Genetic variation for total fitness in Drosophila melanogaster

K Fowler, C Semple, N H Barton, L Partridge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We measured the heterozygous effects on net fitness of a sample of 12 wild-type third chromosomes in D. melanogaster. Effects on fitness were assessed by competing the wild-type chromosomes against balancer chromosomes, to prevent the production of recombinants. The measurements were carried out in the population cage environment in which the life history had been evolving, in an undisturbed population with overlapping generations, and replicated measurements were made on each chromosome to control for confounding effects such as mutation accumulation. We found significant variation among the wild type chromosomes in their additive genetic effect on net fitness. The system provides an opportunity to obtain an accurate estimate of the distribution of heterozygous effects on net fitness, the contribution of different fitness components including male mating success, and the role of intra-chromosomal epistasis in fitness variation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-9
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences
Issue number1379
Publication statusPublished - 1997


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