Genetic Changes to a Transcriptional Silencer Element Confers Phenotypic Diversity within and between Drosophila Species
Within the ancestral ebony gene, a silencer element evolved that adopted a repressive role in in the male posterior abdomen. Within the montium subgroup, this silencer’s activity was modified through changes in cis that altered the silencer’s spatial domain of activity. Within D. serrata, this silencer was inactivated, leading to increased ebony expression. In contrast, this silencer was maintained in the species D. auraria, in which intraspecific variation exists for an allele that inactivated this element.