From Aedes to Zeugodacus: a review of dipteran body coloration studies regarding evolutionary developmental biology, pest control, and species discovery

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Department of Biological Sciences


Over the past two decades, evo-devo (evolution of development) studies have elucidated genetic mechanisms underlying novel dipteran body color patterns. Here we review the most recent developments, which show some departure from the model organism Drosophila melanogaster, leading the field into the investigation of more complex color patterns. We also discuss how the robust application of transgenic techniques has facilitated the study of many non-model pest species. Furthermore, we see that subtle pigmentation differences guide the discovery and description of new dipterans. Therefore, we argue that the existence of new field guides and the prevalence of pigmentation studies in non-model flies will enable scientists to adopt uninvestigated species into the lab, allowing them to study novel morphologies.

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Current Opinion in Genetics and Development