First global linear study of electrostatic drift waves in two realistic quasisymmetric configurations, namely the Quasi-Axially symmetric Stellarator with three fields periods (QAS3) [P. Garabian and L. P. Ku, Phys. Plasma 6, 645 (1999)] and the Helically Symmetric eXperiment (HSX) [F. S. B. Anderson et al., Trans. Fusion Technol. 27, 273 (1995)], are presented. Effects of the shape of the plasma on the growth rate and frequency of the ion temperature gradient (ITG) driven mode are investigated by varying the quasi-symmetric configurations to an equivalent symmetric system. The calculations have been performed using a three-dimensional (3D) global gyrokinetic code in the magnetic configurations provided by the magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) equilibrium code VMEC [S. P. Hirshman and D. K. Lee, Comput. Phys. Commun. 39, 161 (1986)]. The plasma is modeled by gyrokinetic ions and adiabatic electrons. In QAS3, results are very close to those obtained for a tokamak. The drift waves are only slightly affected by the shape of the plasma or the local magnetic shear. On the other hand, results for the HSX configuration show a clear 3D effect, namely a strong toroidal variation of the drift wave mode structure. This variation is a clear structure of the 3D plasma shape. However, first results show that the growth rate of the ITG driven mode is largely unaffected by this effect.

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