Aim: To investigate the effects of migration on rapid adaptation.
Summary: Gene flow is one of the main forces that shapes evolution, and one of two that could increase the variation along with mutations. This project is designed to understand two main questions about gene flow.
- How much does migration of individuals result in actual gene flow?
- What are the effects of the resulting gene flow on rapid adaptive responses in natural populations?
We directly addressed these questions by experimentation. We tested whether migration and subsequent gene flow could affect the process of rapid adaptation to thermal regime. We used outbred populations of D. melanogaster from the flies collected from three distinct geographical locations along the East Coast of North America. We contrasted the response of populations with no migration with populations subject to migration.
After 5 generations of exposure to different seasonal temperature regimes, populations with migration were observed to have increased the rate and magnitude of adaptive response compared to populations with no migration.