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Long-term selection for a quantitative character in large replicate populations of Drosophila melanogaster: II. Lethals and visible mutants with large effects

  • B. H. Yoo (a1)

Summary

Lethal frequencies on the second and third chromosomes were estimated three times in six replicate lines of Drosophila melanogaster selected for increased abdominal bristle number, at G 14–16, G 37–44 and G 79. Ten lethals were detected at a frequency of about 5% or higher at G 14–16, of which only one recurred in subsequent tests. Another ten lethals which had not been detected previously were found at G 37–44, and the 5 most frequent ones recurred at G 79. In the last test, 15 presumably new lethals were detected, of which at least 4 appeared well established. In addition, six reversions (from sc to sc+), a new mutant at the scute locus and sca were discovered. The effects on the selected character of some lethals and visible mutants were large and variable, but not always sufficient to explain the observed frequencies. The major lethals detected at G 37–44 and G 79 for the first time were most probably ‘mutations’ (in the broad sense) which occurred during selection. The likely origins of such ‘mutations’ were discussed, with a suggestion that the known mutation rate for recessive lethals would not be incompatible with the observed frequency of occurrence of the ‘mutations’.

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References

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