Journal Article

Positive Correlation Between Evolutionary Rate and Recombination Rate in <i>Drosophila</i> Genes with Male-Biased Expression

Zhi Zhang and John Parsch

in Molecular Biology and Evolution

Published on behalf of Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution

Volume 22, issue 10, pages 1945-1947
Published in print October 2005 | ISSN: 0737-4038
Published online June 2005 | e-ISSN: 1537-1719 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/molbev/msi189
Positive Correlation Between Evolutionary Rate and Recombination Rate in Drosophila Genes with Male-Biased Expression

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Previous studies have shown that genes that are expressed predominantly or exclusively in males tend to evolve rapidly in comparison to other genes. In most cases, however, it is unknown whether this rapid evolution is the result of increased positive (or sexual) selection on male-expressed traits or if it is due to a relaxation of selective constraints. To distinguish between these two possibilities, we analyzed the relationship between the nonsynonymous substitution rate (dN) and local recombination rate for 343 Drosophila genes that were classified as male, female, or nonsex biased in their expression. For the male-biased genes, a positive correlation between dN and recombination rate was observed. This can be explained by an increased rate of adaptive evolution in regions of higher recombination due to a reduction of Hill-Robertson interference. In contrast, the correlation between dN and recombination rate was negative for both female- and nonsex-biased genes, suggesting that these genes are primarily subject to purifying selection, which is expected to be less effective in regions of reduced recombination.

Keywords: adaptive evolution; Hill-Robertson interference; sex-biased genes

Journal Article.  1937 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology ; Molecular and Cell Biology

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