Data from: Complex patterns of cis-regulatory polymorphisms in ebony underlie standing pigmentation variation in Drosophila melanogaster
Miyagi, Ryutaro; Osada, Naoki; Takahashi, Aya; Akiyama, Noriyoshi (2015), Data from: Complex patterns of cis-regulatory polymorphisms in ebony underlie standing pigmentation variation in Drosophila melanogaster, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.d4d19
Pigmentation traits in adult Drosophila melanogaster were used in this study to investigate how phenotypic variations of continuous ecological traits can be maintained in a natural population. First, pigmentation variation in the adult female was measured at seven different body positions in 20 strains from the Drosophila melanogaster Genetic Reference Panel (DGRP) originating from a natural population in North Carolina. Next, to assess the contributions of cis-regulatory polymorphisms of the genes involved in the melanin biosynthesis pathway, allele-specific expression levels of four genes were quantified by amplicon sequencing using a 454 GS Junior. Among those genes, ebony was significantly associated with pigmentation intensity of the thoracic segment. Detailed sequence analysis of the gene regulatory regions of this gene indicated that many different functional cis-regulatory alleles are segregating in the population and that variations outside the core enhancer element could potentially play important roles in the regulation of gene expression. In addition, a slight enrichment of distantly associated SNP pairs was observed in the ~10 kb cis-regulatory region of ebony, which suggested the presence of interacting elements scattered across the region. In contrast, sequence analysis in the core cis-regulatory region of tan indicated that SNPs within the region are significantly associated with allele-specific expression level of this gene. Collectively, the data suggest that the underlying genetic differences in the cis-regulatory regions that control intraspecific pigmentation variation can be more complex than those of interspecific pigmentation trait differences, where causal genetic changes are typically confined to modular enhancer elements.