Compensated deleterious mutations in insect genomes


Kulathinal, RJ, BR Bettencourt, and DL Hartl. 2004. “Compensated deleterious mutations in insect genomes.” Science 306: 1553-4.

Date Published:

Nov 26


Relatively little is known about the importance of amino acid interactions in protein and phenotypic evolution. Here we examine whether mutations that are pathogenic in Drosophila melanogaster become fixed via epistasis in other Dipteran genomes. Overall divergence at pathogenic amino acid sites is reduced. However, approximately 10% of the substitutions at these sites carry the exact same pathogenic amino acid found in D. melanogaster mutants. Hence compensatory mutation(s) must have evolved. Surprisingly, the fraction 10% is not affected by phylogenetic distance. These results support a selection-driven process that allows compensated amino acid substitutions to become rapidly fixed in taxa with large populations.


Kulathinal, Rob JBettencourt, Brian RHartl, Daniel LengGM068465/GM/NIGMS NIH HHS/P41-HG00739/HG/NHGRI NIH HHS/Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov'tResearch Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.New York, N.Y.2004/10/23 09:00Science. 2004 Nov 26;306(5701):1553-4. Epub 2004 Oct 21.

Last updated on 05/12/2015