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Evolution of sexual dimorphism of wing shape in the Drosophila melanogaster subgroup

Gidaszewski, N.A., Baylac, M. and Klingenberg, C. (2009) Evolution of sexual dimorphism of wing shape in the Drosophila melanogaster subgroup. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 9. Art. No.110. ISSN 1471-2148


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Background: Sexual dimorphism of body size has been the subject of numerous studies, but few have examined sexual shape dimorphism (SShD) and its evolution. Allometry, the shape change associated with size variation, has been suggested to be a main component of SShD. Yet little is known about the relative importance of the allometric and non-allometric components for the evolution of SShD.

Results: We investigated sexual dimorphism in wing shape in the nine species of the Drosophila melanogaster subgroup. We used geometric morphometrics to characterise wing shape and found significant SShD in all nine species. The amount of shape difference and the diversity of the shape changes evolved across the group. However, mapping the divergence of SShD onto the phylogeny of the Drosophila melanogaster subgroup indicated that there is little phylogenetic signal. Finally, allometry accounted for a substantial part of SShD, but did not explain the bulk of evolutionary divergence in SShD because allometry itself was found to be evolutionarily plastic.

Conclusion: SShD in the Drosophila wing can evolve rapidly and therefore shows only weak phylogenetic structure. The variable contribution of allometric and non-allometric components to the evolutionary divergence of SShD and the evolutionary plasticity of allometry suggest that SShD and allometry are influenced by a complex interaction of processes.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2009 Gidaszewski et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Science (Sheffield) > School of Biological Sciences (Sheffield) > Department of Animal and Plant Sciences (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Miss Anthea Tucker
Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2009 08:53
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2014 02:17
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2148-9-110
Status: Published
Publisher: BioMed Central
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1186/1471-2148-9-110
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/8734

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