Clinal and seasonal changes are correlated in Drosophila melanogaster natural populations


Spatial and seasonal variations in the environment are ubiquitous. Environmental heterogeneity can affect natural populations and lead to covariation between environment and allele frequencies. Drosophila melanogaster is known to harbor polymorphisms that change both with latitude and seasons. Identifying the role of selection in driving these changes is not trivial, because nonadaptive processes can cause similar patterns. Given the environment changes in similar ways across seasons and along the latitudinal gradient, one promising approach may be to look for parallelism between clinal and seasonal changes. Here, we test whether there is a genome-wide correlation between clinal and seasonal changes, and whether the pattern is consistent with selection. Allele frequency estimates were obtained from pooled samples from seven different locations along the east coast of the United States, and across seasons within Pennsylvania. We show that there is a genome-wide correlation between clinal and seasonal variations, which cannot be explained by linked selection alone. This pattern is stronger in genomic regions with higher functional content, consistent with natural selection. We derive a way to biologically interpret these correlations and show that around 3.7% of the common, autosomal variants could be under parallel seasonal and spatial selection. Our results highlight the contribution of natural selection in driving fluctuations in allele frequencies in natural fly populations and point to a shared genomic basis to climate adaptation that happens over space and time in D. melanogaster.