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Genetics. 1983 Dec;105(4):935-55.

Genetic Coadaptation in the Chromosomal Polymorphism of DROSOPHILA SUBOBSCURA. I. Seasonal Changes of Gametic Disequilibrium in a Natural Population.

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Departamento de Genética, Facultad de Biología, Universidad de Santiago, Spain.


Seasonal changes in gene arrangement and allozyme frequencies have been investigated in Drosophila subobscura for several years. Some arrangements (O(st) and O(3+4+7)) show seasonal variation, which suggests that chromosomal polymorphism is flexible in this species. Seasonal changes in allozyme frequencies for Lap and Pept-1 loci, both located within the same inversions of chromosome O, are significant only inside the O(st) arrangement, but not inside O(3+4) arrangement. This arrangement-dependent response of allozyme generates variation in arrangement-allozyme disequilibrium. The historical hypothesis on the maintenance of disequilibria cannot explain these seasonal changes, and some kind of natural selection must be invoked. Association between Lap and Pept-1 is also seasonal inside O(st) but not inside O(3+4). We propose that O(st) probably consists of a finite array of supergenes that are differentially favored in each season by natural selection. The present evidence on this supergene selection and other genetic, biogeographic and phylogenetic data points to O(3+4) as the most primitive gene order among the present arrangements.

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