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PLoS Genet. 2015 May 7;11(5):e1005184. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1005184. eCollection 2015 May.

Parallel Gene Expression Differences between Low and High Latitude Populations of Drosophila melanogaster and D. simulans.

Author information

1
Department of Evolution and Ecology, University of California Davis, Davis, California, United States of America.
2
Department of Bioscience, Section of Integrative Ecology and Evolution, Aarhus University, Aarhus C, Denmark.

Abstract

Gene expression variation within species is relatively common, however, the role of natural selection in the maintenance of this variation is poorly understood. Here we investigate low and high latitude populations of Drosophila melanogaster and its sister species, D. simulans, to determine whether the two species show similar patterns of population differentiation, consistent with a role for spatially varying selection in maintaining gene expression variation. We compared at two temperatures the whole male transcriptome of D. melanogaster and D. simulans sampled from Panama City (Panama) and Maine (USA). We observed a significant excess of genes exhibiting differential expression in both species, consistent with parallel adaptation to heterogeneous environments. Moreover, the majority of genes showing parallel expression differentiation showed the same direction of differential expression in the two species and the magnitudes of expression differences between high and low latitude populations were correlated across species, further bolstering the conclusion that parallelism for expression phenotypes results from spatially varying selection. However, the species also exhibited important differences in expression phenotypes. For example, the genomic extent of genotype × environment interaction was much more common in D. melanogaster. Highly differentiated SNPs between low and high latitudes were enriched in the 3' UTRs and CDS of the geographically differently expressed genes in both species, consistent with an important role for cis-acting variants in driving local adaptation for expression-related phenotypes.

PMID:
25950438
PMCID:
PMC4423912
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pgen.1005184
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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