Population genomic analysis reveals no evidence for GC-biased gene conversion in Drosophila melanogaster

Mol Biol Evol. 2014 Feb;31(2):425-33. doi: 10.1093/molbev/mst220. Epub 2013 Nov 9.


Gene conversion is the nonreciprocal exchange of genetic material between homologous chromosomes. Multiple lines of evidence from a variety of taxa strongly suggest that gene conversion events are biased toward GC-bearing alleles. However, in Drosophila, the data have largely been indirect and unclear, with some studies supporting the predictions of a GC-biased gene conversion model and other data showing contradictory findings. Here, we test whether gene conversion events are GC-biased in Drosophila melanogaster using whole-genome polymorphism and divergence data. Our results provide no support for GC-biased gene conversion and thus suggest that this process is unlikely to significantly contribute to patterns of polymorphism and divergence in this system.

Keywords: Drosophila melanogaster; GC-biased gene conversion; polymorphism and divergence data; whole genome.

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Animals
  • Chromosomes, Insect
  • Cytosine / metabolism*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Gene Conversion*
  • Genome, Insect
  • Genomics
  • Guanine / metabolism*
  • Mutation Rate
  • Phylogeny
  • Polymorphism, Genetic


  • Guanine
  • Cytosine