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Mol Biol Evol. 1990 Mar;7(2):155-77.

Evolution of the glucose dehydrogenase gene in Drosophila.

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Department of Molecular Biology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee 37235.


The glucose dehydrogenase genes (Gld) of Drosophila melanogaster, of D. pseudoobscura, and of D. virilis have been isolated and compared with each other in order to identify conserved and divergent aspects of their structure and expression. The exon/intron structure of Gld is conserved. The Gld mRNAs are similar, with a range of 2.6-2.8 kb among the three species. All three species exhibit peaks of Gld expression during every major developmental stage, although considerable variation in the precise timing of these peaks exists between species. Interspecific gene transfer experiments demonstrate that the regulation and function of the D. pseudoobscura Gld is similar enough to the homologous gene in D. melanogaster to substitute for its essential role in the eclosion process. Comparison of the putative promoter sequences has identified both shared and divergent sequence elements which are likely responsible, respectively, for the conserved and divergent patterns of expression observed. The entire coding sequences of the pseudoobscura and melanogaster Gld genes are presented and shown to encode a 612-amino-acid pre-protein. The inferred amino acid sequences are 92% conserved between the two species. In general the intronic regions of Gld are unusually well conserved.

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