Nucleotide polymorphism at the alcohol dehydrogenase locus of pocket gophers, genus Geomys

Robert D. Bradley, Ronald M. Adkins, Rodney L. Honeycutt, John H. McDonald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Using the strictly neutral model as a null hypothesis, we tested for deviations from expected levels of nucleotide polymorphism at the alcohol dehydrogenase locus (Adh-1) within and among four species of pocket gophers (Geomys bursarius major, G. knoxjonesi, G. texensis llanensis, and G. attwateri). The complete protein-encoding region was examined, and 10 unique alleles, representing both electromorphic and cryptic alleles, were used to test hypotheses (e.g., the neutral model) concerning the maintenance of genetic variation. Nineteen variable sites were identified among the 10 alleles examined, including 9 segregating sites occurring in synonymous position and 10 that were nonsynonymous. Several statistical methods, including those that test for within-species variation as well as those that examine variation within and among species, failed to reject the null hypothesis that variation (both within and between species of Geomys) at the Adh locus is consistent with the neutral theory. However, there was significant heterogeneity in the ratio of polymorphism to divergence across the gene, with polymorphisms clustered in the first half of the coding region and fixed differences clustered in the second half of the gene. Two alternative hypotheses are discussed as possible explanations for this heterogeneity: an old balanced polymorphism in the first half of the gene or a recent selective sweep in the second half of the gene.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)709-717
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular biology and evolution
Volume15
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1998

Keywords

  • Alcohol dehydrogenase
  • Geomys
  • Nucleotide polymorphism

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