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Mol Biol Evol. 1988 May;5(3):252-69.

Molecular characteristics of diverse populations are consistent with the hypothesis of a recent invasion of Drosophila melanogaster by mobile P elements.

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1
Laboratoire de Génétique des Populations, Université Paris VI, France.

Abstract

Approximately 100 strains derived from natural populations of Drosophila melanogaster were tested for the presence or absence of P-element sequences by using two molecular probes derived from internal regions of a full-sized P element. Strains that had been collected from several continents at varying times during the past 60 years were examined. The oldest available strains, representing most major geographical regions of the world, exhibited no detectable hybridization to the P-element probes. In contrast, all recently collected natural populations that were tested carried P-element sequences. The earliest appearance of P elements occurred in collections made during the 1950s and early 1960s in the Americas and during the late 1960s on other continents. The youngest strains that were completely devoid of P elements originated in populations sampled during the mid-1960s in America, but as late as 1974 in populations from the USSR. There are differences in the patterns of hybridization to the two P-element probes between populations from different geographical regions. These differences are consistent with the varying P-M phenotypic properties of these populations. Taken together with the results of phenotypic tests reported in earlier studies, the available evidence is consistent with the hypothesis of a worldwide P-element invasion of D. melanogaster during the past 30 years and suggests that the putative invasion of the Americas possibly preceded by approximately a decade that in Europe, Africa, and the rest of the world.

PMID:
2838720
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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