Genetic Exchange versus Genetic Differentiation in a Medium-Sized Inversion of Drosophila: The A2/Ast Arrangements of Drosophila subobscura
Molecular biology and evolution
Chromosomal inversion polymorphism affects nucleotide variation at loci associated with inversions. In Drosophila subobscura, a species with a rich chromosomal inversion polymorphism and the largest recombinational map so far reported in the Drosophila genus, extensive genetic structure of nucleotide variation was detected in the segment affected by the O 3 inversion, a moderately sized inversion at Muller's element E. Indeed, a strong genetic differentiation all over O 3 and no evidence of a
... no evidence of a higher genetic exchange in the center of the inversion than at breakpoints were detected. In order to ascertain, whether other polymorphic and differently sized inversions of D. subobscura also exhibited a strong genetic structure, nucleotide variation in 5 gene regions (P236, P275, P150, Sxl, and P125) located along the A 2 inversion was analyzed in A st and A 2 chromosomes of D. subobscura. A 2 is a medium-sized inversion at Muller's element A and forms a single inversion loop in heterokaryotypes. The lower level of variation in A 2 relative to A st and the significant excess of low-frequency variants at polymorphic sites indicate that nucleotide variation at A 2 is not at mutation-drift equilibrium. The closest region to an inversion breakpoint, P236, exhibits the highest level of genetic differentiation (F ST ) and of linkage disequilibrium (LD) between arrangements and variants at nucleotide polymorphic sites. The remaining 4 regions show a higher level of genetic exchange between A 2 and A st chromosomes than P236, as revealed by F ST and LD estimates. However, significant genetic differentiation between the A st and A 2 arrangements was detected not only at P236 but also in the other 4 regions separated from the nearest breakpoint by 1.2-2.9 Mb. Therefore, the extent of genetic exchange between arrangements has not been high enough to homogenize nucleotide variation in the center of the A 2 inversion. A 2 can be considered a typical successful inversion of D. subobscura according to its relative length. Chromosomal inversion polymorphism of D. subobscura might thus cause the genome of this species to be highly structured and to harbor different gene pools that might contribute to maintain adaptations to particular environments.