Latitudinal clines in gene expression and cis-regulatory element variation in Drosophila melanogaster
Jiggins, Francis M
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Juneja, P., Quinn, A., & Jiggins, F. M. (2016). Latitudinal clines in gene expression and cis-regulatory element variation in Drosophila melanogaster. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12864-016-3333-7
Abstract Background Organisms can rapidly adapt to their environment when colonizing a new habitat, and this could occur by changing protein sequences or by altering patterns of gene expression. The importance of gene expression in driving local adaptation is increasingly being appreciated, and cis-regulatory elements (CREs), which control and modify the expression of the nearby genes, are predicted to play an important role. Here we investigate genetic variation in gene expression in immune-challenged Drosophila melanogaster from temperate and tropical or sub-tropical populations in Australia and United States. Results We find parallel latitudinal changes in gene expression, with genes involved in immunity, insecticide resistance, reproduction, and the response to the environment being especially likely to differ between latitudes. By measuring allele-specific gene expression (ASE), we show that cis-regulatory variation also shows parallel latitudinal differences between the two continents and contributes to the latitudinal differences in gene expression. Conclusions Both Australia and United States were relatively recently colonized by D. melanogaster, and it was recently shown that introductions of both African and European flies occurred, with African genotypes contributing disproportionately to tropical populations. Therefore, both the demographic history of the populations and local adaptation may be causing the patterns that we see.
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12864-016-3333-7
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/261620
Rights Holder: The Author(s).