Journal of Molecular Evolution

, Volume 57, Issue 5, pp 562–573 | Cite as

Molecular Phylogeny of the Drosophila melanogaster Species Subgroup



Although molecular and phenotypic evolution have been studied extensively in Drosophila melanogaster and its close relatives, phylogenetic relationships within the D. melanogaster species subgroup remain unresolved. In particular, recent molecular studies have not converged on the branching orders of the D. yakubaD. teissieri and D. erectaD. orena species pairs relative to the D. melanogasterD. simulansD. mauritianaD. sechellia species complex. Here, we reconstruct the phylogeny of the melanogaster species subgroup using DNA sequence data from four nuclear genes. We have employed “vectorette PCR” to obtain sequence data for orthologous regions of the Alcohol dehydrogenase (Adh), Alcohol dehydrogenase related (Adhr), Glucose dehydrogenase (Gld), and rosy (ry) genes (totaling 7164 bp) from six melanogaster subgroup species (D. melanogaster, D. simulans, D. teissieri, D. yakuba, D. erecta, and D. orena) and three species from subgroups outside the melanogaster species subgroup [D. eugracilis (eugracilis subgroup), D. mimetica (suzukii subgroup), and D. lutescens (takahashii subgroup)]. Relationships within the D. simulans complex are not addressed. Phylogenetic analyses employing maximum parsimony, neighbor-joining, and maximum likelihood methods strongly support a D. yakubaD. teissieri and D. erectaD. orena clade within the melanogaster species subgroup. D. eugracilis is grouped closer to the melanogaster subgroup than a D. mimeticaD. lutescens clade. This tree topology is supported by reconstructions employing simple (single parameter) and more complex (nonreversible) substitution models.


Drosophila melanogaster species subgroup Phylogeny Alcohol dehydrogenase Alcohol dehydrogenase related Glucose dehydrogenase rosy 



We are grateful to C. dePamphilis for allowing us use of his automated sequencer and to S. Hauswaldt for technical assistance. We also thank R. DeSalle and K. Montooth for comments on the manuscript and F. Rodríguez-Trelles for advice on use of the GGG95 and SK programs. M. Ashburner kindly provided the D. erecta strain. This research was supported by grants from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the National Science Foundation (DEB-0235472) to HA.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Molecular Evolutionary Genetics, Department of BiologyThe Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802USA

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