Data from: Rapid divergence and convergence of life-history in experimentally evolved Drosophila melanogaster
Burke, Molly K. et al. (2016), Data from: Rapid divergence and convergence of life-history in experimentally evolved Drosophila melanogaster, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.133n7
Laboratory selection experiments are alluring in their simplicity, power, and ability to inform us about how evolution works. A longstanding challenge facing evolution experiments with metazoans is that significant generational turnover takes a long time. In this work, we present data from a unique system of experimentally evolved laboratory populations of Drosophila melanogaster that have experienced three distinct life-history selection regimes. The goal of our study was to determine how quickly populations of a certain selection regime diverge phenotypically from their ancestors, and how quickly they converge with independently derived populations that share a selection regime. Our results indicate that phenotypic divergence from an ancestral population occurs rapidly, within dozens of generations, regardless of that population's evolutionary history. Similarly, populations sharing a selection treatment converge on common phenotypes in this same time frame, regardless of selection pressures those populations may have experienced in the past. These patterns of convergence and divergence emerged much faster than expected, suggesting that intermediate evolutionary history has transient effects in this system. The results we draw from this system are applicable to other experimental evolution projects, and suggest that many relevant questions can be sufficiently tested on shorter timescales than previously thought.