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X-chromosomal heterosis in Drosophila melanogaster

  • A. N. Wilton (a1) and J. A. Sved (a1)

Summary

Population cages were set up containing an X-chromosome balancer, and either a single wild-type chromosome(homozygous cages) or a mixture of wild-type chromosomes(heterozygous cages). The balancer chromosome was eliminated more rapidly from the heterozygous cages, indicating that chromosome heterozygotes are at an advantage over chromosome homozygotes. The disadvantage of X-chromosome homozygosity in the female is estimated to be about 40%. From earlier studies it is known that the average disadvantage of homozygosity for either of the two major autosomes of D. melanogaster is approximately 80%. Since these autosomes are both about twice as long as the X chromosome, the disadvantage per unit length is similar for both chromosomal types.

Both X-chromosomal and autosomal heterosis can be explained by either dominance or overdominance at individual loci. However, a dominance model can only explain the similarity if many of the X-linked loci (about 50%) are limited in expression to the female.

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References

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X-chromosomal heterosis in Drosophila melanogaster

  • A. N. Wilton (a1) and J. A. Sved (a1)

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