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Do B chromosomes modify the genetic transcriptional patterns in association with transposable elements in Drosophila melanogaster germline?

Grant number: 22/06509-1
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): January 18, 2024
Effective date (End): May 17, 2024
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Genetics - Animal Genetics
Principal Investigator:Diogo Cavalcanti Cabral de Mello
Grantee:Ana Beatriz Stein Machado Ferretti
Supervisor: Josefa Gonzalez
Host Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Rio Claro. Rio Claro , SP, Brazil
Research place: Institut De Biologia Evolutiva/Csic-Upf, Spain  
Associated to the scholarship:20/06188-5 - Molecular content, patterns of epigenetic changes and interference of supernumerary chromosomes in Drosophila melanogaster, BP.DR


The essential set of chromosomes of individuals form the A complement, which include autosomes and sex chromosomes. However, in several species the presence of extra chromosomes or B chromosomes has been documented. These chromosomes are not an essential part of the genome, but it has already been noticed that their presence can cause changes in cell metabolism, altering the gene expression. The presence of B chromosome was described in the species Drosophila melanogaster six years ago and considering the amount of resources and information that has about this model organism, the B chromosomes may be deeper investigated. Initial studies with this species include general description of part of the composition of the B chromosome and its putative origin. The B chromosome is in most part heterochromatic and it was seen that carriers of this chromosome can be significantly affected by variegation effect, making it clears that the presence of B chromosome can affect the transcription of genetic loci sensitive to heterochromatin increase. We are advancing in aspects related to the composition and evolution and general activation of B chromosomes in D. melanogaster. However, we can improve the analysis of function and interference of B chromosomes by studding the transcriptional activity in spermatogenesis that is known by the massively expression of genes. Also, we want to consider their regulation by Transposable Elements that play a role in evolutional and functional variation of genomes and are considered motors of genome evolution. These data will allow advances on the biology of B chromosomes in the species which, being a model in genetic studies, could be extrapolated to other organisms.

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