Evol Ecol Res 10: 797-809 (2008)     Full PDF if your library subscribes.

Climatic variation and the geographical distribution of sex-determining mechanisms in the housefly

Barbara Feldmeyer,1 Magdalena Kozielska,2 Bram Kuijper,1 Franz J. Weissing,1 Leo W. Beukeboom2 and Ido Pen1

1Theoretical Biology and  2Evolutionary Genetics, University of Groningen, Haren, Netherlands

Correspondence: B. Feldmeyer, Theoretical Biology, University of Groningen, PO Box 14, 9750 AA Haren, Netherlands.
e-mail: b.v.feldmeyer@rug.nl


Questions: (1) Are the geographic clines of sex-determining factors in the housefly of the northern hemisphere mirrored by similar clines on the southern hemisphere? (2) What climatic factors can best explain the geographical distribution of sex-determining factors in the housefly?

Data: Frequencies of sex-determining factors of houseflies collected in Africa and corresponding literature data on houseflies studied on other continents. Global climate data from public databases.

Results: Housefly populations on the southern hemisphere repeat the pattern earlier found on the northern hemisphere: higher frequencies of autosomal M and FD factors closer to the equator. Seasonality in temperature variation is the best predictor for the distribution of the male sex-determining factor, whereas female sex-determining factors are best explained by variation in humidity and yearly mean temperature.

Keywords: cline, humidity, latitudinal variation, Musca domestica, seasonality, sex determination, sex ratio, temperature.

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