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Wing Beat Frequencies in Drosophila Melanogaster Selected for Different Wing Lengths

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image of Netherlands Journal of Zoology
For more content, see Archives Néerlandaises de Zoologie (Vol 1-17) and Animal Biology (Vol 53 and onwards).

Wing beat frequencies (w.b.f.) and plasticity of w.b.f. were investigated in Drosophila melanogaster lines selected for Long and Short wings at two different temperatures. Flies were glued with their thorax to a thin thread and wing beat frequency was determined by use of a stroboscope. Flights were performed at two different ambient or Flight temperatures. Wing length and wing area were measured afterwards. Wing beat frequency increased with increasing temperature except in the Long line selected at 20°C: most lines showed phenotypic plasticity in w.b.f. In the lines selected at 25°C the Short line had a significantly higher w.b.f. than the Control and Long line at both Flight temperatures. The genetic differences in w.b.f. between the lines remained constant. Lines selected at 20°C showed no differences in w.b.f. at both Flight temperatures. Significant Genotype-by-Environment interactions were observed. Various hypotheses are posed for the adaptive significance of changes in w.b.f. due to temperature, in terms of wing load, flight muscles and optimal flight temperatures.

Affiliations: 1: (Population Genetics, Department of Botanical Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Utrecht University, Padualaan 8, 3584 CH Utrecht, The Netherlands


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