Natural selection favors a newly derived timeless allele in Drosophila melanogaster

Eran Tauber, Mauro Zordan, Federica Sandrelli, Mirko Pegoraro, Nicolò Osterwalder, Carlo Breda, Andrea Daga, Alessandro Selmin, Karen Monger, Clara Benna, Ezio Rosato, Charalambos P. Kyriacou, Rodolfo Costa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Circadian and other natural clock-like endogenous rhythms may have evolved to anticipate regular temporal changes in the environment. We report that a mutation in the circadian clock gene timeless in Drosophila melanogaster has arisen and spread by natural selection relatively recently in Europe. We found that, when introduced into different genetic backgrounds, natural and artificial alleles of the timeless gene affect the incidence of diapause in response to changes in light and temperature. The natural mutant allele alters an important life history trait that may enhance the fly's adaptation to seasonal conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1895-1898
Number of pages4
Issue number5833
StatePublished - 29 Jun 2007
Externally publishedYes

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