Natural genetic variation in fluctuating asymmetry of wing shape in Drosophila melanogaster

Masahiro Tsujino, Kazuo H. Takahashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Fluctuating asymmetry (FA), defined as random deviation from perfect symmetry, has been used to assay the inability of individuals to buffer their developmental processes from environmental perturbations (i. e., developmental instability). In this study, we aimed to characterize the natural genetic variation in FA of wing shape in Drosophila melanogaster, collected from across the Japanese archipelago. We quantified wing shapes at whole wing and partial wing component levels and evaluated their mean and FA. We also estimated the heritability of the mean and FA of these traits. We found significant natural genetic variation in all the mean wing traits and in FA of one of the partial wing components. Heritability estimates for mean wing shapes were significant in two and four out of five wing traits in males and females, respectively. On the contrary, heritability estimates for FA were low and not significant. This is a novel study of natural genetic variation in FA of wing shape. Our findings suggest that partial wing components behave as distinct units of selection for FA, and local adaptation of the mechanisms to stabilize developmental processes occur in nature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-143
Number of pages11
JournalEcological Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Animal model
  • Geometric morphometrics
  • Heritability
  • Natural genetic variation
  • Wing shape

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


Dive into the research topics of 'Natural genetic variation in fluctuating asymmetry of wing shape in Drosophila melanogaster'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this