Environmental canalization is defined as a reduction in the effect of external environmental perturbations on a phenotype, while phenotypic plasticity is defined as the production of different phenotypes in alternative environments. These terms describe different aspects of the same phenomenon, that is, the sensitivity of the phenotype to the environment. Genetic regulation of the environmental sensitivity has been a central topic in the field of evolutionary biology. In this study, we performed deficiency screening to detect genomic regions with effects on the environmental sensitivity of Drosophila melanogaster sensory bristles. We used a collection of isogenic deficiency strains established by the DrosDel Project for screening. We screened 423 genomic deficiencies that encompassed approximately 63.6% of the entire D. melanogaster genome. We identified 29 genomic deficiencies showing significant effects on environmental sensitivity, suggesting that multiple genomic regions may influence phenotypic variation. We also found significant correlations among the effects of deficiencies on environmental sensitivity for different bristle traits, suggesting that the same genetic mechanism can regulate environmental sensitivity of multiple traits. Current high‐resolution mapping will facilitate the examination of individual candidate genes using mutations or RNAi approaches in future studies.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.