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Genetics. 2003 Oct;165(2):667-73.

Testing for asymmetrical gene flow in a Drosophila melanogaster body-size cline.

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  • 1Department of Biology, University College London, London WC1E 2BT, United Kingdom.


Asymmetrical gene flow is an important, but rarely examined genetic parameter. Here, we develop a new method for detecting departures from symmetrical migration between two populations using microsatellite data that are based on the difference in the proportion of private alleles. Application of this approach to data collected from wild-caught Drosophila melanogaster along a latitudinal body-size cline in eastern Australia revealed that asymmetrical gene flow could be detected, but was uncommon, nonlocalized, and occurred in both directions. We also show that, in contrast to the findings of a previous study, there is good evidence to suggest that the cline experiences significant levels of gene flow between populations.

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