Evolution of regulatory genes and patterns: relationships to evolutionary rates and to metabolic functions

J Mol Evol. 1993 Dec;37(6):590-9. doi: 10.1007/BF00182745.


In an effort to understand the forces shaping evolution of regulatory genes and patterns, we have compared data on interspecific differences in enzyme expression patterns among the rapidly evolving Hawaiian picture-winged Drosophila to similar data on the more conservative virilis species group. Divergence of regulatory patterns is significantly more common in the former group, but cause and effect are difficult to discern. Random fixation of regulatory variants in small populations and/or during speciation may be somewhat more likely than divergence driven by selection. Within the picture-winged group, we also have compared enzymes that fulfill different metabolic roles. There are highly significant differences between individual enzymes, but no obvious correlations to functional categories.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution*
  • Drosophila / enzymology
  • Drosophila / genetics*
  • Drosophila / metabolism
  • Genes, Regulator*
  • Species Specificity