Track topics on Twitter Track topics that are important to you
Vision is underpinned by phototransduction, a signaling cascade that converts light energy into an electrical signal. Among insects, phototransduction is best understood in Drosophila melanogaster. Comparison of D. melanogaster against three insect species found several phototransduction gene gains and losses, however, lepidopterans were not examined. Diurnal butterflies and nocturnal moths occupy different light environments and have distinct eye morphologies, which might impact the expression of their phototransduction genes. Here we investigated: 1) how phototransduction genes vary in gene gain or loss between D. melanogaster and Lepidoptera, and 2) variations in phototransduction genes between moths and butterflies. To test our prediction of phototransduction differences due to distinct visual ecologies, we used insect reference genomes, phylogenetics, and moth and butterfly head RNA-Seq and transcriptome data. As expected, most phototransduction genes were conserved between D. melanogaster and Lepidoptera, with some exceptions. Notably, we found two lepidopteran opsins lacking a D. melanogaster ortholog. Using antibodies we found that one of these opsins, a candidate retinochrome, which we refer to as unclassified opsin (UnRh), is expressed in the crystalline cone cells and the pigment cells of the butterfly, Heliconius melpomene. Our results also show that butterflies express similar amounts of trp and trpl channel mRNAs, while moths express approximately 50x less trp, a potential adaptation to darkness. Our findings suggest that while many single-copy D. melanogaster phototransduction genes are conserved in lepidopterans, phototransduction gene expression differences exist between moths and butterflies that may be linked to their visual light environment.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Genome biology and evolution
Recent evidence suggests that retinal photoreceptor cells have an important role in the pathogenesis of retinal microvascular lesions in diabetes. We investigated the role of rod cell phototransductio...
Estimation of adaptive evolution rates at the molecular level is important in evolutionary genomics. However, knowledge of adaptive evolutionary patterns in Mollusca is very scarce, especially for oys...
Consistent patterns of positive selection in functionally similar genes can suggest a common selective pressure across a group of species. We use alignments of orthologous protein-coding genes from 39...
Pathogenic microbes can exert extraordinary evolutionary pressure on their hosts. They can spread rapidly and sicken or even kill their host to promote their own proliferation. Because of this strong ...
Overlapping genes represent an intriguing puzzle, as they encode two proteins whose ability to evolve is constrained by each other. Overlapping genes can undergo "symmetric evolution" (similar selecti...
Physicians know that their patients can react differently to the same medical treatment: for some of them, the drug will prove inefficient, whereas for others it might provoke side-effects...
Our objective here is to characterize the viral evolution and viral factors determining HIV virulence, the evolution of the HIV reservoir in PBMC and the co-evolution of anti-HIV CD8 T cel...
The aim of this study was to describe prevalence, radiologic and ultrasound evolution during pregnancy, postnatal evolution and treatment strategy in case of isolated fetal spelnic cyst
Major Depressive Episode (MDE) affects nearly 15% of the general population. In a preliminary study, the investigators identified 12 genes whose expression was either altered between patie...
Researchers are looking for better ways of understanding and treating pancreatic cancer. The purpose of this study is to see how useful it is to look for changes and characteristics in you...
The interdisciplinary science that studies evolutionary biology, including the origin and evolution of the major elements required for life, their processing in the interstellar medium and in protostellar systems. This field also includes the study of chemical evolution and the subsequent interactions between evolving biota and planetary evolution as well as the field of biology that deals with the study of extraterrestrial life.
Evolution at the molecular level of DNA sequences and proteins. (Rieger et al., Glossary of Genetics: Classical and Molecular, 5th ed)
Procedures by which protein structure and function are changed or created in vitro by altering existing or synthesizing new structural genes that direct the synthesis of proteins with sought-after properties. Such procedures may include the design of MOLECULAR MODELS of proteins using COMPUTER GRAPHICS or other molecular modeling techniques; site-specific mutagenesis (MUTAGENESIS, SITE-SPECIFIC) of existing genes; and DIRECTED MOLECULAR EVOLUTION techniques to create new genes.
The techniques used to produce molecules exhibiting properties that conform to the demands of the experimenter. These techniques combine methods of generating structural changes with methods of selection. They are also used to examine proposed mechanisms of evolution under in vitro selection conditions.
Insects of the suborder Heterocera of the order LEPIDOPTERA.
Bioinformatics is the application of computer software and hardware to the management of biological data to create useful information. Computers are used to gather, store, analyze and integrate biological and genetic information which can then be applied...
An antibody is a protein produced by the body's immune system when it detects harmful substances, called antigens. Examples of antigens include microorganisms (such as bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses) and chemicals. Antibodies may be produc...
The process of gene expression is used by eukaryotes, prokaryotes, and viruses to generate the macromolecular machinery for life. Steps in the gene expression process may be modulated, including the transcription, RNA splicing, translation, and post-tran...