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Hox genes have been implicated in the evolution of many animal body patterns, but the molecular events underlying trait modification have not been elucidated. Pigmentation of the posterior male abdomen is a recently acquired trait in the Drosophila melanogaster lineage. Here, we show that the Abdominal-B (ABD-B) Hox protein directly activates expression of(More)
Understanding the mechanisms underlying the morphological divergence of species is one of the central goals of evolutionary biology. Here, we analyze the genetic and molecular bases of the divergence of body pigmentation patterns between Drosophila yakuba and its sister species Drosophila santomea. We found that loss of pigmentation in D. santomea involved(More)
Transmembrane semaphorins (Semas) serve evolutionarily conserved guidance roles, and some function as both ligands and receptors. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the transduction of these signals to the cytoskeleton remain largely unknown. We have identified two direct regulators of Rho family small GTPases, pebble (a Rho guanine nucleotide(More)
We have shown previously that the loss of abdominal pigmentation in D. santomea relative to its sister species D. yakuba resulted, in part, from cis-regulatory mutations at the tan locus. Matute et al. claim, based solely upon extrapolation from genetic crosses of D. santomea and D. melanogaster, a much more divergent species, that at least four X(More)
Plexins (Plexs) comprise a large family of cell surface receptors for semaphorins (Semas) that function as evolutionarily conserved guidance molecules. GTPase activating protein (GAP) activity for Ras family small GTPases has been implicated in plexin signaling cascades through its RasGAP domain. However, little is known about how Ras family GTPases are(More)
Plexins (Plexs) are a large family of phylogenetically conserved guidance receptors that bind specifically to semaphorins (Semas), another large family of guidance molecules. In the Drosophila embryonic central nervous system (CNS), the secreted semaphorins Sema-2a and Sema-2b both act as ligands for PlexB, but mediate mutually independent and opposite(More)
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