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Rapid Laboratory Evolution of Adult Life-History Traits in Drosophila melanogaster in Response to Temperature

Linda Partridge, Brian Barrie, Nicholas H. Barton, Kevin Fowler and Vernon French
Evolution
Vol. 49, No. 3 (Jun., 1995), pp. 538-544
DOI: 10.2307/2410277
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2410277
Page Count: 7
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Rapid Laboratory Evolution of Adult Life-History Traits in Drosophila melanogaster in Response to Temperature
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Abstract

Three replicate lines of Drosophila melanogaster were cultured at each of two temperatures (16.5⚬C and 25⚬C) in population cages for 4 yr. The lifespans of both sexes and the fecundity and fertility of the females were then measured at both experimental temperatures. The characters showed evidence of adaptation; flies of both sexes from each selection regime showed higher longevity, and females showed higher fecundity and fertility, than flies from the other selection regime when they were tested at the experimental temperature at which they had evolved. Calculation of intrinsic rates of increase under different assumptions about the rate of population increase showed that the difference between the lines from the two selection regimes became less the higher the rate of population increase, because the lines were more similar in early adulthood than they were later. Despite the increased adaptation of the low-temperature lines to the low temperature, like the high temperature lines they produced progeny at a higher rate at the higher temperature. The lines may have independently evolved adaptations to their respective thermal regimes during the experiment, or there may have been a trade-off between adaptation to the two temperatures, or mutation pressure may have lowered adaptation to the temperature that the flies no longer encountered.

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