Letter | Published:

Short Term Heritable Changes affecting Viability in Drosophila melanogaster


WILD type chromosomes of Drosophila from natural populations, when tested for viability in homozygous condition, are generally found to consist of a mixture of lethal, semi-lethal and quasi-normal chromosomes1. Here we report an experiment carried out on semi-viable chromosomes to increase the viability by selection. We suggest that it is possible to modify the homozygote viability of some chromosomes, and that the modifications may be due to heritable changes in the chromosomes themselves, acquired over periods considerably shorter than normally expected for mutational changes.

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  1. 1

    Wallace, B., Topics in Population Genetics, (Norton, New York, 1968).

  2. 2

    Dobzhansky, Th., and Spassky, B., Evolution, 1, 191 (1947).

  3. 3

    Sved, J. A., Genet. Res., 18, 97 (1971).

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