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Cell Rep. 2017 Aug 8;20(6):1385-1395. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2017.07.033.

Adaptive Evolution of Gene Expression in Drosophila.

Author information

1
Joseph-Henri Laboratories of Physics and Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA. Electronic address: armitan@princeton.edu.
2
Institut für Theoretische Physik, Universität zu Köln, Zülpicher Str. 77, 50937 Köln, Germany.
3
CECAD, Universität zu Köln, Joseph-Stelzmann-Str. 26, 50931 Köln, Germany.
4
Institut für Theoretische Physik, Universität zu Köln, Zülpicher Str. 77, 50937 Köln, Germany. Electronic address: mlassig@uni-koeln.de.

Abstract

Gene expression levels are important quantitative traits that link genotypes to molecular functions and fitness. In Drosophila, population-genetic studies have revealed substantial adaptive evolution at the genomic level, but the evolutionary modes of gene expression remain controversial. Here, we present evidence that adaptation dominates the evolution of gene expression levels in flies. We show that 64% of the observed expression divergence across seven Drosophila species are adaptive changes driven by directional selection. Our results are derived from time-resolved data of gene expression divergence across a family of related species, using a probabilistic inference method for gene-specific selection. Adaptive gene expression is stronger in specific functional classes, including regulation, sensory perception, sexual behavior, and morphology. Moreover, we identify a large group of genes with sex-specific adaptation of expression, which predominantly occurs in males. Our analysis opens an avenue to map system-wide selection on molecular quantitative traits independently of their genetic basis.

KEYWORDS:

biophysics; evolution of gene regulation; quantitative genetics; stochastic processes

PMID:
28793262
DOI:
10.1016/j.celrep.2017.07.033
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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