Molecular evolution of the 5′-flanking regions of the duplicated Amy genes in Drosophila melanogaster species subgroup

Eisaku Okuyama, Hiroki Shibata, Hidenori Tachida, Tsuneyuki Yamazaki

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The nucleotide sequences of the 5′-flanking regions of the duplicated Amy genes in eight sibling species belonging to the melanogaster species subgroup are analyzed. In Drosophila melanogaster, a region of about 450 bp immediately upstream of the translation initiation site of the two paralogous genes (the proximal and distal genes) has sequence similarities. However, we could not detect any significant sequence similarity in the region more upstream than -450. This result indicates that the coding regions of the ancestral Amy gene were duplicated together with 450 bp of the 5′-flanking region as one unit. Multiple alignment of these 450-bp sequences in the proximal and distal genes of all eight species revealed a mosaic pattern of highly conserved and divergent regions. The conserved regions included almost all the putative regulatory elements identified in previous analyses of the sequences. A phylogenetic analysis of the aligned sequences shows that these 450-bp sequences are clustered into the proximal and the distal groups. As a whole, the divergence between groups in this region is very large in contrast to that in the coding regions. Based on the divergence between groups, the 450-bp region is divided into two subregions. We found that the ratios of the divergence between groups to that within groups differ in the two subregions. From these observations, we discuss a possibility of positive selection acting on the subregion immediately upstream of the Amy coding region to cause divergence of regulatory elements of the paralogous genes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)574-583
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular Biology and Evolution
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1996


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

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