Genetic analysis and the evolutionary study of a pseudogene, CR14033, and the corresponding parent gene, CG9203

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University of New Brunswick


Gene duplication can lead to new gene function. If a duplicated gene holds no benefit, it will acquire mutations leading to a non-functional copy or pseudogene. The purpose of this study was to see if a transcribed gene duplicate in Drosophila melanogaster, CR14033, considered a pseudogene, is involved in regulating its parent gene (CG9203), to determine the function of the genes of interest, and to study the origin of CR14033. The regulation likely occurs through the endogenous small interfering RNA pathway. Mutations in CR14033 and CG9203 and transgenic flies expressing sense and antisense transcripts of each gene were generated in this study to test this hypothesis. From the analysis of the CR14033 deletion and the overexpression of CR14033 and CG9203, it appears as though there is an interaction between the two. To study function, sterility was also explored in these genotypes. A female sterile mutant phenotype was generated from CG9203. Sequence analysis of twelve Drosophila species showed that CR14033 likely arose through a gene fusion event that occurred in the melanogaster subgroup ancestor.