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:2/2/2016)... Feb. 2, 2016 Checkpoint Inhibitors for ... Market Are you interested in the future ... for checkpoint inhibitors. Visiongain,s report gives those predictions ... and national level. Avoid falling behind in ... opportunities and revenues those emerging cancer therapies can ...
(Date:2/1/2016)... 1, 2016  Today, the first day of American ... to develop a first of its kind workplace health ... Watson. In the first application of Watson ... IBM ), and Welltok will create a new offering ... cognitive analytics, delivered on Welltok,s health optimization platform. The ...
(Date:1/25/2016)... 2016  Glencoe Software, the world-leading supplier of image ... will provide the data management solution OMERO Plus for ... Photo - ... Phenotypic analysis measures the characteristics and behavior ... between states such as health and disease, the presence ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/9/2016)... Prussia, PA (PRWEB) , ... February 09, 2016 , ... ... Development, Europe. Based in Paris, he will focus on acquiring new accounts and ... being met. , “Fred brings to our European clients more than ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... February 09, 2016 , ... ... strategic changes over the years and Open Access publishing is one of the ... With its 700+ open access journals and 3000+ International Conferences ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... Feb. 9, 2016  DNAtrix, a clinical ... cancer, announced that its lead product, DNX-2401, ... as an orphan medicinal product for the ... of glioma, strikes approximately 25,000 people a ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160208/330986LOGO --> ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... and LONDON , February 9, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... tech replace paper and protect IP   ... laboratory notebook (ELN) will be rolled out in ... and development (R&D) and protect valuable IP. Users will be ... a specific researcher or experiment as part of the application, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: