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

Molecular evolution of the Sex-Ratio inversion complex in Drosophila pseudoobscura: analysis of the Esterase-5 gene region.

The Sex-Ratio chromosome in Drosophila pseudoobscura is subject to meiotic drive. It is associated with a series of three nonoverlapping paracentric inversions on the right arm of the X chromosome. The esterase-5 gene region has been localized to section 23 within the subbasal inversion of the Sex-Ratio inversion complex, making esterase-5 a convenient locus for molecular evolutionary analyses of the Sex-Ratio inversion complex and the associated drive system. A 504-bp fragment of noncoding, intergenic DNA from the esterase-5 gene region was amplified and sequenced from 14 Sex-Ratio and 14 Standard X chromosomes of D. pseudoobscura, and from 9 X chromosomes of its two sibling species, Drosophila persimilis and Drosophila miranda. There is extensive sequence differentiation between the Sex-Ratio and Standard chromosomal types. The common Standard chromosome is highly polymorphic, while, as expected from either the neutral mutation theory or the selective sweep hypothesis, the rarer Sex-Ratio chromosome has much less within-chromosome nucleotide polymorphism. We estimate that the Standard and Sex-Ratio chromosomes in D. pseudoobscura diverged between 700,000 and 1.3 Mya, or at least 2 million generations ago. The clustering of D. pseudoobscura Sex-Ratio chromosomes in a neighbor-joining phylogeny indicates a fairly old, monophyletic origin in this species. It appears from these data that Sex-Ratio genes were present prior to the divergence of D. pseudoobscura and D. persimilis and that both the Standard and Sex-Ratio chromosomes of D. persimilis were derived from the Standard chromosome of D. pseudoobscura after the inversion events that isolated the D. pseudoobscura Sex-Ratio chromosome.[1]


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