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Biol Lett. 2012 Feb 23;8(1):82-5. doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2011.0601. Epub 2011 Aug 17.

Selection on codon usage and base composition in Drosophila americana.

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Institute of Evolutionary Biology, School of Biological Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.


We have used a polymorphism dataset on introns and coding sequences of X-linked loci in Drosophila americana to estimate the strength of selection on codon usage and/or biased gene conversion (BGC), taking into account a recent population expansion detected by a maximum-likelihood method. Drosophila americana was previously thought to have a stable demographic history, so that this evidence for a recent population expansion means that previous estimates of selection need revision. There was evidence for natural selection or BGC favouring GC over AT variants in introns, which is stronger for GC-rich than GC-poor introns. By comparing introns and coding sequences, we found evidence for selection on codon usage bias, which is much stronger than the forces acting on GC versus AT basepairs in introns.

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