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Expression of genes related to feeding habit in the Calliphoridae family

Gisele Antoniazzi Cardoso
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Master's Dissertation
Institution: Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Instituto de Biologia
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Paulo Arruda; Maria Cristina Arias
Advisor: Ana Maria Lima de Azeredo Espin

Studies involving the molecular basis of behavior are difficult to perform because behavior is shaped by several factors (including genetic factors). Several studies have linked genes to specific behaviors. Based in these studies, we used species of the family Calliphoridae to study the evolution of parasitism. Closely related species of this family exhibit different feeding behaviors (obligate parasites and saprophagous species). It is unclear how parasitism arose in Calliphoridae, however, it is possible to observe in their evolutionary history that this habit appears in three separate occasions. One approach to initiate this study is to examine the expression of candidate genes. For this purpose, we used real time PCR, but gene expression is measured relative to a reference gene. The use of a reference gene is to remove a part of the experimental variation. Therefore, this gene is expected not to vary its expression in the different species studied. Thus, we first selected and validated reference genes to obtain a more accurate quantification of gene expression levels. After this step, we selected candidate genes and separated them into four categories: a) genes directly related to feeding behavior, b) genes related to metabolism of toxic substances, c) genes related to immune responses and d) genes directly linked to parasitism. We analyzed the expression of eight candidate genes in species of Chrysomya and Cochliomyia genera. Moreover, it was possible to infer how the expression of these genes is evolving within family Calliphoridae. We observed a wide conservation in gene expression levels in larvae and in adults there was evidence of neutral evolution (genes differentially expressed among species). The gene Mvl may be involved in the different feeding habits and paved the way to continue the study of the evolution of parasitismo. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 09/13463-3 - Expression analysis of genes involved in feeding behavior in a filogenetic framework: a case study in the Calliphoridae family
Grantee:Gisele Antoniazzi Cardoso
Support type: Scholarships in Brazil - Master