Publications [#229109] of John M. Mercer

Papers Published
  1. Bennett, SM; Mercer, JM; Noor, MAF, Slip-sliding away: serial changes and homoplasy in repeat number in the Drosophila yakuba homolog of human cancer susceptibility gene BRCA2., PloS one, vol. 5 no. 6 (June, 2010), pp. e11006 [20543987], [doi] .

    Several recent studies have examined the function and evolution of a Drosophila homolog to the human breast cancer susceptibility gene BRCA2, named dmbrca2. We previously identified what appeared to be a recent expansion in the RAD51-binding BRC-repeat array in the ancestor of Drosophila yakuba. In this study, we examine patterns of variation and evolution of the dmbrca2 BRC-repeat array within D. yakuba and its close relatives. We develop a model of how unequal crossing over may have produced the expanded form, but we also observe short repeat forms, typical of other species in the D. melanogaster group, segregating within D. yakuba and D. santomea. These short forms do not appear to be identical-by-descent, suggesting that the history of dmbrca2 in the D. melanogaster subgroup has involved repeat unit contractions resulting in homoplasious forms. We conclude that the evolutionary history of dmbrca2 in D. yakuba and perhaps in other Drosophila species may be more complicated than can be inferred from examination of the published single genome sequences per species.