James D Fry


Contact Information

James Fry
Associate Professor
Office: Hutchison 318
Phone: (585) 275-7835
Research Interests: Genetics of ecological adaptation in Drosophila; Evolutionary effects of deleterious mutations; Quantitative-genetic theory and methodology  

Research Overview

Elucidating the genetic basis of adaptation is one of the primary goals of evolutionary biology. I am using adaptation to dietary ethanol in Drosophila melanogaster, the common fruit fly, as a model system for studying the genetics of adaptation. Ethanol occurs naturally in the decaying fruits in which D. melanogaster breed, and natural populations in temperate regions have evolved high ethanol tolerance relative to ancestral tropical populations (and most other organisms!). By taking advantage of the many genetic resources available for D. melanogaster, my laboratory is identifying the genetic changes underlying the temperate tropical difference (e.g., Fry et al. 2008).

Other research interests, which I pursue mainly through theory and analysis of publicly available data, include the role of ecological divergence in speciation (e.g., Fry 2009) and the maintenance of genetic variation in life-history traits (e.g., Fry 2010).

Selected Publications

  • Chakraborty, M., and J. D. Fry. Parallel functional changes in independent testis-specific duplicates of Aldehyde dehydrogenase in Drosophila. Molecular Biology and Evolution, in press.
  • Zhu, J., and J. D. Fry. Preference for ethanol in feeding and oviposition in temperate and tropical populations of Drosophila melanogaster. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, in press.
  • Fry, J.D. 2014. Mechanisms of naturally-evolved ethanol resistance in Drosophila melanogaster. Journal of Experimental Biology 217: 3996-4003. [link]
  • Yampolsky, L., G. Glazko and J. D. Fry. 2012. Evolution of gene expression and expression plasticity in long-term experimental populations of Drosophila melanogaster maintained under constant and variable ethanol stress. Molecular Ecology, 21: 4287–4299. [link]
  • Chakraborty, M., and J. D. Fry. 2011. Drosophila lacking a homologue of mammalian ALDH2 have multiple fitness defects. Chemico-Biological Interactions 191: 296-302. [link]
  • Fry, J.D. 2010. The genomic location of sexually antagonistic variation: some cautionary comments. Evolution 64-5: 1510-1516. [pdf]
  • Fry, J.D. 2009. Laboratory experiments on speciation. Pages 631-656 in T. Garland and M. Rose, eds., Experimental Evolution: Methods and Applications. University of Califronia Press, Berkeley. [pdf]
  • Fry, J.D., D. Donlon and M. Saweikis. 2008. A world-wide polymorphism in Aldehyde dehydrogenase in Drosophila melanogaster: evidence for selection mediated by dietary ethanol. Evolution 62:66-75. [pdf]
  • Fry, J.D. and M. Saweikis. 2006. Aldehyde dehydrogenase is essential for both adult and larval ethanol resistance in Drosophila melanogaster. Genet. Res. 87:87-92. [pdf]
  • Phadnis, N. and J.D. Fry. 2005. Widespread correlations between dominance and homozygous effects of mutations: implications for theories of dominance. Genetics 171:385-392. [pdf]
  • Fry, J.D. 2004. On the rate and linearity of viability declines in Drosophila mutation-accumulation experiments: genomic mutation rates and synergistic epistasis revisited. Genetics 166:797-806. [pdf]
  • Fry, J. D. 2004. Estimation of genetic variances and covariances by Restricted Maximum Likelihood using PROC MIXED. Pages 11-34 in A. Saxton, ed., Genetic Analysis of Complex Traits with SAS. SAS Institute, Cary, NC. [programs]
  • Fry, J.D. 2003. Detecting ecological trade-offs using selection experiments. Ecology 84:1672-1678. [pdf]
  • Fry, J.D. 2003. Multilocus models of sympatric speciation: Bush vs. Rice vs. Felsenstein. Evolution 57:1735-1746. [pdf]