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Mol Biol Evol. 1994 Mar;11(2):287-304.

The molecular evolution of the alcohol dehydrogenase and alcohol dehydrogenase-related genes in the Drosophila melanogaster species subgroup.

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  • 1Department of Genetics, University of Cambridge, England.


The DNA sequences of the Adh genes of three members of the Drosophila melanogaster species subgroup have been determined. This completes the Adh sequences of the eight species of this subgroup. Two species, D. yakuba and D. teissieri, possess processed Adh pseudogenes. In all of the species of the subgroup, a gene of unknown function, Adhr, is located about 300 bp 3' to Adh. Although this gene is experiencing a higher rate of synonymous substitution than Adh, it is more constrained at the amino acid level. Phylogenetic relationships between all eight members of the melanogaster subgroup have been analyzed using a variety of methods. All analyses suggested that the D. yakuba and D. teissieri pseudogenes have a single common ancestor, rather than evolving independently in each species, and that D. melanogaster is the sister species to D. simulans, D. sechellia, and D. mauritiana. The evolutionary relationships of the latter three species remain equivocal.

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