Species and genetic diversity in the genus Drosophila inhabiting the Indian subcontinent
Biodiversity is the sum total of all living things on the earth with particular reference to the profound variety in structure, function and genetic constitution. It includes both number and frequency of species or genes in a given assemblage and the variety of resulting ecosystems in a region. It is usually considered at three different levels: genetic, species and ecological diversities. Genus Drosophila belongs to the family Drosophilidae (class Insecta, order Diptera), characterized by rich species diversity at global level and also in India, which is a megadiverse country. At global level, more than 1500 species have been described and several thousands estimated. Hawaiian Islands are particularly rich in species diversity with more than 500 species which provides a unique opportunity to study evolution in genus Drosophila. About 150 species of Drosophila have been reported from India. Certain species of Drosophila found in India have been investigated for genetic diversity within the species. In this regard, Drosophila ananassae is noteworthy. It is a cosmopolitan and domestic species with common occurrence in India and is endowed with many genetic peculiarities. Population genetics and evolutionary studies in this species have revealed as to how genetic diversity within a species play an important role in adaptation of populations to varying environments. In addition, the work carried on D. melanogaster, D. nasuta, D. bipectinata and certain other species in India has shown that these species vary in degree and pattern of genetic diversity, and have evolved different mechanisms for adjusting to their environments. The ecological adaptations to various kinds of stress studied in certain species of Drosophila inhabiting the Indian subcontinent are also discussed.
Volume 100, 2021
Continuous Article Publishing mode
Click here for Editorial Note on CAP Mode