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Volume 2012, Article ID 140859, 6 pages
Research Article

Within-Niche Constant Selection of Drosophila Inversions?

Department of Genetics, University of Santiago de Compostela, Avenida Carvalho Calero s/n, 27002 Lugo, Galiza, Spain

Received 25 March 2012; Accepted 24 June 2012

Academic Editors: C. Jodice, T. Shikano, and A. Taylor-Robinson

Copyright © 2012 José M. Álvarez-Castro and Gonzalo Alvarez. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Extensive and fruitful work is being devoted for more than 70 years to elucidate the fine points of the maintenance of inversion polymorphisms of the genus Drosophila. Recent studies have resumed selection in heterogeneous environments (or niches) as a major underlying mechanism for these balanced polymorphisms. In those studies, constant selection within niches is assumed throughout although this assumption is since long known not to hold. In the present communication it is sustained that the results in those studies are robust in the face of this fact. To that end, this communication deals with a particular long-lasting question within this topic—whether the minimal model of constant viability selection (MCV, assuming frequency-, sex-, and stage-independent adaptive values) suffices to reproduce the trajectories of frequencies of Drosophila chromosomal arrangements observed in experimental populations along generations under homogeneous environments. Fitness estimates are here obtained from published trajectories of frequencies using a maximum likelihood approach, and relevant literature is revised in the light of these new analyses, pointing to an affirmative answer to that question.