Allelic expression of IGF2 in live-bearing, matrotrophic fishes
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- Lawton, B.R., Sevigny, L., Obergfell, C. et al. Dev Genes Evol (2005) 215: 207. doi:10.1007/s00427-004-0463-8
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The parental conflict, or kinship, theory of genomic imprinting predicts that parent-specific gene expression may evolve in species in which parental investment in developing offspring is unequal. This theory explains many aspects of parent-of-origin transcriptional silencing of embryonic growth regulatory genes in mammals, but it has not been tested in any other live-bearing, placental animals. A major embryonic growth promoting gene with conserved function in all vertebrates is insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2). This gene is imprinted in both eutherians and marsupials, as are several genes that modulate IGF2 activity. We have tested for parent-of-origin influences on developmental expression of IGF2 in two poeciliid fish species, Heterandria formosa and Poeciliopsis prolifica, that have evolved placentation independently. We found IGF2 to be expressed bi-allelically throughout embryonic development in both species.