Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Interocellar bristles in Drosophila melanogaster

Part 3: Response to disruptive selection


A population of Drosophila melanogaster has been exposed to disruptive selection for interocellar bristle number for fifteen generations. Two different mating systems have been employed: quasi-random and mating-choice.

The expected results of an increase in phenotypic variance and divergence of extreme mating groups were not found when the mating-choice system was used, while a clear divergence (2.04% of overlap) was found at the end of the experiment in one line where the quasi-random system (QR1) had been used.

A possible explanation for our results, which is also suggested by those of several other authors, could be that of hybrid vigor. Thus, the reason for the absence of effect in MCh may be that the progeny of “hybrid” matings are likely to be less inbred and therefore have higher viability, mating ability and egg production.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Alicchio, R.; Ceciliato, R.; Palenzona, D.L. (1973): On the evolutionary consequences of disruptive selection. Boll. Zool. 40, 415–421

  2. Barker, J.S.F.; Cummins, L.J. (1969): Disruptive selection for sternopleural bristle number in Drosophila melanogaster. Genetics 61, 697–712

  3. Creus, A. (1978): Contributión al estudio de algunos caracteres cuantitativos de Drosophila melanogaster y de su relación con la eficacia biológica. Tesis Doctoral. Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona

  4. Dobzhansky, Th. (1956): What is an adaptative trait?. Am. Nat. 90, 337–347

  5. Dobzhansky, Th.; Spassky, B. (1967): Effects of selection and migration on geotactic and phototactic behaviour of Drosophila. I. Proc. R. Soc. (Lond.) B 168, 27–47

  6. Gibson, J.B.; Thoday, J.M. (1963): Effects of disruptive selection. VIII. Imposed quasi-random mating. Heredity 18, 513–524

  7. Gibson, J.B.; Thoday, J.M. (1964): Effects of disruptive selection. IX. Low selection intensity. Heredity 19, 125–130

  8. Marcos, R. (1977a): Estudio del carácter quetas interocelares en Drosophila melanogaster. Cálculo de su heredabilidad. Tesina de Licenciatura. Universidad de Barcelona

  9. Marcos, R. (1977b): Selection for interocellar bristles. Drosoph. Inf. Ser. 52, 61

  10. Marcos, R. (1978): Respuesta a la selección artificial del carácter microquetas interocelares en Drosophila melanogaster. Tesis Doctoral. Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona

  11. Marcos, R.; Creus, A. (1981): Interocellar bristles in Drosophila melanogaster. II. Response to long-term selection. Genet. Pol. 22, 103–111

  12. Mather, K. (1953): The genetical structure of populations. Symp. Soc. exp. Biol. 7, 66–95

  13. Mather, K. (1955): Polymorphism as an outcome of disruptive selection. Evolution 9, 52–61

  14. Mensua, J.L. (1969): Estudio genético de la variabilidad de un carácter que se manifiesta según un modelo. Tesis Doctoral. Universidad de Barcelona

  15. Millicent, E.; Thoday, J.M. (1961): Effects of disruptive selection. IV. Gene flow and divergence. Heredity 16, 199–217

  16. Robertson, A. (1970): A note on disruptive selection experiments in Drosophila. Am. Nat. 104, 561–569

  17. Scharloo, W.; Den Boer, M.; Hoogmoed, M.S. (1967): Disruptive selection on sternopleural chaeta number. Genet. Res. 9, 115–118

  18. Simpson, G.G. (1944): Tempo and Mode in Evolution. New York: Columbia University Press

  19. Thoday, J.M. (1964): Genetics and the integration of reproductive systems. Symp. R. entomol. Soc. 2, 108–119

  20. Thoday, J.M. (1972): Disruptive selection. Proc. R. Soc. (Lond.) B 182, 109–143

  21. Thoday, J.M.; Boam, T.B. (1959): Effects of disruptive selection. II. Polymorphism and divergence without isolation. Heredity 13, 205–218

  22. Thoday, J.M.; Gibson, J.B. (1962): Isolation by disruptive selection. Nature 193, 1164–1166

Download references

Author information

Additional information

Communicated by A. Robertson

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Xamena, N., Marcos, R. & Creus, A. Interocellar bristles in Drosophila melanogaster . Theoret. Appl. Genetics 62, 289–293 (1982).

Download citation

Key words

  • Interocellar bristles
  • Drosophila melanogaster
  • Disruptive selection
  • Mating system