University of Oulu

Genetic basis of male courtship song traits in Drosophila virilis

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Author: Huttunen, Susanna1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Science, Department of Biology
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.8 MB)
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Language: English
Published: 2003
Publish Date: 2003-03-21
Thesis type: Doctoral Dissertation
Defence Note: Academic Dissertation to be presented with the assent of the Faculty of Science, University of Oulu, for public discussion in Kuusamonsali (Auditorium YB210), Linnanmaa, on March 21st, 2003, at 12 noon.
Reviewer: Professor Liselotte Sundström
Doctor Tom Tregenza


The pattern and the genetic basis of variation in courtship song of D. virilis were studied using three different approaches: a candidate gene, a biometrical and a quantitative trait locus (QTL) method. Nucleotide variation in a candidate song gene, no-on-transientA, was analysed both within the species (D. virilis and D. littoralis) and between the species of the D. virilis group. Nucleotide variation showed no signs of selection and there was no association between the nucleotide or repeat length variation in nonA gene region and the song characters of the D. virilis group species.

Molecular markers (microsatellites) were isolated for D. virilis and their cross-species amplification was tested in all members of the D. virilis group. Intraspecific variation in D. virilis was studied at the phenotypic level in male song characters and at the genetic level in microsatellites. Significant geographic variation was detected in both levels, grouping the strains according to the main continents of the species' distribution range: America, Asia, Europe and Japan. The strains with most extreme song phenotypes were chosen for further analysis. The inheritance of two courtship song characters, the number of pulses in a pulse train (PN) and the length of a pulse train (PTL) was studied by analysing the means and variances of these characters between parental and reciprocal F1, F2 and backcross males. This biometrical analysis showed the genetic basis of these song characters to be polygenic with significant dominance, epistatic and Y-chromosomal effects on both characters. A subset of these data (F2 generation males) were used to conduct a QTL study with the aid of a recombination linkage map constructed for the microsatellites. Composite interval mapping (CIM) revealed significant QTLs, which were shared in both characters. Altogether, significant QTLs, located on the X, 2nd, 3rd and 4th chromosome, were found to affect PN, whereas only QTLs on the 3rd chromsome was found to affect PTL. The effect of the same QTL on the 3rd chromosome on both characters accounted for 31.8% and 49.1% of the mean difference between the parental strains in PN and PTL, respectively. These results suggest the genetic basis for these song characters is caused mainly by autosomal QTLs with a relatively large effect.

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Series: Acta Universitatis Ouluensis. A, Scientiae rerum naturalium
ISSN-E: 1796-220X
ISBN: 951-42-6952-7
ISBN Print: 951-42-6951-9
Issue: 397
Copyright information: © University of Oulu, 2003. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.