Evolution of a novel function: Nutritive milk in the viviparous cockroach, Diploptera punctata

Anna Williford, Barbara Stay, Debashish Bhattacharya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

40 Scopus citations

Abstract

Cockroach species show different degrees of maternal contribution to the developing offspring. In this study, we identify a multigene family that encodes water-soluble proteins that are a major component of nutritive "Milk" in the cockroach, Diploptera punctata. This gene family is associated with the evolution of a new trait, viviparity, in which the offspring receive nutrition during the gestation period. Twenty-five distinct Milk complementary DNAs were cloned and partially characterized. These complementary DNAs encode 22 distinct Milk peptides, each of length 171 amino acids, including a 16-amino acid signal peptide sequence. Southern blot analysis confirms the presence of multiple copies of Milk genes in D. punctata. Northern analysis indicates tissue- and stage-specific Milk gene expression. Examination of the deduced amino acid sequences identifies the presence of structurally conserved regions diagnostic of the lipocalin protein family. The shared exon/intron structure of one of the Milk loci with lipocalin genes further supports a close evolutionary relationship between these sequences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-77
Number of pages11
JournalEvolution and Development
Volume6
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2004
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Developmental Biology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Evolution of a novel function: Nutritive milk in the viviparous cockroach, Diploptera punctata'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this