Navigation Links
Out of Africa -- how the fruit fly made its way in the world
Date:4/27/2011

Fruit flies that moved from sub-Saharan Africa found themselves confronted by conditions very different from those to which they were accustomed. Most obviously, the average temperatures were considerably lower and so it is no surprise that the flies had to adapt to cope with life in the north. As a result of thousands of years of evolution, populations in sub-Saharan African and in Europe now differ dramatically in a number of characteristics known to relate to temperature (such as pigmentation, size and resistance to cold). Schltterer's previous work had suggested that a single gene, interestingly known as cramped (crm), might be involved in helping the flies survive in a colder environment but conclusive proof was lacking.

The crm protein is a transcription factor, so Jean-Michel Gibert in Schltterer's laboratory decided to investigate what genes it could regulate, continuing to work on the project following his move to the University of Geneva. Gibert and Schltterer focused in particular on genes known to be involved in wing development, such as the so-called cubitus interruptus (ci) gene, the regulation of which is known to depend on temperature. Satisfyingly, they were able to show that crm is absolutely required for the inactivation of the ci gene.

The scientists reasoned that if the crm protein is important in the response to temperature it should be possible to show that the variants or alleles of the crm gene found in Europe function differently from the alleles found in flies in sub-Saharan Africa. To "amplify" any differences in properties, they employed a sophisticated genetic trick, removing the effects of other sites in the fly's genome. In the presence of different crm alleles they examined the effects of temperature changes on the expression of the ci gene as well as on such characteristics as abdominal pigmentation in females and sex combs in males, traits known to be influenced by temperature. The results were striking: different crm alleles were associated with significant differences in the effects of temperature on these characteristics.

crm was found to limit distinct processes at different temperatures, strongly suggesting that changes in crm could have been involved in buffering the effects of different temperatures on the fly. The results represent an exciting new direction in the understanding of evolution. As Schltterer says, "We normally imagine evolution proceeding by the acquisition of new functions. But the fly's adaptation to a colder environment seems instead to have been accompanied by changes to a master regulator to ensure that previously existing functions were retained despite the changed circumstances."


'/>"/>

Contact: Christian Schloetterer
christian.schloetterer@vetmeduni.ac.at
43-125-077-4300
University of Veterinary Medicine -- Vienna
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Search for weapons of mass destruction expands to East Africa
2. When African animals hit the hay
3. Zoo researchers provide African sanctuaries road map
4. Untapped crop data from Africa predicts corn peril if temperatures rise
5. BU School of Public Health finds simple interventions reduce newborn deaths in Africa
6. Initiative to tackle malnutrition in Africa
7. Altered gene protects some African-Americans from coronary artery disease
8. Rodents were diverse and abundant in prehistoric Africa when our human ancestors evolved
9. Studies detail triumphs, troubles of African innovators creating products for local health needs
10. Africa can feed itself in a generation: Study
11. Researchers link an African lizard fossil in Africa with the Komodo dragon in Indonesia
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/11/2017)... N.Y. , April 11, 2017 ... fingerprints, but researchers at the New York University ... College of Engineering have found that partial similarities ... security systems used in mobile phones and other ... thought. The vulnerability lies in the ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... 2017  The Allen Institute for Cell Science today ... one-of-a-kind portal and dynamic digital window into the human ... first application of deep learning to create predictive models ... and a growing suite of powerful tools. The Allen ... future publicly available resources created and shared by the ...
(Date:4/4/2017)... April 4, 2017   EyeLock LLC , a ... the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has ... the linking of an iris image with a face ... represents the company,s 45 th issued patent. ... very timely given the multi-modal biometric capabilities that have ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:9/14/2017)... ... September 14, 2017 , ... DrugDev ... biotech at the third annual DrugDev Summit, November 7-8, 2017 in Philadelphia, PA. ... most progressive clinical research leaders for best practice case studies, keynote presentations, lively ...
(Date:9/14/2017)... ... ... Boston Strategic Partners, Inc. (BSP), a life-sciences and healthcare ... (HEOR) and ‘big data’ to provide in-depth analysis of pneumonia patients characteristics, medication ... with nearly 1/3 spent on hospitalizations. BSP has access to real-world data from ...
(Date:9/14/2017)... ... September 14, 2017 , ... One of the world’s largest ... 16. , For six hours that day, the GenCure Marrow Donor Program will be ... 30 H-E-B grocery stores in San Antonio. , The registration tables will be staffed ...
(Date:9/14/2017)... ... September 14, 2017 , ... ... exploratory analytics solutions, today announced that its Anzo Smart Data Lake has been ... list includes technologies and solutions that help organizations succeed in surpassing their knowledge ...
Breaking Biology Technology: