Variation of Gene Expression Associated with Colonisation of an Anthropized Environment: Comparison between African and European Populations of Drosophila simulans
The comparison of transcriptome profiles among populations is a powerful tool for investigating the role of gene expression change in adaptation to new environments. In this study, we use massively parallel sequencing of 39 cDNAs obtained from large samples of adult males, to compare a population of Drosophila simulans from a natural reserve within its ancestral range (eastern Africa) with a derived population collected in the strongly anthropized Rhô ne valley (France). The goal was to scan
... adaptation linked to the invasion of new environments by the species. Among 15,090 genes retained for the analysis, 794 were found to be differentially expressed between the two populations. We observed an increase in expression of reproduction-related genes in eastern Africa, and an even stronger increase in expression of Cytochrome P450, Glutathione transferase and Glucuronosyl transferase genes in the derived population. These three gene families are involved in detoxification processes, which suggests that pesticides are a major environmental pressure for the species in this area. The survey of the Cyp6g1 upstream region revealed the insertion of a transposable element, Juan, in the regulatory sequence that is almost fixed in the Rhô ne Valley, but barely present in Mayotte. This shows that Cyp6g1 has undergone parallel evolution in derived populations of D. simulans as previously shown for D. melanogaster. The increasing amount of data produced by comparative population genomics and transcriptomics should permit the identification of additional genes associated with functional divergence among those differentially expressed. Citation: Wurmser F, Mary-Huard T, Daudin J-J, Joly D, Montchamp-Moreau C (2013) Variation of Gene Expression Associated with Colonisation of an Anthropized Environment: Comparison between African and European Populations of Drosophila simulans. PLoS ONE 8(11): e79750.