Evolutionary Ecology
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Evolution & Development Research

Nicolas Gompel´s Lab


Evolution of phenotypes in Drosophila

A stricking feature of animal evolution is the diversity of their forms and their behaviors. Often, these traits evolve in concert, such as particular feeding behaviors and teeth morphology. The evolution of these traits entails changes in the genetic make-up of each species.

These changes translate at the level of very cells that make or control the traits, at the level of entire tissues, and ultimately in the interaction between the animal and its environment.

With this perspective in mind, we are using closely related species of the fly genus Drosophila, including the model species Drosophila melanogaster, to pin down the genetic changes underlying the evolution of pigmentation patterns, courtship behaviors, and other reproduction-related traits. We are then studying the functional consequences of these changes at different scales of biological complexity, from cell to organism.


Selected publications

Arnoult L, Su KFY, Manoel D, Minervino C, Magriña J, Gompel N* and Prud’homme B* (2013) Emergence and diversification of fly pigmentation through evolution of a gene regulatory module. Science, 339: 1423-1426 (*corresponding authors)

Cande J, Andolfatto P, Prud’homme B*, Stern D*, and Gompel N*. Evolution of multiple additive loci caused divergence between Drosophila yakuba and D. santomea in wing rowing during male courtship. Plos ONE, 7(8): e43888. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0043888 (*corresponding authors)

Cande J, Prud’homme B*, and Gompel N* (2012) Smells like evolution: the role of chemoreceptor evolution in behavioral change. Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 23(1):152-8. (*corresponding authors)

Prud’homme B*, Minervino C, Hocine C, Cande JD, Aouane A, Dufour HD, Kassner VA and Gompel N* (2011) Body plan innovation in treehoppers through the evolution of an extra wing-like appendage. Nature, 473: 83-6. (*corresponding authors)

Gompel N, Prud’homme B (2009) The causes of repeated genetic evolution. Developmental Biology, 332(1): 36-47

Williams TM, Selegue JE, Werner T, Gompel N, Kopp A Carroll SB (2008) The regulation and evolution of a genetic switch controlling sexually dimorphic traits in Drosophila. Cell, 134(4) : 610-23

Prud'homme B, Gompel N, Carroll SB. (2007) Colloquium Papers: Emerging principles of regulatory evolution. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 104 Suppl 1:8605-12

Prud'homme B, Gompel N, Rokas A, Kassner VA, Williams TM, Yeh SD, True JR, Carroll SB. (2006) Repeated morphological evolution through cis-regulatory changes in a pleiotropic gene. Nature 440:1050-3. (The first two authors contributed equally to this work).

Gompel, N., Prud’homme, B., Wittkopp, P.J., Kassner, V.A., Carroll, S.B. (2005). Chance caught on the wing: cis-regulatory evolution and the origin of pigment patterns in Drosophila. Nature 433: 481-487. (The first two authors contributed equally to this work).

Gompel, N. and Carroll, S. B. (2003) Genetic mechanisms and constraints governing the evolution of correlated traits in drosophilid flies. Nature, 424:931-935.