Suboptimal evolutionary novel environments promote singular altered gravity responses of transcriptome during Drosophila metamorphosis

Herranz, Raul and Larkin, Oliver J. and Hill, Richard J.A. and Lopez-Vidriero, Irene and van Loon, Jack J.W.A. and Medina, F. Javier (2013) Suboptimal evolutionary novel environments promote singular altered gravity responses of transcriptome during Drosophila metamorphosis. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 13 (June). 10/1-10/10. ISSN 1471-2148

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Previous experiments have shown that the reduced gravity aboard the International Space Station (ISS) causes important alterations in Drosophila gene expression. These changes were shown to be intimately linked to environmental space-flight related constraints.


Here, we use an array of different techniques for ground-based simulation of microgravity effects to assess the effect of suboptimal environmental conditions on the gene expression of Drosophila in reduced gravity. A global and integrative analysis, using “gene expression dynamics inspector” (GEDI) self-organizing maps, reveals different degrees in the responses of the transcriptome when using different environmental conditions or microgravity/hypergravity simulation devices. Although the genes that are affected are different in each simulation technique, we find that the same gene ontology groups, including at least one large multigene family related with behavior, stress response or organogenesis, are over represented in each case.


These results suggest that the transcriptome as a whole can be finely tuned to gravity force. In optimum environmental conditions, the alteration of gravity has only mild effects on gene expression but when environmental conditions are far from optimal, the gene expression must be tuned greatly and effects become more robust, probably linked to the lack of experience of organisms exposed to evolutionary novel environments such as a gravitational free one.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Evolutionary genomics, Gene family evolution, Microgravity-hypergravity, Magnetic levitation, Gene expression, Microarray
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham UK Campus > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Life Sciences
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Davies, Mrs Sarah
Date Deposited: 09 Apr 2014 13:39
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2016 23:39

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