October 2018: A mutation contributing to the simultaneous evolution of two sensory organs

Male genitals evolve very quickly in animals. Studying the mechanisms underlying their evolution is crucial to understand the phenomenon of speciation. However, the genes involved in genital differences between species are poorly known. A work published in the journal Current Biology in October, resulting from a collaboration between the Jacques Monod Institute, the CNRS, the Paris Museum, the EGCE laboratory of Gif-sur-Yvette and two teams in the United States, constitutes a first step forward in Drosophila. The mutation of a single letter in the DNA contributes to both the loss of sensory organs under the phallus and the increase in size of a sexual comb located on the legs. This is the first time that a single mutation is observed to contribute to the evolution of two organs between species.

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News from the CNRS

Nagy O., I. Nuez, R. Savisaar, A. E. Peluffo, A. Yassin, M. Lang, D. L. Stern, D. R. Matute, J. R. David & V. Courtier-Orgogozo, Correlated evolution of two copulatory organs via a single cis-regulatory nucleotide change
Current Biology, 18 oct. 2018.
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