Alcohol Dehydrogenase and Alcohol Tolerance in Drosophila melanogaster

  • Billy W. Geer
  • Pieter W. H. Heinstra
  • Ann M. Kapoun
  • Aleid Van Der Zel
Part of the Monographs in Evolutionary Biology book series (MEBI)


Drosophila melanogaster has often been used as a model system for investigations of the genetic factors that underlie ethanol tolerance. The species not only is very tolerant to environmental ethanol (McKenzie and Parsons, 1972; David et al., 1976), but it is able to use ethanol as a food source (McKechnie and Geer, 1984; Geer et al., 1985). Judgement of the degree of ethanol tolerance in D. melanogaster is complicated by the complex nature of the trait, and by the diversity of the tests that have been used to measure tolerance. Ethanol tolerance is a composite of the abilities to grow and to survive in the presence of ethanol, and, as shown in this study, to utilize dietary ethanol as a foodstuff. The conditions for the tolerance test and the diagnostic traits in previous studies have varied. Many tolerance tests have been performed by adding ethanol to the medium (Gibson, 1970; McDonald et al., 1977; Cavener and Clegg, 1978), but different life stages have been tested. Ethanol tolerance in adult D. melanogaster has been equated to the concentration of alcohol in sealed tubes that kills 50% of the individuals in a treatment of fixed duration (David et al., 1978, 1984).


Alcohol Dehydrogenase Ethanol Tolerance Alcohol Tolerance Dietary Ethanol Alcohol Dehydroge 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Billy W. Geer
    • 1
  • Pieter W. H. Heinstra
    • 2
  • Ann M. Kapoun
    • 1
  • Aleid Van Der Zel
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyKnox CollegeGalesburgUSA
  2. 2.Department of Population and Evolutionary BiologyUniversity of UtrechtThe Netherlands

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