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Genetics. 1995 Sep;141(1):223-36.

Molecular evolution of the duplicated Amy locus in the Drosophila melanogaster species subgroup: concerted evolution only in the coding region and an excess of nonsynonymous substitutions in speciation.

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  • 1Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan.


From the analysis of restriction maps of the Amy region in eight sibling species belonging to the Drosophila melanogaster species subgroup, we herein show that the patterns of duplication of the Amy gene are almost the same in all species. This indicates that duplication occurred before speciation within this species subgroup. From the nucleotide sequence data, we show a strong within-species similarity between the duplicated loci in the Amy coding region. This is in contrast to a strong similarity in the 5' and 3' flanking regions within each locus (proximal or distal) throughout the species subgroup. This means that concerted evolution occurred only in the Amy coding region and that differentiated evolution between the duplication occurred in the flanking regions. Moreover, when comparing the species, we also found a significant excess of nonsynonymous substitutions. In particular, all the fixed substitutions specific to D. erecta were found to be nonsynonymous. We thus conclude that adaptive protein evolution occurred in the lineage of D. erecta that is a "specialist" species for host plants and probably also occurs in the process of speciation in general.

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