Evol Ecol Res 5: 597-604 (2003)     Full PDF if your library subscribes.

Climatic factors and increased frequencies of ‘southern’ chromosome forms in natural populations of Drosophila robusta

Max Levitan*

Center for Anatomy and Functional Morphology and Department of Human Genetics, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Box 1007, 1 Gustave L. Levy Place, New York, NY 10029, USA

e-mail: max.levitan@mssm.edu


New data are reported from two localities where historical changes in the relative frequencies of the gene arrangements of the woods fly, Drosophila robusta, had been documented earlier and from two localities that had last been sampled over 30 years ago. Several arrangements were found to have increased frequencies in all the localities studied. These arrangements are the ones with corresponding north–south clines, most also with corresponding relations to altitude. This, plus the fact that the similar changes have occurred in four states, one very far from the others, indicates that natural selection related to a pervasive climate effect, such as global warming, is responsible. Significant changes in another arrangement, one with no regular north–south or altitudinal variability, in some of the localities probably involve different ecological factors.

Keywords: climatic factors, Drosophila robusta, evolution, gene arrangements, historical changes, paracentric inversions.

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