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Georgia Journal of Science

Article Title

EVOLUTION OF THE CycG GENE OF THE INSULIN-SIGNALING PATHWAY ACROSS THE DROSOPHILA GENUS

Abstract

The long-term goal of the Genomics Education Partnership Pathways Project is to analyze how the regulatory regions of the 64 insulin-signaling pathway genes have evolved across 28 Drosophila species, especially as it relates to the context of their positions within the network. The insulin-signaling pathway is well-conserved across animals and critical to growth and metabolic homeostasis. To facilitate the identification of the regulatory elements, we built gene models that identifed the start and stop codons and the boundaries between exons and introns. This research aimed to examine the evolution of the CycG gene across four species of fruit flies: D. melanogaster, D. sechellia, D. ficusphila, and D. grimshawi. CycG encodes a cyclin protein, which negatively regulates cell growth and cell cycle progression. Specifically, in each species, we identified the gene, examined its genomic neighborhood, built a model of the gene structure, and predicted the amino acid sequence of the protein products. We found that the genomic neighborhood and overall gene structures were highly conserved among the four species. As expected, the amino acid sequence conservation was inversely proportional to evolutionary distance. Specifically, the percent identities compared to D. melanogaster were 97.7% (D. sechellia), 91.7% (D. ficusphila), and 70.8% (D. grimshawi).

Acknowledgements

Genomics Education Partnership, CSU Biology Department

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