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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1977 Jun;74(6):2514-7.

Spontaneous mutation rates at enzyme loci in Drosophila melanogaster.


In a marked-inversion-balanced lethal system mutations were accumulated at a minimum pressure of natural selection on 2000 second chromosomes of Drosophila melanogaster that originated from 4 stem chromosomes. Five enzyme loci were tested: alpha-glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (EC, malate dehydrogenase (Mdh, EC, alcohol dehydrogenase (EC, hexokinase-C (Hex-C tentative name), and alpha-amylase (Amy, EC Three band-morph mutants, one at the Mdh locus, one at the Hex-C locus, and one at the Amy locus, were detected out of 1,658,308 allele replications. In addition, 17 null mutants were found. Accepting that the number of structural genes is the same as that of bands in the salivary gland chromosomes, the total mutation rate per generation for all the structural genes in the second chromosomes is estimated to be 0.008-0.040, which is much smaller than that estimated for viability polygenes (0.12-0.17). Thus, it is speculated that most viability and other fitness polygenes are located in controlling regions outside the structural genes.

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