• Brigitte Moreteau

      Articles written in Journal of Genetics

    • Light body pigmentation in indianDrosophila melanogaster: A likely adaptation to a hot and arid climate

      Patricia Gibert Brigitte Moreteau Jean-Claude Moreteau Ravi Parkash Jean R. David

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      We analysed reaction norms of pigmentation (thorax and abdomen) according to growth temperature for 20 isofemale lines collected near Delhi (India) and compared them to results obtained for two French populations. The climatic conditions of the two locations were strongly different, with monthly average temperature ranging between 4.2°C and 20.5°C in France and between 14.3°C and 34.3°C in India. For each segment, a decrease of the pigmentation was observed with increasing temperature and the shapes of the reaction norms were more or less parallel. On average Indian flies were lighter than French ones, in agreement with the thermal budget hypothesis. We further investigated the shapes of reaction norms by polynomial adjustment and observed significant differences. In several cases, a maximum divergence was observed at high temperature, implying a change in the shape of the norm. Characteristic values related to the thermal reactivity were also significantly different between populations but no general tendency was found. Genetic variability, estimated by the coefficient of intraclass correlation, was significantly lower in India (0.27 ±0.026) than in France (0.39 ±0.028), and we discuss the significance of this difference.

    • Genetic variability of sexual size dimorphism in a natural population ofDrosophila melanogaster: An isofemale-line approach

      Jean R. David Patricia Gibert Sandrine Mignon-Grasteau HÉlÈne Legout Georges PÉtavy Catherine Beaumont Brigitte Moreteau

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      Most animal species exhibit sexual size dimorphism (SSD). SSD is a trait difficult to quantify for genetical purposes since it must be simultaneously measured on two kinds of individuals, and it is generally expressed either as a difference or as a ratio between sexes. Here we ask two related questions: What is the best way to describe SSD, and is it possible to conveniently demonstrate its genetic variability in a natural population? We show that a simple experimental design, the isofemale-line technique (full-sib families), may provide an estimate of genetic variability, using the coefficient of intraclass correlation. We consider two SSD indices, the female-male difference and the female/male ratio. For two size-related traits, wing and thorax length, we found that both SSD indices were normally distributed. Within each family, the variability of SSD was estimated by considering individual values in one sex (the female) with respect to the mean value in the other sex (the male). In a homogeneous sample of 30 lines ofDrosophila melanogaster, both indices provided similar intraclass correlations, on average 0.21, significantly greater than zero but lower than those for the traits themselves: 0.50 and 0.36 for wing and thorax length respectively. Wing and thorax length were strongly positively correlated within each sex. SSD indices of wing and thorax length were also positively correlated, but to a lesser degree than for the traits themselves. For comparative evolutionary studies, the ratio between sexes seems a better index of SSD since it avoids scaling effects among populations or species, permits comparisons between different traits, and has an unambiguous biological significance. In the case ofD. melanogaster grown at 25‡C, the average female/male ratios are very similar for the wing (1.16) and the thorax (1.15), and indicate that, on average, these size traits are 15–16% longer in females.

    • REML estimates of genetic parameters of sexual dimorphism for wing and thorax length inDrosophila melanogaster

      Sandrine Mignon-Grasteau Jean David Patricia Gibert Hélène Legout Georges Pétavy Brigitte Moreteau Catherine Beaumont

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      Restricted maximum likelihood was used to estimate genetic parameters of male and female wing and thorax length in isofemale lines ofDrosophila melanogaster, and results compared to estimates obtained earlier with the classical analysis of variance approach. As parents within an isofemale line were unknown, a total of 500 parental pedigrees were simulated and mean estimates computed. Full and half sibs were distinguished, in contrast to usual isofemale studies in which animals were all treated as half sibs and hence heritability was overestimated. Heritability was thus estimated at 0.33, 0.38, 0.30 and 0.33 for male and female wing length and male and female thorax length, respectively, whereas corresponding estimates obtained using analysis of variance were 0.46, 0.54, 0.35 and 0.38. Genetic correlations between male and female traits were 0.85 and 0.62 for wing and thorax length, respectively. Sexual dimorphism and the ratio of female to male traits were moderately heritable (0.30 and 0.23 for wing length, 0.38 and 0.23 for thorax length). Both were moderately and positively correlated with female traits, and weakly and negatively correlated with male traits. Such heritabilities confirmed that sexual dimorphism might be a fast evolving trait inDrosophila.

