Logo of geneticsGeneticsCurrent IssueInformation for AuthorsEditorial BoardSubscribeSubmit a Manuscript
Genetics. 1988 Apr; 118(4): 671–683.
PMCID: PMC1203322

Rates and Patterns of Scndna and Mtdna Divergence within the Drosophila Melanogaster Subgroup


Levels of DNA divergence among the eight species of the Drosophila melanogaster subgroup and D. takahashii have been determined using the technique of DNA-DNA hybridization. Two types of DNA were used: single-copy nuclear DNA (scnDNA) and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). The major findings are: (1) A phylogeny has been derived for the group based on scnDNA which is congruent with chromosomal data, morphology, and behavior. The three homosequential species, simulans, sechellia, and mauritiana, are very closely related; the scnDNA divergence indicate the two island species are a monophyletic group. (2) The rates of change of scnDNA and mtDNA are not greatly different; if anything scnDNA evolves faster than mtDNA. (3) The rates of scnDNA evolution are not closely correlated to chromosomal (inversion) evolution. (4) The Drosophila genome appears to consist of two distinct classes of scnDNA with respect to rate of evolutionary change, a very rapidly evolving fraction and a relatively conservative fraction. (5) The absolute rate of change was estimated to be at least 1.7% nucleotide substitution per one million years. (6) DNA distance estimates based on restriction site variation are correlated with distances based on DNA-DNA hybridization, although the correlation is not very strong.

Full Text

The Full Text of this article is available as a PDF (976K).

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Britten RJ. Rates of DNA sequence evolution differ between taxonomic groups. Science. 1986 Mar 21;231(4744):1393–1398. [PubMed]
  • Britten RJ, Cetta A, Davidson EH. The single-copy DNA sequence polymorphism of the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus. Cell. 1978 Dec;15(4):1175–1186. [PubMed]
  • Caccone A, Amato GD, Powell JR. Intraspecific DNA divergence in Drosophila: a study on parthenogenetic D. mercatorum. Mol Biol Evol. 1987 Jul;4(4):343–350. [PubMed]
  • Fitch WM, Margoliash E. Construction of phylogenetic trees. Science. 1967 Jan 20;155(3760):279–284. [PubMed]
  • Hunt JA, Hall TJ, Britten RJ. Evolutionary distances in Hawaiian Drosophila measured by DNA reassociation. J Mol Evol. 1981;17(6):361–367. [PubMed]
  • Martin CH, Meyerowitz EM. Characterization of the boundaries between adjacent rapidly and slowly evolving genomic regions in Drosophila. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1986 Nov;83(22):8654–8658. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Nei M, Li WH. Mathematical model for studying genetic variation in terms of restriction endonucleases. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1979 Oct;76(10):5269–5273. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Nei M, Tajima F. DNA polymorphism detectable by restriction endonucleases. Genetics. 1981 Jan;97(1):145–163. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Schulze DH, Lee CS. DNA sequence comparison among closely related Drosophila species in the mulleri complex. Genetics. 1986 Jun;113(2):287–303. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Wolstenholme DR, Clary DO. Sequence evolution of Drosophila mitochondrial DNA. Genetics. 1985 Apr;109(4):725–744. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Zwiebel LJ, Cohn VH, Wright DR, Moore GP. Evolution of single-copy DNA and the ADH gene in seven drosophilids. J Mol Evol. 1982;19(1):62–71. [PubMed]

Articles from Genetics are provided here courtesy of Genetics Society of America


Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...


Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...