Novel genes derived from noncoding DNA in Drosophila melanogaster are frequently X-linked and exhibit testis-biased expression
Mia T. Levine * , † , Corbin D. Jones ‡ , Andrew D. Kern *, Heather A. Lindfors *, and David J. Begun *
*Center for Population Biology, University of California, Davis, CA 95616; and
‡Department of Biology and Carolina Center for Genome Science, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599
Edited by Margaret G. Kidwell, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, and approved April 28, 2006 (received for review November 10, 2005)
Descriptions of recently evolved genes suggest several mechanisms of origin including exon shuffling, gene fission/fusion, retrotransposition, duplication-divergence, and lateral gene transfer, all of which involve recruitment of preexisting genes or genetic elements into new function. The importance of noncoding DNA in the origin of novel genes remains an open question. We used the well annotated genome of the genetic model system Drosophila melanogaster and genome sequences of related species to carry out a whole-genome search for new D. melanogaster genes that are derived from noncoding DNA. Here, we describe five such genes, four of which are X-linked. Our RT-PCR experiments show that all five putative novel genes are expressed predominantly in testes. These data support the idea that these novel genes are derived from ancestral noncoding sequence and that new, favored genes are likely to invade populations under selective pressures relating to male reproduction.
adaptation, comparative genomics, lineage-specific, de novo gene
†To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org
Author contributions: C.D.J., A.D.K., and D.J.B. designed research; M.T.L., C.D.J., A.D.K., and H.A.L. performed research; M.T.L. and D.J.B. analyzed data; and M.T.L. and D.J.B. wrote the paper.
Conflict of interest statement: No conflicts declared.
This paper was submitted directly (Track II) to the PNAS office.
Data deposition: The sequences reported in this paper have been deposited in the GenBank database (accession nos.DQ657247–DQ657347).
© 2006 by The National Academy of Sciences of the USA
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