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Genetics. 1991 Dec;129(4):1147-58.

Molecular population genetics of the distal portion of the X chromosome in Drosophila: evidence for genetic hitchhiking of the yellow-achaete region.

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Section of Genetics and Development, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853.


We have estimated DNA sequence variation and differentiation within and between Drosophila melanogaster and its sibling species, Drosophila simulans, using six-cutter restriction site variation at yellow-achaete (y-ac), phosphogluconate dehydrogenase (Pgd), and period (per). These three gene regions are of varying distance from the telomere of the X chromosome and range from very low to moderate rates of recombination in D. melanogaster. According to Tajima's test of neutrality, the Pgd region has been influenced by balancing selection in D. melanogaster. This is consistent with previous data suggesting the allozyme polymorphism at this locus is visible to selection. The Hudson, Kreitman, Aguadé test of neutrality reveals a significant departure from neutrality for the y-ac region compared to the per or rosy regions in D. simulans. There is also a significant departure for the y-ac region compared to the Adh 5' flanking region in D. melanogaster. In both species the departure appears to be due to reduced variation at y-ac compared to that expected from divergence between D. simulans and D. melanogaster. We conclude that recent hitchhiking associated with the selective fixation of one or more advantageous mutants in the y-ac region is the best explanation for reduced variation at y-ac.

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