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Genome-wide transcription analysis of clinal genetic variation in Drosophila.

Chen, Y; Lee, SF; Blanc, E; Reuter, C; Wertheim, B; Martinez-Diaz, P; Hoffmann, AA; (2012) Genome-wide transcription analysis of clinal genetic variation in Drosophila. PLoS One , 7 (4) , Article e34620. 10.1371/journal.pone.0034620. Green open access

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Abstract

Clinal variation in quantitative traits is widespread, but its genetic basis awaits identification. Drosophila melanogaster shows adaptive, clinal variation in traits such as body size along latitudinal gradients on multiple continents. To investigate genome wide transcription differentiation between North and South that might contribute to the clinal phenotypic variation, we compared RNA expression patterns during development of D. melanogaster from tropical northern and temperate southern populations using whole genome tiling arrays. We found that genes that were differentially expressed between the cline ends were generally associated with metabolism and growth, and experimental alteration of expression of a sample of them generally resulted in altered body size in the predicted direction, sometimes significantly so. We further identified the serpent (srp) transcription factor binding sites to be enriched near genes up-regulated in expression in the south. Analysis of clinal populations revealed a significant cline in the expression level of srp. Experimental over-expression of srp increased body size, as predicted from its clinal expression pattern, suggesting that it may be involved in regulating adaptive clinal variation in Drosophila. This study identified a handful of genes that contributed to clinal phenotypic variation through altered gene expression level, yet misexpression of individual gene led to modest body size change.

Type: Article
Title: Genome-wide transcription analysis of clinal genetic variation in Drosophila.
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0034620
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0034620
Language: English
Additional information: © 2012 Chen et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. PMCID: PMC3326059 This work is funded by National Environmental Research Council grant NE/E006574 to LP, and Australian Research Council Discovery and Australian Laureate Fellowship grants to AAH. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
Keywords: Animals, Binding Sites, Drosophila, Drosophila Proteins, GATA Transcription Factors, Genetic Variation, Genome-Wide Association Study, Wing
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Genetics, Evolution and Environment
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1349417
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