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Unattractive males can sire attractive sons in Drosophila melanogaster
AuthorBjörn Brembs, Saskia Rughöft, Kristin Leinhoß
Author email bjoern©
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DescriptionIn Drosophila simulans, male attractiveness is heritable through the patriline: attractive fathers sire attractive sons, while unattractive fathers sire unattractive sons (Taylor et al., 2007). We tested if this rule also holds for Drosophila melanogaster. We took advantage of recently published 40 isogenic lines with considerable variability in copulation latencies and frequencies. We started by measuring copulation latencies and frequencies of a selected subset of these lines in standard courtship wheels against a Canton S tester female. The selected lines were the five lines with the highest (lowest, respectively) copulation latencies from experiments using large, food-containing vials with Oregon/Samarkand tester females. To identify the lines best suited for beck-crossing, the copulation latencies were plotted against the copulation frequencies and the two lines most clearly separable on both variables were chosen for crossbreeding. The male offspring from both of the reciprocal crosses were similar in both latency and frequency to the more attractive line, consistent with an autosomal dominant heritability of attractiveness in D. melanogaster. This evidence demonstrates that the fathers from an unattractive D. melanogaster population can sire attractive sons if they mate with females from a population that produces attractive males. These results confirm and extend previous findings that the two closely related Drosophila species contrast dramatically in the effect of sexual selection on the heritability of attractiveness. Reference: Taylor ML, Wedell N, Hosken DJ. (2007): The heritability of
attractiveness. Curr Biol. 17(22):R959-60
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