A selective sweep across species boundaries in Drosophila

Mol Biol Evol. 2013 Sep;30(9):2177-86. doi: 10.1093/molbev/mst123. Epub 2013 Jul 3.


Adaptive mutations that accumulate during species divergence are likely to contribute to reproductive incompatibilities and hinder gene flow; however, there may also be a class of mutations that are generally advantageous and can spread across species boundaries. In this study, we characterize a 15 kb region on chromosome 3R that has introgressed from the cosmopolitan generalist species Drosophila simulans into the island endemic D. sechellia, which is an ecological specialist. The introgressed haplotype is fixed in D. sechellia over almost the entirety of the resequenced region, whereas a core region of the introgressed haplotype occurs at high frequency in D. simulans. The observed patterns of nucleotide variation and linkage disequilibrium are consistent with a recently completed selective sweep in D. sechellia and an incomplete sweep in D. simulans. Independent estimates of both the time to the introgression and sweep events are all close to 10,000 years before the present. Interestingly, the most likely target of selection is a highly occupied transcription factor binding region. This work confirms that it is possible for mutations to be globally advantageous, despite their occurrence in divergent genomic and ecological backgrounds.

Keywords: Drosophila sechellia; Drosophila simulans; adaptive evolution; introgression; polymorphism; speciation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Chromosomes, Insect
  • Drosophila / classification
  • Drosophila / genetics*
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Female
  • Gene Flow*
  • Genetic Speciation*
  • Genetic Variation
  • Haplotypes
  • Linkage Disequilibrium
  • Male
  • Mutation
  • Phylogeny
  • Selection, Genetic
  • Species Specificity