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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Nearly identical allelic distributions of xanthine dehydrogenase in two populations of Drosophila pseudoobscura.

In a previous study, Keith (1983) showed by sequential gel electrophoresis of the esterase-5 protein in Drosophila pseudoobscura that a highly polymorphic locus with many alleles can have very similar frequency distributions in populations separated by 500 km. The present work studies another highly polymorphic locus, xanthine dehydrogenase, in the same California population samples, using the same technique to distinguish allelic classes. Twelve electromorphs were found in one population and 15 in the other. Both populations shared a single very frequent (approximately 60%) allele, as well as five other alleles in low but similar frequencies. In addition, each population had an array of unique alleles present only once in one population sample but absent in the other. A statistical test against the stationary distribution for neutral alleles shows that, if the populations are at equilibrium, then purifying selection is operating on xanthine dehydrogenase. The extremely close similarity in frequency distributions of the alleles between populations for both the xanthine dehydrogenase and esterase-5 loci, despite differences in allele frequency distribution between loci, strongly emphasizes the importance of migration in influencing genic diversity in these populations.[1]


  1. Nearly identical allelic distributions of xanthine dehydrogenase in two populations of Drosophila pseudoobscura. Keith, T.P., Brooks, L.D., Lewontin, R.C., Martinez-Cruzado, J.C., Rigby, D.L. Mol. Biol. Evol. (1985) [Pubmed]
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