Experimental Studies on the Duration of Life. II. Hereditary differences in Duration of Life in Line-bred Strains of Drosophila
Pearl, R.; Parker, S.L.
American Naturalist 56(643): 174-187
The data presented in this paper appear to demonstrate, with comprehensiveness and accuracy, three broad facts. A. That there exist in a general population of Drosophila melanogaster (or its mutants) genetic differences in respect of duration of life. B. That these genetic differences are capable of isolation, by appropriate selection and inbreeding. C. That within an even moderately inbred line, the genetic differences in duration of life remain constant over periods of at least 10 to 25 or more generations. These facts, based upon the determination experimentally of the duration of life of 3,039 individual flies in 18 experiments, under constant environmental conditions, place this character "duration of life" in the category of genetically definite and workable characters, and indicate that it will just as well repay careful analytical study as the characters more usually dealt with. Furthermore, duration of life is a character of great general biological significance.