Consistent effects of a major QTL for thermal resistance in field-released Drosophila melanogaster.

Journal of insect physiology

PubMedID: 21708160

Loeschcke V, Kristensen TN, Norry FM. Consistent effects of a major QTL for thermal resistance in field-released Drosophila melanogaster. J Insect Physiol. 2011;57(9):1227-31.
Molecular genetic markers can be used to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) for thermal resistance and this has allowed characterization of a major QTL for knockdown resistance to high temperature in Drosophila melanogaster. The QTL showed trade-off associations with cold resistance under laboratory conditions. However, assays of thermal tolerance conducted in the laboratory may not necessarily reflect performance at varying temperatures in the field. Here we tested if lines with different genotypes in this QTL show different thermal performance under high and low temperatures in the field using a release recapture assay. We found that lines carrying the QTL genotype for high thermal tolerance were significantly better at locating resources in the field releases under hot temperatures while the QTL line carrying the contrasting genotype were superior at cold temperatures. Further, we studied copulatory success between the different QTL genotypes at different temperatures. We found higher copulatory success in males of the high tolerance QTL genotype under hot temperature conditions, while there was no difference in females at cold temperatures. The results allow relating components of field fitness at different environmental temperatures with genotypic variation in a QTL for thermal tolerance.