Many ecologically important traits exhibit latitudinal variation. Body size clines have been described repeatedly in insects across multiple continents, suggesting that similar selective forces are shaping these geographical gradients. It is unknown whether these parallel clinal patterns are controlled by the same or different genetic mechanism(s). We present here, quantitative trait loci (QTL) analysis of wing size variation in Drosophila simulans. Our results show that much of the wing size variation is controlled by a QTL on Chr 3L with relatively minor contribution from other chromosome arms. Comparative analysis of the genomic positions of the QTL indicates that the major QTL on Chr 3 are distinct in D. simulans and D. melanogaster, whereas the QTL on Chr 2R might overlap between species. Our results suggest that parallel evolution of wing size clines could be driven by non-identical genetic mechanisms but in both cases involve a major QTL as well as smaller effects of other genomic regions.
- body size
- Drosophila simulans