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Marginal Eyespots on Butterfly Wings Deflect Bird Attacks Under Low Light Intensities with UV Wavelengths  [PDF]
Martin Olofsson,Adrian Vallin,Sven Jakobsson,Christer Wiklund
PLOS ONE , 2012, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0010798
Abstract: Predators preferentially attack vital body parts to avoid prey escape. Consequently, prey adaptations that make predators attack less crucial body parts are expected to evolve. Marginal eyespots on butterfly wings have long been thought to have this deflective, but hitherto undemonstrated function.
Wings, Horns, and Butterfly Eyespots: How Do Complex Traits Evolve?  [PDF]
Antónia Monteiro,Ondrej Podlaha
PLOS Biology , 2012, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1000037
Wings, Horns, and Butterfly Eyespots: How Do Complex Traits Evolve?  [PDF]
Antónia Monteiro ,Ondrej Podlaha
PLOS Biology , 2009, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1000037
AFM Study of Structure Influence on Butterfly Wings Coloration  [cached]
Dinara Sultanovna Dallaeva,Pavel Tomanek
Advances in Electrical and Electronic Engineering , 2012,
Abstract: This study describes the structural coloration of the butterfly Vanessa Atalanta wings and shows how the atomic force microscopy (AFM) can be applied to the study of wings morphology and wings surface behavior under the temperature. The role of the wings morphology in colors was investigated. Different colors of wings have different topology and can be identified by them. AFM in semi-contact mode was used to study the wings surface. The wing surface area, which is close to the butterfly body, has shiny brown color and the peak of surface roughness is about 600 nm. The changing of morphology at different temperatures is shown.
Modelling butterfly wing eyespot patterns  [PDF]
Rui Dilao,Joaquim Sainhas
Quantitative Biology , 2005, DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2004.2761
Abstract: Eyespots are concentric motifs with contrasting colours on butterfly wings. Eyespots have intra- and inter-specific visual signalling functions with adaptive and selective roles. We propose a reaction-diffusion model that accounts for eyespot development. The model considers two diffusive morphogens and three non-diffusive pigment precursors. The first morphogen is produced in the focus and determines the differentiation of the first eyespot ring. A second morphogen is then produced, modifying the chromatic properties of the wing background pigment precursor, inducing the differentiation of a second ring. The model simulates the general structural organisation of eyespots, their phenotypic plasticity and seasonal variability, and predicts effects from microsurgical manipulations on pupal wings as reported in the literature.
The Phase Shifts of the Paired Wings of Butterfly Diagrams  [PDF]
Kejun Li,Hongfei Liang,Wen Feng
Physics , 2010, DOI: 10.1088/1674-4527/10/11/008
Abstract: Sunspot groups observed by Royal Greenwich Observatory/US Air Force/NOAA from May 1874 to November 2008 and the Carte Synoptique solar filaments from March 1919 to December 1989 are used to investigate the relative phase shift of the paired wings of butterfly diagrams of sunspot and filament activities. Latitudinal migration of sunspot groups (or filaments) does asynchronously occur in the northern and southern hemispheres, and there is a relative phase shift between the paired wings of their butterfly diagrams in a cycle, making the paired wings spatially asymmetrical on the solar equator. It is inferred that hemispherical solar activity strength should evolve in a similar way within the paired wings of a butterfly diagram in a cycle, making the paired wings just and only keep the phase relationship between the northern and southern hemispherical solar activity strengths, but a relative phase shift between the paired wings of a butterfly diagram should bring about an almost same relative phase shift of hemispheric solar activity strength.
The combined effect of two mutations that alter serially homologous color pattern elements on the fore and hindwings of a butterfly
Antónia Monteiro, Bin Chen, Lauren C Scott, Lindsey Vedder, H Joop Prijs, Alan Belicha-Villanueva, Paul M Brakefield
BMC Genetics , 2007, DOI: 10.1186/1471-2156-8-22
Abstract: Missing removes or greatly reduces the size of two of the hindwing eyespots from the row of seven eyespots, with no detectable effect on the rest of the wing pattern. Offspring carrying a single Missing allele display intermediate sized eyespots at these positions. Spotty has the opposite effect of Missing, i.e., it introduces two extra eyespots in homologous wing positions to those affected by Missing, but on the forewing. When Missing is combined with Spotty the size of the two forewing eyespots decreases but the size of the hindwing spots stays the same, suggesting that these two mutations have a combined effect on the forewing such that Missing reduces eyespot size when in the presence of a Spotty mutant allele, but that Spotty has no effect on the hindwing. Missing prevents the complete differentiation of two of the eyespot foci on the hindwing. We found no evidence for any linkage between the Distal-less and Missing genes.The spontaneous mutation Missing controls the differentiation of the signaling centers of a subset of the serial homologous eyespots present on both the fore and the hindwing in a dose-dependent fashion. The effect of Missing on the forewing, however, is only observed when the mutation Spotty introduces additional eyespots on this wing. Spotty, on the other hand, controls the differentiation of eyespot centers only on the forewing. Spotty, unlike Missing, may be under Ubx gene regulation, since it affects a subset of eyespots on only one of the serially homologous wings.Modularity of body plans, and of serially repeated structures is widespread in the animal kingdom [1]. Examples of modular structures include vertebrae [2], teeth [3], limbs [4], digits [5], arthropod body segments [6], C. elegans terminal rays [7], insect fore and hindwings [8-10], and butterfly eyespot patterns [11-13]. One of the key questions driving research in the field of modularity is to understand how such modules acquire the ability to differentiate into more or less
