Abundance and Distribution of Transposable Elements in Two Drosophila QTL Mapping Resources
Artificial selection lines for abdominal bristle score of Drosophila melanogaster established from P-M hybrid dysgenic crosses showed increases in selection response, heritability and phenotypic variance compared to similar lines started from nondysgenic crosses. To determine whether this increased genetic variance could be due to enhanced transposition of P elements following the dysgenic cross, the cytological locations (sites) of P elements were determined by in situ hybridization for the whole genome of samples of 20 individuals from the parental P strain, 20 individuals from each of the eight dysgenic selection lines, and ten individuals from each of the eight nondysgenic selection lines. Variation among and within the selection lines and the parental P strain in P element insertion sites was exceptionally high. A total of 601 sites were identified, but there was no difference in total number of sites per line, mean number of sites per individual, mean copy number per individual, or site frequency between dysgenic and nondysgenic selection lines, or between lines selected for high and low bristle score. Transposition following nondysgenic crosses may explain additional observations of accelerated selection responses in nondysgenic selection lines. It was not possible to deduce which, if any, of the several hundred insertions in the dysgenic selection lines were responsible for their extreme bristle phenotypes.