A genome-wide departure from the standard neutral model in natural populations of Drosophila

P. Andolfatto, M. Przeworski

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138 Scopus citations


We analyze nucleotide polymorphism data for a large number of loci in areas of normal to high recombination in Drosophila melanogaster and D. simulans (24 and 16 loci, respectively). We find a genome-wide, systematic departure from the neutral expectation for a panmictic population at equilibrium in natural populations of both species. The distribution of sequence-based estimates of 2Nc across loci is inconsistent with the assumptions of the standard neutral theory, given the observed levels of nucleotide diversity, and accepted values for recombination and mutation rates. Under these assumptions, most estimates of 2Nc are severalfold too low; in other words, both species exhibit greater intralocus linkage disequilibrium than expected. Variation in recombination or mutation rates is not sufficient to account for the excess of linkage disequilibrium. While an equilibrium island model does not seem to account for the data, more complicated forms of population structure may. A proper test of alternative demographic models will require loci to be sampled in a more consistent fashion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)257-268
Number of pages12
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics


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