The findings, which were discovered by researchers in Professor Claude Desplan’s and Steve Small’s laboratories in NYU’s Center for Developmental Genetics, offer new insight into the workings of developmental pathways across species. The study is published in the latest issue of the journal Science.
The researchers examined the fruit fly Drosophila and the wasp Nasonia as genetic model systems. Fruit flies’ development is well-understood by biologists and therefore serves as an appropriate focus for genetic analyses. In this study, the researchers sought to explore the generality of developmental mechanisms by comparing Drosophila with Nasonia, a distant species that diverged over 250 million years ago but one that presents many morphological similarities with flies in terms of development.
The research team’s results showed that flies and wasps employ most of the same genes and similar interactions among these genes, but some events are changed to adjust to the developmental constraints.
Flies rely on a gene called bicoid to pattern their early embryo. The bicoid gene product, a messenger RNA (mRNA), is localized at the anterior of the embryo where it is required both to promote anterior development and to repress posterior development. However, bicoid is unique to flies and does not exist in wasps or other species: The study’s findings show that it takes several mRNAs localized in the egg to achieve the same functions in wasps as bicoid does in flies. Two of these genes, which are found in most species of insects, are orthodenticle. Orthodenticle performs the anterior promoting function of bicoid while anterior localization of giant mRNA represses posterior development.
"This comparison of the molecular mechanisms employed by two independently evolved species not only uncovers those features essential to this portion of development, but also shows that we are now in a position to understand another species—in this case, the wasp—other than flies in the same depth," explained Desplan.
James Devitt | EurekAlert!
Cryo-electron microscopy achieves unprecedented resolution using new computational methods
24.03.2017 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
How cheetahs stay fit and healthy
24.03.2017 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy