Faster-X effects in two Drosophila lineages

Victoria Avila, Sophie Marion de Procé, José L Campos, Helen Borthwick, B Charlesworth, Andrea J Betancourt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Under certain circumstances, X-linked loci are expected to experience more adaptive substitutions than similar autosomal loci. To look for evidence of faster-X evolution, we analyzed the evolutionary rates of coding sequences in two sets of Drosophila species, the melanogaster and pseudoobscura clades, using whole genome sequences. One of these, the pseudoobscura clade, contains a centric fusion between the ancestral X chromosome and the autosomal arm homologous to 3L in D. melanogaster. This offers an opportunity to study the same loci in both an X-linked and an autosomal context, and to compare these loci to those that are only X-linked or only autosomal. We therefore investigated these clades for evidence of faster-X evolution with respect to nonsynonymous substitutions, finding mixed results. Overall, there was consistent evidence for a faster-X effect in the melanogaster clade, but not in the pseudoobscura clade, except for the comparison between D. pseudoobscura and its close relative, D. persimilis. An analysis of polymorphism data on a set of genes from D. pseudoobscura that evolve rapidly with respect to their protein sequences revealed no evidence for a faster-X effect with respect to adaptive protein sequence evolution; their rapid evolution is instead largely attributable to lower selective constraints. Faster-X evolution in the melanogaster clade was not related to male-biased gene expression; surprisingly, however, female-biased genes showed evidence for faster-X effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2968-2982
JournalGenome Biology and Evolution
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2014


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