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Geographical variation in house-fly (Musca domestica L.) sex determinants within the British Isles

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 April 2009

I. Denholm
Affiliation:
Department of Insecticides, Rothamsted Experimental Station, Harpenden, Herts. AL5 2JQ, England.
M. G. Franco
Affiliation:
Departimento di Biologia Animale, University of Pavia, P. Botta 9, 27100 Pavia, Italy.
P. G. Rubini
Affiliation:
Departimento di Biologia Animale, University of Pavia, P. Botta 9, 27100 Pavia, Italy.
M. Vecchi
Affiliation:
Departimento di Biologia Animale, University of Pavia, P. Botta 9, 27100 Pavia, Italy.
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Genetic and cytological analyses of house-flies collected from 12 pig-breeding farms throughout the British Isles demonstrated that the non-standard sex determination mechanism prevailing in South-East England, involving a dominant female determinant (F) and virtual homozygosity for a male determinant on the X chromosome (Xm, both males and females morphologically XX), was not typical of the country as a whole. Instead there was a gradual decrease in the frequency of F, Xm and a rarer male determinant M III, and a concomitant increase in the standard male determining Y chromosome, on moving north, east and west of this region. Only the Scottish and probably the Irish populations were fully standard (XX females XY males), although one from the East Anglian coast in which non-standard determinants were rare was predominantly of this type. Populations from intermediate areas possessed complex multifactorial mechanisms in which Y, F Xm and M III coexisted. It is hypothesized that this radial cline in sex determinants, like the latitudinal cline known from mainland Europe, represents a transient polymorphism caused by the recent and continuing invasion of non-standard determinants into originally standard populations. The cause(s) of this apparently rapid evolutionary change, however, remain unclear.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1986

References

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