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Genetics. 1994 Dec;138(4):993-1003.

Detecting selective sweeps in naturally occurring Escherichia coli.

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Department of Ecology and Evolution, State University of New York at Stony Brook 11794-5245.


The nucleotide sequences of the gapA and pabB genes (separated by approximately 32.5 kb) were determined in 12 natural isolates of Escherichia coli. Three analyses were performed on the data. First, the levels of polymorphism at the loci were compared within and between E. coli and Salmonella strains relative to their degrees of constraint. Second, the gapA and pabB loci were analyzed by the Hudson-Kreitman-Aguadé (HKA) test for selective neutrality. Four additional dispersed genes (crr, putP, trp and gnd) were added to the analysis to provide the necessary frame of reference. Finally, the gene genealogies of gapA and pabB were examined for topological consistency within and between the loci. These lines of evidence indicate that some evolutionary event has recently purged the variability in the region surrounding the gapA and pabB loci in E. coli. This can best be explained by the spread of a selected allele through the global E. coli population by directional selection and the resulting loss in variability in the surrounding regions due to genetic hitchhiking.

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