William J. Scharpf



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220 MYA mosquitoes (Anopheles gambiae) and D. melanogaster shared a common ancestor that had the Beta 2 tubulin gene in its genome. From that time to present, the Beta 2 gene has evolved to its present form in D. melanogaster and A. gambiae. We know the sequence for Beta 2 in D. melanogaster and in mosquitoes, they differ at 40 codons. We are attempting to construct a phylogenetic tree that shows where genetic changes occurred in its evolutionary history since mosquitoes and flies shared a common ancestor. This is done by combining different sets of 3' and 5' primers constructed from the Anopheles gambiae and D. melanogaster B2 sequences in PCR, and using PCR to clone Beta 2 in fly species closely related to D. melanogaster:. Anastrapha suspense (80MYA from melanogaster), Musca domestica (110MYA ), and Chrysops spp. (130MYA). We construct this tree by plotting changes in the B2 sequence on a fly phlogeny. With a complete tree, we can better understand the nature of amino acid changes that allowed Beta 2 to evolve while maintaining its function. We can then express the B2 gene from these species in Drosophila, to determine if they support its spermtail.

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Project Designation

Independent Research

Primary Advisor

Mark G. Nielsen

Primary Advisor's Department



Stander Symposium poster

Studying the Evolution of Beta 2 Tubulin in Dipterans