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Nat Genet. 2015 Apr;47(4):405-9. doi: 10.1038/ng.3241. Epub 2015 Mar 9.

A genetic mechanism for female-limited Batesian mimicry in Papilio butterfly.

Author information

1
Department of Integrated Biosciences, University of Tokyo, Kashiwa, Japan.
2
Department of Biological Information, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Meguro-ku, Japan.
3
1] Department of Integrated Biosciences, University of Tokyo, Kashiwa, Japan. [2] Laboratory for Morphogenetic Signaling, RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology, Kobe, Japan.
4
Department of Computational Biology, University of Tokyo, Kashiwa, Japan.
5
Department of Medical Genome Sciences, University of Tokyo, Kashiwa, Japan.
6
1] Center for Information Biology, National Institute of Genetics, Mishima, Japan. [2] Principle of Informatics, National Institute of Informatics, Chiyoda-ku, Japan.
7
Kazusa DNA Research Institute, Kisarazu, Japan.
8
JT Biohistory Research Hall, Takatsuki, Japan.
9
Center for Gene Research, Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan.

Abstract

In Batesian mimicry, animals avoid predation by resembling distasteful models. In the swallowtail butterfly Papilio polytes, only mimetic-form females resemble the unpalatable butterfly Pachliopta aristolochiae. A recent report showed that a single gene, doublesex (dsx), controls this mimicry; however, the detailed molecular mechanisms remain unclear. Here we determined two whole-genome sequences of P. polytes and a related species, Papilio xuthus, identifying a single ∼130-kb autosomal inversion, including dsx, between mimetic (H-type) and non-mimetic (h-type) chromosomes in P. polytes. This inversion is associated with the mimicry-related locus H, as identified by linkage mapping. Knockdown experiments demonstrated that female-specific dsx isoforms expressed from the inverted H allele (dsx(H)) induce mimetic coloration patterns and simultaneously repress non-mimetic patterns. In contrast, dsx(h) does not alter mimetic patterns. We propose that dsx(H) switches the coloration of predetermined wing patterns and that female-limited polymorphism is tightly maintained by chromosomal inversion.

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PMID:
25751626
DOI:
10.1038/ng.3241
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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