More About Paintbrush Gene
In two related Drosophila species, a so-called paintbrush gene is activated to "paint" the pigment on the body. In one species, an extra switch activates the gene, resulting in spotted wings.
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Paintbrush Gene Background
Both Drosophila melanogaster and Drosophila biarmipes have a so-called paintbrush gene that controls pigmentation, including wing color. Although the two fly species have similarly colored bodies, D. biarmipes has spots on its wings and D. melanogaster does not. Expression of the paintbrush gene is controlled by special switch regions of DNA. D. biarmipes has a "wing switch" region that controls expression of the paintbrush gene in the wings, thereby creating the spots. There is no wing switch in D. melanogaster. The paintbrush gene is not expressed in this fly's wings, and thus the wings are not spotted.
From Lecture Four of the 2005 Holiday Lectures Series "Evolution: Constant Change and Common Threads"
Paintbrush Gene Teaching Tips
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The 2005 Holiday Lectures Series "Evolution: Constant Change and Common Threads"
Paintbrush Gene Credits
Director: Dennis Liu, Ph.D.
Scientific Direction: Sean B. Carroll, Ph. D.
Scientific Content: Satoshi Amagai, Ph.D.
Animator: Blake Porch