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Genetics. 2000 Dec;156(4):1879-88.

Molecular population genetics of male accessory gland proteins in Drosophila.

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Section of Integrative Biology and Institute for Cellular and Molecular Biology, University of Texas, Austin, Texas 78712, USA.


Drosophila seminal proteins have an unusually high rate of molecular sequence evolution, suggesting either a high rate of neutral substitution or rapid adaptive evolution. To further quantify patterns of polymorphism and divergence in genes encoding seminal proteins, also called accessory gland proteins (Acp's), we conducted a sequencing survey of 10 Acp genes in samples of Drosophila melanogaster and D. simulans (Acp29AB, Acp32CD, Acp33A, Acp36DE, Acp53Ea, Acp62F, Acp63F, Acp76A, Acp95EF, and Acp98AB). Mean heterozygosity at replacement sites in D. simulans was 0.0074 for Acp genes and 0.0013 for a set of 19 non-Acp genes, and mean melanogaster-simulans divergence at replacement sites was 0.0497 for Acp genes and 0.0107 at non-Acp genes. The elevated divergence of Acp genes is thus accompanied by elevated within-species polymorphism. In addition to the already-reported departures of Acp26A, Acp29AB, and Acp70A from neutrality, our data reject neutrality at Acp29AB and Acp36DE in the direction of excess replacements in interspecific comparisons.

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