DNA methylation has been studied abundantly in vertebrates and recent evidence confirms that this phenomenon could be disseminated among some invertebrates groups, including Drosophila species. In this paper, we used the Methylation-Sensitive Restriction Endonuclease (MSRE) technique and Southern blot with specific probes, to detect methylation in the Drosophila willistoni species. We found differential cleavage patterns between males and females that cannot be explained by Mendelian inheritance, pointing to a DNA methylation phenomenon different from the Drosophila melanogaster one. The sequencing of some of these bands showed that these fragments were formed by different DNA elements, among which rDNA. We also characterized the D. willitoni dDnmt2 sequence, through a Mega Blast search against the D. willistoni Trace Archive Database using the D. melanogaster dDnmt2 nucleotide sequence as query. The complete analysis of D. willistoni dDnmt2 sequence showed that its promoter region is larger, its dDnmt2 nucleotide sequence is 33% divergent from the D. melanogaster one, Inverted Terminal Repeats (ITRs) are absent and only the B isoform of the enzyme is produced. In contrast, ORF2 is more conserved. Comparing the D. willistoni and D. melanogaster dDnmt2 protein sequences, we found higher conservation in motifs from the large domain, responsible for the catalysis of methyl transfer, and great variability in the region that carries out the recognition of specific DNA sequences (TRD). Globally, our results reveal that methylation of the D. willistoni genome could be involved in a singular process of species-specific dosage compensation and that the DNA methylation in the Drosophila genus can have diverse functions. This could be related to the evolutionary history of each species and also to the acquisition time of the dDnmt2 gene.
Epigenetic phenomena have been widely characterized in the genomes of vertebrates and DNA methylation is a key mechanism of epigenetic regulation. The DNA methylation systems of invertebrates and vertebrates show several notable differences. However, the evolutionary implications of those differences only recently began to be revealed. Our study investigated the recurrence of sex-specific methylation, as previously described for the species Drosophila willistoni, in other species of the Sophophora subgenus that present close evolutionary relationship. The MSRE and Southern blot techniques were used to analyze rDNA of some species of the willistoni, melanogaster, saltans and obscura groups of Drosophila and the results suggested that differential DNA methylation between sexes only occurs in Drosophila tropicalis and D. insularis, two sibling species of the willistoni subgroup. However, only using the MSRE technique we could detect sex-specific patterns of DNA methylation in all species of willistoni subgroup. These results indicate that DNA methylation may present important differences, even between closely related species, shedding new light on this Neotropical species complex.
Using conventional staining with acetic orcein and C-banding techniques it was investigated constitutive heterochromatin chromosomal polymorphisms and the mitotic and the meiotic behavior of male and female chromosomes of Boophilus microplus (Canestrini, 1887). Some differences were detected in the population of southern Brazil as compared to the data of other authors for populations in other latitudes. The differences being mainly concerned with the distribution of constitutive centromeric heterochromatin and variation in the length of heterochromatic blocks in the pericentromeric regions of some chromosome pairs.
Resumo: O objetivo desta pesquisa foi analisar a visão dos alunos e professores em relação às aulas práticas em biologia e quanto o uso desse recurso pedagógico está envolvido na melhora do desempenho de alunos do Ensino Médio. Foram pesquisadas quatro escolas de Porto Alegre com e sem aulas práticas, utilizando questionários e análise pelo teste Qui-quadrado de comparação de proporções. Nossos resultados demonstraram: a) a presença da ideia de que aulas práticas são importantes, mesmo nos grupos de alunos que nunca tiveram esse tipo de aula e b) uma possível contribuição das aulas práticas de biologia no desempenho dos alunos.Palavras chave: Alfabetização científi ca; Aulas práticas; Biologia; Ensino-aprendizagem.Abstract: The objective of this research was to examine the views of students and teachers in relation to the practical lessons in biology and as the use of this educational resource is involved in improving the performance of high school students. We surveyed four schools of Porto Alegre with and without practical lessons, using questionnaires and analysis by comparison of proportions *
This paper deals with estimates of heritability and the effect of two different kinds of environment on the melanization of pupae in the butterfly Heliconius erato phyllis. The results for heritability showed greater differences when the offspring were regressed on male or female values for pupal colour. Pupal colour followed a system of discrete scores, from 2 for the light pupae to 5 for the darkest one. Estimate of the heritability (h2) was 0.44 when the average score of the siblings were regressed on the mid-parental value. When regressed on the male parent, h2 was larger (0.54), being very low when regressed on the female parent (0.09). Estimate by the analysis of variance was also 0.44 when both male and female sibs were included in the analysis (for male sibs, h2=0.43 and for female sibs, 0.47). To test for the effect of the environment, each brood was divided in three, one being the control, the second subjected to a black environment when reaching the fifth instar and the third to a white environment. Those in the black environment originated dark pupae that scored 5 or 4; for those in the white environment, there was no difference with the controls. Caterpillars when entering the prepupal stage were also subjected to the black treatment (early and late prepupal stage, respectively, for treatments called black A and black B). A significant effect was observed only when early prepupal stage was subjected to the black environment.
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