Skip to main content

Non-adaptive molecular evolution of seminal fluid proteins in drosophila

Cite this dataset

Civetta, Alberto; Patlar, Bahar; Jayaswal, Vivek; Ranz, Jose (2021). Non-adaptive molecular evolution of seminal fluid proteins in drosophila [Dataset]. Dryad.


Seminal fluid proteins (SFPs) are a group of reproductive proteins that are amongst the most evolutionarily divergent known. As SFPs can impact male and female fitness, these proteins have been proposed to evolve under post-copulatory sexual selection (PCSS). However, the fast change of the SFPs can also result from non-adaptive evolution, and the extent to which selective constraints prevent SFPs rapid evolution remains unknown. Using intra- and interspecific sequence information, along with genomics and functional data, we examine the molecular evolution of approximately 300 SFPs in Drosophila. We found that 50-57% of the SFP genes, depending on the population examined, are evolving under relaxed selection. Only 7-12% showed evidence of positive selection, with no evidence supporting other forms of PCSS, and 35-37% of the SFP genes were selectively constrained. Further, despite associations of positive selection with gene location on the X chromosome and protease activity, the analysis of additional genomic and functional features revealed their lack of influence on SFPs evolving under positive selection. Our results highlight a lack of sufficient evidence to claim that most SFPs are driven to evolve rapidly by PCSS while identifying genomic and functional attributes that influence different modes of SFPs evolution.