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Suppressor Systems of Segregation Distorter (SD) Chromosomes in Natural Populations of DROSOPHILA MELANOGASTER

  • Yuichiro Hiraizumi
  • Anita M. Thomas
Publication Date
Feb 01, 1984
  • Biology


Several natural populations of D. melanogaster were investigated for the presence (or absence) of the Segregation Distorter ( SD) chromosomes and their suppressor systems. The SD chromosomes were found, at frequencies of a few percent, in two independent samples taken in different years from a Raleigh, North Carolina, population, whereas no SD chromosomes were found in samples collected from several populations in Texas. The populations in these localities were found to contain suppressor X chromosomes in high frequencies (75% or higher). They also contained relatively low frequencies of partial suppressor or insensitive second chromosomes of varying degrees, but completely insensitive second chromosomes were practically absent in all populations examined. The frequencies of suppressor X chromosomes, as well as those of the partially insensitive or suppressor second chromosomes, were the same among the populations investigated. This suggests the possibility that the development of a suppressor system of SD in a population could be independent of the presence of an SD chromosome. Segregation distortion appeared to be occurring in natural genetic backgrounds, but the degree of distortion varied among males of different genotypes. There were many instances in which the SD chromosomes showed transmission frequencies from their heterozygous male parents that were smaller than 0.6 and, in several cases, even smaller than 0.5. The presence of a recessive suppressor, or suppressors, of SD in natural populations was suggested.

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