Genetic heterogeneity in natural populations of Drosophila melanogaster for ability to withstand dessication Academic Article uri icon


  • Strains set up from single inseminated females of D. melanogaster derived from two wild populations have been shown to differ in their ability to withstand dessication, as measured by mortalities after 16 hours in a dry environment, thus there are genes segregating in wild populations for ability to withstand dessication. A more detailed study on strains from one of the wild populations, showed that strains with high wet and dry weights lose water by dessication relatively less rapidly and have lower mortalities, than strains with lower wet and dry weights.Variability within and between five inbred strains was studied with results as above. Heritabilities for wet weight, dry weight, and mortality were 0.40, 0.41 and 0.60 respectively, showing the likelihood that the traits would be amenable to further genetic analysis.The relevance of the results are discussed in relation to stress to high temperatures, and the ecology of the species in general.

publication date

  • January 1970