Evidence for parallel evolution of a gene involved in the regulation of spermatogenesis

Xin Rui Wang, Li Bin Ling, Hsiao Han Huang, Jau Jyun Lin, Sebastian D. Fugmann, Shu Yuan Yang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

PHD finger protein 7 (Phf7) is a male germline specific gene in Drosophila melanogaster that can trigger the male germline sexual fate and regulate spermatogenesis, and its human homologue can rescue fecundity defects in male flies lacking this gene. These findings prompted us to investigate conservation of reproductive strategies through studying the evolutionary origin of this gene. We find that Phf7 is present only in select species including mammals and some insects,whereas the closely related G2/M-phase specific E3 ubiquitin protein ligase (G2e3) is in the genome of most metazoans. Interestingly, phylogenetic analyses showed that vertebrate and insect Phf7 genes did not evolve from a common Phf7 ancestor but rather through independent duplication events from an ancestral G2e3. This is an example of parallel evolution in which a male germline factor evolved at least twice from a pre-existing template to develop new regulatory mechanisms of spermatogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20170324
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Volume284
Issue number1855
DOIs
StatePublished - 31 05 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Evolution
  • Germline
  • Phf7
  • Spermatogenesis

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