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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

A genome-wide test for paternal indirect genetic effects on lifespan in Drosophila melanogaster

Shenoi, Vinesh Naresh; Brengdahl, Martin, I; Grace, Jaime L.; Eriksson, Bjorn; Ryden, Patrik; Friberg, Urban


Exposing sires to various environmental manipulations has demonstrated that paternal effects can be non-trivial also in species where male investment in offspring is almost exclusively limited to sperm. Whether paternal effects also have a genetic component (i.e. paternal indirect genetic effects (PIGEs)) in such species is however largely unknown, primarily because of methodological difficulties separating indirect from direct effects of genes. PIGEs may nevertheless be important since they have the capacity to contribute to evolutionary change. Here we use Drosophila genetics to construct a breeding design that allows testing nearly complete haploid genomes (more than 99%) for PIGEs. Using this technique, we estimate the variance in male lifespan due to PIGEs among four populations and compare this to the total paternal genetic variance (the sum of paternal indirect and direct genetic effects). Our results indicate that a substantial part of the total paternal genetic variance results from PIGEs. A screen of 38 haploid genomes, randomly sampled from a single population, suggests that PIGEs also influence variation in lifespan within populations. Collectively, our results demonstrate that PIGEs may constitute an underappreciated source of phenotypic variation.


Drosophila; paternal indirect genetic effects; lifespan

Published in

Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
2022, Volume: 289, number: 1974, article number: 20212707
Publisher: ROYAL SOC

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