Mar 19, 2015

Genetic architecture and functional characterization of genes underlying the rapid diversification of male external genitalia between Drosophila simulans and Drosophila mauritiana

Genetics
Kentaro M TanakaMaria D S Nunes

Abstract

Male sexual characters are often among the first traits to diverge between closely related species and identifying the genetic basis of such changes can contribute to our understanding of their evolutionary history. However, little is known about the genetic architecture or the specific genes underlying the evolution of male genitalia. The morphology of the claspers, posterior lobes, and anal plates exhibit striking differences between Drosophila mauritiana and D. simulans. Using QTL and introgression-based high-resolution mapping, we identified several small regions on chromosome arms 3L and 3R that contribute to differences in these traits. However, we found that the loci underlying the evolution of clasper differences between these two species are independent from those that contribute to posterior lobe and anal plate divergence. Furthermore, while most of the loci affect each trait in the same direction and act additively, we also found evidence for epistasis between loci for clasper bristle number. In addition, we conducted an RNAi screen in D. melanogaster to investigate if positional and expression candidate genes located on chromosome 3L, are also involved in genital development. We found that six of these genes, includ...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Drosophila mauritiana
Quantitative Trait Loci
Specimen Type - Genital
Genes
Drosophila melanogaster Proteins
MSL3
Science of Morphology
Candidate Disease Gene
Drosophila simulans
Drosophila

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