Identification of two Drosophila TGF-β family members in the grasshopper Schistocerca americana

Stuart Newfeld, W. M. Gelbart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Intercellular signaling molecules of the transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) superfamily are required for pattern formation in many multicellular organisms. The decapentaplegic (dpp) gene of Drosophila melanogaster has several developmental roles. To improve our understanding of the evolutionary diversification of this large family we identified dpp in the grasshopper Schistocerca americana. S. americana diverged from D. melanogaster approximately 350 million years ago, utilizes a distinct developmental program, and has a 60-fold-larger genome than D. melanogaster. Our analyses indicate a single dpp locus in D. melanogaster and S. americana, suggesting that dpp copy number does not correlate with increasing genome size. Another TGF-β superfamily member, the D. melanogaster gene 60A, is also present in only one copy in each species. Comparison of homologous sequences from D. melanogaster, S. americana, and H. sapiens, representing roughly 900 million years of evolutionary distance, reveals significant constraint on sequence divergence for both dpp and 60A. In the signaling portion of the dpp protein, the amino acid identity between these species exceeds 74%. Our results for the TGF-β superfamily are consistent with current hypotheses describing gene duplication and diversification as a frequent response to high levels of selective pressure on individual family members.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-160
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Molecular Evolution
Volume41
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Schistocerca americana
transforming growth factors
Grasshoppers
grasshopper
Transforming Growth Factors
grasshoppers
Drosophila melanogaster
Drosophila
Genes
gene
genome
amino acid
divergence
fold
Genome Size
Gene Duplication
protein
gene duplication
Sequence Homology
sequence homology

Keywords

  • decapentaplegic gene
  • Drosophila melanogaster
  • Gene comparison
  • Schistocerca americana
  • TGF-β superfamily

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics(clinical)

Cite this

Identification of two Drosophila TGF-β family members in the grasshopper Schistocerca americana. / Newfeld, Stuart; Gelbart, W. M.

In: Journal of Molecular Evolution, Vol. 41, No. 2, 1995, p. 155-160.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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abstract = "Intercellular signaling molecules of the transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) superfamily are required for pattern formation in many multicellular organisms. The decapentaplegic (dpp) gene of Drosophila melanogaster has several developmental roles. To improve our understanding of the evolutionary diversification of this large family we identified dpp in the grasshopper Schistocerca americana. S. americana diverged from D. melanogaster approximately 350 million years ago, utilizes a distinct developmental program, and has a 60-fold-larger genome than D. melanogaster. Our analyses indicate a single dpp locus in D. melanogaster and S. americana, suggesting that dpp copy number does not correlate with increasing genome size. Another TGF-β superfamily member, the D. melanogaster gene 60A, is also present in only one copy in each species. Comparison of homologous sequences from D. melanogaster, S. americana, and H. sapiens, representing roughly 900 million years of evolutionary distance, reveals significant constraint on sequence divergence for both dpp and 60A. In the signaling portion of the dpp protein, the amino acid identity between these species exceeds 74{\%}. Our results for the TGF-β superfamily are consistent with current hypotheses describing gene duplication and diversification as a frequent response to high levels of selective pressure on individual family members.",
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