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A Quantitative Genomic Approach for Analysis of Fitness and Stress Related Traits in a Drosophila melanogaster Model Population
The ability of natural populations to withstand environmental stresses relies partly on their adaptive ability. In this study, we used a subset of the <i>Drosophila</i> Genetic Reference Panel, a population of inbred, genome-sequenced lines derived from a natural population of Drosophila melanogaster, to investigate whether this population harbors genetic variation for a set of stress resistance and life history traits. Using a genomic approach, we found substantial genetic variation for metabolic rate, heat stress resistance, expression of a major heat shock protein, and egg-to-adult viability investigated at a benign and a higher stressful temperature. This suggests that these traits will be able to evolve. In addition, we outline an approach to conduct pathway associations based on genomic linear models, which has potential to identify adaptive genes and pathways, and therefore can be a valuable tool in conservation genomics.
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