Fruit flies can survive harsh winter conditions by turning off their reproductive machinery to conserve energy in a hibernation-like state called diapause. But, not all flies have the ability to do so. Priscilla Erickson and colleagues in the Bergland lab investigated the genetic basis of this trait by sequencing the genomes of nearly 3000 fruit flies. They found that the ability to diapause was controlled by hundreds of locations in the genome, and that genetic variants contributing to diapause were more common in northern latitudes where flies endure harsher winters. They also conducted a field study with flies enclosed in large cages at UVA’s Morven Farm and found that flies evolve an increased ability to diapause as colder weather sets in in the fall. To read more about the work, please click here.