• Vincent Debat

      Articles written in Journal of Genetics

    • Adaptation to different climates results in divergent phenotypic plasticity of wing size and shape in an invasive drosophilid

      Roberta Loh Jean R. David Vincent Debat Blanche Christine Bitner-Mathé

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      The phenotypic plasticity of wing size and wing shape of Zaprionus indianus was investigated in relation to growth temperature (17°C to 31°C) in two natural populations living under different climates, equatorial and subtropical. The two populations were clearly distinguished not only by their wing size (the populations from the colder climate being bigger in size), but also by the shape of the response curves to growth temperature i.e., their reaction norms. In this respect, the temperature at which the size of the wing was maximum was about 3°C higher in the equatorial population. Such a difference in size plasticity is already found in two other nonclosely related species, might be a general evolutionary pattern in drosophilids. Wing shape was investigated by calculating an ellipse included into the wing blade, then by considering the ratio of the two axes, and also by analysing the angular position of 10 wing-vein landmarks. For an overall shape index (ratio of the two axes of the ellipse), a regular and almost linear increase was observed with increasing temperature i.e., a more round shape at high temperatures. Wing shape was also analysed by considering the variations of the various angles according to temperature. A diversity of response curves was observed, revealing either a monotonous increase or decrease with increasing temperature, and sometimes a bell shape curve. An interesting conclusion is that, in most cases, a significant difference was observed between the two populations, and the difference was more pronounced at low temperatures. These angular variations are difficult to interpret in an evolutionary context. More comparative studies should be undertaken before reaching some general conclusions.

    • Multidimensional analysis of Drosophila wing variation in Evolution Canyon

      Vincent Debat Raphael Cornette Abraham B. Koral Eviatar Nevo David Soulet Jean R. David

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      Environmental stress has been suggested to be a major evolutionary force, both through inducing strong selection and because of its direct impact on developmental buffering processes that alter the evolvability of organisms. In particular, temperature has attracted much attention because of its importance as an ecological feature and the relative ease with which it can be experimentally manipulated in the lab. Evolution Canyon, Lower Nahal Oren, Israel, is a well studied natural site where ecological parameters are suspected to drive evolutionary differentiation. In this study, using Drosophila melanogaster isofemale lines derived from wild flies collected on both slopes of the canyon, we investigated the effect of developmental temperature upon the different components of phenotypic variation of a complex trait: the wing. Combining geometric and traditional morphometrics, we find only limited evidence for a differentiation among slopes. Investigating simultaneously phenotypic plasticity, genetic variation among isofemale lines, variation among individuals and fluctuating asymmetry, we could not identify a consistent effect of the stressful conditions encountered on the south facing slope. The prevailing structuring effect is that of the experimentally manipulated temperature which clearly influences wing mean size and shape. Variability, in contrast, is not consistently affected by temperature. Finally, we investigated the specific relationship between individual variation and fluctuating asymmetry. Using metric multi-dimensional scaling we show that the related patterns of wing shape variation are not identical, supporting the view that the underlying developmental processes are to a certain extent different.

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