The effect of different concentrations of lead on inversion polymorphism in Drosophila subobscura
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Drosophila subobscura is a wild Drosophila species that is spread over almost all of Europe. It possesses an uniquely rich inversion polymorphism on all five long chromosomes. This polymorphism is to a certain degree associated with the variation and dynamics of ecological factors in space and time. We analyzed the changes of inversion polymorphism components of Drosophila subobscura flies maintained on media with different concentrations of lead in laboratory conditions. The effects of lead on inversion polymorphism were observed by cytological analysis of gene arrangements on all of the five acrocentric chromosomes, as well as by cytological analysis of karyotypes on all of the four autosomes. The frequencies of particular gene arrangements on the four autosomes changed significantly in the samples maintained on medium not supplemented with lead. The frequencies of some gene arrangements on all of the five acrocentric chromosomes changed significantly in the flies maintained on media supplemented with lead. The length of exposure to different lead concentrations results in a significant change in the frequency of a few gene arrangements on two autosomes. However, the results show that different concentrations of lead, as well as the length of exposure, do not affect major parameters of inversion polymorphism. The results suggest that some gene arrangements could be linked with adaptive processes in evolving heavy metal resistance.