Recombinant inbred lines derived from a natural population were used to investigate natural genetic variation for lipid abundance, protein abundance, and weight of Drosophila melanogaster. Females were heavier and contained more lipid and soluble protein than males. Lipid and protein abundance were genetically correlated with female weight, but male weight was not correlated with lipid or protein. Lipid and protein abundance were genetically correlated in males, but not in females. Quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for weight and protein abundance were predominantly on the X chromosome, whereas QTLs for lipid abundance were found on the second and third chromosomes. QTLs for lipid proportion (lipid abundance normalized by weight or protein abundance) were present on all chromosomes; a lipid proportion QTL on the third chromosome correlated with a QTL for starvation resistance observed in a previous study using the same set of recombinant inbred lines, suggesting that it might underlie both traits. Candidate genes are discussed in relationship to lipid abundance, lipid proportion, and starvation resistance.
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