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Science. 2006 Sep 22;313(5794):1773-5. Epub 2006 Aug 31.

Global genetic change tracks global climate warming in Drosophila subobscura.

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  • 1Department of Genetics, Faculty of Biology, University of Barcelona, Diagonal 645, Barcelona 08071, Spain. jbalanya@ub.edu


Comparisons of recent with historical samples of chromosome inversion frequencies provide opportunities to determine whether genetic change is tracking climate change in natural populations. We determined the magnitude and direction of shifts over time (24 years between samples on average) in chromosome inversion frequencies and in ambient temperature for populations of the fly Drosophila subobscura on three continents. In 22 of 26 populations, climates warmed over the intervals, and genotypes characteristic of low latitudes (warm climates) increased in frequency in 21 of those 22 populations. Thus, genetic change in this fly is tracking climate warming and is doing so globally.

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