Adaptive differentiation of thermotolerance in Drosophila along a microclimatic gradient

E. Rashkovetsky, K. Iliadi, P. Michalak, A. Lupu, E. Nevo, M. E. Feder, A. Korol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We examined whether a remarkable occurrence - the physiological evolution of two Drosophila melanogaster populations, despite a spatial separation of only 100-400 m, was idiosyncratic and temporary, or persisted over multiple years. We ascertained the high-temperature tolerance of Drosophila descended from populations on the north-facing slope (NFS) and south-facing slope (SFS) of 'Evolution Canyon' (Lower Nahal Oren, Mt Carmel, Israel), which were collected in 1997, 1999, and 2000. Results for these Drosophila uniformly resembled other studies in many respects: an inverse relationship between survival and heat-shock temperature, male-female differences in thermotolerance, and inducible thermotolerance. Importantly, for all years of collection, SFS flies consistently exceeded NFS flies in basal and inducible thermotolerance after diverse heat shocks, with and without thermal pretreatment, and whether isofemale lines, synthetic populations, or inbred lines were compared. Inbred lines, however, had lower thermotolerance than outbred lines. Several nonexclusive processes may explain the evolution of such physiological differentiation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-359
Number of pages7
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We acknowledge Kamal Ibrahim (Editor) and two reviewers for constructive comments that improved the paper. We thank T Pavlicek for field assistance and helpful discussions. This study was supported by the United States–Israel Binational Science Foundation (grant 9800443), the Israel Science Foundation (grant 601/03-17.3), Israeli Ministry of Absorption, and Ancell– Teicher Research Foundation for Genetics and Molecular Evolution for EN.


  • Basal thermotolerance
  • Differentiation
  • Drosophila
  • Heat shock
  • Inducible thermotolerance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Adaptive differentiation of thermotolerance in Drosophila along a microclimatic gradient'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this