Adaptive protein evolution and regulatory divergence in Drosophila

Jeffrey M. Good, Celine A. Hayden, Travis J. Wheeler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Two recent studies demonstrated a positive correlation between divergence in gene expression and protein sequence in Drosophila. This correlation could be driven by positive selection or variation in functional constraint. To distinguish between these alternatives, we compared patterns of molecular evolution for 1,862 genes with two previously reported estimates of expression divergence in Drosophila. We found a slight negative trend (nonsignificant) between positive selection on protein sequence and divergence in expression levels between Drosophila melanogaster and Drosophila simulans. Conversely, shifts in expression patterns during Drosophila development showed a positive association with adaptive protein evolution, though as before the relationship was weak and not significant. Overall, we found no strong evidence for an increase in the incidence of positive selection on protein-coding regions in genes with divergent expression in Drosophila, suggesting that the previously reported positive association between protein and regulatory divergence primarily reflects variation in functional constraint.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1101-1103
Number of pages3
JournalMolecular Biology and Evolution
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2006


  • Gene expression
  • Positive selection
  • Protein evolution


Dive into the research topics of 'Adaptive protein evolution and regulatory divergence in Drosophila'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this