, Volume 134, Issue 2, pp 223–233 | Cite as

The impact of genetic parental distance on developmental stability and fitness in Drosophila buzzatii

  • Ditte Holm Andersen
  • Cino Pertoldi
  • Volker Loeschcke
  • Sandro Cavicchi
  • Valerio Scali


Measures of genetic parental distances (GPD) based on microsatellite loci (D 2 and IR), have been suggested to be better correlated with fitness than individual heterozygosity (H), as they contain information about past events of inbreeding or admixture. We investigated if GPD increased with increasing genetic divergence between parental populations in Drosophila buzzatii and if the measures indicate past events of admixture. Further we evaluated the relationship between GPD, fitness and fluctuating asymmetry (FA) of size and shape. We investigated three populations of Drosophila buzzati, from Argentina, Europe and Australia. From these populations two intraspecific hybridisation lines were made; one between the Argentinean and European populations, which have been separated 200 years and one between the populations from Argentina and Australia, which have been separated 80 years. By doing this we obtained hybrid progeny having different levels of GPD. We found that D 2 and H can be used as indicators of admixture when comparing hybrid individuals with their parentals. IR was not informative. Our results does not exclude the presence of genetic fitness correlations (GFC) over individuals with a broad fitness range from populations in equilibrium, but we doubt the presence of GFC using GPD measures in admixed populations. Shape FA could be a relevant measure for fitness, however, only when comparing populations, not at individual level.


Drosophilabuzzatii Fluctuating asymmetry Genetic fitness correlations Genetic parental distance Heterozygosity Microsatellites 



We would like to thank Jørgen Bundgaard for providing the Masca flies and the Editor and two anonymous reviewers for valuable comments. The work was supported by grants from the Villum Kann Rasmussen Foundation (VKR-05-024) and the Oticon Foundation (03-1397) to Ditte Holm Andersen and by grants from the Danish Research Agency (21-01-0526 and 21-03-0125) and the Marie Curie Fellowship of the European Community Host Development program under contract number HPMD-CT-2000-00009 to Cino Pertoldi, and support to Valerio Scali by the Canziani Bequest and M.I.U.R. (Ministero Industria Universitá Ricerca).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ditte Holm Andersen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Cino Pertoldi
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Volker Loeschcke
    • 2
  • Sandro Cavicchi
    • 1
  • Valerio Scali
    • 1
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Biologia Evoluzionistica SperimentaleUniversity of BolognaBolognaItaly
  2. 2.Department of Ecology and GeneticsAarhus UniversityAarhus CDenmark
  3. 3.Department of Applied BiologyEstación Biológica Doñana, CSICSevilleSpain
  4. 4.Department of Wildlife Ecology & BiodiversityNational Environmental Research InstituteRondeDenmark

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