Submitted to: Genetics
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/31/2001
Publication Date: 3/1/2002
Citation: Brown, S.J., Fellers, J.P., Shippy, T.D., Richardson, E.A., Maxwell, M., Stuart, J.J., Denell, R.E. 2002. Sequence of the tribolium castaneum homeotic complex: the region corresponding to the drosophila melanogaster antennapedia complex. Genetics. 160:1067-1074. Interpretive Summary: We have sequenced a region in the genome of the red flour beetle that contains genes that control the development of the beetle. It is also important in studying the evolution of insects. We have found that the gene order along the chromosome is the same as in the fruit fly. But, we have also found that the genes in the beetle are smaller, contain fewer introns, and the resulting proteins are smaller. Their function remains the same. The beetle genome in this region does not contain extra genes, as does the fruit fly.
Technical Abstract: The homeotic selector genes of the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum, are located in a single cluster. We have sequenced the region containing the homeotic selector genes required for proper development of the head and anterior thorax, which is the counterpart of the ANTC in Drosophila. This 280 kb interval contains eight homeodomain-encoding genes, including single orthologs of the Drosophila genes labial, proboscipedia, Deformed, Sex combs reduced, fushi tarazu, and Antennapedia, as well as two orthologs of zerknullt. These genes are all oriented in the same direction, as are the Hox genes of amphioxum, mouse and human. Although each transcription unit is similar to its Drosophila counterpart in size, the Tribolium genes contain fewer introns (with the exception of the two zerknullt genes), produce shorter mRNAs and encode smaller proteins. We found no evidence of any other genes in this region.