Selective sweep of a newly evolved sperm-specific gene in Drosophila

Nature. 1998 Dec 10;396(6711):572-5. doi: 10.1038/25126.


The pattern of genetic variation across the genome of Drosophila melanogaster is consistent with the occurrence of frequent 'selective sweeps', in which new favourable mutations become incorporated into the species so quickly that linked alleles can 'hitchhike' and also become fixed. Because of the hitchhiking of linked genes, it is generally difficult to identify the target of any putative selective sweep. Here, however, we identify a new gene in D. melanogaster that codes for a sperm-specific axonemal dynein subunit. The gene has a new testes-specific promoter derived from a protein-coding region in a gene encoding the cell-adhesion protein annexin X (AnnX), and it contains a new protein-coding exon derived from an intron in a gene encoding a cytoplasmic dynein intermediate chain (Cdic). The new transcription unit, designated Sdic (for sperm-specific dynein intermediate chain), has been duplicated about tenfold in a tandem array. Consistent with the selective sweep of this gene, the level of genetic polymorphism near Sdic is unusually low. The discovery of this gene supports other results that point to the rapid molecular evolution of male reproductive functions.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Annexins / genetics
  • Artificial Gene Fusion
  • Axonemal Dyneins
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA
  • Drosophila Proteins*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Dyneins / genetics*
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Genes, Insect
  • Insect Proteins / genetics*
  • Male
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / genetics
  • Selection, Genetic
  • Sequence Deletion
  • Spermatozoa* / metabolism
  • Testis / metabolism


  • Annexins
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Insect Proteins
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • sw protein, Drosophila
  • DNA
  • Sdic protein, Drosophila
  • Axonemal Dyneins
  • Dyneins

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AF070587
  • GENBANK/AF070588
  • GENBANK/AF070589
  • GENBANK/AF070590
  • GENBANK/AF070591
  • GENBANK/AF070592
  • GENBANK/AF070593
  • GENBANK/AF070594
  • GENBANK/AF070595
  • GENBANK/AF070596
  • GENBANK/AF070597
  • GENBANK/AF070598
  • GENBANK/AF070599
  • GENBANK/AF070600
  • GENBANK/AF070601
  • GENBANK/AF070602
  • GENBANK/AF070603
  • GENBANK/AF070604
  • GENBANK/AF070605
  • GENBANK/AF070606
  • GENBANK/AF070607
  • GENBANK/AF070608
  • GENBANK/AF070609
  • GENBANK/AF070610
  • GENBANK/AF070611
  • GENBANK/AF070612
  • GENBANK/AF070613
  • GENBANK/AF070614
  • GENBANK/AF070615
  • GENBANK/AF070616