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Journal Article

Stabilizing Selection Detected for Bristle Number in Drosophila melanogaster

Aurora Garcia-dorado and Jorge A. Gonzalez
Evolution
Vol. 50, No. 4 (Aug., 1996), pp. 1573-1578
DOI: 10.2307/2410893
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2410893
Page Count: 6
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Stabilizing Selection Detected for Bristle Number in Drosophila melanogaster
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Abstract

Stabilizing selection, which favors intermediate phenotypes, is frequently invoked as the selective force maintaining a population's status quo. Two main alternative reasons for stabilizing selection on a quantitative trait are possible: (1) intermediate trait values can be favored through the causal effect of the trait on fitness (direct stabilizing selection); or (2) through a pleiotropic, deleterious side effect on fitness of mutants affecting the trait (apparent stabilizing selection). Up to now, these alternatives have never been experimentally disentangled. Here we measure fitness as a function of the number of abdominal bristles within four Drosophila melanogaster lines, one with high, one with low, and two with intermediate average bristle number. The four were inbred nonsegregating lines, so that apparent selection due to pleiotropy is not possible. Individual fitness significantly increased (decreased) with bristles number in the low (high) line. No significant fitness-trait association was detected within each intermediate line. These results reveal substantial direct stabilizing selection on the trait.

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