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Genetics. 2001 Oct;159(2):647-57.

Patterns of DNA sequence variation suggest the recent action of positive selection in the janus-ocnus region of Drosophila simulans.

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  • 1Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 01238-2020, USA.


Levels of nucleotide polymorphism in three paralogous Drosophila simulans genes, janusA (janA), janusB (janB), and ocnus (ocn), were surveyed by DNA sequencing. The three genes lie in tandem within a 2.5-kb region of chromosome arm 3R. In a sample of eight alleles from a worldwide distribution we found a significant departure from neutrality by several statistical tests. The most striking feature of this sample was that in a 1.7-kb region containing the janA and janB genes, 30 out of 31 segregating sites contained variants present only once in the sample, and 29 of these unique variants were found in the same allele. A restriction survey of an additional 28 lines of D. simulans revealed strong linkage disequilibrium over the janA-janB region and identified six more alleles matching the rare haplotype. Among the rare alleles, the level of DNA sequence variation was typical for D. simulans autosomal genes and showed no departure from neutrality. In addition, the rare haplotype was more similar to the D. melanogaster sequence, indicating that it was the ancestral form. These results suggest that the derived haplotype has risen to high worldwide frequency relatively recently, most likely as a result of natural selection.

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