Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Science. 2012 Sep 28;337(6102):1658-61.

Mutations in the neverland gene turned Drosophila pachea into an obligate specialist species.

Author information

1
CNRS UMR7592, Université Paris Diderot, Sorbonne Paris Cité, Institut Jacques Monod, Paris, France.

Abstract

Most living species exploit a limited range of resources. However, little is known about how tight associations build up during evolution between such specialist species and the hosts they use. We examined the dependence of Drosophila pachea on its single host, the senita cactus. Several amino acid changes in the Neverland oxygenase rendered D. pachea unable to transform cholesterol into 7-dehydrocholesterol (the first reaction in the steroid hormone biosynthetic pathway in insects) and thus made D. pachea dependent on the uncommon sterols of its host plant. The neverland mutations increase survival on the cactus's unusual sterols and are in a genomic region that faced recent positive selection. This study illustrates how relatively few genetic changes in a single gene may restrict the ecological niche of a species.

PMID:
23019649
PMCID:
PMC4729188
DOI:
10.1126/science.1224829
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Publication types, MeSH terms, Substances, Secondary source ID, Grant support

Publication types

MeSH terms

Substances

Secondary source ID

Grant support

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center