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Article
Tubulin Evolution in Insects: Gene Duplication and Subfunctionalization Provide Specialized Isoforms in a Functionally Constrained Gene Family
BMC Evolutionary Biology
  • Mark G. Nielsen, University of Dayton
  • Sudhindra R. Gadagkar
  • Lisa Gutzwiller
Document Type
Article
Publication Date
1-1-2010
Abstract
Background: The completion of 19 insect genome sequencing projects spanning six insect orders provides the opportunity to investigate the evolution of important gene families, here tubulins. Tubulins are a family of eukaryotic structural genes that form microtubules, fundamental components of the cytoskeleton that mediate cell division, shape, motility, and intracellular trafficking. Previous in vivo studies in Drosophila find a stringent relationship between tubulin structure and function; small, biochemically similar changes in the major alpha 1 or testis-specific beta 2 tubulin protein render each unable to generate a motile spermtail axoneme. This has evolutionary implications, not a single non-synonymous substitution is found in beta 2 among 17 species of Drosophila and Hirtodrosophila flies spanning 60 Myr of evolution. This raises an important question, How do tubulins evolve while maintaining their function? To answer, we use molecular evolutionary analyses to characterize the evolution of insect tubulins.
ISBN/ISSN
1471-2148
Document Version
Published Version
Publisher
BioMed Central
Peer Reviewed
Yes
Keywords
  • Biomed Central Ltd,
  • Article,
  • Beta-Tubulin,
  • Alpha-Tubulin,
  • Cell Motility,
  • Sperm Tail,
  • In-Vivo,
  • Drosophila,
  • Axoneme,
  • Intron,
  • Microtubule,
  • Sequences
Disciplines
Citation Information
Mark G. Nielsen, Sudhindra R. Gadagkar and Lisa Gutzwiller. "Tubulin Evolution in Insects: Gene Duplication and Subfunctionalization Provide Specialized Isoforms in a Functionally Constrained Gene Family" BMC Evolutionary Biology Vol. 10 (2010)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/mark_nielsen/1/