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Research article2008Peer reviewed

The yank of Dobzhansky's bequest

Alvarez-Castro, Jose M.; Carlborg, Orjan


Dobzhansky studied mechanisms of balancing selection using systems of inversions in Drosophila and he soon found that changes in inversion frequencies along generations in experimental populations conformed to the expectation for a simple model of heterosis. However, other more complex modes of selection, like rare male advantage, were later found to affect the maintenance of inversion polymorphisms. Here we show that a more realistic (and complex) model than heterosis-integrating all known fitness component estimates obtained in independent experiments for the ST/CH system of inversions in Drosophila pseudoobscura-not only conforms to but actually also predicts the inversion frequencies. This concludes this line of work and points to other selection mechanisms than heterosis that were also considered by Dobzhansky-frequency- and sex-dependent selection-as potential mechanisms of balancing selection responsible for the maintenance of the inversion polymorphisms in Drosophila.


Dobzhansky; mechanisms of balancing selection; fitness components; Drosophila; heterosis

Published in

Evolutionary Biology
2008, Volume: 35, number: 3, pages: 176-181 Publisher: SPRINGER

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      Animal and Dairy Science
      Veterinary Science

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