DNA sequence evolution of the amylase multigene family in Drosophila pseudoobscura.
C J Brown, C F Aquadro, W W Anderson


The alpha-Amylase locus in Drosophila pseudoobscura is a multigene family of one, two or three copies on the third chromosome. The nucleotide sequences of the three Amylase genes from a single chromosome of D. pseudoobscura are presented. The three Amylase genes differ at about 0.5% of their nucleotides. Each gene has a putative intron of 71 (Amy1) or 81 (Amy2 and Amy3) bp. In contrast, Drosophila melanogaster Amylase genes do not have an intron. The functional Amy1 gene of D. pseudoobscura differs from the Amy-p1 gene of D. melanogaster at an estimated 13.3% of the 1482 nucleotides in the coding region. The estimated rate of synonymous substitutions is 0.398 +/- 0.043, and the estimated rate of nonsynonymous substitutions is 0.068 +/- 0.008. From the sequence data we infer that Amy2 and Amy3 are more closely related to each other than either is to Amy1. From the pattern of nucleotide substitutions we reason that there is selection against synonymous substitutions within the Amy1 sequence; that there is selection against nonsynonymous substitutions within the Amy2 sequence, or that Amy2 has recently undergone a gene conversion with Amy1; and that Amy3 is nonfunctional and subject to random genetic drift.