Behavioral differences among isogenic strains of Drosophila mercatorum

H. L. Carson, L. T. Teramoto, A. R. Templeton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mating propensity in eight all-female laboratory lines was measured. The lines are completely isogenic, but each has a different past history. In all cases, mating propensity was significantly lower than in the bisexual controls; in some cases, mating speed was less by a factor of 10. Three of the four lines deriving from the same wild strain are not only different from the parent strain but also different from each other. A highly significant difference exists between two strains recently obtained by selection for parthenogenesis from the same natural population. One strain appears to produce a substance which reduces mating propensity of control females if females from the two strains are reared together in the same vial. As none of the strains was behaviorally selected prior to testing, these behaviors appear to be incidental accompaniments of the very powerful isogenizing effect of the genetic system in these parthenogenetic strains. Indeed, the data show that partial isolation from sexual reproduction can arise wholly by chance. This may have some relevance to theories of species origin which are accompanied by a strong initial founder effect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-197
Number of pages9
JournalBehavior Genetics
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1977
Externally publishedYes


  • Drosophila mercatorum
  • mating speed
  • parthenogenetic strains

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Genetics
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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