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Germline transformation of the stalk-eyed fly, Teleopsis dalmanni

Warren, IA; Fowler, K; Smith, H; (2010) Germline transformation of the stalk-eyed fly, Teleopsis dalmanni. BMC MOL BIOL , 11 , Article 86. 10.1186/1471-2199-11-86. Green open access

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Abstract

Background: Stalk-eyed flies of the family Diopsidae have proven to be an excellent model organism for studying the evolution of ornamental sexual traits. In diopsid flies the eyes and antennae are borne at the end of lateral head projections called 'eye-stalks'. Eyespan, the distance between the eyes, and the degree of sexual dimorphism in eyespan vary considerably between species and several sexually dimorphic species show sexual selection through female mate preference for males with exaggerated eyespan. Relatively little is known about the molecular genetic basis of intra-or inter-species variation in eyespan, eye-stalk development or growth regulation in diopsids. Molecular approaches including comparative developmental analyses, EST screening and QTL mapping have identified potential candidate loci for eyespan regulation in the model species Teleopsis dalmanni. Functional analyses of these genes to confirm and fully characterise their roles in eye-stalk growth require the development of techniques such as germline transformation to manipulate gene activity in vivo.Results: We used in vivo excision assays to identify transposon vector systems with the activity required to mediate transgenesis in T. dalmanni. Mariner based vectors showed no detectable excision while both Minos and piggyBac were active in stalk-eyed fly embryos. Germline transformation with an overall efficiency of 4% was achieved using a Minos based vector and the 3xP3-EGFP marker construct. Chromosomal insertion of constructs was confirmed by Southern blot analysis. Both autosomal and X-linked inserts were recovered. A homozygous stock, established from one of the X-linked inserts, has maintained stable expression for eight generations.Conclusions: We have performed stable germline transformation of a stalk-eyed fly, T. dalmanni. This is the first transgenic protocol to be developed in an insect species that exhibits an exaggerated male sexual trait. Transgenesis will enable the development of a range of techniques for analysing gene function in this species and so provide insight into the mechanisms underlying the development of a morphological trait subject to sexual selection. Our X-linked insertion line will permit the sex of live larvae to be determined. This will greatly facilitate the identification of genes which are differentially expressed during eye-stalk development in males and females.

Type: Article
Title: Germline transformation of the stalk-eyed fly, Teleopsis dalmanni
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/1471-2199-11-86
Publisher version: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2199/11/86
Language: English
Additional information: © 2010 Warren et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: YELLOW-FEVER MOSQUITO, PIGGYBAC TRANSPOSABLE ELEMENT, ANTENNAL IMAGINAL DISC, AEDES-AEGYPTI, DROSOPHILA-MELANOGASTER, CYRTODIOPSIS-DALMANNI, GENE-EXPRESSION, FLIES DIOPSIDAE, EFFICIENT TRANSFORMATION, TRANSGENIC INSECTS
UCL classification: UCL
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: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/703147
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