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Rate and cost of adaptation in the Drosophila genome

By Stephan Schiffels, Michael Lässig, Ville Mustonen

Posted 02 Sep 2014
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/008680

Recent studies have consistently inferred high rates of adaptive molecular evolution between Drosophila species. At the same time, the Drosophila genome evolves under different rates of recombination, which results in partial genetic linkage between alleles at neighboring genomic loci. Here we analyze how linkage correlations affect adaptive evolution. We develop a new inference method for adaptation that takes into account the effect on an allele at a focal site caused by neighboring deleterious alleles (background selection) and by neighboring adaptive substitutions (hitchhiking). Using complete genome sequence data and fine-scale recombination maps, we infer a highly heterogeneous scenario of adaptation in Drosophila. In high-recombining regions, about 50% of all amino acid substitutions are adaptive, together with about 20% of all substitutions in proximal intergenic regions. In low-recombining regions, only a small fraction of the amino acid substitutions are adaptive, while hitchhiking accounts for the majority of these changes. Hitchhiking of deleterious alleles generates a substantial collateral cost of adaptation, leading to a fitness decline of about 30/2N per gene and per million years in the lowest-recombining regions. Our results show how recombination shapes rate and efficacy of the adaptive dynamics in eukaryotic genomes.

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