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Genetics. 2001 Feb;157(2):667-77.

Molecular evolution of duplicated amylase gene regions in Drosophila melanogaster: evidence of positive selection in the coding regions and selective constraints in the cis-regulatory regions.

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  • 1Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, Kyushu University, 6-0-1 Hakozaki, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka City, Japan 812-8581.


In this study, we randomly sampled Drosophila melanogaster from Japanese and Kenyan natural populations. We sequenced duplicated (proximal and distal) Amy gene regions to test whether the patterns of polymorphism were consistent with neutral molecular evolution. F(st) between the two geographically distant populations, estimated from Amy gene regions, was 0.084, smaller than reported values for other loci, comparing African and Asian populations. Furthermore, little genetic differentiation was found at a microsatellite locus (DROYANETSB) in these samples (G'st = -0.018). The results of several tests (Tajima's, Fu and Li's, and Wall's tests) were not significantly different from neutrality. However, a significantly higher level of fixed replacement substitutions was detected by a modified McDonald and Kreitman test for both populations. This indicates that positive selection occurred during or immediately after the speciation of D. melanogaster. Sliding-window analysis showed that the proximal region 1, a part of the proximal 5' flanking region, was conserved between D. melanogaster and its sibling species, D. simulans. An HKA test was significant when the proximal region 1 was compared with the 5' flanking region of Alcohol dehydrogenase (Adh), indicating a severe selective constraint on the Amy proximal region 1. These results suggest that natural selection has played an important role in the molecular evolution of Amy gene regions in D. melanogaster.

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