GENETIC EFFECTS OF PINENE IN DROSOPHILA PSEUDOOBSCURA LARVAE

Open Access
Author:
Dua, Ritu
Area of Honors:
Biology
Degree:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Stephen Schaeffer, Thesis Supervisor
  • Michael Axtell, Honors Advisor
Keywords:
  • Drosophila pseudoobscura
  • pinene
Abstract:
Chromosomal inversion polymorphisms are common on the third chromosome in Drosophila pseudoobscura and are thought to be acted on by natural selection. Data from genome and transcriptome sequencing studies have suggested that genes involved in certain degradation pathways have been targeted by selection on some of the six most common third chromosome inversions. These inversions come from six southwest regions of the United States. It was found that differential expression and amino acid variation in genes linked to the degradation of α-pinene, a toxic chemical found in ponderosa pine trees, may provide an advantage in flies that carry one of the six inversion mutations. Pinene is a monoterpene that acts to repel insects and is found in coniferous trees in the southwest. We wanted to determine if the different inversion arrangements responded to the presence of pinene in similar or different ways. In this study we examined whether larvae that carried different chromosomal inversion types differed in their ability to compete with mutant larvae in the presence of pinene. The results of these experiments suggest that there is no difference in the ability to compete in the presence of pinene within the different inversion types.