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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1987 Feb;84(4):1045-9.

Adaptation of Drosophila melanogaster populations to high mutation pressure: evolutionary adjustment of mutation rates.

Abstract

Evolutionary aspects of high mutation pressure were studied in laboratory populations of Drosophila melanogaster that have irradiation histories up to 600 generations. Dose-response regressions for the x-ray induction of various types of mutation were obtained from six of these populations. The sensitivity of these irradiated populations relative to an unirradiated control population was characterized by dose reduction factors. Sensitivity decreased stepwise with the stepwise increase in irradiation levels to which the populations had been exposed every generation (0 R, 2 kR, 4 kR, 8 kR; 1 R = 0.258 mC/kg) but remained the same over hundreds of generations when the irradiation levels were constant. Resistance is controlled by single genetic factors. Additional factors evolved in subpopulations exposed to increased irradiation levels, and different factors evolved in populations that were kept separate from the beginning of their irradiation histories. Two of three factors persisted in subpopulations no longer irradiated, but one factor disappeared; this last one behaved like a transposon. Factors of relative radio-resistance are stage specific (immature oocytes) and some of them are assumed to modify or control mutation-rate genes. The resistance factors enable populations to achieve an equilibrium between the amounts of environmental mutagens and intrinsic mutation rates.

PMID:
3103121
PMCID:
PMC304358
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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