The demographic history of african drosophila melanogaster

Adamandia Kapopoulou, Susanne Pfeifer, Jeffrey Jensen, Stefan Laurent

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


As one of the most commonly utilized organisms in the study of local adaptation, an accurate characterization of the demographic history of Drosophilamelanogaster remains as an important research question. This owes both to the inherent interest in characterizing the population history of this model organism, as well as to the well-established importance of an accurate null demographic model for increasing power and decreasing false positive rates in genomic scans for positive selection. Although considerable attention has been afforded to this issue in non-African populations, less is known about the demographic history of African populations, including from the ancestral range of the species. While qualitative predictions and hypotheses have previously been forwarded, we here present a quantitative model fitting of the population history characterizing both the ancestral Zambian population range as well as the subsequently colonized west African populations, which themselves served as the source of multiple non-African colonization events. We here report the split time of theWest African population at 72 kya, a date corresponding to human migration into this region as well as a period of climatic changes in the African continent. Furthermore, we have estimated population sizes at this split time. These parameter estimates thus represent an important null model for future investigations in to African and non-African D. melanogaster populations alike.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2338-2342
Number of pages5
JournalGenome biology and evolution
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018


  • Demographic inference
  • Drosophila melanogaster
  • Inversion polymorphisms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics


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