Quantitative wing variation in inbred and outbred lines of Drosophila melanogaster

James W. Curtsinger

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4 Scopus citations


Variation of two wing morphology characters was studied in 11 X-chromosome substitution lines and three outbred lines of D. melanogaster, as a test of quantitative genetic predictions regarding variance components and heritabillties. As expected from inbreeding of the lines, between-lines components of phenotypic variance are statistically significant, while the significant within-line component is attributable to a maternal effect. Unusually low broad-sense heritabillties were observed in the inbred ilnes, and unusually low narrow-sense heritabilities were observed in the outbred lines. Low heritability estimates cannot be explained by insensitive measurement techniques, since the techniques were sufficiently sensitive to detect significant maternal effects. The most likely explanation for the low heritability estimates is the operation of natural selection on wing or correlated characters as stocks adapt to the laboratory environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-271
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Heredity
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1986

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author is assistant professor in the Department of Genetics and Cell Biology, University of Minnesota, 1445 Gortner Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55108. He thanks Ellen Heath and Nancy Cox Raymond for technical assistance. Research U supported by NSF grant BSR 8211667 and NIH Research Career Development Award 1 K04HD 00638-01. © 1986, American Genetic Association.

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