Life-history variation of Drosophila subobscura under lead pollution depends on population history
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Contamination represents environmental stress that can affect genetic variability of populations, thus influencing the evolutionary processes. In this study, we evaluate the relationship between heavy metal contamination (Pb) and phenotypic variation, assessed by coefficients of variation (CV) of life-history traits. To investigate the consequences of population origin on variation of life history traits in Drosophila subobscura in response to different laboratory conditions we compared populations from relatively polluted and unpolluted environments. Prior to experiment, flies from natural populations were reared for two generations in standard Drosophila laboratory conditions. Afterwards, all flies were cultured on three different media: one medium without lead as the control, and the other two with different concentrations of lead. Coefficients of variation (CV) of lifehistory traits (fecundity, egg-to-adult viability and developmental time) were analyzed on flies sampled in generations F2, F5 and F8 from these three groups. In later generations samples from both polluted and unpolluted environments showed the increased fecundity variation on media with lead. This increase is expressed more in population from unpolluted environment. On contrary, population from unpolluted environment had increased variation of developmental time in earlier, F2 generation, compared to the population from polluted environment. Our results showed that the response to heavy metal contamination depends on the evolutionary history of the populations regarding habitat pollution.