Project: Research project

Project Details


The objective of the proposed study is to analyze the intraspecific
and interspecific variation of nucleotide sequences of a
phenotypically monomorphic locus to determine the important
evolutionary forces that generate and maintain nucleotide diversity
in natural populations. Nucleotide diversity is the ultimate
source of phenotypic variation which allows organisms to adapt to
new environmental challenges in natural populations such as
acquiring disease resistance. Thus, it is important to understand
the evolutionary forces that modulate the levels of genetic
variation in natural populations. In addition, the evolutionary
dynamics of a genetic locus that is phenotypically simple must be
understood before the evolutionary forces that shape the pattern
and organization of nucleotide diversity of phenotypically complex
loci can be ascertained.

The proposed study will sample the nucleotide diversity of 100
nucleotide sequences of the alcohol dehydrogenase (Adh) region, a
phenotypically monomorphic locus, from five natural populations of
Drosophila pseudoobscura and one population of D. persimilis to
test whether this locus fits the predictions of the neutral theory
of molecular evolution. A phenotypically monomorphic locus should
behave according to the predictions of the neutral theory in the
absence of other evolutionary forces such as natural selection.
Any departures from the predictions of the neutral
model seen in the Adh region of D. pseudoobscura will suggest that
the action of natural selection may shape the pattern and
organization of nucleotide diversity at a phenotypically
monomorphic locus.
Effective start/end date7/1/906/30/91


  • National Institute of General Medical Sciences

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