Enzymatic and quantitative variation in European and African populations of Drosophila simulans
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Allozyme polymorphism at 15 loci of D. simulans was studied in 7 natural populations from Europe, North and tropical Africa. Morphological traits were studied in nine European and eleven Afrotropical strains. Within a population, the biochemical polymorphisms of Drosophila simulans and its sibling Drosophila melanogaster are not very different, although D. simulans has a lower heterozygosity. Between-populations genetic differentiation is however much lower in D. simulans than in D. melanogaster. Several loci of D. simulans do exhibit latitudinal trends but these are relatively weak. For morphological traits, both species show an increase of size with latitude, but geographic variation is again less pronounced in D. simulans. Both species are native to tropical Africa and have colonised the rest of the world. During this process, D. simulans has undergone much less geographic differentiation than has D. melanogaster, so that the ecological success of the two species is not correlated with similarities in their genetic properties.
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