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Esterase polymorphism in the butterfly Hemiargus isola: stability in a variable environment.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Publication Date
Volume
68
Issue
1
Pages
34–37
Identifiers
PMID: 5276299
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

A dimeric esterase of a lycaenid butterfly shows rich, electrophoretically-detectable variation in natural populations in Texas. This isozyme variation is controlled by multiple alleles at an autosomal locus (Es-d). In each population sampled there are 9-14 alleles, two of which (Es-d(100) and Es-d(80)) predominate and form about 84% of the gene pool. Against the background of numerous rarer alleles, their frequencies are notably stable (about 65% and 19%, respectively) in ecologically variable space and time. Although adults (especially females) are capable of genetically effective dispersal, environmental heterogeneity within each locality is thought to be the prime factor maintaining the polymorphism.

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