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Fitness effects of a transposable element insertion depend on environmental conditions in Drosophila melanogaster

AuthorsGuio, Lain; González Pérez, Josefa
Issue DateOct-2013
Citation23rd European Drosophila Research Congress (2013)
AbstractUnderstanding how adaptation works is one of the major questions in Evolutionary Biology. Towards answering this question, we identified recent Transposable Element (TE) -induced adaptations in Drosophila melanogaster and we are currently connecting them to their molecular mechanisms and fitness effects. Specifically, the TE insertion named Bari-Jheh , is present at high frequency, but not fixed, in all the populations analyzed. Bari-Jheh is inserted in the intergenic region between Jheh2 and Jheh3 genes encoding for Juvenile Hormone Epoxy Hydrolase . Previous results show that Bari-Jheh is associated with a down-regulation of the expression of Jheh2 and Jheh3 genes. Furthermore, Bari-Jheh is associated with reduced viability and extended developmental time that probably represent the cost of selection of this insertion. To identify the adaptive effect of this TE, we analyzed its sequence and we found two Antioxidant Response Elements (AREs) suggesting that Bari-Jheh might be involved in oxidative stress response. We indeed found that under ecologically relevant oxidative stress conditions the TE is associated with an increased expression of Jheh1 and Jheh2 (t-test p< 0.05) and that flies with the insertion show a higher survival rate compared to flies without the insertion (Logrank test: p<< 0.001). Our results suggest that TEs could play an important role in oxidative stress response not only in Drosophila but also in other organisms since the ARE signaling pathway is highly conserved across species. Our results also emphasize the need to explore several phenotypes in different environmental conditions in order to fully characterize the effects of an adaptive mutation.
DescriptionTrabajo presentado en el 23rd European Drosophila Research Congress (EDRC 2013), celebrado en Barcelona del 16 al 19 de octubre de 2013.
Appears in Collections:(IBE) Comunicaciones congresos
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