Codon bias varies widely among the loci of Drosophila melanogaster, and some of this diversity has been explained by variation in the strength of natural selection. A study of correlations between intron and coding region base composition shows that variation in mutation pattern also contributes to codon bias variation. This finding is corroborated by an analysis of variance (ANOVA), which shows a tendency for introns from the same gene to be similar in base composition. The strength of base composition correlations between introns and codon third positions is greater for genes with low codon bias than for genes with high codon bias. This pattern can be explained by an overwhelming effect of natural selection, relative to mutation, in highly biased loci. In particular, this correlation is absent when examining fourfold degenerate sites of highly biased genes. In general, it appears that selection acts more strongly in choosing among fourfold degenerate codons than among twofold degenerate codons. Although the results indicate regional variation in mutational bias, no evidence is found for large scale regions of compositional homogeneity.
- Copyright © 1994 by the Genetics Society of America