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B Herath, N A Dochtermann, J I Johnson, Z Leonard, J H Bowsher
Many exaggerated and novel traits are strongly influenced by sexual selection. Although sexual selection is a powerful evolutionary force, underlying genetic interactions can constrain evolutionary outcomes. The relative strength of selection vs. constraint has been a matter of debate for the evolution of male abdominal appendages in sepsid flies. These abdominal appendages are involved in courtship and mating, but their function has not been directly tested. We performed mate choice experiments to determine whether sexual selection acts on abdominal appendages in the sepsid Themira biloba...
December 2015: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Yuchen Ang, Patrick Thomas Rohner, Rudolf Meier
Specimens of the enigmatic, monotypic European genus Zuskamira Pont, 1987 (Sepsidae) were initially collected only from the lower central Swedish provinces of Darlana, Uppland and Västmanland. However, the same species was subsequently found much more south in Lower-Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein although Germany is overall well sampled for sepsid flies. Here we report a further (longitudinal) range expansion based on new localities in Southern Finland. New localities for Finland and Sweden are here added and we discuss briefly the habitat requirements of the species...
2015: Biodiversity Data Journal
Xuankun Li, Shuangmei Ding, Stephen L Cameron, Zehui Kang, Yuyu Wang, Ding Yang
Sepsid flies (Diptera: Sepsidae) are important model insects for sexual selection research. In order to develop mitochondrial (mt) genome data for this significant group, we sequenced the first complete mt genome of the sepsid fly Nemopoda mamaevi Ozerov, 1997. The circular 15,878 bp mt genome is typical of Diptera, containing all 37 genes usually present in bilaterian animals. We discovered inaccurate annotations of fly mt genomes previously deposited on GenBank and thus re-annotated all published mt genomes of Cyclorrhapha...
2015: PloS One
Nalini Puniamoorthy, Martin A Schäfer, Jörg Römbke, Rudolf Meier, Wolf U Blanckenhorn
Avermectins are potent and popular veterinary pharmaceuticals used globally to fight parasites of livestock and humans. By disturbing ion channel transport through the membrane, avermectins are effective against endo- and ectoparasitic round and horsehair worms (Nematoida), insects, or ticks (Arthropoda), but not against Plathelminthes, including flatworms (Trematoda) and tapeworms (Cestoda), or segmented worms (Annelida). Unfortunately, excreted avermectins have strong nontarget effects on beneficial arthropods such as the insect community decomposing livestock dung, ultimately impeding this important ecosystem function to the extent that regulators mandate standardized eco-toxicological tests of dung organisms worldwide...
May 2014: Evolutionary Applications
D P Araujo, M J M Tuan, J Y Yew, R Meier
For many insect species, pheromones are important communication tools, but chemical analysis and experimental study can be technically challenging because they require the detection and handling of complex chemicals in small quantities. One drawback of traditional mass spectrometry methods such as gas chromatography mass spectrometry is that whole-body extractions from one to several hundred individuals are required, with the consequence that intra- and interindividual differences cannot be detected. Here, we used the recently introduced UV-LDI MS (ultraviolet laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry) to profile the 'osmeterium' of the sepsid fly Themira superba that is located on the edge of the hind tibia of males...
August 2014: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Dacotah Melicher, Alex S Torson, Ian Dworkin, Julia H Bowsher
BACKGROUND: The Sepsidae family of flies is a model for investigating how sexual selection shapes courtship and sexual dimorphism in a comparative framework. However, like many non-model systems, there are few molecular resources available. Large-scale sequencing and assembly have not been performed in any sepsid, and the lack of a closely related genome makes investigation of gene expression challenging. Our goal was to develop an automated pipeline for de novo transcriptome assembly, and to use that pipeline to assemble and analyze the transcriptome of the sepsid Themira biloba...
2014: BMC Genomics
Yuchen Ang, Ling Jing Wong, Rudolf Meier
Many species descriptions, especially older ones, consist mostly of text and have few illustrations. Only the most conspicuous morphological features needed for species diagnosis and delimitation at the time of description are illustrated. Such descriptions can quickly become inadequate when new species or characters are discovered. We propose that descriptions should become more data-rich by presenting a large amount of images and illustrations to cover as much morphology as possible; these descriptions are more likely to remain adequate over time because their large amounts of visual data could capture character systems that may become important in the future...
2013: ZooKeys
Lei Zhao, Ang Shi Hui Annie, Srivathsan Amrita, Su Kathy Feng Yi, Meier Rudolf
We here present a phylogenetic hypothesis for Sepsidae (Diptera: Cyclorrhapha), a group of schizophoran flies with ca. 320 described species that is widely used in sexual selection research. The hypothesis is based on five nuclear and five mitochondrial markers totaling 8813 bp for ca. 30% of the diversity (105 sepsid taxa) and - depending on analysis - six or nine outgroup species. Maximum parsimony (MP), maximum likelihood (ML), and Bayesian inferences (BI) yield overall congruent, well-resolved, and supported trees that are largely unaffected by three different ways to partition the data in BI and ML analyses...
October 2013: Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Ah-Ram Kim, Carlos Martinez, John Ionides, Alexandre F Ramos, Michael Z Ludwig, Nobuo Ogawa, David H Sharp, John Reinitz
Rearrangements of about 2.5 kilobases of regulatory DNA located 5' of the transcription start site of the Drosophila even-skipped locus generate large-scale changes in the expression of even-skipped stripes 2, 3, and 7. The most radical effects are generated by juxtaposing the minimal stripe enhancers MSE2 and MSE3 for stripes 2 and 3 with and without small "spacer" segments less than 360 bp in length. We placed these fusion constructs in a targeted transformation site and obtained quantitative expression data for these transformants together with their controlling transcription factors at cellular resolution...
2013: PLoS Genetics
Wolf U Blanckenhorn, Nalini Puniamoorthy, Martin A Schäfer, Adam Scheffczyk, Jörg Römbke
Veterinary pharmaceuticals excreted in the dung of treated livestock can have strong non-target effects on the dung organism community. We report results of ecotoxicological tests with ivermectin for 21 species of temperate (Europe, North America) and tropical (Asia, Central America) black scavenger flies (Diptera: Sepsidae), using standardized methods developed previously for the yellow dung fly and the face fly. Our study documents great variation in ivermectin sensitivity of more than two orders of magnitude among species and even populations within species: estimated lethal effect concentrations LC(50) (at which 50% of the flies died) ranged from 0...
March 2013: Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety
Yuchen Ang, Rudolf Meier
A recent collecting trip to Vietnam yielded three new species and two new records of Sepsidae (Diptera) for the country. Here we describe two new species in the species-poor genus Perochaeta (Perochaeta cuirassasp. n. andPerochaeta lobosp. n.) and one to the largest sepsid genus Sepsis (Sepsis spurasp. n.) which is also found in Sumatra and Sulawesi. Two additional Sepsis species are new records for Vietnam (Sepsis sepsi Ozerov, 2003; Sepsis monostigma Thompson, 1869). We conclude with a discussion of the distribution of Perochaeta and the three Sepsis species...
2010: ZooKeys
Farrah Zaidi, Xue-xin Chen
In Pakistan, the three days of Islamic festival of Eid ul Azha (Eid) are characterized by millions of livestock sacrifices and availability of countless breeding resources for insects of forensic importance. Thus during Eid, December, 2008, in a Pakistani village observing 70 sacrifices, we examined postmortem insect attractions on various sacrificial products (from 23 animals), i.e., blood pools, meat, hides/skins, bones, offal and real time insect succession on goats' offal at five dump sites. Thirty five insect species were collected from 14 indoor and outdoor sites...
June 15, 2011: Forensic Science International
Nalini Puniamoorthy, Marion Kotrba, Rudolf Meier
BACKGROUND: The species-specificity of male genitalia has been well documented in many insect groups and sexual selection has been proposed as the evolutionary force driving the often rapid, morphological divergence. The internal female genitalia, in sharp contrast, remain poorly studied. Here, we present the first comparative study of the internal reproductive system of Sepsidae. We test the species-specificity of the female genitalia by comparing recently diverged sister taxa. We also compare the rate of change in female morphological characters with the rate of fast-evolving, molecular and behavioral characters...
2010: BMC Evolutionary Biology
Julia H Bowsher, H Frederik Nijhout
The abdominal appendages on male Themira biloba (Diptera: Sepsidae) are complex novel structures used during mating. These abdominal appendages superficially resemble the serially homologous insect appendages in that they have a joint and a short segment that can be rotated. Non-genital appendages do not occur in adult pterygote insects, so these abdominal appendages are novel structures with no obvious ancestry. We investigated whether the genes that pattern the serially homologous insect appendages have been co-opted to pattern these novel abdominal appendages...
December 2009: Development Genes and Evolution
N Puniamoorthy, M R B Ismail, D S H Tan, R Meier
Our understanding of how fast mating behaviour evolves in insects is rather poor due to a lack of comparative studies among insect groups for which phylogenetic relationships are known. Here, we present a detailed study of the mating behaviour of 27 species of Sepsidae (Diptera) for which a well-resolved and supported phylogeny is available. We demonstrate that mating behaviour is extremely diverse in sepsids with each species having its own mating profile. We define 32 behavioural characters and document them with video clips...
November 2009: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Emily E Hare, Brant K Peterson, Michael B Eisen
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
November 2008: PLoS Genetics
Reiner A Veitia
Expression of most genes is regulated by the interaction of multiple transcription factors with cis-regulatory sequences. Many studies have focused on how changes in promoters and enhancers alter gene expression and phenotype. Recently, Hare et al., using elegant wet and computational approaches uncovered a series of enhancers driving the expression of the even-skipped gene in scavenger flies (Sepsidae). Despite the strong sequence divergence between the enhancers in sepsids and drosophilids, they lead to remarkably similar patterns of gene expression in transgenic Drosophila embryos...
November 2008: BioEssays: News and Reviews in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology
Emily E Hare, Brant K Peterson, Venky N Iyer, Rudolf Meier, Michael B Eisen
The gene expression pattern specified by an animal regulatory sequence is generally viewed as arising from the particular arrangement of transcription factor binding sites it contains. However, we demonstrate here that regulatory sequences whose binding sites have been almost completely rearranged can still produce identical outputs. We sequenced the even-skipped locus from six species of scavenger flies (Sepsidae) that are highly diverged from the model species Drosophila melanogaster, but share its basic patterns of developmental gene expression...
June 2008: PLoS Genetics
Nalini Puniamoorthy, Kathy Feng-Yi Su, Rudolf Meier
BACKGROUND: Sexually dimorphic structures contribute the largest number of morphological differences between closely related insect species thus implying that these structures evolve fast and are involved in speciation. The current literature focuses on the selective forces that drive these changes, be it 'sexual conflict' or 'female choice'. However, there are only few studies examining the function of sexual dimorphisms and even fewer that investigate how functional changes influence dimorphisms...
2008: BMC Evolutionary Biology
Julia H Bowsher, H Frederik Nijhout
Abdominal appendages in male sepsid flies are a complex novel structure of unknown developmental and evolutionary origin. Although these abdominal appendages superficially resemble serially homologous insect appendages, they do not develop from imaginal discs like other dipteran appendages. Cauterization of the genital disc and ventral abdominal histoblasts in Themira biloba (Sepsidae, Diptera) revealed that these abdominal appendages develop from the ventral histoblast nests of the fourth abdominal segment...
July 2007: Evolution & Development
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