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Chromosomal Effects of Rapid Gene Evolution in Drosophila melanogaster

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Science  05 Jan 2001:
Vol. 291, Issue 5501, pp. 128-130
DOI: 10.1126/science.291.5501.128

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Abstract

Rapid adaptive fixation of a new favorable mutation is expected to affect neighboring genes along the chromosome. Evolutionary theory predicts that the chromosomal region would show a reduced level of genetic variation and an excess of rare alleles. We have confirmed these predictions in a region of the X chromosome ofDrosophila melanogaster that contains a newly evolved gene for a component of the sperm axoneme. In D. simulans, where the novel gene does not exist, the pattern of genetic variation is consistent with selection against recurrent deleterious mutations. These findings imply that the pattern of genetic variation along a chromosome may be useful for inferring its evolutionary history and for revealing regions in which recent adaptive fixations have taken place.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: dhartl{at}oeb.harvard.edu

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