Within-population Y-linked genetic variation for lifespan in Drosophila melanogaster

Griffin RM, Le Gall D, Schielzeth H, Friberg U (2015)
Journal of Evolutionary Biology 28(11): 1940-1947.

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Abstract
The view that the Y chromosome is of little importance for phenotypic evolution stems from early studies of Drosophila melanogaster. This species’ Y chromosome contains only 13 protein coding genes, is almost entirely heterochromatic, and is not necessary for male viability. Population genetic theory further suggests that non-neutral variation can only be maintained at the Y chromosome under special circumstances. Yet, recent studies suggest that the D. melanogaster Y chromosome trans-regulates hundreds to thousands of X and autosomal genes. This finding suggests that the Y chromosome may play a far more active role in adaptive evolution than has previously been assumed. To evaluate the potential for the Y chromosome to contribute to phenotypic evolution from standing genetic variation, we test for Y-linked variation in lifespan within a population of D. melanogaster. Assessing variation for lifespan provides a powerful test because lifespan i) shows sexual dimorphism, which the Y is primarily predicted to contribute to, ii) is influenced by many genes, which provides the Y with many potential regulatory targets, and iii) is sensitive to heterochromatin remodelling, a mechanism through which the Y chromosome is believed to regulate gene expression. Our results show a small but significant effect of the Y chromosome, and thus suggest that the Y chromosome has the potential to respond to selection from standing genetic variation. Despite its small effect size, Y-linked variation may still be important, in particular when evolution of sexual dimorphism is genetically constrained elsewhere in the genome.
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Griffin RM, Le Gall D, Schielzeth H, Friberg U. Within-population Y-linked genetic variation for lifespan in Drosophila melanogaster. Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 2015;28(11):1940-1947.
Griffin, R. M., Le Gall, D., Schielzeth, H., & Friberg, U. (2015). Within-population Y-linked genetic variation for lifespan in Drosophila melanogaster. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 28(11), 1940-1947.
Griffin, R. M., Le Gall, D., Schielzeth, H., and Friberg, U. (2015). Within-population Y-linked genetic variation for lifespan in Drosophila melanogaster. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 28, 1940-1947.
Griffin, R.M., et al., 2015. Within-population Y-linked genetic variation for lifespan in Drosophila melanogaster. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 28(11), p 1940-1947.
R.M. Griffin, et al., “Within-population Y-linked genetic variation for lifespan in Drosophila melanogaster”, Journal of Evolutionary Biology, vol. 28, 2015, pp. 1940-1947.
Griffin, R.M., Le Gall, D., Schielzeth, H., Friberg, U.: Within-population Y-linked genetic variation for lifespan in Drosophila melanogaster. Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 28, 1940-1947 (2015).
Griffin, Robert M, Le Gall, Damien, Schielzeth, Holger, and Friberg, Urban. “Within-population Y-linked genetic variation for lifespan in Drosophila melanogaster”. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 28.11 (2015): 1940-1947.
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PMID: 26230387
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