Unusual haplotype structure at the proximal breakpoint of In(2L)t in a natural population of Drosophila melanogaster

Peter Andolfatto, Jeffrey D. Wall, Martin Kreitman

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126 Scopus citations


The existence of temporally stable frequency clines for In(2L)t in natural populations of Drosophila melanogaster suggests a role for selection in the maintenance of this polymorphism. We have collected nucleotide polymorphism data from the proximal breakpoint junction regions of In(2L)t to infer its evolutionary history. The finding of a novel LINE-like element near the In(2L)t breakpoint junction in sampled inverted chromosomes supports a transposable element-mediated origin for this inversion. An analysis of nucleotide variation in a Costa Rican population sample of standard and inverted chromosomes indicates a unique and relatively recent origin for In(2L)t. Additional In(2L)t alleles from three geographically diverse populations reveal no detectable geographic differentiation. Low levels of In(2L)t nucleotide polymorphism suggest a recent increase in the inversion's frequency in tropical populations. An unusual feature of our sample of standard alleles is a marked heterogeneity in levels of linkage disequilibrium among polymorphic sites across the breakpoint region. We introduce a test of neutral equilibrium haplotype structure that corrects both for multiple tests and for an arbitrarily chosen window size. It reveals that an ~1.4-kb region immediately spanning the breakpoint has fewer haplotypes than expected under the neutral model, given the expected level of recombination in this genomic region. Certain features of our data suggest that the unusual pattern in standard chromosomes is the product of selection rather than demography.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1297-1311
Number of pages15
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 1 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics


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