Quantitative genetics of seminal receptacle length in Drosophila melanogaster

G. T. Miller, W. T. Starmer, S. Pitnick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The length of the female's primary sperm-storage organ, the seminal receptacle, has undergone rapid divergence within the Drosophila genus. Quantitative genetic analysis of seminal receptacle length was carried out on two laboratory strains of Drosophila melanogaster that had undergone artificial selection for both increased and decreased organ length. Realized heritabilities were 0.176 and 0.270 for the two experiments. Parental strains, F1, F1r (reciprocal), F2, backcross, and backcross reciprocal generations were used in a line-cross (generation means) analysis. This analysis revealed that additive, dominance, and additive-by-dominance epistasis contributed significantly to the means. No significant maternal effects were found. Variance analysis indicated that a completely additive model was adequate to explain the variances observed in these lines. Castle-Wright minimal estimates of 5.25 and 1.91, segregating loci responsible for mean differences, were found for the two respective experiments. There were significant positive correlations between additive effects of seminal receptacle length and thorax length in both experiments. The correlated evolution of sperm and seminal receptacle length is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-32
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001


  • Artificial selection
  • Female choice
  • Heritability
  • Line crosses
  • Means analysis
  • Sperm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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