Impact of genomic structural variation in Drosophila melanogaster based on population-scale sequencing

Genome Res. 2013 Mar;23(3):568-79. doi: 10.1101/gr.142646.112. Epub 2012 Dec 6.


Genomic structural variation (SV) is a major determinant for phenotypic variation. Although it has been extensively studied in humans, the nucleotide resolution structure of SVs within the widely used model organism Drosophila remains unknown. We report a highly accurate, densely validated map of unbalanced SVs comprising 8962 deletions and 916 tandem duplications in 39 lines derived from short-read DNA sequencing in a natural population (the "Drosophila melanogaster Genetic Reference Panel," DGRP). Most SVs (>90%) were inferred at nucleotide resolution, and a large fraction was genotyped across all samples. Comprehensive analyses of SV formation mechanisms using the short-read data revealed an abundance of SVs formed by mobile element and nonhomologous end-joining-mediated rearrangements, and clustering of variants into SV hotspots. We further observed a strong depletion of SVs overlapping genes, which, along with population genetics analyses, suggests that these SVs are often deleterious. We inferred several gene fusion events also highlighting the potential role of SVs in the generation of novel protein products. Expression quantitative trait locus (eQTL) mapping revealed the functional impact of our high-resolution SV map, with quantifiable effects at >100 genic loci. Our map represents a resource for population-level studies of SVs in an important model organism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Genome, Insect*
  • Genomic Structural Variation*
  • Genotype
  • Linkage Disequilibrium
  • Male
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Quantitative Trait Loci
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA / methods*