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An Intronic Polymorphism in couch potato Is Not Distributed Clinally in European Drosophila melanogaster Populations nor Does It Affect Diapause Inducibility.

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posted on 2016-11-11, 14:49 authored by Valeria Zonato, Giorgio Fedele, Charalambos P. Kyriacou
couch potato (cpo) encodes an RNA binding protein that has been reported to be expressed in the peripheral and central nervous system of embryos, larvae and adults, including the major endocrine organ, the ring gland. A polymorphism in the D. melanogaster cpo gene coding region displays a latitudinal cline in frequency in North American populations, but as cpo lies within the inversion In(3R)Payne, which is at high frequencies and itself shows a strong cline on this continent, interpretation of the cpo cline is not straightforward. A second downstream SNP in strong linkage disequilibrium with the first has been claimed to be primarily responsible for the latitudinal cline in diapause incidence in USA populations.Here, we investigate the frequencies of these two cpo SNPs in populations of Drosophila throughout continental Europe. The advantage of studying cpo variation in Europe is the very low frequency of In(3R)Payne, which we reveal here, does not appear to be clinally distributed. We observe a very different geographical scenario for cpo variation from the one in North America, suggesting that the downstream SNP does not play a role in diapause. In an attempt to verify whether the SNPs influence diapause we subsequently generated lines with different combinations of the two cpo SNPs on known timeless (tim) genetic backgrounds, because polymorphism in the clock gene tim plays a significant role in diapause inducibility. Our results reveal that the downstream cpo SNP does not seem to play any role in diapause induction in European populations in contrast to the upstream coding cpo SNP. Consequently, all future diapause studies on strains of D. melanogaster should initially determine their tim and cpo status.


CPK gratefully acknowledges BBSRC for studentship and the European Commission (6th Framework, EUCLOCK grant no 018741 and Marie Curie ITN INsecTIME grant no 316790), which supported VZ. GF was supported by an Erasmus studentship.



PLoS One, 2016, 11(9): e0162370

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/Organisation/COLLEGE OF MEDICINE, BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES AND PSYCHOLOGY/MBSP Non-Medical Departments/Department of Genetics


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