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The evolution of the adenylate-forming protein family in beetles: Multiple luciferase gene paralogues in fireflies and glow-worms

Day, John C.; Goodall, Tim I.; Bailey, Mark J.. 2009 The evolution of the adenylate-forming protein family in beetles: Multiple luciferase gene paralogues in fireflies and glow-worms. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 50 (1). 93-101. 10.1016/j.ympev.2008.09.026

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Abstract/Summary

Bioluminescence in beetles is dependent upon the enzyme luciferase. It has been hypothesised luciferase evolved from a fatty acyl-CoA synthetase gene deriving a novel bioluminescent function (neofunctionalization) after a gene duplication event. We evaluated this hypothesis within a phylogenetic framework using independent evidence obtained from the genome of Tribolium castaneum, published luciferase genes and novel luciferase and luciferase-like sequences. This phylogenetic study provides evidence for a large gene family of luciferase and luciferase-like paralogues in bioluminescent and non-bioluminescent beetles. All luciferase sequences formed a clade supporting a protoluciferase existing prior to the divergence of the Lampyridae, Elateridae and Phengodidae (Elateroidea). Multiple luciferase genes were identified from members of the Photurinae and the Luciolinae indicating complex gene duplication events within lampyrid genomes. The majority of luciferase residues were identified to be under purifying selection as opposed to positive selection. We conclude that beetle luciferase may have arisen from a process of subfunctionalization as opposed to neofunctionalization early on in the evolution of the Elateroidea.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1016/j.ympev.2008.09.026
Programmes: CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Biodiversity > BD03 The Genetic Basis of Ecological Function > BD03.3 Molecular evolution and bioinformatics
CEH Sections: Hails
ISSN: 1055-7903
Additional Keywords: Luciferase, Lampyridae, Tribolium castaneum, Adenylate-forming enzyme superfamily, Purifying selection, Subfunctionalization, Bioluminescence
NORA Subject Terms: Biology and Microbiology
Zoology
Date made live: 22 Apr 2009 13:58
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/5611

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