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Genetics. 1985 Apr;109(4):665-89.

Temperature-Related Divergence in Experimental Populations of DROSOPHILA MELANOGASTER. I. Genetic and Developmental Basis of Wing Size and Shape Variation.

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  • 1Istituto di Genetica, Universit√† degli Studi di Bologna, 40126 Bologna, Italy.


The effects of environmental temperature on wing size and shape of Drosophila melanogaster were analyzed in populations derived from an Oregon laboratory strain kept at three temperatures (18 degrees , 25 degrees , 28 degrees ) for 4 yr. Temperature-directed selection was identified for both wing size and shape. The length of the four longitudinal veins, used as a test for wing size variations in the different populations, appears to be affected by both genetic and maternal influences. Vein expression appears to be dependent upon developmental pattern of the wing: veins belonging to the same compartment are coordinated in their expression and relative position, whereas veins belonging to different compartments are not. Both wing and cell areas show genetic divergence, particularly in the posterior compartment. Cell number seems to compensate for cell size variations. Such compensation is carried out both at the level of single organisms and at the level of population as a whole. The two compartments behave as individual units of selection.

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