, Volume 33, Issue 4, pp 379-394

Molecular evolution and phylogeny of theDrosophila virilis species group as inferred by two-dimensional electrophoresis

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Summary

Systematic relationship among the 12 species of theDrosophila virilis species group, andDrosophila robusta, were investigated by the use of two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE). A total of 389 protein characters (about 200 loci) were scored and analyzed both phylogenetically and phenetically. The resulting phylogeny was found to be largely concordant with the current views of evolution among these species based on other independent morphological, chromosomal, electrophoretic, and immunological data sets, although some notable differences were observed. The 2-DE data also appeared to be useful for constructing a molecular clock to date the absolute times of divergence among the species. It appears from this analysis that the evolution of the major clades within the species group occurred about 20 million years ago. Previous suggestions that the rate of molecular evolution was different between the virilis and montana phylads was not confirmed. The technique of 2-DE seems to be an excellent tool for reconstructing phylogenies and should be particularly valuable for examining relatively closely related species.