Selective sweeps in a 2-locus model for sex-ratio meiotic drive in Drosophila simulans

Derome, NB, E.; Ogereau, D.; Veuille, M.; Montchamp-Moreau, C.,  Molecular Biology and Evolution,  25:409-416. 2008.

A way to identify loci subject to positive selection is to detect the signature of selective sweeps in given chromosomal regions. It is revealed by the departure of DNA polymorphism patterns from the neutral equilibrium predicted by coalescent theory. We surveyed DNA sequence variation in a region formerly identified as causing “sex-ratio” meiotic drive in Drosophila simulans. We found evidence that this system evolved by positive selection at 2 neighboring loci, which thus appear to be required simultaneously for meiotic drive to occur. The 2 regions are approximately 150-kb distant, corresponding to a genetic distance of 0.1 cM. The presumably large transmission advantage of chromosomes carrying meiotic drive alleles at both loci has not erased the individual signature of selection at each locus. This chromosome fragment combines a high level of linkage disequilibrium between the 2 critical regions with a high recombination rate. As a result, 2 characteristic traits of selective sweeps-the reduction of variation and the departure from selective neutrality in haplotype tests-show a bimodal pattern. Linkage disequilibrium level indicates that, in the natural population from Madagascar used in this study, the selective sweep may be as recent as 100 years.