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Dev Biol. 2007 Feb 1;302(1):281-94. Epub 2006 Sep 26.

Evolutionary flexibility of pair-rule patterning revealed by functional analysis of secondary pair-rule genes, paired and sloppy-paired in the short-germ insect, Tribolium castaneum.

Author information

1
Division of Biology, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506, USA.

Abstract

In the Drosophila segmentation hierarchy, periodic expression of pair-rule genes translates gradients of regional information from maternal and gap genes into the segmental expression of segment polarity genes. In Tribolium, homologs of almost all the eight canonical Drosophila pair-rule genes are expressed in pair-rule domains, but only five have pair-rule functions. even-skipped, runt and odd-skipped act as primary pair-rule genes, while the functions of paired (prd) and sloppy-paired (slp) are secondary. Since secondary pair-rule genes directly regulate segment polarity genes in Drosophila, we analyzed Tc-prd and Tc-slp to determine the extent to which this paradigm is conserved in Tribolium. We found that the role of prd is conserved between Drosophila and Tribolium; it is required in both insects to activate engrailed in odd-numbered parasegments and wingless (wg) in even-numbered parasegments. Similarly, slp is required to activate wg in alternate parasegments and to maintain the remaining wg stripes in both insects. However, the parasegmental register for Tc-slp is opposite that of Drosophila slp1. Thus, while prd is functionally conserved, the fact that the register of slp function has evolved differently in the lineages leading to Drosophila and Tribolium reveals an unprecedented flexibility in pair-rule patterning.

PMID:
17054935
PMCID:
PMC1800430
DOI:
10.1016/j.ydbio.2006.09.037
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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