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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Short-range genetic structure of Drosophila melanogaster populations in an Afrotropical urban area and its significance.

Alcohol dehydrogenase ( Adh) (alcohol:NAD+ oxidoreductase, EC gene frequencies and ethanol tolerance in Drosophila melanogaster are known to exhibit long-range latitudinal variations on different continents; this has led to the argument that the clines are adaptive. Accordingly, tropical populations are characterized both by a low frequency of Adh-F and by a low ethanol tolerance. In the urban area of Brazzaville (Congo) under an equatorial African climate, an original genetic structure of local populations has been found: Adh-F frequency varies from 3% to 90% when countryside and brewery populations are compared. This variation is accompanied by an increase of ethanol tolerance (from 6% to 13% alcohol). Such differences, which have remained stable for the past 3 years, were observed between collection sites less than 1 km apart. Two other enzyme loci exhibited a correlated variation with Adh-F--i.e., an increase of the S allele of glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (NAD+) (sn-glycerol-3-phosphate:NAD+ 2-oxidoreductase, EC and of the F allele of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (D-glucose-6-phosphate:NADP+ 1-oxidoreductase, EC Such observations suggest very strong selective pressures exerted by environmental ethanol that oppose the gene flow due to adult dispersal between contiguous habitats. A functional relationship between the polymorphisms of the three enzyme loci seems likely, and a metabolic interaction involving NAD and NADP cofactors is proposed.[1]


  1. Short-range genetic structure of Drosophila melanogaster populations in an Afrotropical urban area and its significance. Vouidibio, J., Capy, P., Defaye, D., Pla, E., Sandrin, J., Csink, A., David, J.R. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1989) [Pubmed]
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