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Meiotic Adaptation to Genome Duplication in Arabidopsis arenosa

By Levi Yant, J Hollister, K Wright, Brian John Arnold, James D. Higgins, F. Chris H. Franklin and Kirsten Bomblies

Abstract

Whole genome duplication (WGD) is a major factor in the evolution of multicellular eukaryotes, yet by doubling the number of homologs, WGD severely challenges reliable chromosome segregation [1, 2, 3], a process conserved across kingdoms [4]. Despite this, numerous genomeduplicated (polyploid) species persist in nature, indicating early problems can be overcome [1, 2]. Little is known about which genes are involved – only one has been molecularly characterized [5]. To gain new insights into the molecular basis of adaptation to polyploidy, we investigated genome-wide patterns of differentiation between natural diploids and tetraploids of Arabidopsis arenosa, an outcrossing relative of A. thaliana [6, 7]. We first show that diploids are not preadapted to polyploid meiosis. We then use a genome scanning approach to show that while polymorphism is extensively shared across ploidy levels, there is strong ploidy-specific differentiation in 39 regions spanning 44 genes. These are discrete, mostly single-gene peaks of sharply elevated differentiation. Among these peaks are eight meiosis genes whose encoded proteins coordinate a specific subset of early meiotic functions, suggesting these genes comprise a polygenic solution to WGD-associated chromosome segregation challenges. Our findings indicate that even conserved meiotic processes can be capable of nimble evolutionary shifts when required.Organismic and Evolutionary Biolog

Publisher: 'Elsevier BV'
Year: 2016
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.cub.2013.08.059.
OAI identifier: oai:dash.harvard.edu:1/29362008
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