, Volume 216, Issue 7-8, pp 363-371
Date: 03 May 2006

Conservation of upstream regulators of scute on the notum of cyclorraphous Diptera

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Abstract

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.

Communicated by guest editors Jean Deutsch and Gerhard Scholtz