The Genetic Basis of Natural Variation in Drosophila (Diptera: Drosophilidae) Virgin Egg Retention
Bergland, Alan O.
Crowe, Sarah O.
Unckless, Robert L.
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CitationAkhund-Zade, Jamilla, Alan O. Bergland, Sarah O. Crowe, and Robert L. Unckless. 2017. “The Genetic Basis of Natural Variation in Drosophila (Diptera: Drosophilidae) Virgin Egg Retention.” Journal of Insect Science 17 (1): 5. doi:10.1093/jisesa/iew094. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jisesa/iew094.
AbstractDrosophila melanogaster is able to thrive in harsh northern climates through adaptations in life-history traits and physiological mechanisms that allow for survival through the winter. We examined the genetic basis of natural variation in one such trait, female virgin egg retention, which was previously shown to vary clinally and seasonally. To further our understanding of the genetic basis and evolution of virgin egg retention, we performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) using the previously sequenced Drosophila Genetic Reference Panel (DGRP) mapping population. We found 29 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with virgin egg retention and assayed 6 available mutant lines, each harboring a mutation in a candidate gene, for effects on egg retention time. We found that four out of the six mutant lines had defects in egg retention time as compared with the respective controls: mun, T48, Mes-4, and Klp67A. Surprisingly, none of these genes has a recognized role in ovulation control, but three of the four genes have known effects on fertility or have high expression in the ovaries. We also found that the SNP set associated with egg retention time was enriched for clinal SNPs. The majority of clinal SNPs had alleles associated with longer egg retention present at higher frequencies in higher latitudes. Our results support previous studies that show higher frequency of long retention times at higher latitude, providing evidence for the adaptive value of virgin egg-retention.
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