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A single gene affects both ecological divergence and mate choice in Drosophila.

Published on Mar 7, 2014in Science41.063
· DOI :10.1126/science.1249998
Henry Chung14
Estimated H-index: 14
(HHMI: Howard Hughes Medical Institute),
David W. Loehlin2
Estimated H-index: 2
(HHMI: Howard Hughes Medical Institute)
+ 3 AuthorsSean B. Carroll81
Estimated H-index: 81
(HHMI: Howard Hughes Medical Institute)
Abstract
Evolutionary changes in traits involved in both ecological divergence and mate choice may produce reproductive isolation and speciation. However, there are few examples of such dual traits, and the genetic and molecular bases of their evolution have not been identified. We show that methyl-branched cuticular hydrocarbons (mbCHCs) are a dual trait that affects both desiccation resistance and mate choice in Drosophila serrata . We identify a fatty acid synthase mFAS ( CG3524 ) responsible for mbCHC production in Drosophila and find that expression of mFAS is undetectable in oenocytes (cells that produce CHCs) of a closely related, desiccation-sensitive species, D. birchii , due in part to multiple changes in cis-regulatory sequences of mFAS . We suggest that ecologically influenced changes in the production of mbCHCs have contributed to reproductive isolation between the two species.
  • References (27)
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References27
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Insects use hydrocarbons as cuticular waterproofing agents and as contact pheromones. Although their biosynthesis from fatty acyl precursors is well established, the last step of hydrocarbon biosynthesis from long-chain fatty aldehydes has remained mysterious. We show here that insects use a P450 enzyme of the CYP4G family to oxidatively produce hydrocarbons from aldehydes. Oenocyte-directed RNAi knock-down of Drosophila CYP4G1 or NADPH-cytochrome P450 reductase results in flies deficient in cut...
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