Document Detail

Lateral transfer of genes from fungi underlies carotenoid production in aphids.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20431015     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Carotenoids are colored compounds produced by plants, fungi, and microorganisms and are required in the diet of most animals for oxidation control or light detection. Pea aphids display a red-green color polymorphism, which influences their susceptibility to natural enemies, and the carotenoid torulene occurs only in red individuals. Unexpectedly, we found that the aphid genome itself encodes multiple enzymes for carotenoid biosynthesis. Phylogenetic analyses show that these aphid genes are derived from fungal genes, which have been integrated into the genome and duplicated. Red individuals have a 30-kilobase region, encoding a single carotenoid desaturase that is absent from green individuals. A mutation causing an amino acid replacement in this desaturase results in loss of torulene and of red body color. Thus, aphids are animals that make their own carotenoids.
Nancy A Moran; Tyler Jarvik
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Science (New York, N.Y.)     Volume:  328     ISSN:  1095-9203     ISO Abbreviation:  Science     Publication Date:  2010 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-04-30     Completed Date:  2010-05-11     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0404511     Medline TA:  Science     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  624-7     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 1041 East Lowell Street, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Aphids / genetics*,  metabolism*,  microbiology
Carotenoids / analysis,  biosynthesis*,  genetics
Crosses, Genetic
Fungi / genetics
Gene Duplication
Gene Transfer, Horizontal*
Genes, Fungal*
Genes, Insect*
Genome, Insect
Molecular Sequence Data
Oxidoreductases / genetics
Pigmentation / genetics
Pigments, Biological / chemistry
Polymorphism, Genetic
Sequence Analysis, DNA
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Pigments, Biological; 36-88-4/Carotenoids; 547-23-9/torulene; EC 1.-/Oxidoreductases; EC 1.14.99.-/phytoene dehydrogenase
Comment In:
Science. 2010 Apr 30;328(5978):574-5   [PMID:  20431000 ]

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