Meeting Abstract

S6-1.2  Jan. 5  Expansion of sperm gene families in D. melanogaster DORUS, S; University of Bath

Although new gene creation is one crucial process in the evolution of biological novelty there remain many questions surrounding evolutionary processes immediately following gene duplication. Here, we analyze the expansion of two sperm gene families, CG17450 (a tektin-like gene) and Mst35B (a high-mobility box gene), during D. melanogaster evolution to better understand the early life of a new gene. Interestingly, these recent duplicates evolve in a manner consistent with the historical selective forces influencing their parental genes. For example, the Mst35B gene pair have diversified rapidly in a manner consistent with the divergence of their parental gene within the melanogaster subgroup. Notably, this evolution has been concentrated within the high-mobility box domain suggesting functional diversification and/or neofunctionalization in this regulatory DNA-binding domain. Finally, these genes are significantly overexpressed in the testis and encode integral sperm proteins suggesting that gene creation may be an influential process in sperm evolution. The broader implications of the role gene duplication may play in shaping sperm evolution will be discussed.