Interspecific comparison of the period gene of Drosophila reveals large blocks of non-conserved coding DNA

EMBO J. 1988 Dec 1;7(12):3929-37.


We have cloned and sequenced the coding region of the period (per) gene from Drosophila pseudoobscura and D. virilis. A comparison with that of D. melanogaster reveals that the conceptual translation products consist of interspersed blocks of conserved and non-conserved amino acid sequence. The non-conserved portion, comprising approximately 33% of the protein sequence, includes the perfect Thr-Gly repeat of D. melanogaster, which is absent from the D. pseudoobscura and D. virilis proteins. Based on these observations and cross-species transformation experiments, we suggest that the interspecific variability in the per primary amino acid sequence contributes to the control of species-specific behaviors.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution
  • Blotting, Southern
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Drosophila / genetics*
  • Genes*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
  • Species Specificity


  • RNA, Messenger