Mutation pressure, natural selection, and the evolution of base composition in Drosophila

Akashi, Hiroshi, Kliman, Richard M and Eyre-Walker, Adam (1998) Mutation pressure, natural selection, and the evolution of base composition in Drosophila. Genetica, 102. pp. 49-60. ISSN 0016-6707

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Genome sequencing in a number of taxa has revealed variation in nucleotide composition both among regions of the genome and among functional classes of sites in DNA. Mutational biases, biased gene conversion, and natural selection have been proposed as causes of this variation. Here, we review patterns of base composition in Drosophila DNA. Nucleotide composition in Drosophila melanogaster varys regionally, and base composition is correlated between introns and exons. Drosophila species also show striking patterns of non-random codon usage. Patterns of synonymous codon usage and the biochemistry of translation suggest that natural selection may act at `silent¿ sites. A relationship between recombination rates and codon usage and comparisons of the evolutionary dynamics of silent mutations within and between species support natural selection discriminating among synonymous codons. The causes of regional base composition variation are less clear. Progress in functional studies of non-coding DNA, further investigations of genome patterns, and statistical tests based on evolutionary theory will lead to a greater understanding of the contributions of mutational processes and natural selection in patterning genome-wide nucleotide composition.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Volume 102-103
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Evolution, Behaviour and Environment
Depositing User: Adam Eyre-Walker
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 19:32
Last Modified: 18 Jun 2012 13:57
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