Evolutionary Novelty in a Butterfly Wing Pattern through Enhancer Shuffling.
Richard WR Wallbank, Simon W Baxter, Carolina Pardo-Diaz, Joseph J Hanly, Simon H Martin, James Mallet, Kanchon K Dasmahapatra, Camilo Salazar, Mathieu Joron, Nicola Nadeau, W Owen McMillan, Chris D Jiggins
PLOS Biology | Published : 2016
An important goal in evolutionary biology is to understand the genetic changes underlying novel morphological structures. We investigated the origins of a complex wing pattern found among Amazonian Heliconius butterflies. Genome sequence data from 142 individuals across 17 species identified narrow regions associated with two distinct red colour pattern elements, dennis and ray. We hypothesise that these modules in non-coding sequence represent distinct cis-regulatory loci that control expression of the transcription factor optix, which in turn controls red pattern variation across Heliconius. Phylogenetic analysis of the two elements demonstrated that they have distinct evolutionary histori..View full abstract