Genetical Research

Research Article

Dubious maternal inheritance of mitochondrial DNA in D. simulans and evolution of D. mauritiana

Yoko Sattaa1, Nobue Toyoharaa1, Chiaki Ohtakaa1, Yumi Tatsunoa1, Takao K. Watanabea2, Etsuko T. Matsuuraa1, Sadao I. Chigusaa1 c1 and Naoyuki Takahataa2

a1 Department of Biology, Ochanomizu University, 2-1-1 Ohtsuka, Bunkyo, Tokyo 112, Japan

a2 National Institute of Genetics, Mishima, Shizuoka-ken 411, Japan


Within-line heterogeneity has been found in the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in two isofemale lines of D. simulans. The co-existing types, S and M, were typical of the mtDNA in D. simulans and in D. mauritiana, respectively, their nucleotide divergence per site being ca. 2·1%. Segregation analysis confirmed that some individuals in these lines were heteroplasmic and suggested incomplete maternal inheritance of mtDNA in Drosophila. Examination of other lines of D. simulans revealed that the M type of D. mauritiana occurs at 71% in Réunion, 38% in Madagascar and 0% in Kenya. This finding and interspecific sequence comparisons of both M types indicate that D. mauritiana diverged from D. simulans probably less than 240000 years ago.

(Received July 21 1987)

(Revised November 25 1987)


c1 Corresponding author.