Journal Article

Validation of Rearrangement Break Points Identified by Paired-End Sequencing in Natural Populations of <i>Drosophila melanogaster</i>

Julie M. Cridland and Kevin R. Thornton

in Genome Biology and Evolution

Published on behalf of Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution

Volume 2, issue , pages 83-101
Published in print January 2010 |
Published online January 2010 | e-ISSN: 1759-6653 | DOI:

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  • Bioinformatics and Computational Biology
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  • Genetics and Genomics


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Several recent studies have focused on the evolution of recently duplicated genes in Drosophila. Currently, however, little is known about the evolutionary forces acting upon duplications that are segregating in natural populations. We used a high-throughput, paired-end sequencing platform (Illumina) to identify structural variants in a population sample of African D. melanogaster. Polymerase chain reaction and sequencing confirmation of duplications detected by multiple, independent paired-ends showed that paired-end sequencing reliably uncovered the break points of structural rearrangements and allowed us to identify a number of tandem duplications segregating within a natural population. Our confirmation experiments show that rates of confirmation are very high, even at modest coverage. Our results also compare well with previous studies using microarrays (Emerson J, Cardoso-Moreira M, Borevitz JO, Long M. 2008. Natural selection shapes genome wide patterns of copy-number polymorphism in Drosophila melanogaster. Science. 320:1629–1631. and Dopman EB, Hartl DL. 2007. A portrait of copy-number polymorphism in Drosophila melanogaster. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 104:19920–19925.), which both gives us confidence in the results of this study as well as confirms previous microarray results.

We were also able to identify whole-gene duplications, such as a novel duplication of Or22a, an olfactory receptor, and identify copy-number differences in genes previously known to be under positive selection, like Cyp6g1, which confers resistance to dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane. Several “hot spots” of duplications were detected in this study, which indicate that particular regions of the genome may be more prone to generating duplications. Finally, population frequency analysis of confirmed events also showed an excess of rare variants in our population, which indicates that duplications segregating in the population may be deleterious and ultimately destined to be lost from the population.

Keywords: Drosophila; structural variation; mutation; polymorphism; high-throughput sequencing

Journal Article.  11907 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Bioinformatics and Computational Biology ; Evolutionary Biology ; Genetics and Genomics

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