Drosophila and Selection in Nature: From Laboratory Fitness Components to Field Assessments
Studies on Drosophila model organisms are producing a wealth of information on the genetic basis of complex traits and on patterns of genetic divergence in specific genes. This emerging information is interpreted within an evolutionary framework but direct connections with fitness in nature are usually tenuous. Drosophila fitness under natural conditions can be difficult to define partly because of the small size of flies and immature stages, the tendency of flies to use ephemeral resources, and the interaction between Drosophila, yeasts and plant tissue. Here I briefly examine new ways in which some aspects of fitness have been measured in Drosophila under semi-natural and natural conditions. I highlight some of the insights that can be gained from combining genomic and other – omic assessments when studies are interpreted within a fitness framework. These types of studies can ultimately provide insights into the way selection produces evolutionary diversity within Drosophila and more generally.
KeywordsDrosophila diversity fitness measurements
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