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Dark Fly

I found an interesting paper.

“Organisms are remarkably adapted to diverse environments by specialized metabolisms, morphology, or behaviors. To address the molecular mechanisms underlying environmental adaptation, we have utilized a Drosophila melanogaster line, termed “Dark-fly”, which has been maintained in constant dark conditions for 57 years (1400 generations). We found that Dark-fly exhibited higher fecundity in dark than in light conditions, indicating that Dark-fly possesses some traits advantageous in darkness. Using next-generation sequencing technology, we determined the whole genome sequence of Dark-fly and identified approximately 220,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and 4,700 insertions or deletions (InDels) in the Dark-fly genome compared to the genome of the Oregon-R-S strain, a control strain. 1.8% of SNPs were classified as non-synonymous SNPs (nsSNPs: i.e., they alter the amino acid sequence of gene products). Among them, we detected 28 nonsense mutations (i.e., they produce a stop codon in the protein sequence) in the Dark-fly genome. These included genes encoding an olfactory receptor and a light receptor. We also searched runs of homozygosity (ROH) regions as putative regions selected during the population history, and found 21 ROH regions in the Dark-fly genome. We identified 241 genes carrying nsSNPs or InDels in the ROH regions. These include a cluster of alpha-esterase genes that are involved in detoxification processes. Furthermore, analysis of structural variants in the Dark-fly genome showed the deletion of a gene related to fatty acid metabolism. Our results revealed unique features of the Dark-fly genome and provided a list of potential candidate genes involved in environmental adaptation.”
Abstract from: Izutsu M, Zhou J, Sugiyama Y, Nishimura O, Aizu T, et al. (2012) Genome Features of “Dark-Fly”, a Drosophila Line Reared Long-Term in a Dark Environment. PLoS ONE 7(3): e33288. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0033288


2 Responses to “Dark Fly”

  1. Stacy says:

    Interesting! Thanks, Alice! Would you mind talking about this briefly in section? Maybe summarize the major findings and why you thought it was interesting (no need to go into the methods, unless you’d like to). It’s very relevant to the stuff we’ve been dealing with in pop-gen, so it’d be great if everyone could hear about it.

  2. amh365@cornell.edu says:

    Sure, I can do that.

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