Journal of Molecular Evolution

, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp 289–300 | Cite as

Phylogenetic analysis of polymorphic DNA sequences at the Adh locus inDrosophila melanogaster and its sibling species

  • J. Claiborne Stephens
  • Masatoshi Nei


Recent sequencing of over 2300 nucleotides containing the alcohol dehydrogenase (Adh) locus in each of 11Drosophila melanogaster lines makes it possible to estimate the approximate age of the electrophoretic “fast-slow” polymorphism. Our estimates, based on various possible patterns of evolution, range from 610,000 to 3,500,000 years, with 1,000,000 years as a reasonable point estimate. Furthermore, comparison of these sequences with those of the homologous region ofD. simulans andD. mauritiana allows us to infer the pattern of evolutionary change of theD. melanogaster sequences. The integrity of the Adh-f electrophoretic alleles as a single lineage is supported by both unweighted pair-group method (UPGMA) and parsimony analyeses. However, considerable divergence among the Adh-s lines seems to have preceded the origin of the Adh-f allele. Comparisons of the sequences ofD. melanogaster genes with those ofD. simulans andD. mauritiana genes suggest that the split between the latter two species occurred more recently than the divergence of some of the present-day Adh-s genes inD. melanogaster. The phylogenetic analyses of theD. melanogaster sequences show that the fastslow distinction is not perfect, and suggest that intragenic recombination or gene conversion occurred in the evolution of this locus. We extended conventional phylogenetic analyses by using a statistical technique for detecting and characterizing recombination events. We show that the pattern of differentiation of DNA sequences inD. melanogaster is roughly compatible with the neutral theory of molecular evolution.

Key words

Gene genealogy Phylogenetic inference Intragenic recombination Gene conversion Neutral theory 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Claiborne Stephens
    • 1
  • Masatoshi Nei
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Demographic and Population GeneticsUniversity of Texas at HoustonHoustonUSA

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