Global Genetic Change Tracks Global Climate Warming in Drosophila subobscura

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Science  22 Sep 2006:
Vol. 313, Issue 5794, pp. 1773-1775
DOI: 10.1126/science.1131002

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Comparisons of recent with historical samples of chromosome inversion frequencies provide opportunities to determine whether genetic change is tracking climate change in natural populations. We determined the magnitude and direction of shifts over time (24 years between samples on average) in chromosome inversion frequencies and in ambient temperature for populations of the fly Drosophila subobscura on three continents. In 22 of 26 populations, climates warmed over the intervals, and genotypes characteristic of low latitudes (warm climates) increased in frequency in 21 of those 22 populations. Thus, genetic change in this fly is tracking climate warming and is doing so globally.

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