Year of Graduation


Level of Access

Open Access Thesis

Embargo Period


Department or Program


First Advisor

Michael Palopoli


The role of polymorphisms in protein-coding and non-coding regions of the genome during adaptive evolution has been a long-debated subject in evolutionary biology. Although the importance of coding-sequence polymorphisms during evolution has been well-documented, the influence of non-coding regions of the genome on phenotypic diversity and adaptive evolution remains less clear. Enhancers are cis-regulatory elements that dictate gene transcription rates, times, and locations; enhancers are located in noncoding regions and, when active, exhibit an open-chromatin conformation. In the current study, we identified putative enhancers that differ in chromatin conformation among three natural isolates of Drosophila melanogaster from different parts of the world. The genome-wide numbers of enhancers active in some natural isolates—but inactive in others—will provide insight into the amount of raw material available for evolution due to transcriptional regulatory variation.

Available for download on Monday, May 20, 2024