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Data from: An inversion supergene in Drosophila underpins latitudinal clines in survival traits

Cite this dataset

Durmaz, Esra et al. (2018). Data from: An inversion supergene in Drosophila underpins latitudinal clines in survival traits [Dataset]. Dryad.


Chromosomal inversions often contribute to local adaptation across latitudinal clines, but the underlying selective mechanisms remain poorly understood. We and others have previously shown that a clinal inversion polymorphism in Drosophila melanogaster, In(3R)Payne, underpins body size clines along the North American and Australian east coasts. Here we ask whether this polymorphism also contributes to clinal variation in other fitness-related traits, namely survival traits (lifespan, survival upon starvation, and survival upon cold shock). We generated homokaryon lines, either carrying the inverted or standard chromosomal arrangement, isolated from populations approximating the endpoints of the North American cline (Florida, Maine), and phenotyped the flies at two growth temperatures (18°C, 25°C). Across both temperatures, high-latitude flies from Maine lived longer and were more stress resistant than low-latitude flies from Florida, as previously observed. Interestingly, we find that this latitudinal pattern is partly explained by the clinal distribution of the In(3R)P polymorphism, which is at ~50% frequency in Florida but absent in Maine: inverted karyotypes tended to be shorter-lived and less stress resistant than uninverted karyotypes. We also detected an interaction between karyotype and temperature on survival traits. Since In(3R)P influences body size and multiple survival traits, it can be viewed as a 'supergene', a cluster of tightly linked loci affecting multiple complex phenotypes. We conjecture that the inversion cline is maintained by fitness trade-offs and balancing selection across geography; elucidating the mechanisms whereby this inversion affects alternative, locally adapted phenotypes across the cline is an important task for future work.

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North America