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Sperm Proteome Maturation in the Mouse Epididymis

In mammals, transit through the epididymis, which involves the acquisition, loss and modification of proteins, is required to confer motility and fertilization competency to sperm. The overall dynamics of maturation is poorly understood, and a systems level understanding of the complex maturation process will provide valuable new information about changes occurring during...

Expansion and functional diversification of a leucyl aminopeptidase family that encodes the major protein constituents of Drosophila sperm

Background The evolutionary diversification of gene families through gene creation (and loss) is a dynamic process believed to be critical to the evolution of functional novelty. Previous identification of a closely related family of eight annotated metalloprotease genes of the M17 Merops family in the Drosophila sperm proteome (termed, Sperm-LeucylAminoPeptidases, S-LAPs 1-8...

Re-analysis of the larval testis data on meiotic sex chromosome inactivation revealed evidence for tissue-specific gene expression related to the drosophila X chromosome

Background Meiotic sex chromosome inactivation (MSCI) during spermatogenesis has been proposed as one of the evolutionary driving forces behind both the under-representation of male-biased genes on, and the gene movement out of, the X chromosome in Drosophila. However, the relevance of MSCI in shaping sex chromosome evolution is controversial. Here we examine two aspects of a...

Segmental dataset and whole body expression data do not support the hypothesis that non-random movement is an intrinsic property of Drosophila retrogenes

Background Several studies in Drosophila have shown excessive movement of retrogenes from the X chromosome to autosomes, and that these genes are frequently expressed in the testis. This phenomenon has led to several hypotheses invoking natural selection as the process driving male-biased genes to the autosomes. Metta and Schlötterer (BMC Evol Biol 2010, 10:114) analyzed a set of...

Relationship between gene co-expression and sharing of transcription factor binding sites in Drosophila melanogaster

Motivation: In functional genomics, it is frequently useful to correlate expression levels of genes to identify transcription factor binding sites (TFBS) via the presence of common sequence motifs. The underlying assumption is that co-expressed genes are more likely to contain shared TFBS and, thus, TFBS can be identified computationally. Indeed, gene pairs with a very high...

Sperm Proteomics Reveals Intensified Selection on Mouse Sperm Membrane and Acrosome Genes

Spermatozoa are a focal point for the impact of sexual selection due to sperm competition and sperm–female interactions in a wide range of sexually reproducing organisms. In-depth molecular investigation of the ramifications of these selective regimes has been limited due to a lack of information concerning the molecular composition of sperm. In this study, we utilize three...

Stage-Specific Expression Profiling of Drosophila Spermatogenesis Suggests that Meiotic Sex Chromosome Inactivation Drives Genomic Relocation of Testis-Expressed Genes

In Drosophila, genes expressed in males tend to accumulate on autosomes and are underrepresented on the X chromosome. In particular, genes expressed in testis have been observed to frequently relocate from the X chromosome to the autosomes. The inactivation of X-linked genes during male meiosis (i.e., meiotic sex chromosome inactivation—MSCI) was first proposed to explain male...

Recent Origins of Sperm Genes in Drosophila

Newly created genes often acquire testis-specific or enhanced expression but neither the mechanisms responsible for this specificity nor the functional consequences of these evolutionary processes are well understood. Genomic analyses of the Drosophila melanogaster sperm proteome has identified 2 recently evolved gene families on the melanogaster lineage and 4 genes created by...

FlyExpress: visual mining of spatiotemporal patterns for genes and publications in Drosophila embryogenesis

Summary: Images containing spatial expression patterns illuminate the roles of different genes during embryogenesis. In order to generate initial clues to regulatory interactions, biologists frequently need to know the set of genes expressed at the same time at specific locations in a developing embryo, as well as related research publications. However, text-based mining of image...

Wolbachia: Evolutionary novelty in a rickettsial bacteria

Background Although closely related, the alpha-proteobacteria Wolbachia and the Rickettsiacae (Rickettsia and Ehrlichia), employ different evolutionary life history strategies. Wolbachia are obligate endocellular symbionts that infect an extraordinary host range and, in contrast to the infectious and pathogenic Rickettsia and Ehrlichia, profoundly influence host reproductive...