    • REML estimates of genetic parameters of sexual dimorphism for wing and thorax length inDrosophila melanogaster

      Sandrine Mignon-Grasteau Jean David Patricia Gibert Hélène Legout Georges Pétavy Brigitte Moreteau Catherine Beaumont

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    • Phenotypic plasticity of body size in a temperate population ofDrosophila melanogaster: When the temperature—size rule does not apply

      Jean R. David Héléne Legout Brigitte Moreteau

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      A natural population ofDrosophila melanogaster in southern France was sampled in three different years and 10 isofemale lines were investigated from each sample. Two size-related traits, wing and thorax length, were measured and the wing/thorax ratio was also calculated. Phenotypic plasticity was analysed after development at seven different constant temperatures, ranging from 12‡C to 31‡C. The three year samples exhibited similar reaction norms, suggesting a stable genetic architecture in the natural population. The whole sample (30 lines) was used to determine precisely the shape of each reaction norm, using a derivative analysis. The practical conclusion was that polynomial adjustments could be used in all cases, but with different degrees: linear for the wing/thorax ratio, quadratic for thorax length, and cubic for wing length. Both wing and thorax length exhibited concave reaction norms, with a maximum within the viable thermal range. The temperatures of the maxima were, however, quite different, around 15‡C for the wing and 19.5‡C for the thorax. Assuming that thorax length is a better estimate of body size, it is not possible to state that increasing the temperature results in monotonically decreasing size (the temperature-size rule), although this is often seen to be the case for genetic variations in latitudinal clines. The variability of the traits was investigated at two levels—within and between lines—and expressed as a coefficient of variation. The within-line (environmental) variability revealed a regular, quadratic convex reaction norm for the three traits, with a minimum around 21‡C. This temperature of minimum variability may be considered as a physiological optimum, while extreme temperatures are stressful. The between-line (genetic) variability could also be adjusted to quadratic polynomials, but the curvature parameters were not significant. Our results show that the mean values of the traits and their variance are both plastic, but react in different ways along a temperature gradient. Extreme low or high temperatures decrease the size but increase the variability. These effects may be considered as a functional response to environmental stress.

    • Thermal phenotypic plasticity of body size in Drosophila melanogaster: sexual dimorphism and genetic correlations

      Jean R. David Amir Yassin Jean-Claude Moreteau Helene Legout Brigitte Moreteau

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      Thirty isofemale lines collected in three different years from the same wild French population were grown at seven different temperatures (12–31°C). Two linear measures, wing and thorax length, were taken on 10 females and 10 males of each line at each temperature, also enabling the calculation of the wing/thorax (W/T) ratio, a shape index related to wing loading. Genetic correlations were calculated using family means. The W–T correlation was independent of temperature and on average, 0.75. For each line, characteristic values of the temperature reaction norm were calculated, i.e. maximum value, temperature of maximum value and curvature. Significant negative correlations were found between curvature and maximum value or temperature of maximum value. Sexual dimorphism was analysed by considering either the correlation between sexes or the female/male ratio. Female–male correlation was on average 0.75 at the within line, within temperature level but increased up to 0.90 when all temperatures were averaged for each line. The female/male ratio was genetically variable among lines but without any temperature effect. For the female/male ratio, heritability (intraclass correlation) was about 0.20 and evolvability (genetic coefficient of variation) close to 1. Although significant, these values are much less than for the traits themselves. Phenotypic plasticity of sexual dimorphism revealed very similar reaction norms for wing and thorax length, i.e. a monotonically increasing sigmoid curve from about 1.11 up to 1.17. This shows that the males are more sensitive to a thermal increase than females. In contrast, the W/T ratio was almost identical in both sexes, with only a very slight temperature effect.

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