FN and SN populations were started both on standard food and on ethanol food with reduced yeast concentrations. After 9 months ADH activities were determined in flies from these populations which had been placed on three different media: the food the populations had been kept on, regular food and regular food supplemented with ethanol. The phenotypic effects of yeast reduction on ADH activity were considerably, but longterm genetic effects were limited.

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