L’équipe Courtier a récemment publié un nouvel article dans BMC Ecology and Evolution :
During evolution, genes can experience duplications, losses, inversions and gene conversions. Why certain genes are more dynamic than others is poorly understood. Here we examine how several Sgs genes encoding glue proteins, which make up a bioadhesive that sticks the animal during metamorphosis, have evolved in Drosophila species.
We examined high-quality genome assemblies of 24 Drosophila species to study the evolutionary dynamics of four glue genes that are present in D. melanogaster and are part of the same gene family – Sgs1, Sgs3, Sgs7 and Sgs8 – across approximately 30 millions of years. We annotated a total of 102 Sgs genes and grouped them into 4 subfamilies. We present here a new nomenclature for these Sgs genes based on protein sequence conservation, genomic location and presence/absence of internal repeats. Two types of glue genes were uncovered. The first category (Sgs1, Sgs3x, Sgs3e) showed a few gene losses but no duplication, no local inversion and no gene conversion. The second group (Sgs3b, Sgs7, Sgs8) exhibited multiple events of gene losses, gene duplications, local inversions and gene conversions. Our data suggest that the presence of short “new glue” genes near the genes of the latter group may have accelerated their dynamics.
Our comparative analysis suggests that the evolutionary dynamics of glue genes is influenced by genomic context. Our molecular, phylogenetic and comparative analysis of the four glue genes Sgs1, Sgs3, Sgs7 and Sgs8 provides the foundation for investigating the role of the various glue genes during Drosophila life.