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: If differences in Abd-B binding are modifying the trans-effects at Men, then we would expect the correlations between Men and Abd-B to be strongest in tissues where Abd-B expression levels are greatest. In adult flies, Abd-B is expressed in greater levels in the abdomen than head/thorax (Chintapalli et al. 2007). To test our prediction that correlation will be greater in tissues with greater expression levels, we repeated the previous experiment, measuring only Men and Abd-B expression and assaying abdomen and head/thorax samples separately. As in the whole fly experiment, expression of both Abd-B and Men was greatest in flies held at the control temperature, and there was a significant correlation in levels of expression of the two genes (Figure 7). Consistent with our prediction, the strongest correlation was observed in MenEx60− heterozygotes in abdominal tissues (Figure 7B), which had the greatest levels of expression of both Adb-B and Men. Expression of the two genes was, however, significantly correlated in all genotypes and in all tissues. The overall correlation in expression, and differences in correlation (although small) between alleles that differ in the number of putative binding sites, are consistent with a model wherein differences in Abd-B expression contribute to differences in activation of Men expression in trans (see the section Discussion). Although the correlation between Men and Abd-B expression could result from coregulation of the two genes by similar mechanisms or pathways, the observation that the pattern is most pronounced in the allele with an additional putative Abd-B site suggests that differences in Abd-B expression may contribute directly to differences in Men transvection.
Affiliation: Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Laurentian University, Sudbury, ON, P3E 2C6, Canada.