Evolutionary toxicogenomics: Diversification of the Cyp12d1 and Cyp12d3 genes in Drosophila species

Cynthia M. McDonnell, Darrin King, Josep M. Comeron, Hongmei Li, Weilin Sun, May R. Berenbaum, Mary A. Schuler, Barry R. Pittendrigh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Gene duplication and divergence are overwhelmingly considered to be the primary mechanisms by which cytochrome P450 monooxygenases (P450s) have radiated into a large and diverse gene superfamily. To address how environmental stress drives the fixation and diversification of gene duplications, we have analyzed Cyp12d1 and Cyp12d3, a pair of duplicated genes found in the sequenced Drosophila genomes of the melanogaster group. The paralog Cyp12d3, which is not found in Drosophila melanogaster, is basal to the melanogaster group, after it split fromthe obscura group (ca. 50 mya), and has a significant signature of positive selection in two species (D. sechellia and D. ananassae). Examination of the Cyp12d1 region in D. melanogaster wildtype and isoline populations revealed variation both in copy number and sequence, including splice-site variations, which certainly alter gene function. Further investigations of several strains have identified three cases inwhich differences in the Cyp12d1 gene region are associatedwith the differences in transcript abundance and transcriptional responses to the environmental stresses that have not been seen for other detoxificative loci. Together, these data highlight the value of using both macro- and microevolutionary approaches in studying the duplication and divergence events associated with detoxification genes and lay important groundwork for future studies in the field of evolutionary toxicogenomics, which uses the principles of phylogenetic analysis to predict possible enzymatic functions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)281-296
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Molecular Evolution
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - Jun 2012


  • 12 Drosophila genomes
  • 30 UTR
  • Comparative genomics
  • Cyp12d1
  • Cytochrome P450 monooxygenase genes
  • Drosophila melanogaster
  • Evolutionary toxicology
  • Gene duplication
  • Polyadenylation signal
  • Xenobiotics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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