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The Response to Selection for Fast Larval Development in Drosophila melanogaster and its Effect on Adult Weight: An Example of a Fitness Trade-Off

Leonard Nunney
Evolution
Vol. 50, No. 3 (Jun., 1996), pp. 1193-1204
DOI: 10.2307/2410660
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2410660
Page Count: 12
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Response to Selection for Fast Larval Development in Drosophila melanogaster and its Effect on Adult Weight: An Example of a Fitness Trade-Off
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Abstract

A selection experiment using Drosophila melanogaster revealed a strong trade-off between adult weight and larval development time (LDT), supporting the view that antagonistic pleiotropy for these two fitness traits determines mean adult size. Two experimental lines of flies were selected for a shorter LDT (measured from egg laying to pupation). After 15 generations LDT was reduced by an average of 7.9%. The response appeared to be controlled primarily by autosomal loci. A correlated response to the selection was a reduction in adult dry weight: individuals from the selected populations were on average 15.1% lighter than the controls. The lighter females of the selected lines showed a 35% drop in fecundity, but no change in longevity Thus, there is no direct relationship between LDT and adult longevity. The genetic correlation between weight and LDT, as measured from their joint response to selection, was 0.86. Although there was weak evidence for dominance in LDT, there was none for weight, making it unlikely that selection acting on this antagonistic pleiotropy could lead to a stable polymorphism. In all lines, sex differences in weight violated expectations based on intrasex genetic correlations: Females, being larger than males, ought to require a longer LDT, whereas there was a slight trend in the opposite direction. Because the sexual dimorphism in size was not significantly altered by selection, it appears that the controlling loci are either invariant or have very limited pleiotropic effect on developmental time. It is suggested that they probably control some intrinsic, energy-intensive developmental process in males.

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