Historical effective size and the level of genetic diversity in Drosophila melanogaster and Drosophila pseudoobscura
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We report the results of a sequential gel electrophoretic study of protein variation in Drosophila melanogaster and its comparison with D. pseudoobscura. The number of alleles and mean heterozygosity were lower in D. melanogaster than in D. pseudoobscura. On the other hand, geographical populations of Drosophila melanogaster have been shown to be much more differentiated than those of D. pseudoobscura. The results suggest that in D. melanogaster low-frequency alleles have been lost during the colonization process and that major alleles have become differentiated among populations. Population bottlenecks, due to various causes, appear to have played a significant role in the shaping of genetic variation in natural populations of many species. It is proposed that a comparison of genetic variation at homologous gene loci between related species can bring out effects of historical bottlenecks and provide an alternative approach for analyzing causes of genetic variation in natural populations.
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