Reduced X-linked rare polymorphism in males in comparison to females of Drosophila melanogaster

Kazuo H. Takahashi, Kentaro Tanaka, Masanobu Itoh, Toshiyuki Takano-Shimizu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Natural selection is assumed to act more strongly on X-linked loci than on autosomal loci because the fitness effect of a recessive mutation on the X chromosome is fully expressed in hemizygous males. Therefore, selection is expected to fix or remove recessive mutations on the X chromosome more efficiently than those on autosomes. However, the assumption that hemizygosity of the X chromosome selectively accelerates changes in allele frequency has not been confirmed directly. To examine this assumption, we investigated current natural selection on X-linked chemoreceptor genes in a natural population of Drosophila melanogaster by comparing nucleotide diversity, linkage disequilibrium (LD), and departure from the neutrality in 4 chemoreceptor genes on 100 X chromosomes each from female and male flies. The general pattern of nucleotide diversity and LD for the genes investigated was similar in females and males. In contrast, males harbored significantly fewer rare polymorphisms defined as singletons and doubletons. When all the gene sequences were concatenated, Tajima's D showed a significant departure from the neutrality in both females and males, whereas Fu and Li's F* value revealed departure only in males. These results suggest that some rare polymorphisms on the X chromosome from females are recessively deleterious and are removed by stronger purifying selection when transferred to hemizygous males.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-105
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Heredity
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Chemoreceptor gene
  • Drosophila melanogaster
  • Natural selection
  • Rare polymorphism
  • X-linked polymorphism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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