Inferences of demography and selection in an african population of drosophila melanogaster

Nadia D. Singh, Jeffrey D. Jensen, Andrew G. Clark, Charles F. Aquadro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


It remains a central problem in population genetics to infer the past action of natural selection, and these inferences pose a challenge because demographic events will also substantially affect patterns of polymorphism and divergence. Thus it is imperative to explicitly model the underlying demographic history of the population whenever making inferences about natural selection. In light of the considerable interest in adaptation in African populations of Drosophila melanogaster, which are considered ancestral to the species, we generated a large polymorphism data set representing 2.1 Mb from each of 20 individuals from a Ugandan population of D. melanogaster. In contrast to previous inferences of a simple population expansion in eastern Africa, our demographic modeling of this ancestral population reveals a strong signature of a population bottleneck followed by population expansion, which has significant implications for future demographic modeling of derived populations of this species. Taking this more complex underlying demographic history into account, we also estimate a mean X-linked region-wide rate of adaptation of 6 × 10-11/site/generation and a mean selection coefficient of beneficial mutations of 0.0009. These inferences regarding the rate and strength of selection are largely consistent with most other estimates from D. melanogaster and indicate a relatively high rate of adaptation driven by weakly beneficial mutations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-228
Number of pages14
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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