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Genet Res. 1993 Jun;61(3):195-204.

Evolution of the mitochondrial ATPase 6 gene in Drosophila: unusually high level of polymorphism in D. melanogaster.

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Department of Biology, Ochanomizu University, Tokyo, Japan.


We have determined 1990 bp mitochondrial DNA sequence which extends from 3' end of the cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) gene to 5' end of the COIII gene from two sibling species of Drosophila, D. simulans and D. mauritiana. Analyses of the sequences and part of the NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2 gene and the COI gene together with those from D. melanogaster and D. yakuba revealed that amino-acid substitution rate of the ATPase 6 gene seems to be higher in some strains of D. melanogaster than in the other species. High level of amino-acid polymorphism in this gene was observed in D. melanogaster. Synonymous substitution rate is relatively constant in all the genes examined, suggesting that mutation rate is not higher in the ATPase 6 gene of D. melanogaster. The amino-acid substitutions found specifically in D. melanogaster are at the sites which are not conserved among mammals, yeast and E. coli. These sites of the ATPase 6 gene might lose the selective constraint in D. melanogaster, and the amino-acid substitutions can be explained by neutral mutations and random genetic drift.

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