Non-Neutral Evolution

pp 46-56

Selection, Recombination, and DNA Polymorphism in Drosophila

  • Charles F. Aquadro
  • , David J. Begun
  • , Eric C. Kindahl

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A goal of molecular population genetics is to provide an historical understanding of evolutionary processes occurring within and between closely related populations. While molecular techniques can, in principle, be applied to any species, the use of a model system such as Drosophila melanogasterhas proved to be enormously fruitful. One recent finding demonstrates the utility of using a well characterized genetic system: Levels of (presumably) neutral DNA variation are positively correlated with recombination rates in D. melanogaster.1 In this chapter we discuss recent results from our lab which extend this early result, discuss competing models to explain the pattern, and discuss empirical approaches to distinguish among these models.