Title: Identification of novel genes responsible for a rapidly evolving fruit fly trait by gain and loss of function approaches
Jada H. Brown, Gavin M. Christy
Two long-standing goals of geneticist are to understand how genes are usedduring an organism’s development to make morphological traits, and how genes changeto facilitate the origins, modifications, and losses of these traits. Two powerfulapproaches to identify the critical genes are through gain and loss of functionexperiments. The former experiments look at the effects when the expression of genes isinduced in new cellular places, at new times in life, and/or at elevated levels ofexpression. The latter experiments cause the absence of expression for genes from theirnormal places, times, and/or levels of expression. While many methods have beendevised to accomplish such experiments, these methods are generally too cumbersome toapply to tens, hundreds, or even thousands of genes. In recent years, scientists have foundways to use RNA-interference and CRISPER/Cas9 gene editing to cause both gain andloss of function mutations for specific genes. These methods are being combined withresources for the fruit fly species Drosophila (D.) melanogaster to target a steadilyincreasing number of this species’ genes. Our research project applies these approachesand genetic tools to cause gain and loss of function mutations in genes suspected to play arole in the development and evolution of the male-specific pigmentation of the D.melanogaster abdomen. Any gene whose altered function distorts this pigmentationfeature will become a target of future studies to tease out the mechanisms of genefunction and evolution.
Tom M. Williams
Primary Advisor's Department
Stander Symposium project, College of Arts and Sciences
United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
Good Health and Well-Being; Life on Land
"Title: Identification of novel genes responsible for a rapidly evolving fruit fly trait by gain and loss of function approaches" (2022). Stander Symposium Projects. 2407.