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J Mol Evol. 2003 Feb;56(2):121-30.

Phylogeny and the evolution of the Amylase multigenes in the Drosophila montium species subgroup.

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Department of Biology, Graduate School of Science, Kyushu University, 812-8581, Fukuoka, Japan.


To investigate the phylogenetic relationships and molecular evolution of alpha-amylase (Amy) genes in the Drosophila montium species subgroup, we constructed the phylogenetic tree of the Amy genes from 40 species from the montium subgroup. On our tree the sequences of the auraria, kikkawai, and jambulina complexes formed distinct tight clusters. However, there were a few inconsistencies between the clustering pattern of the sequences and taxonomic classification in the kikkawai and jambulina complexes. Sequences of species from other complexes (bocqueti, bakoue, nikananu, and serrata) often did not cluster with their respective taxonomic groups. This suggests that relationships among the Amy genes may be different from those among species due to their particular evolution. Alternatively, the current taxonomy of the investigated species is unreliable. Two types of divergent paralogous Amy genes, the so-called Amy1- and Amy3-type genes, previously identified in the D. kikkawai complex, were common in the montium subgroup, suggesting that the duplication event from which these genes originate is as ancient as the subgroup or it could even predate its differentiation. Thc Amy1-type genes were closer to the Amy genes of D. melanogaster and D. pseudoobscura than to the Amy3-type genes. In the Amy1-type genes, the loss of the ancestral intron occurred independently in the auraria complex and in several Afrotropical species. The GC content at synonymous third codon positions (GC3s) of the Amy1-type genes was higher than that of the Amy3-type genes. Furthermore, the Amy1-type genes had more biased codon usage than the Amy3-type genes. The correlations between GC3s and GC content in the introns (GCi) differed between these two Amy-type genes. These findings suggest that the evolutionary forces that have affected silent sites of the two Amy-type genes in the montium species subgroup may differ.

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