Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Cell. 2008 Aug 22;134(4):610-23. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2008.06.052.

The regulation and evolution of a genetic switch controlling sexually dimorphic traits in Drosophila.

Author information

  • 1Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Laboratory of Molecular Biology, University of Wisconsin, 1525 Linden Drive, Madison, WI 53706, USA.

Abstract

Sexually dimorphic traits play key roles in animal evolution and behavior. Little is known, however, about the mechanisms governing their development and evolution. One recently evolved dimorphic trait is the male-specific abdominal pigmentation of Drosophila melanogaster, which is repressed in females by the Bric-à-brac (Bab) proteins. To understand the regulation and origin of this trait, we have identified and traced the evolution of the genetic switch controlling dimorphic bab expression. We show that the HOX protein Abdominal-B (ABD-B) and the sex-specific isoforms of Doublesex (DSX) directly regulate a bab cis-regulatory element (CRE). In females, ABD-B and DSX(F) activate bab expression whereas in males DSX(M) directly represses bab, which allows for pigmentation. A new domain of dimorphic bab expression evolved through multiple fine-scale changes within this CRE, whose ancestral role was to regulate other dimorphic features. These findings reveal how new dimorphic characters can emerge from genetic networks regulating pre-existing dimorphic traits.

PMID:
18724934
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2597198
Free PMC Article

Images from this publication.See all images (7)Free text

Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 3
Figure 4
Figure 5
Figure 6
Figure 7
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk