Organelle sequences have a long history of utility in phylogenetic analyses. Chloroplast sequences when combined with nuclear data can help resolve relationships among flowering plant genera, and within genera incongruence can point to reticulate evolution. Plastome sequences are becoming plentiful because they are increasingly easier to obtain. Complete plastome sequences allow us to detect rare rearrangements and test the tempo of sequence evolution. Chloroplast sequences are generally considered a nuisance to be kept to a minimum in bacterial artificial chromosome libraries. Here, we sequenced two bacterial artificial chromosomes per species to generate complete plastome sequences from seven species. The plastome sequences from Glycine syndetika and six other perennial Glycine species are similar in arrangement and gene content to the previously published soybean plastome. Repetitive sequences were detected in high frequencies as in soybean, but further analysis showed that repeat sequence numbers are inflated. Previous chloroplast-based phylogenetic trees for perennial Glycine were incongruent with nuclear gene-based phylogenetic trees. We tested whether the hypothesis of introgression was supported by the complete plastomes. Alignment of complete plastome sequences and Bayesian analysis allowed us to date putative hybridization events supporting the hypothesis of introgression and chloroplast "capture."
Common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) is the most important grain legume for human consumption and has a role in sustainable agriculture owing to its ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen. We assembled 473 Mb of the 587-Mb genome and genetically anchored 98% of this sequence in 11 chromosome-scale pseudomolecules. We compared the genome for the common bean against the soybean genome to find changes in soybean resulting from polyploidy. Using resequencing of 60 wild individuals and 100 landraces from the genetically differentiated Mesoamerican and Andean gene pools, we confirmed 2 independent domestications from genetic pools that diverged before human colonization. Less than 10% of the 74 Mb of sequence putatively involved in domestication was shared by the two domestication events. We identified a set of genes linked with increased leaf and seed size and combined these results with quantitative trait locus data from Mesoamerican cultivars. Genes affected by domestication may be useful for genomics-enabled crop improvement.
Cultivated citrus are selections from, or hybrids of, wild progenitor species whose identities and contributions to citrus domestication remain controversial. Here we sequence and compare citrus genomes--a high-quality reference haploid clementine genome and mandarin, pummelo, sweet-orange and sour-orange genomes--and show that cultivated types derive from two progenitor species. Although cultivated pummelos represent selections from one progenitor species, Citrus maxima, cultivated mandarins are introgressions of C. maxima into the ancestral mandarin species Citrus reticulata. The most widely cultivated citrus, sweet orange, is the offspring of previously admixed individuals, but sour orange is an F1 hybrid of pure C. maxima and C. reticulata parents, thus implying that wild mandarins were part of the early breeding germplasm. A Chinese wild 'mandarin' diverges substantially from C. reticulata, thus suggesting the possibility of other unrecognized wild citrus species. Understanding citrus phylogeny through genome analysis clarifies taxonomic relationships and facilitates sequence-directed genetic improvement.
Eucalypts are the world's most widely planted hardwood trees. Their outstanding diversity, adaptability and growth have made them a global renewable resource of fibre and energy. We sequenced and assembled >94% of the 640-megabase genome of Eucalyptus grandis. Of 36,376 predicted protein-coding genes, 34% occur in tandem duplications, the largest proportion thus far in plant genomes. Eucalyptus also shows the highest diversity of genes for specialized metabolites such as terpenes that act as chemical defence and provide unique pharmaceutical oils. Genome sequencing of the E. grandis sister species E. globulus and a set of inbred E. grandis tree genomes reveals dynamic genome evolution and hotspots of inbreeding depression. The E. grandis genome is the first reference for the eudicot order Myrtales and is placed here sister to the eurosids. This resource expands our understanding of the unique biology of large woody perennials and provides a powerful tool to accelerate comparative biology, breeding and biotechnology.
The green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is a popular unicellular organism for studying photosynthesis, cilia biogenesis, and micronutrient homeostasis. Ten years since its genome project was initiated an iterative process of improvements to the genome and gene predictions has propelled this organism to the forefront of the omics era. Housed at Phytozome, the plant genomics portal of the Joint Genome Institute (JGI), the most up-to-date genomic data include a genome arranged on chromosomes and high-quality gene models with alternative splice forms supported by an abundance of whole transcriptome sequencing (RNA-Seq) data. We present here the past, present, and future of Chlamydomonas genomics. Specifically, we detail progress on genome assembly and gene model refinement, discuss resources for gene annotations, functional predictions, and locus ID mapping between versions and, importantly, outline a standardized framework for naming genes.
The shift from outcrossing to selfing is common in flowering plants, but the genomic consequences and the speed at which they emerge remain poorly understood. An excellent model for understanding the evolution of self fertilization is provided by Capsella rubella, which became self compatible <200,000 years ago. We report a C. rubella reference genome sequence and compare RNA expression and polymorphism patterns between C. rubella and its outcrossing progenitor Capsella grandiflora. We found a clear shift in the expression of genes associated with flowering phenotypes, similar to that seen in Arabidopsis, in which self fertilization evolved about 1 million years ago. Comparisons of the two Capsella species showed evidence of rapid genome-wide relaxation of purifying selection in C. rubella without a concomitant change in transposable element abundance. Overall we document that the transition to selfing may be typified by parallel shifts in gene expression, along with a measurable reduction of purifying selection.
Rosaceae is the most important fruit-producing clade, and its key commercially relevant genera (Fragaria, Rosa, Rubus and Prunus) show broadly diverse growth habits, fruit types and compact diploid genomes. Peach, a diploid Prunus species, is one of the best genetically characterized deciduous trees. Here we describe the high-quality genome sequence of peach obtained from a completely homozygous genotype. We obtained a complete chromosome-scale assembly using Sanger whole-genome shotgun methods. We predicted 27,852 protein-coding genes, as well as noncoding RNAs. We investigated the path of peach domestication through whole-genome resequencing of 14 Prunus accessions. The analyses suggest major genetic bottlenecks that have substantially shaped peach genome diversity. Furthermore, comparative analyses showed that peach has not undergone recent whole-genome duplication, and even though the ancestral triplicated blocks in peach are fragmentary compared to those in grape, all seven paleosets of paralogs from the putative paleoancestor are detectable.
Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) is a perennial C4 grass with the potential to become a major bioenergy crop. To help realize this potential, a set of RNA-based resources were developed. Expressed sequence tags (ESTs) were generated from two tetraploid switchgrass genotypes, Alamo AP13 and Summer VS16. Over 11.5 million high-quality ESTs were generated with 454 sequencing technology, and an additional 169 079 Sanger sequences were obtained from the 5 and 3 ends of 93 312 clones from normalized, full-length-enriched cDNA libraries. AP13 and VS16 ESTs were assembled into 77 854 and 30 524 unique transcripts (unitranscripts), respectively, using the Newbler and pave programs. Published Sanger-ESTs (544 225) from Alamo, Kanlow, and 15 other cultivars were integrated with the AP13 and VS16 assemblies to create a universal switchgrass gene index (PviUT1.2) with 128 058 unitranscripts, which were annotated for function. An Affymetrix cDNA microarray chip (Pvi_cDNAa520831) containing 122 973 probe sets was designed from PviUT1.2 sequences, and used to develop a Gene Expression Atlas for switchgrass (PviGEA). The PviGEA contains quantitative transcript data for all major organ systems of switchgrass throughout development. We developed a web server that enables flexible, multifaceted analyses of PviGEA transcript data. The PviGEA was used to identify representatives of all known genes in the phenylpropanoid-monolignol biosynthesis pathway.
The genomes of five Cochliobolus heterostrophus strains, two Cochliobolus sativus strains, three additional Cochliobolus species (Cochliobolus victoriae, Cochliobolus carbonum, Cochliobolus miyabeanus), and closely related Setosphaeria turcica were sequenced at the Joint Genome Institute (JGI). The datasets were used to identify SNPs between strains and species, unique genomic regions, core secondary metabolism genes, and small secreted protein (SSP) candidate effector encoding genes with a view towards pinpointing structural elements and gene content associated with specificity of these closely related fungi to different cereal hosts. Whole-genome alignment shows that three to five percent of each genome differs between strains of the same species, while a quarter of each genome differs between species. On average, SNP counts among field isolates of the same C. heterostrophus species are more than 25× higher than those between inbred lines and 50× lower than SNPs between Cochliobolus species. The suites of nonribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS), polyketide synthase (PKS), and SSP-encoding genes are astoundingly diverse among species but remarkably conserved among isolates of the same species, whether inbred or field strains, except for defining examples that map to unique genomic regions. Functional analysis of several strain-unique PKSs and NRPSs reveal a strong correlation with a role in virulence.
Halophytes are plants that can naturally tolerate high concentrations of salt in the soil, and their tolerance to salt stress may occur through various evolutionary and molecular mechanisms. Eutrema salsugineum is a halophytic species in the Brassicaceae that can naturally tolerate multiple types of abiotic stresses that typically limit crop productivity, including extreme salinity and cold. It has been widely used as a laboratorial model for stress biology research in plants. Here, we present the reference genome sequence (241?Mb) of E. salsugineum at 8× coverage sequenced using the traditional Sanger sequencing-based approach with comparison to its close relative Arabidopsis thaliana. The E. salsugineum genome contains 26,531 protein-coding genes and 51.4% of its genome is composed of repetitive sequences that mostly reside in pericentromeric regions. Comparative analyses of the genome structures, protein-coding genes, microRNAs, stress-related pathways, and estimated translation efficiency of proteins between E. salsugineum and A. thaliana suggest that halophyte adaptation to environmental stresses may occur via a global network adjustment of multiple regulatory mechanisms. The E. salsugineum genome provides a resource to identify naturally occurring genetic alterations contributing to the adaptation of halophytic plants to salinity and that might be bioengineered in related crop species.
Genes underlying repeated adaptive evolution in natural populations are still largely unknown. Stickleback fish (Gasterosteus aculeatus) have undergone a recent dramatic evolutionary radiation, generating numerous examples of marine-freshwater species pairs and a small number of benthic-limnetic species pairs found within single lakes . We have developed a new genome-wide SNP genotyping array to study patterns of genetic variation in sticklebacks over a wide geographic range, and to scan the genome for regions that contribute to repeated evolution of marine-freshwater or benthic-limnetic species pairs. Surveying 34 global populations with 1,159 informative markers revealed substantial genetic variation, with predominant patterns reflecting demographic history and geographic structure. After correcting for geographic structure and filtering for neutral markers, we detected large repeated shifts in allele frequency at some loci, identifying both known and novel loci likely contributing to marine-freshwater and benthic-limnetic divergence. Several novel loci fall close to genes implicated in epithelial barrier or immune functions, which have likely changed as sticklebacks adapt to contrasting environments. Specific alleles differentiating sympatric benthic-limnetic species pairs are shared in nearby solitary populations, suggesting an allopatric origin for adaptive variants and selection pressures unrelated to sympatry in the initial formation of these classic vertebrate species pairs.
Thermostable enzymes and thermophilic cell factories may afford economic advantages in the production of many chemicals and biomass-based fuels. Here we describe and compare the genomes of two thermophilic fungi, Myceliophthora thermophila and Thielavia terrestris. To our knowledge, these genomes are the first described for thermophilic eukaryotes and the first complete telomere-to-telomere genomes for filamentous fungi. Genome analyses and experimental data suggest that both thermophiles are capable of hydrolyzing all major polysaccharides found in biomass. Examination of transcriptome data and secreted proteins suggests that the two fungi use shared approaches in the hydrolysis of cellulose and xylan but distinct mechanisms in pectin degradation. Characterization of the biomass-hydrolyzing activity of recombinant enzymes suggests that these organisms are highly efficient in biomass decomposition at both moderate and high temperatures. Furthermore, we present evidence suggesting that aside from representing a potential reservoir of thermostable enzymes, thermophilic fungi are amenable to manipulation using classical and molecular genetics.
Most of the available mitochondrial and plastid genome sequences are biased towards adenine and thymine (AT) over guanine and cytosine (GC). Examples of GC-rich organelle DNAs are limited to a small but eclectic list of species, including certain green algae. Here, to gain insight in the evolution of organelle nucleotide landscape, we present the GC-rich mitochondrial and plastid DNAs from the trebouxiophyte green alga Coccomyxa sp. C-169. We compare these sequences with other GC-rich organelle DNAs and argue that the forces biasing them towards G and C are nonadaptive and linked to the metabolic and/or life history features of this species. The Coccomyxa organelle genomes are also used for phylogenetic analyses, which highlight the complexities in trying to resolve the interrelationships among the core chlorophyte green algae, but ultimately favour a sister relationship between the Ulvophyceae and Chlorophyceae, with the Trebouxiophyceae branching at the base of the chlorophyte crown.
The filamentous fungus Aspergillus niger exhibits great diversity in its phenotype. It is found globally, both as marine and terrestrial strains, produces both organic acids and hydrolytic enzymes in high amounts, and some isolates exhibit pathogenicity. Although the genome of an industrial enzyme-producing A. niger strain (CBS 513.88) has already been sequenced, the versatility and diversity of this species compel additional exploration. We therefore undertook whole-genome sequencing of the acidogenic A. niger wild-type strain (ATCC 1015) and produced a genome sequence of very high quality. Only 15 gaps are present in the sequence, and half the telomeric regions have been elucidated. Moreover, sequence information from ATCC 1015 was used to improve the genome sequence of CBS 513.88. Chromosome-level comparisons uncovered several genome rearrangements, deletions, a clear case of strain-specific horizontal gene transfer, and identification of 0.8 Mb of novel sequence. Single nucleotide polymorphisms per kilobase (SNPs/kb) between the two strains were found to be exceptionally high (average: 7.8, maximum: 160 SNPs/kb). High variation within the species was confirmed with exo-metabolite profiling and phylogenetics. Detailed lists of alleles were generated, and genotypic differences were observed to accumulate in metabolic pathways essential to acid production and protein synthesis. A transcriptome analysis supported up-regulation of genes associated with biosynthesis of amino acids that are abundant in glucoamylase A, tRNA-synthases, and protein transporters in the protein producing CBS 513.88 strain. Our results and data sets from this integrative systems biology analysis resulted in a snapshot of fungal evolution and will support further optimization of cell factories based on filamentous fungi.
The plant-pathogenic fungus Mycosphaerella graminicola (asexual stage: Septoria tritici) causes septoria tritici blotch, a disease that greatly reduces the yield and quality of wheat. This disease is economically important in most wheat-growing areas worldwide and threatens global food production. Control of the disease has been hampered by a limited understanding of the genetic and biochemical bases of pathogenicity, including mechanisms of infection and of resistance in the host. Unlike most other plant pathogens, M. graminicola has a long latent period during which it evades host defenses. Although this type of stealth pathogenicity occurs commonly in Mycosphaerella and other Dothideomycetes, the largest class of plant-pathogenic fungi, its genetic basis is not known. To address this problem, the genome of M. graminicola was sequenced completely. The finished genome contains 21 chromosomes, eight of which could be lost with no visible effect on the fungus and thus are dispensable. This eight-chromosome dispensome is dynamic in field and progeny isolates, is different from the core genome in gene and repeat content, and appears to have originated by ancient horizontal transfer from an unknown donor. Synteny plots of the M. graminicola chromosomes versus those of the only other sequenced Dothideomycete, Stagonospora nodorum, revealed conservation of gene content but not order or orientation, suggesting a high rate of intra-chromosomal rearrangement in one or both species. This observed "mesosynteny" is very different from synteny seen between other organisms. A surprising feature of the M. graminicola genome compared to other sequenced plant pathogens was that it contained very few genes for enzymes that break down plant cell walls, which was more similar to endophytes than to pathogens. The stealth pathogenesis of M. graminicola probably involves degradation of proteins rather than carbohydrates to evade host defenses during the biotrophic stage of infection and may have evolved from endophytic ancestors.
We report the 207-Mb genome sequence of the North American Arabidopsis lyrata strain MN47 based on 8.3× dideoxy sequence coverage. We predict 32,670 genes in this outcrossing species compared to the 27,025 genes in the selfing species Arabidopsis thaliana. The much smaller 125-Mb genome of A. thaliana, which diverged from A. lyrata 10 million years ago, likely constitutes the derived state for the family. We found evidence for DNA loss from large-scale rearrangements, but most of the difference in genome size can be attributed to hundreds of thousands of small deletions, mostly in noncoding DNA and transposons. Analysis of deletions and insertions still segregating in A. thaliana indicates that the process of DNA loss is ongoing, suggesting pervasive selection for a smaller genome. The high-quality reference genome sequence for A. lyrata will be an important resource for functional, evolutionary and ecological studies in the genus Arabidopsis.
The multicellular green alga Volvox carteri and its morphologically diverse close relatives (the volvocine algae) are well suited for the investigation of the evolution of multicellularity and development. We sequenced the 138-mega-base pair genome of V. carteri and compared its approximately 14,500 predicted proteins to those of its unicellular relative Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Despite fundamental differences in organismal complexity and life history, the two species have similar protein-coding potentials and few species-specific protein-coding gene predictions. Volvox is enriched in volvocine-algal-specific proteins, including those associated with an expanded and highly compartmentalized extracellular matrix. Our analysis shows that increases in organismal complexity can be associated with modifications of lineage-specific proteins rather than large-scale invention of protein-coding capacity.
The western clawed frog Xenopus tropicalis is an important model for vertebrate development that combines experimental advantages of the African clawed frog Xenopus laevis with more tractable genetics. Here we present a draft genome sequence assembly of X. tropicalis. This genome encodes more than 20,000 protein-coding genes, including orthologs of at least 1700 human disease genes. Over 1 million expressed sequence tags validated the annotation. More than one-third of the genome consists of transposable elements, with unusually prevalent DNA transposons. Like that of other tetrapods, the genome of X. tropicalis contains gene deserts enriched for conserved noncoding elements. The genome exhibits substantial shared synteny with human and chicken over major parts of large chromosomes, broken by lineage-specific chromosome fusions and fissions, mainly in the mammalian lineage.
Although dimorphic sexes have evolved repeatedly in multicellular eukaryotes, their origins are unknown. The mating locus (MT) of the sexually dimorphic multicellular green alga Volvox carteri specifies the production of eggs and sperm and has undergone a remarkable expansion and divergence relative to MT from Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, which is a closely related unicellular species that has equal-sized gametes. Transcriptome analysis revealed a rewired gametic expression program for Volvox MT genes relative to Chlamydomonas and identified multiple gender-specific and sex-regulated transcripts. The retinoblastoma tumor suppressor homolog MAT3 is a Volvox MT gene that displays sexually regulated alternative splicing and evidence of gender-specific selection, both of which are indicative of cooption into the sexual cycle. Thus, sex-determining loci affect the evolution of both sex-related and non-sex-related genes.
The living coelacanth is a lobe-finned fish that represents an early evolutionary departure from the lineage that led to land vertebrates, and is of extreme interest scientifically. It has changed very little in appearance from fossilized coelacanths of the Cretaceous (150 to 65 million years ago), and is often referred to as a "living fossil." An important general question is whether long-term stasis in morphological evolution is associated with stasis in genome evolution. To this end we have used targeted genome sequencing for acquiring 1,612,752 bp of high quality finished sequence encompassing the four HOX clusters of the Indonesian coelacanth Latimeria menadoensis. Detailed analyses were carried out on genomic structure, gene and repeat contents, conserved noncoding regions, and relative rates of sequence evolution in both coding and noncoding tracts. Our results demonstrate conclusively that the coelacanth HOX clusters are evolving comparatively slowly and that this taxon should serve as a viable outgroup for interpretation of the genomes of tetrapod species.
Allorecognition, the ability to discriminate between self and nonself, is ubiquitous among colonial metazoans and widespread among aclonal taxa. Genetic models for the study of allorecognition have been developed in the jawed vertebrates, invertebrate chordate Botryllus, and cnidarian Hydractinia. In Botryllus, two genes contribute to the histocompatibility response, FuHC and fester. In the cnidarian Hydractinia, one of the two known allorecognition loci, alr2, has been isolated, and a second linked locus, alr1, has been mapped to the same chromosomal region, called the allorecognition complex (ARC). Here we isolate alr1 by positional cloning and report it to encode a transmembrane receptor protein with two hypervariable extracellular regions similar to immunoglobulin (Ig)-like domains. Variation in the extracellular domain largely predicts fusibility within and between laboratory strains and wild-type isolates. alr1 was found embedded in a family of immunoglobulin superfamily (IgSF)-like genes, thus establishing that the ARC histocompatibility complex is an invertebrate IgSF-like gene complex.
Soybean (Glycine max) is one of the most important crop plants for seed protein and oil content, and for its capacity to fix atmospheric nitrogen through symbioses with soil-borne microorganisms. We sequenced the 1.1-gigabase genome by a whole-genome shotgun approach and integrated it with physical and high-density genetic maps to create a chromosome-scale draft sequence assembly. We predict 46,430 protein-coding genes, 70% more than Arabidopsis and similar to the poplar genome which, like soybean, is an ancient polyploid (palaeopolyploid). About 78% of the predicted genes occur in chromosome ends, which comprise less than one-half of the genome but account for nearly all of the genetic recombination. Genome duplications occurred at approximately 59 and 13 million years ago, resulting in a highly duplicated genome with nearly 75% of the genes present in multiple copies. The two duplication events were followed by gene diversification and loss, and numerous chromosome rearrangements. An accurate soybean genome sequence will facilitate the identification of the genetic basis of many soybean traits, and accelerate the creation of improved soybean varieties.
The molecular mechanisms underlying major phenotypic changes that have evolved repeatedly in nature are generally unknown. Pelvic loss in different natural populations of threespine stickleback fish has occurred through regulatory mutations deleting a tissue-specific enhancer of the Pituitary homeobox transcription factor 1 (Pitx1) gene. The high prevalence of deletion mutations at Pitx1 may be influenced by inherent structural features of the locus. Although Pitx1 null mutations are lethal in laboratory animals, Pitx1 regulatory mutations show molecular signatures of positive selection in pelvic-reduced populations. These studies illustrate how major expression and morphological changes can arise from single mutational leaps in natural populations, producing new adaptive alleles via recurrent regulatory alterations in a key developmental control gene.
Since its start, the Mammalian Gene Collection (MGC) has sought to provide at least one full-protein-coding sequence cDNA clone for every human and mouse gene with a RefSeq transcript, and at least 6200 rat genes. The MGC cloning effort initially relied on random expressed sequence tag screening of cDNA libraries. Here, we summarize our recent progress using directed RT-PCR cloning and DNA synthesis. The MGC now contains clones with the entire protein-coding sequence for 92% of human and 89% of mouse genes with curated RefSeq (NM-accession) transcripts, and for 97% of human and 96% of mouse genes with curated RefSeq transcripts that have one or more PubMed publications, in addition to clones for more than 6300 rat genes. These high-quality MGC clones and their sequences are accessible without restriction to researchers worldwide.
Sexual antagonism, or conflict between the sexes, has been proposed as a driving force in both sex-chromosome turnover and speciation. Although closely related species often have different sex-chromosome systems, it is unknown whether sex-chromosome turnover contributes to the evolution of reproductive isolation between species. Here we show that a newly evolved sex chromosome contains genes that contribute to speciation in threespine stickleback fish (Gasterosteus aculeatus). We first identified a neo-sex chromosome system found only in one member of a sympatric species pair in Japan. We then performed genetic linkage mapping of male-specific traits important for reproductive isolation between the Japanese species pair. The neo-X chromosome contains loci for male courtship display traits that contribute to behavioural isolation, whereas the ancestral X chromosome contains loci for both behavioural isolation and hybrid male sterility. Our work not only provides strong evidence for a large X-effect on reproductive isolation in a vertebrate system, but also provides direct evidence that a young neo-X chromosome contributes to reproductive isolation between closely related species. Our data indicate that sex-chromosome turnover might have a greater role in speciation than was previously appreciated.
The ascomycetous fungus Nectria haematococca, (asexual name Fusarium solani), is a member of a group of >50 species known as the "Fusarium solani species complex". Members of this complex have diverse biological properties including the ability to cause disease on >100 genera of plants and opportunistic infections in humans. The current research analyzed the most extensively studied member of this complex, N. haematococca mating population VI (MPVI). Several genes controlling the ability of individual isolates of this species to colonize specific habitats are located on supernumerary chromosomes. Optical mapping revealed that the sequenced isolate has 17 chromosomes ranging from 530 kb to 6.52 Mb and that the physical size of the genome, 54.43 Mb, and the number of predicted genes, 15,707, are among the largest reported for ascomycetes. Two classes of genes have contributed to gene expansion: specific genes that are not found in other fungi including its closest sequenced relative, Fusarium graminearum; and genes that commonly occur as single copies in other fungi but are present as multiple copies in N. haematococca MPVI. Some of these additional genes appear to have resulted from gene duplication events, while others may have been acquired through horizontal gene transfer. The supernumerary nature of three chromosomes, 14, 15, and 17, was confirmed by their absence in pulsed field gel electrophoresis experiments of some isolates and by demonstrating that these isolates lacked chromosome-specific sequences found on the ends of these chromosomes. These supernumerary chromosomes contain more repeat sequences, are enriched in unique and duplicated genes, and have a lower G+C content in comparison to the other chromosomes. Although the origin(s) of the extra genes and the supernumerary chromosomes is not known, the gene expansion and its large genome size are consistent with this species diverse range of habitats. Furthermore, the presence of unique genes on supernumerary chromosomes might account for individual isolates having different environmental niches.
Picoeukaryotes are a taxonomically diverse group of organisms less than 2 micrometers in diameter. Photosynthetic marine picoeukaryotes in the genus Micromonas thrive in ecosystems ranging from tropical to polar and could serve as sentinel organisms for biogeochemical fluxes of modern oceans during climate change. These broadly distributed primary producers belong to an anciently diverged sister clade to land plants. Although Micromonas isolates have high 18S ribosomal RNA gene identity, we found that genomes from two isolates shared only 90% of their predicted genes. Their independent evolutionary paths were emphasized by distinct riboswitch arrangements as well as the discovery of intronic repeat elements in one isolate, and in metagenomic data, but not in other genomes. Divergence appears to have been facilitated by selection and acquisition processes that actively shape the repertoire of genes that are mutually exclusive between the two isolates differently than the core genes. Analyses of the Micromonas genomes offer valuable insights into ecological differentiation and the dynamic nature of early plant evolution.
