The Effect of Lead on Fitness Components and Developmental Stability in Drosophila Subobscura


We analyzed the developmental time, egg-to-adult viability, and developmental stability (fluctuating wing size asymmetry) in Drosophila subobscura, maintained for six generations on different concentrations of lead. Development time is significantly affected by generation and lead concentration, but interaction of these factors is not a significant source of variability for this fitness component. Generation and the interaction generation x concentration of lead significantly affect egg-to-adult viability. Levene’s test of heterogeneity of variance showed that variability of FA is not significant in any of the samples. Within both lead concentrations females showed significantly higher FA indices for the wing width than males. Within sexes, a significantly higher FA was found only in females for wing width FA between the control and the lower concentration of lead. The results show that if strong relationship between FA and the studied fitness components exists, it results in a stronger selection of unstable genotypes under lead as a stress factor and, consequently, FA needs to be used with caution as a biomarker in natural populations under environmental stress.


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Correspondence to Marina Stamenkovic-Radak.

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Stamenkovic-Radak, M., Kalajdzic, P., Savic, T. et al. The Effect of Lead on Fitness Components and Developmental Stability in Drosophila Subobscura. BIOLOGIA FUTURA 59, 47–56 (2008).

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  • Lead
  • development time
  • viability
  • Drosophila
  • fluctuating asymmetry