Using comparative genomic data to test for fast-X evolution.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Genes may acquire nonsynonymous substitutions more rapidly when X-linked than when autosomal, but evidence for "fast-X evolution" has been elusive. Fast-X evolution could explain the disproportionate contribution of X-linked genes to hybrid sterility and other traits. Here, we use a comparative genomic approach, with sequences of 30-110 genes in four Drosophila species, to test for fast-X evolution. Specifically, the 3L autosome arm in D. melanogaster and D. simulans is homologous to the right arm of the X chromosome in D. pseudoobscura and D. miranda. We executed two paired comparisons to determine how often genes on this chromosome arm exhibit higher rates of nonsynonymous substitution in the D. pseudoobscura species group, as predicted by fast-X evolution. We found a statistically significant pattern consistent with fast-X evolution in one comparison and a similar trend in the other comparison. Variation in functional constraints across genes may have masked the signature of fast-X evolution in some previous studies, and we conclude paired comparisons are more powerful for examining rates of evolution of genes when X-linked over autosomal.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Counterman, BA; Ortíz-Barrientos, D; Noor, MAF

Published Date

  • March 2004

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 58 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 656 - 660

PubMed ID

  • 15119449

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1558-5646

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0014-3820

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1554/03-413


  • eng