Using the 602 second chromosome lines extracted from the Ishigakijima population of Drosophila melanogaster in Japan, partial diallel cross experiments (Design II of Comstock & Robinson, 1952) were carried out, and the additive genetic variance and the dominance variance of viability were estimated. The estimated value of the additive genetic variance is 0·01754±0·00608, and the dominance variance 0·00151±0·00114, using a logarithmic scale. Since the value of the additive genetic variance is much larger than expected under mutation–selection balance although the dominance variance is compatible with it, we speculate that in the Ishigakijima population some type of balancing selection must be operating to maintain the genetic variability with respect to viability at a minority of loci. As candidates for such selection, overdominance, frequency-dependent selection, and diversifying selection are considered, and it is suggested that diversifying selection is the most probable candidate for increasing the additive genetic variance.
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