Project description:Sexually dimorphic traits are often subject to diversifying selection. Genes with a male-biased gene expression also are probably affected by sexual selection and have a high rate of protein evolution. We used SAGE to measure sex-biased gene expression in Drosophila pseudoobscura. Consistent with previous results from D. melanogaster, a larger number of genes were male biased (402 genes) than female biased (138 genes). About 34% of the genes changed the sex-related expression pattern between D. melanogaster and D. pseudoobscura. Combining gene expression with protein divergence between both species, we observed a striking difference in the rate of evolution for genes with a male-biased gene expression in one species only. Contrary to expectations, D. pseudoobscura genes in this category showed no accelerated rate of protein evolution, while D. melanogaster genes did. If sexual selection is driving molecular evolution of male-biased genes, our data imply a radically different selection regime in D. pseudoobscura.
Project description:We have sequenced the genome of a second Drosophila species, Drosophila pseudoobscura, and compared this to the genome sequence of Drosophila melanogaster, a primary model organism. Throughout evolution the vast majority of Drosophila genes have remained on the same chromosome arm, but within each arm gene order has been extensively reshuffled, leading to a minimum of 921 syntenic blocks shared between the species. A repetitive sequence is found in the D. pseudoobscura genome at many junctions between adjacent syntenic blocks. Analysis of this novel repetitive element family suggests that recombination between offset elements may have given rise to many paracentric inversions, thereby contributing to the shuffling of gene order in the D. pseudoobscura lineage. Based on sequence similarity and synteny, 10,516 putative orthologs have been identified as a core gene set conserved over 25-55 million years (Myr) since the pseudoobscura/melanogaster divergence. Genes expressed in the testes had higher amino acid sequence divergence than the genome-wide average, consistent with the rapid evolution of sex-specific proteins. Cis-regulatory sequences are more conserved than random and nearby sequences between the species--but the difference is slight, suggesting that the evolution of cis-regulatory elements is flexible. Overall, a pattern of repeat-mediated chromosomal rearrangement, and high coadaptation of both male genes and cis-regulatory sequences emerges as important themes of genome divergence between these species of Drosophila.
Project description:Comparisons of gene orders between species permit estimation of the rate of chromosomal evolution since their divergence from a common ancestor. We have compared gene orders on three chromosomes of Drosophila pseudoobscura with its close relative, D. miranda, and the distant outgroup species, D. melanogaster, by using the public genome sequences of D. pseudoobscura and D. melanogaster and approximately 50 in situ hybridizations of gene probes in D. miranda. We find no evidence for extensive transfer of genes among chromosomes in D. miranda. The rates of chromosomal rearrangements between D. miranda and D. pseudoobscura are far higher than those found before in Drosophila and approach those for nematodes, the fastest rates among higher eukaryotes. In addition, we find that the D. pseudoobscura chromosome with the highest level of inversion polymorphism (Muller's element C) does not show an unusually fast rate of evolution with respect to chromosome structure, suggesting that this classic case of inversion polymorphism reflects selection rather than mutational processes. On the basis of our results, we propose possible ancestral arrangements for the D. pseudoobscura C chromosome, which are different from those in the current literature. We also describe a new method for correcting for rearrangements that are not detected with a limited set of markers.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Systematic, large-scale RNA interference (RNAi) approaches are very valuable to systematically investigate biological processes in cell culture or in tissues of organisms such as Drosophila. A notorious pitfall of all RNAi technologies are potential false positives caused by unspecific knock-down of genes other than the intended target gene. The ultimate proof for RNAi specificity is a rescue by a construct immune to RNAi, typically originating from a related species. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We show that primary sequence divergence in areas targeted by Drosophila melanogaster RNAi hairpins in five non-melanogaster species is sufficient to identify orthologs for 81% of the genes that are predicted to be RNAi refractory. We use clones from a genomic fosmid library of Drosophila pseudoobscura to demonstrate the rescue of RNAi phenotypes in Drosophila melanogaster muscles. Four out of five fosmid clones we tested harbour cross-species functionality for the gene assayed, and three out of the four rescue a RNAi phenotype in Drosophila melanogaster. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The Drosophila pseudoobscura fosmid library is designed for seamless cross-species transgenesis and can be readily used to demonstrate specificity of RNAi phenotypes in a systematic manner.
Project description:It is generally accepted that gene regulation serves an important role in determining the phenotype. To shed light on the evolutionary forces operating on gene regulation, previous studies mainly focused on the expression differences between species and their inter-specific hybrids. Here, we use RNA-Seq to study the intra-specific distribution of cis- and trans-regulatory variation in Drosophila pseudoobscura. Consistent with previous results, we find almost twice as many genes (26%) with significant trans-effects than genes with significant cis-effects (18%). While this result supports the previous suggestion of a larger mutational target of trans-effects, we also show that trans-effects may be subjected to purifying selection. Our results underline the importance of intra-specific analyses for the understanding of the evolution of gene expression.
Project description:Interactions between the sexes are believed to be a potent source of selection on sex-specific evolution. The way in which sexual interactions influence male investment is much studied, but effects on females are more poorly understood. To address this deficiency, we examined gene expression in virgin female Drosophila pseudoobscura following 100 generations of mating system manipulations in which we either elevated polyandry or enforced monandry. Gene expression evolution following mating system manipulation resulted in 14% of the transcriptome of virgin females being altered. Polyandrous females elevated expression of a greater number of genes normally enriched in ovaries and associated with mitosis and meiosis, which might reflect female investment into reproductive functions. Monandrous females showed a greater number of genes normally enriched for expression in somatic tissues, including the head and gut and associated with visual perception and metabolism, respectively. By comparing our data with a previous study of sex differences in gene expression in this species, we found that the majority of the genes that are differentially expressed between females of the selection treatments show female-biased expression in the wild-type population. A striking exception is genes associated with male-specific reproductive tissues (in D. melanogaster), which are upregulated in polyandrous females. Our results provide experimental evidence for a role of sex-specific selection arising from differing sexual interactions with males in promoting rapid evolution of the female transcriptome.