The evolutionary history of Drosophila buzzatii. XXXIV. The distribution of the retrotransposon Osvaldo in original and colonizing populations.

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The frequency distribution of the retrotransposon Osvaldo in the haploid genome of Drosophila buzzatii has been studied in five natural populations from the Iberian Peninsula and six natural populations from Argentina. In Iberian populations, Osvaldo insertion sites do not follow a Poisson distribution, most probably due to eight euchromatic sites with high occupancy, found in all populations. The estimated alpha and beta parameters, which measure the relative importance of drift and negative selection in shaping frequency distributions, indicate that drift is the main force acting upon the distribution of Osvaldo in natural populations of D. buzzatii in the Iberian Peninsula. On the other hand, Osvaldo distribution in populations from Argentina is similar to the distribution of elements with low copy numbers, such as those described for Drosophila melanogaster and Drosophila simulans: there are no indications for deviation from a Poisson distribution, there is a low occupancy per insertion site, and genetic drift has no apparent effect on the frequency distribution. We propose that the unusual distribution found in the populations from the Iberian Peninsula is a consequence of the colonization process. Iberian Peninsula populations suffered a genomic redistribution of Osvaldo, most probably after a founder effect. Consequently, certain copies that arrived at high frequencies are showing a high occupancies today, and the mean copy number of Osvaldo is higher in Iberian Peninsula populations than in populations from Argentina. All other copies are the result of recent (after colonization) transposition events.

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