Nomadic Enhancers: Tissue-Specific cis-Regulatory Elements of yellow Have Divergent Genomic Positions among Drosophila Species

Author(s): Gizem Kalay, Patricia J. Wittkopp

The Fly


cis-regulatory DNA sequences known as enhancers control gene expression in space and time. They are central to metazoan development and are often responsible for changes in gene regulation that contribute to phenotypic evolution. Here, we examine the sequence, function, and genomic location of enhancers controlling tissue- and cell-type specific expression of the yellow gene in six Drosophila species. yellow is required for the production of dark pigment, and its expression has evolved largely in concert with divergent pigment patterns. Using Drosophila melanogaster as a transgenic host, we examined the expression of reporter genes in which either 5? intergenic or intronic sequences of yellow from each species controlled the expression of Green Fluorescent Protein. Surprisingly, we found that sequences controlling expression in the wing veins, as well as sequences controlling expression in epidermal cells of the abdomen, thorax, and wing, were located in different genomic regions in different species.

Publication Information:

Name of Periodical: PLoS Genetics

Volume Number: 6

Issue Number: 11

Year of Publication: 2010