Low genic variation in male-reproductive-tract proteins of Drosophila melanogaster and D. simulans.
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We report results, using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2DE), of natural population surveys of allelic variation in approximately 300 male-reproductive-tract polypeptides in both Drosophila melanogaster and its sibling species, D. simulans. Despite our efforts to maximize operational sensitivity of our 2DE gels to polymorphism, variation estimates in both species were low (proportion of polymorphic loci [P] = 9%, and average heterozygosity [H] = 1%-3%), compared with those by one-dimensional gel electrophoresis (1DE) (P = 29%-55%; H = 8%-19%) in the same populations. However, H of polymorphic loci was very similar for 2DE and 1DE proteins; and for 17 of a total of 54 polymorphic proteins, 2DE detected three or four distinct alleles. The results suggest that the differing levels of variability widely seen with 1DE and 2DE are real and reflect differing intensities of functional constraint between different classes of structural loci. However, the alternative possibility remains that 2DE has a greater between-locus unevenness of variant detection sensitivity than does 1DE.
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