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:4/28/2016)... BANGALORE, India , April 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... product subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: INFY ), and ... global partnership that will provide end customers with ... banking and payment services.      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130122/589162 ... area for financial services, but it also plays a fundamental ...
(Date:4/19/2016)... The new GEZE SecuLogic access ... "all-in-one" system solution for all door components. It can ... door interface with integration authorization management system, and thus ... minimal dimensions of the access control and the optimum ... offer considerable freedom of design with regard to the ...
(Date:4/13/2016)... , April 13, 2016  IMPOWER physicians supporting Medicaid ... setting a new clinical standard in telehealth thanks to ... leveraging the higi platform, IMPOWER patients can routinely track ... and body mass index, and, when they opt in, ... convenient visit to a local retail location at no ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced positive ... its complement C3 inhibitor, APL-2. The trials were ... studies designed to assess the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics ... healthy adult volunteers. Forty subjects were ... dose (ranging from 45 to 1,440mg) or repeated ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 On Wednesday, ... at 4,833.32, down 0.22%; the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged ... closed at 2,085.45, down 0.17%. Stock-Callers.com has initiated coverage on ... ), Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ: NKTR ), Aralez Pharmaceuticals ... (NASDAQ: BIND ). Learn more about these stocks ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... of intelligent tools designed, tuned and optimized exclusively for Okuma CNC machining centers ... The result of a collaboration among several companies with expertise in toolholding, cutting ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... , June 22, 2016 Cell Applications, ... allow them to produce up to one billion ... lot within one week. These high-quality, consistent stem ... preparing cells and spend more time doing meaningful, ... a proprietary, high-volume manufacturing process that produces affordable, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: