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Lavington, E., Kern, A.D. (2017). The Effect of Common Inversion Polymorphisms In(2L)t and In(3R)Mo on Patterns of Transcriptional Variation in Drosophila melanogaster.  G3 (Bethesda) 7(11): 3659--3668.
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Research paper

Chromosomal inversions are a ubiquitous feature of genetic variation. Theoretical models describe several mechanisms by which inversions can drive adaptation and be maintained as polymorphisms. While inversions have been shown previously to be under selection, or contain genetic variation under selection, the specific phenotypic consequences of inversions leading to their maintenance remain unclear. Here we use genomic sequence and expression data from the Drosophila Genetic Reference Panel (DGRP) to explore the effects of two cosmopolitan inversions, In(2L)t and In(3R)Mo, on patterns of transcriptional variation. We demonstrate that each inversion has a significant effect on transcript abundance for hundreds of genes across the genome. Inversion-affected loci (IAL) appear both within inversions as well as on unlinked chromosomes. Importantly, IAL do not appear to be influenced by the previously reported genome-wide expression correlation structure. We found that five genes involved with sterol uptake, four of which are Niemann-Pick Type 2 orthologs, are upregulated in flies with In(3R)Mo but do not have SNPs in linkage disequilibrium (LD) with the inversion. We speculate that this upregulation is driven by genetic variation in mod(mdg4) that is in LD with In(3R)Mo We find that there is little evidence for a regional or position effect of inversions on gene expression at the chromosomal level, but do find evidence for the distal breakpoint of In(3R)Mo interrupting one gene and possibly disassociating the two flanking genes from regulatory elements.

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PMC5677173 (PMC) (EuropePMC)
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    G3 (Bethesda)
    G3 : genes - genomes - genetics
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