Parallel geographic variation in Drosophila melanogaster

Josie A. Reinhardt, Bryan Kolaczkowski, Corbin D. Jones, David J. Begun, Andrew D. Kern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


Drosophila melanogaster, an ancestrally African species, has recently spread throughout the world, associated with human activity. The species has served as the focus of many studies investigating local adaptation relating to latitudinal variation in non-African populations, especially those from the United States and Australia. These studies have documented the existence of shared, genetically determined phenotypic clines for several life history and morphological traits. However, there are no studies designed to formally address the degree of shared latitudinal differentiation at the genomic level. Here we present our comparative analysis of such differentiation. Not surprisingly, we find evidence of substantial, shared selection responses on the two continents, probably resulting from selection on standing ancestral variation. The polymorphic inversion In(3R)P has an important effect on this pattern, but considerable parallelism is also observed across the genome in regions not associated with inversion polymorphism. Interestingly, parallel latitudinal differentiation is observed even for variants that are not particularly strongly differentiated, which suggests that very large numbers of polymorphisms are targets of spatially varying selection in this species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)361-373
Number of pages13
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics


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