Jul 3, 2013

Genetic and developmental analysis of differences in eye and face morphology between Drosophila simulans and Drosophila mauritiana

Evolution & Development
Saad ArifAlistair P McGregor


Eye and head morphology vary considerably among insects and even between closely related species of Drosophila. Species of the D. melanogaster subgroup, and other Drosophila species, exhibit a negative correlation between eye size and face width (FW); for example, D. mauritiana generally has bigger eyes composed of larger ommatidia and conversely a narrower face than its sibling species. To better understand the evolution of eye and head morphology, we investigated the genetic and developmental basis of differences in eye size and FW between male D. mauritiana and D. simulans. QTL mapping of eye size and FW showed that the major loci responsible for the interspecific variation in these traits are localized to different genomic regions. Introgression of the largest effect QTL underlying the difference in eye size resulted in flies with larger eyes but no significant difference in FW. Moreover,introgression of a QTL region on the third chromosome that contributes to the FW difference between these species affected FW, but not eye size. We also observed that this difference in FW is detectable earlier in the development of the eye‐antennal disc than the difference in the size of the retinal field. Our results suggest that differen...Continue Reading

Mentioned in this Paper

Genes, Insect
Drosophila mauritiana
Photoreceptor Cells, Invertebrate
Quantitative Trait Loci
Melanogaster subgroup
Science of Morphology
Drosophila simulans
Diplopterygium simulans

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