Conservation of upstream regulators of scute on the notum of cyclorraphous Diptera
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- Simpson, P., Lewis, M. & Richardson, J. Dev Genes Evol (2006) 216: 363. doi:10.1007/s00427-006-0077-4
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Bristles on the notum of many cyclorraphous flies are arranged into species-specific stereotyped patterns. Differences in the spatial expression of the proneural gene scute correlate with the positions of bristles in those species looked at so far. However, the examination of a number of genes encoding trans-regulatory factors, such as pannier, stripe, u-shaped, caupolican and wingless, indicates that they are expressed in conserved domains on the prospective notum. This suggests that the function of a trans-regulatory network of genes is relatively unchanged in derived Diptera, and that many differences are likely to be due to changes in cis-regulatory sequences of scute. In contrast, in Anopheles gambiae, a basal species with no stereotyped bristle pattern, the expression patterns of pannier and wingless are not conserved, and expression of AgASH, the Anopheles proneural gene, does not correlate in a similar manner with the bristle pattern. We discuss the possibility that independently acting cis-regulatory sequences at the scute locus may have arisen in the lineage giving rise to cyclorraphous flies.