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Open AccessArticle

Expansion of Imaginal Disc Growth Factor Gene Family in Diptera Reflects the Evolution of Novel Functions

1
Biology Centre, Czech Academy of Sciences, Institute of Entomology, Branisovska 31, 370 05 Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic
2
European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), Core Facilities and Services, Meyerhofstraße 1, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
3
Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia, Branisovska 1760, 370 05 Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Insects 2019, 10(10), 365; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10100365
Received: 4 October 2019 / Revised: 15 October 2019 / Accepted: 16 October 2019 / Published: 20 October 2019
Imaginal disc growth factors (IDGFs) are a small protein family found in insects. They are related to chitinases and implicated in multiple functions, including cell growth stimulation, antimicrobial activity, insect hemolymph clotting, and maintenance of the extracellular matrix. A number of new IDGFs have been found in several insect species and their detailed phylogenetic analysis provides a good basis for further functional studies. To achieve this goal, we sequenced Idgf cDNAs from several lepidopteran and trichopteran species and supplemented our data with sequences retrieved from public databases. A comparison of Idgf genes in different species showed that Diptera typically contain several Idgf paralogs with a simple exon-intron structure (2–3 exons), whereas lepidopteran Idgfs appear as a single copy per genome and contain a higher number of exons (around 9). Our results show that, while lepidopteran Idgfs, having single orthologs, are characterized by low divergence and stronger purifying selection over most of the molecule, the duplicated Idgf genes in Diptera, Idgf1 and Idgf4, exhibit signs of positive selection. This characterization of IDGF evolution provides, to our knowledge, the first information on the changes that formed these important molecules. View Full-Text
Keywords: Drosophila; chitinase; phylogeny; positive selection; chitinase-like protein; IDGF Drosophila; chitinase; phylogeny; positive selection; chitinase-like protein; IDGF
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Zurovcova, M.; Benes, V.; Zurovec, M.; Kucerova, L. Expansion of Imaginal Disc Growth Factor Gene Family in Diptera Reflects the Evolution of Novel Functions. Insects 2019, 10, 365.

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