We report a significant negative correlation between nonsynonymous polymorphism and intron length in Drosophila melanogaster. This correlation is similar to that between protein divergence and intron length previously reported in Drosophila. We show that the relationship can be explained by the content of conserved noncoding sequences (CNS) within introns. In addition, genes with a high regulatory complexity and many genetic interactions also exhibit larger amounts of CNS within their introns and lower values of nonsynonymous polymorphism. The present study provides relevant evidence on the importance of intron content and expression patterns on the levels of coding polymorphism. © 2007 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.
- Coding nucleotide polymorphism
- Conserved noncoding sequences
- Drosophila melanogaster
- Gene expression pattern
- Protein evolution