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  1. Young, or newly evolved, genes arise ubiquitously across the tree of life, and they can rapidly acquire novel functions that influence a diverse array of biological processes. Previous work identified a young regulatory duplicate gene in Drosophila, Zeus that unexpectedly diverged rapidly from its parent, Caf40, an extremely conserved component in the CCR4–NOT machinery in post-transcriptional and post-translational regulation of eukaryotic cells, and took on roles in the male reproductive system. This neofunctionalization was accompanied by differential binding of the Zeus protein to loci throughout the Drosophila melanogaster genome. However, the way in which new DNA-binding proteins acquire and coevolve with their targets in the genome is not understood. Here, by comparing Zeus ChIP-Seq data from D. melanogaster and D. simulans to the ancestral Caf40 binding events from D. yakuba, a species that diverged before the duplication event, we found a dynamic pattern in which Zeus binding rapidly coevolved with a previously unknown DNA motif, which we term Caf40 and Zeus-Associated Motif (CAZAM), under the influence of positive selection. Interestingly, while both copies of Zeus acquired targets at male-biased and testis-specific genes, D. melanogaster and D. simulans proteins have specialized binding on different chromosomes, a pattern echoed in the evolution ofmore »the associated motif. Using CRISPR-Cas9-mediated gene knockout of Zeus and RNA-Seq, we found that Zeus regulated the expression of 661 differentially expressed genes (DEGs). Our results suggest that the evolution of young regulatory genes can be coupled to substantial rewiring of the transcriptional networks into which they integrate, even over short evolutionary timescales. Our results thus uncover dynamic genome-wide evolutionary processes associated with new genes.« less
  2. Lott, S (Ed.)
    Abstract Males in the parasitoid wasp genus Nasonia have distinct, species-specific, head shapes. The availability of fertile hybrids among the species, along with obligate haploidy of males, facilitates analysis of complex gene interactions in development and evolution. Previous analyses showed that both the divergence in head shape between Nasonia vitripennis and Nasonia giraulti, and the head-specific developmental defects of F2 haploid hybrid males, are governed by multiple changes in networks of interacting genes. Here, we extend our understanding of the gene interactions that affect morphogenesis in male heads. Use of artificial diploid male hybrids shows that alleles mediating developmental defects are recessive, while there are diverse dominance relationships among other head shape traits. At the molecular level, the sex determination locus doublesex plays a major role in male head shape differences, but it is not the only important factor. Introgression of a giraulti region on chromsome 2 reveals a recessive locus that causes completely penetrant head clefting in both males and females in a vitripennis background. Finally, a third species (N. longicornis) was used to investigate the timing of genetic changes related to head morphology, revealing that most changes causing defects arose after the divergence of N. vitripennis from themore »other species, but prior to the divergence of N. giraulti and N. longicornis from each other. Our results demonstrate that developmental gene networks can be dissected using interspecies crosses in Nasonia, and set the stage for future fine-scale genetic dissection of both head shape and hybrid developmental defects.« less