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Genes encoding reproductive proteins often diverge rapidly due to positive selection on nucleotide substitutions. While this general pattern is well established, the extent to which specific reproductive genes experience similar selection in different clades has been little explored, nor have possible targets of positive selection other than nucleotide substitutions, such as indels, received much attention. Here, we inspect for the signature of positive selection in the genes encoding five accessory gland proteins (Acps) (Acp26Aa, Acp32CD, Acp53Ea, Acp62F, and Acp70A) originally described from Drosophila melanogaster but with recognizable orthologues in the D. pseudoobscura subgroup. We compare patterns of selection within the D. psuedoobscura subgroup to those in the D. melanogaster subgroup. Similar patterns of positive selection were found in Acp26Aa and Acp62F in the two subgroups, while Acp53Ea and Acp70A experienced purifying selection in both subgroups. These proteins have thus remained targets for similar types of selection over long (>21-MY) periods of time. We also found several indel substitutions and polymorphisms in Acp26Aa and Acp32CD. These indels occur in the same regions as positively selected nucleotide substitutions for Acp26Aa in the D. pseudoobscura subgroup but not in the D. melanogaster subgroup. Rates of indel substitution within Acp26Aa in the D. pseudoobscura subgroup were up to several times those in noncoding regions of the Drosophila genome. This suggests that indel substitutions may be under positive selection and may play a key role in the divergence of some Acps. © Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006.

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Journal of Molecular Evolution

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