Logan A. Brubaker, Hayley Grace Long, Allison Elizabeth Pavlus


Presentation: 10:45-12:00, Kennedy Union Ballroom



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Animal morphological traits develop through the actions of and evolve through changes in genomic-encoded Gene Regulatory Networks or GRNs. Therefore, a robust understanding of the evolutionary developmental biology of traits requires knowledge about the architecture of GRNs and how such architecture evolves. Generally speaking, GRNs are hierarchical in structure, with their highest tier consisting of regulatory genes like transcription factors and the lowest tier consisting of the realizator genes whose encoded proteins end up making the trait. For several evo-devo model traits, some of the regulatory and realizator tier genes are known and their evolution have been chronicled. However, the architecture and evolution of an entire GRN has remained out of reach. This includes the GRN responsible for the sexually dimorphic pigmentation on the abdomens of Drosophila fruit flies. Here, new insights will be shared for two upper-tier transcription factors in the Drosophila melanogaster abdomen pigmentation GRN whose function and evolution have remained mostly un-studied.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Graduate Research

Primary Advisor

Tom M. Williams

Primary Advisor's Department



Stander Symposium, College of Arts and Sciences

Institutional Learning Goals

Scholarship; Practical Wisdom; Vocation

Resolving the function and evolution for two transcription factor genes that pattern a sexually dimorphic fruit fly pigmentation trait