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Behav Genet. 2015 Jan;45(1):127-34. doi: 10.1007/s10519-014-9683-5. Epub 2014 Sep 25.

Inbreeding affects locomotor activity in Drosophila melanogaster at different ages.

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Department of Bioscience, Genetics, Ecology and Evolution, Aarhus University, Ny Munkegade 114-116, Buildg. 1540, 8000, Aarhus C, Denmark,


The ability to move is essential for many behavioural traits closely related to fitness. Here we studied the effect of inbreeding on locomotor activity (LA) of Drosophila melanogaster at different ages under both dark and light regimes. We expected to find a decreased LA in inbred lines compared to control lines. We also predicted an increased differentiation between lines due to inbreeding. LA was higher in the dark compared to the light regime for both inbred and outbred control lines. As expected, inbreeding increased phenotypic variance in LA, with some inbred lines showing higher and some lower LA than control lines. Moreover, age per se did not affect LA neither in control nor in inbred lines, while we found a strong line by age interaction between inbred lines. Interestingly, inbreeding changed the daily activity pattern of the flies: these patterns were consistent across all control lines but were lost in some inbred lines. The departure in the daily pattern of LA in inbred lines may contribute to the inbreeding depression observed in inbred natural populations.

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