Genetical Research



Neutral effect of recombination on base composition in Drosophila


GABRIEL MARAIS a1c1p1, DOMINIQUE MOUCHIROUD a1 and LAURENT DURET a1
a1 Laboratoire ‘Biométrie et Biologie Evolutive’, UMR 5558, Bâtiment Gregor Mendel, Université Claude Bernard – Lyon 1, 69622 Villeurbanne Cedex, France

Abstract

Recombination is thought to have various evolutionary effects on genome evolution. In this study, we investigated the relationship between the base composition and recombination rate in the Drosophila melanogaster genome. Because of a current debate about the accuracy of the estimates of recombination rate in Drosophila, we used eight different measures of recombination rate from recent work. We confirmed that the G+C content of large introns and flanking regions is positively correlated with recombination rate, suggesting that recombination has a neutral effect on base composition in Drosophila. We also confirmed that this neutral effect of recombination is the main determinant of the correlation between synonymous codon usage bias and recombination rate in Drosophila.

(Received September 23 2002)
(Revised November 13 2002)


Correspondence:
c1 Tel: +44 (0) 131 650 5543. Fax: +44 (0) 131 650 6564. e-mail: Gabriel.Marais@ed.ac.uk
p1 Present address: Institute of Cell, Animal and Population Biology, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH9 3JT, UK.


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