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摘要 : 雄性果蝇(Drosophila)靠振动翅膀而发出求偶歌声是果蝇求偶行为中的重要一环。

 雄性果蝇(Drosophila)靠振动翅膀而发出求偶歌声是果蝇求偶行为中的重要一环。求偶歌声的特点及其在不同果蝇种类间的差异已经得到了充分研究。现在,David Stern及同事发现,造成拟果蝇(D. simulans)和毛里求斯果蝇(D. mauritiana)这两种野生型果蝇求偶歌声存在自然差异的遗传变异,是因为slowpoke (slo) 位点插入了一个逆转录因子,该因子编码了一个离子通道。


Natural courtship song variation caused by an intronic retroelement in an ion channel gene


Animal species display enormous variation for innate behaviours, but little is known about how this diversity arose. Here, using an unbiased genetic approach, we map a courtship song difference between wild isolates of Drosophila simulans and Drosophila mauritiana to a 966 base pair region within the slowpoke (slo) locus, which encodes a calcium-activated potassium channel1. Using the reciprocal hemizygosity test2, we confirm that slo is the causal locus and resolve the causal mutation to the evolutionarily recent insertion of a retroelement in a slo intron within D. simulans. Targeted deletion of this retroelement reverts the song phenotype and alters slo splicing. Like many ion channel genes, slo is expressed widely in the nervous system and influences a variety of behaviours3, 4; slo-null males sing little song with severely disrupted features. By contrast, the natural variant of slo alters a specific component of courtship song, illustrating that regulatory evolution of a highly pleiotropic ion channel gene can cause modular changes in behaviour.

来源: Nature 浏览次数:1


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