Drosophila Evolutionary Genetics


Research in Drosophila evolutionary genetics is narrowing the gap between phenotypic and genotypic studies because these species are excellent organisms for laboratory use. Drosophila studies have contributed greatly to advances in evolutionary studies at the interface of ecology and genetics.

Keywords: ecology; speciation; chromosomes; transposable elements; natural selection

Figure 1.

An inversion heterozygote. Reproduced with permission from Lewontin RC et al. (eds) (1981) Dobzhansky's Genetics of Natural Populations I–XLIII, © 1981. New York: Columbia University Press.



Berry A and Kreitman M (1993) Molecular analysis of an allozyme cline: alcohol dehydrogenase in Drosophila melanogaster on the East Coast of North America. Genetics 134: 869–893.

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Feder ME and Krebs RA (1997) Ecological and evolutionary physiology of heat shock proteins and the stress response in Drosophila: Complementary insights from genetic engineering and natural variation. In: Bijlsma R and Loeschcke V (eds) Environmental Stress, Adaptation, and Evolution, pp. 79–102. Basel, Switzerland: Birkhauser Verlag.

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Lewontin RC (1985) Population genetics. Annual Review of Genetics 19: 81–102.

Lewontin RC, Moore JA, Provine WB and Wallace B (eds) (1981) Dobzhansky's Genetics of Natural Populations I–XLIII. New York: Columbia University Press.

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Further Reading

Chambers GK (1988) The Drosophila alcohol dehydrogenase gene–enzyme system. Advances in Genetics 25: 39–107.

Gillespie JH (1991) The Causes of Molecular Evolution. New York: Oxford University Press.

Hollocher H (1998) Reproductive isolation in Drosophila: how close are we to untangling the genetics of speciation? Current Opinion in Genetics and Development 8: 709–714.

Kidwell M (1997) Transposable elements as sources of variation in animals and plants. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 94: 7704–7711.

Kimura M (1983) The Neutral Theory of Molecular Evolution. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Laurie CC, Bridgham JT and Choudhary M (1991) Associations between DNA sequence variation and variation in expression of the Adh gene in natural populations of Drosophila melanogaster. Genetics 129: 489–499.

McDonald JF (1993) Evolution and consequences of transposable elements. Current Opinion in Genetics and Development 3: 855–864.

Oakeshott JG, Gibson JB, Anderson PR, Knibb WR, Anderson DG and Chambers GK (1982) Alcohol dehydrogenase and glycerol‐3‐phosphate dehydrogenase clines in Drosophila melanogaster on different continents. Evolution 36: 86–96.

Orr HA (1997) Haldane's rule. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 28: 195–218.

Powell JR (1997) Progress and Prospects in Evolutionary Biology: The Drosophila Model. New York: Oxford University Press.

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How to Cite close
Noor, Mohamed, and Akashi, Hiroshi(Apr 2001) Drosophila Evolutionary Genetics. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. http://www.els.net [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0001792]