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Citation
Marcellini, S., Simpson, P. (2006). Two or four bristles: functional evolution of an enhancer of scute in Drosophilidae.  PLoS Biol. 4(12): e386.
FlyBase ID
FBrf0194830
Publication Type
Research paper
Abstract

Changes in cis-regulatory sequences are proposed to underlie much of morphological evolution. Yet, little is known about how such modifications translate into phenotypic differences. To address this problem, we focus on the dorsocentral bristles of Drosophilidae. In Drosophila melanogaster, development of these bristles depends on a cis-regulatory element, the dorsocentral enhancer, to activate scute in a cluster of cells from which two bristles on the posterior scutum arise. A few species however, such as D. quadrilineata, bear anterior dorsocentral bristles as well as posterior ones, a derived feature. This correlates with an anterior expansion of the scute expression domain. Here, we show that the D. quadrilineata enhancer has evolved, and is now active in more anterior regions. When used to rescue scute expression in transgenic D. melanogaster, the D. quadrilineata enhancer is able to induce anterior bristles. Importantly, these properties are not displayed by homologous enhancers from control species bearing only two posterior bristles. We also provide evidence that upstream regulation of the enhancer, by the GATA transcription factor Pannier, has been evolutionarily conserved. This work illustrates how, in the context of a conserved trans-regulatory landscape, evolutionary tinkering of pre-existing enhancers can modify gene expression patterns and contribute to morphological diversification.

PubMed ID
PubMed Central ID
PMC1635746 (PMC) (EuropePMC)
Related Publication(s)
Note

Small change: study of enhancer supports evolution model.
Robinson, 2006, PLoS Biol. 4(12): e419 [FBrf0200123]

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Secondary IDs
    Language of Publication
    English
    Additional Languages of Abstract
    Parent Publication
    Publication Type
    Journal
    Abbreviation
    PLoS Biol.
    Title
    PLoS Biology
    Publication Year
    2003-
    ISBN/ISSN
    1545-7885 1544-9173
    Data From Reference
    Genes (6)
    Sequence Features (1)