A Single Origin for Nymphalid Butterfly Eyespots Followed by Widespread Loss of Associated Gene Expression  [PDF]
Jeffrey C. Oliver ,Xiao-Ling Tong,Lawrence F. Gall,William H. Piel,Antónia Monteiro
PLOS Genetics , 2012, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1002893
Abstract: Understanding how novel complex traits originate involves investigating the time of origin of the trait, as well as the origin of its underlying gene regulatory network in a broad comparative phylogenetic framework. The eyespot of nymphalid butterflies has served as an example of a novel complex trait, as multiple genes are expressed during eyespot development. Yet the origins of eyespots remain unknown. Using a dataset of more than 400 images of butterflies with a known phylogeny and gene expression data for five eyespot-associated genes from over twenty species, we tested origin hypotheses for both eyespots and eyespot-associated genes. We show that eyespots evolved once within the family Nymphalidae, approximately 90 million years ago, concurrent with expression of at least three genes associated with early eyespot development. We also show multiple losses of expression of most genes from this early three-gene cluster, without corresponding losses of eyespots. We propose that complex traits, such as eyespots, may have originated via co-option of a large pre-existing complex gene regulatory network that was subsequently streamlined of genes not required to fulfill its novel developmental function.
Characterisation and expression of microRNAs in developing wings of the neotropical butterfly Heliconius melpomene
Alison K Surridge, Sara Lopez-Gomollon, Simon Moxon, Luana S Maroja, Tina Rathjen, Nicola J Nadeau, Tamas Dalmay, Chris D Jiggins
BMC Genomics , 2011, DOI: 10.1186/1471-2164-12-62
Abstract: We sequenced small RNA libraries from two colour pattern races and detected 142 Heliconius miRNAs with homology to others found in miRBase. Several highly abundant miRNAs were differentially represented in the libraries between colour pattern races. These candidates were tested further using Northern blots, showing that differences in expression were primarily due to developmental stage rather than colour pattern. Assembly of sequenced reads to the HmYb region identified hme-miR-193 and hme-miR-2788; located 2380 bp apart in an intergenic region. These two miRNAs are expressed in wings and show an upregulation between 24 and 72 hours post-pupation, indicating a potential role in butterfly wing development. A search for miRNAs in all available H. melpomene BAC sequences (~ 2.5 Mb) did not reveal any other miRNAs and no novel miRNAs were predicted.Here we describe the first butterfly miRNAs and characterise their expression in developing wings. Some show differences in expression across developing pupal stages and may have important functions in butterfly wing development. Two miRNAs were located in the HmYb region and were expressed in developing pupal wings. Future work will examine the expression of these miRNAs in different colour pattern races and identify miRNA targets among wing patterning genes.Neotropical butterflies of the genus Heliconius provide striking examples of both divergence and convergence in their wing colour patterns. Distributed throughout the tropical forests of central and southern America, they signal their distastefulness to predators through brightly coloured wings. Many species take part in Müllerian mimicry 'rings', where multiple species converge in wing pattern and thereby benefit through protection from predators [1]. Wing patterns are also used in courtship and mate recognition, meaning they are both adaptive and contribute to genetic isolation and speciation [2,3]. Genetic crosses have shown that most phenotypic wing pattern and colo
Differential Involvement of Hedgehog Signaling in Butterfly Wing and Eyespot Development  [PDF]
Xiaoling Tong, Anna Lindemann, Antónia Monteiro
PLOS ONE , 2012, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0051087
Abstract: Butterfly eyespots may have evolved from the recruitment of pre-existent gene circuits or regulatory networks into novel locations on the wing. Gene expression data suggests one such circuit, the Hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway and its target gene engrailed (en), was recruited from a role in patterning the anterior-posterior insect wing axis to a role patterning butterfly eyespots. However, while Junonia coenia expresses hh and en both in the posterior compartment of the wing and in eyespot centers, Bicyclus anynana lacks hh eyespot-specific expression. This suggests that Hh signaling may not be functioning in eyespot development in either species or that it functions in J. coenia but not in B. anynana. In order to test these hypotheses, we performed functional tests of Hh signaling in these species. We investigated the effects of Hh protein sequestration during the larval stage on en expression levels, and on wing size and eyespot size in adults. Hh sequestration led to significantly reduced en expression and to significantly smaller wings and eyespots in both species. But while eyespot size in B. anynana was reduced proportionately to wing size, in J. coenia, eyespots were reduced disproportionately, indicating an independent role of Hh signaling in eyespot development in J. coenia. We conclude that while Hh signaling retains a conserved role in promoting wing growth across nymphalid butterflies, it plays an additional role in eyespot development in some, but not all, lineages of nymphalid butterflies. We discuss our findings in the context of alternative evolutionary scenarios that led to the differential expression of hh and other Hh pathway signaling members across nymphalid species.
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