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Codon bias differentiates between the duplicated amylase loci following gene duplication in Drosophila.

The Genetics Society of America
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  • Research Article


We examined the pattern of synonymous substitutions in the duplicated Amylase (Amy) genes (called the Amy1- and Amy3-type genes, respectively) in the Drosophila montium species subgroup. The GC content at the third synonymous codon sites of the Amy1-type genes was higher than that of the Amy3-type genes, while the GC content in the 5'-flanking region was the same in both genes. This suggests that the difference in the GC content at third synonymous sites between the duplicated genes is not due to the temporal or regional changes in mutation bias. We inferred the direction of synonymous substitutions along branches of a phylogeny. In most lineages, there were more synonymous substitutions from G/C (G or C) to A/T (A or T) than from A/T to G/C. However, in one lineage leading to the Amy1-type genes, which is immediately after gene duplication but before speciation of the montium species, synonymous substitutions from A/T to G/C were predominant. According to a simple model of synonymous DNA evolution in which major codons are selectively advantageous within each codon family, we estimated the selection intensity for specific lineages in a phylogeny on the basis of inferred patterns of synonymous substitutions. Our result suggested that the difference in GC content at synonymous sites between the two Amy-type genes was due to the change of selection intensity immediately after gene duplication but before speciation of the montium species.

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