Genetic load and coadaptation of chromosomal inversions. II. O-chromosomes in Drosophila subobscura populations
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We have analysed the inversion polymorphism and genetic load of O-chromosomes in three populations of D. subobscura from southeastern Europe. As expected for a central populations the inversion polymorphism was extensive. In a like fashion, the genetic load, in particular the frequency of lethals, was heavy in all three populations. There were significant differences in the frequency of moderately deleterious genes. These differences in viability can be attributed to balancing selection. A comparison of these two kinds of genetic polymorphism indicates that there are differences in mean viability among different gene arrangements of O-chromosomes in the three populations. The differences observed are due to an unequal distribution of various viability classes among O-chromosome gene arrangements. We here show for the first time a specific distribution of lethal genes among these arrangements within the Palearctic distribution area of D. subobscura. The lethal allelism test showed lethals are non-randomly associated with the O-st gene arrangement. The amount of genetic load is heavy in gene arrangements with a high frequency, in comparison with the ones with a low frequency. Lethal genes may be protected in combinations of low and moderate frequency gene arrangements that harbor more lethal genes, as the O-st in the one population. Some arrangements that are less protected against recombination have a higher load than ones that are more protected against recombination. This can be taken as evidence for coadaptation.