Jeffrey R. Powell

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Comparative analysis of multiple genomes in a phylogenetic framework dramatically improves the precision and sensitivity of evolutionary inference, producing more robust results than single-genome analyses can provide. The genomes of 12 Drosophila species, ten of which are presented here for the first time (sechellia, simulans, yakuba, erecta, ananassae,(More)
We have summarized and analyzed all available nuclear DNA sequence polymorphism studies for three species of Drosophila, D. melanogaster (24 loci), D. simulans (12 loci), and D. pseudoobscura (5 loci). Our major findings are: (1) The average nucleotide heterozygosity ranges from about 0.4% to 2% depending upon species and function of the region, i.e.,(More)
Synonymous substitution rates in mitochondrial and nuclear genes of Drosophila were compared. To make accurate comparisons, we considered the following: (1) relative synonymous rates, which do not require divergence time estimates, should be used; (2) methods estimating divergence should take into account base composition; (3) only very closely related(More)
We first review what is known about patterns of codon usage bias in Drosophila and make the following points: (i) Drosophila genes are as biased or more biased than those in microorganisms. (ii) The level of bias of genes and even the particular pattern of codon bias can remain phylogenetically invariant for very long periods of evolution. (iii) However,(More)
Codon usage bias of 1,117 Drosophila melanogaster genes, as well as fewer D. pseudoobscura and D. virilis genes, was examined from the perspective of relative abundance of isoaccepting tRNAs and their changes during development. We found that each amino acid contributes about equally and highly significantly to overall codon usage bias, with the exception(More)
Codon usage bias (CUB), the uneven use of synonymous codons, is a ubiquitous observation in virtually all organisms examined. The pattern of codon usage is generally similar among closely related species, but differs significantly among distantly related organisms, e.g., bacteria, yeast, and Drosophila. Several explanations for CUB have been offered and(More)
We describe allelic variation at 28 gene loci in natural populations of D. willistoni. Seventy samples were studied from localities extending from Mexico and Florida, through Central America, the West Indies, and tropical South America, down to South Brazil. At least several hundred, and often several thousand, genomes were sampled for each locus. We have(More)
Understanding the processes by which species colonize and adapt to human habitats is particularly important in the case of disease-vectoring arthropods. The mosquito species Aedes aegypti, a major vector of dengue and yellow fever viruses, probably originated as a wild, zoophilic species in sub-Saharan Africa, where some populations still breed in tree(More)
Levels of DNA divergence among the eight species of the Drosophila melanogaster subgroup and D. takahashii have been determined using the technique of DNA-DNA hybridization. Two types of DNA were used: single-copy nuclear DNA (scnDNA) and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). The major findings are: (1) A phylogeny has been derived for the group based on scnDNA which(More)