Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Genetics. 2006 Oct;174(2):893-900. Epub 2006 Sep 1.

Widespread adaptive evolution of Drosophila genes with sex-biased expression.

Author information

  • 1Section of Evolutionary Biology, Department of Biology II, University of Munich (LMU), 82152 Munich, Germany.


Many genes in higher eukaryotes show sexually dimorphic expression, and these genes tend to be among the most divergent between species. In most cases, however, it is not known whether this rapid divergence is caused by positive selection or if it is due to a relaxation of selective constraint. To distinguish between these two possibilities, we surveyed DNA sequence polymorphism in 91 Drosophila melanogaster genes with male-, female-, or nonsex-biased expression and determined their divergence from the sister species D. simulans. Using several single- and multilocus statistical tests, we estimated the type and strength of selection influencing the evolution of the proteins encoded by genes of each expression class. Adaptive evolution, as indicated by a relative excess of nonsynonymous divergence between species, was common among the sex-biased genes (both male and female). Male-biased genes, in particular, showed a strong and consistent signal of positive selection, while female-biased genes showed more variation in the type of selection they experience. Genes expressed equally in the two sexes, in contrast, showed no evidence for adaptive evolution between D. melanogaster and D. simulans. This suggests that sexual selection and intersexual coevolution are the major forces driving genetic differentiation between species.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Publication Types, MeSH Terms, Secondary Source ID

Publication Types

MeSH Terms

Secondary Source ID

PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center