Drosophila melanogaster and D. simulans are two closely related species with a similar distribution range. Many studies suggested that D. melanogaster has a smaller effective population size than D. simulans. As most evidence was derived from non-African populations, we readdressed this question by sequencing 10 X-linked loci in five African D. simulans and six African D. melanogaster populations. Contrary to previous results, we found no evidence for higher variability, and thus larger effective population size, in D. simulans. Our observation of similar levels of variability of both species will have important implications for the interpretation of patterns of molecular evolution.
Africa Animals Base Sequence Drosophila melanogaster/classification* Drosophila melanogaster/genetics* Genetic Drift Genetic Variation* Linkage Disequilibrium/genetics Mutation/genetics Population Density Population Dynamics