Transvection-based gene regulation in Drosophila is a complex and plastic trait.
Bottom Line: We further show that the magnitude of transvection at the Men locus is modified by both genetic background and environment (temperature), demonstrating that transvection is a plastic phenotype.Our results suggest that transvection effects in D. melanogaster are shaped by a dynamic interplay between environment and genetic background.Interestingly, we find that cis-based regulation of the Men gene is more robust to genetic background and environment than trans-based.
Affiliation: Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Laurentian University, Sudbury, ON, P3E 2C6, Canada.Show MeSH
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Mentions: Overall transvection, up-regulation of MEN, was reduced by a change in adult environment. MEN activity was significantly lower in the MenExi− heterozygotes moved to experimental temperatures (F2,2288= 46.998, P < 0.0001; Figure 3A; Table S3). When examined separately (Figure 3B), MEN activity for each MenExi− allele was also generally greater in the 25C flies than either experimental treatment. In contrast, exposure temperatures did not impact MEN activity in the MenEx3+ heterozygotes (Figure 3B, far left columns). MEN activity in the MenEx3+ heterozygotes, with intact promoters at both homologous loci, is likely predominantly regulated by cis-interactions, through “cis-preference” (Geyer et al. 1990; Figure 1D), while MEN activity in the MenExi− heterozygotes is likely a function of both cis- and trans-effects (Lum and Merritt 2011). The contrast in results between MenExi− heterozygotes and MenExi− heterozygotes suggest that trans-, but not cis-, based regulation of MEN is sensitive to changes in the environment. We are not suggesting that MEN activity does not respond to changes in temperature, but that the cis- and trans- components of the regulation of the Men gene appear to respond to changes in thermal environment differently.
Affiliation: Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Laurentian University, Sudbury, ON, P3E 2C6, Canada.