Soybeans grown in the upper Midwestern United States often suffer from iron deficiency chlorosis, which results in yield loss at the end of the season. To better understand the effect of iron availability on soybean yield, we identified genes in two near isogenic lines with changes in expression patterns when plants were grown in iron sufficient and iron deficient conditions.
Sorghum, an African grass related to sugar cane and maize, is grown for food, feed, fibre and fuel. We present an initial analysis of the approximately 730-megabase Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench genome, placing approximately 98% of genes in their chromosomal context using whole-genome shotgun sequence validated by genetic, physical and syntenic information. Genetic recombination is largely confined to about one-third of the sorghum genome with gene order and density similar to those of rice. Retrotransposon accumulation in recombinationally recalcitrant heterochromatin explains the approximately 75% larger genome size of sorghum compared with rice. Although gene and repetitive DNA distributions have been preserved since palaeopolyploidization approximately 70 million years ago, most duplicated gene sets lost one member before the sorghum-rice divergence. Concerted evolution makes one duplicated chromosomal segment appear to be only a few million years old. About 24% of genes are grass-specific and 7% are sorghum-specific. Recent gene and microRNA duplications may contribute to sorghums drought tolerance.
Colonial marine invertebrates, such as sponges, corals, bryozoans, and ascidians, often live in densely populated communities where they encounter other members of their species as they grow over their substratum. Such encounters typically lead to a natural histocompatibility response in which colonies either fuse to become a single, chimeric colony or reject and aggressively compete for space. These allorecognition phenomena mediate intraspecific competition, support allotypic diversity, control the level at which selection acts, and resemble allogeneic interactions in pregnancy and transplantation. Despite the ubiquity of allorecognition in colonial phyla, however, its molecular basis has not been identified beyond what is currently known about histocompatibility in vertebrates and protochordates. We positionally cloned an allorecognition gene by using inbred strains of the cnidarian, Hydractinia symbiolongicarpus, which is a model system for the study of invertebrate allorecognition. The gene identified encodes a putative transmembrane receptor expressed in all tissues capable of allorecognition that is highly polymorphic and predicts allorecognition responses in laboratory and field-derived strains. This study reveals that a previously undescribed hypervariable molecule bearing three extracellular domains with greatest sequence similarity to the immunoglobulin superfamily is an allodeterminant in a lower metazoan.
Polyploidy often confers emergent properties, such as the higher fibre productivity and quality of tetraploid cottons than diploid cottons bred for the same environments. Here we show that an abrupt five- to sixfold ploidy increase approximately 60?million years (Myr) ago, and allopolyploidy reuniting divergent Gossypium genomes approximately 1-2 Myr ago, conferred about 30-36-fold duplication of ancestral angiosperm (flowering plant) genes in elite cottons (Gossypium hirsutum and Gossypium barbadense), genetic complexity equalled only by Brassica among sequenced angiosperms. Nascent fibre evolution, before allopolyploidy, is elucidated by comparison of spinnable-fibred Gossypium herbaceum A and non-spinnable Gossypium longicalyx F genomes to one another and the outgroup D genome of non-spinnable Gossypium raimondii. The sequence of a G. hirsutum A(t)D(t) (in which t indicates tetraploid) cultivar reveals many non-reciprocal DNA exchanges between subgenomes that may have contributed to phenotypic innovation and/or other emergent properties such as ecological adaptation by polyploids. Most DNA-level novelty in G. hirsutum recombines alleles from the D-genome progenitor native to its New World habitat and the Old World A-genome progenitor in which spinnable fibre evolved. Coordinated expression changes in proximal groups of functionally distinct genes, including a nuclear mitochondrial DNA block, may account for clusters of cotton-fibre quantitative trait loci affecting diverse traits. Opportunities abound for dissecting emergent properties of other polyploids, particularly angiosperms, by comparison to diploid progenitors and outgroups.
Current genomic perspectives on animal diversity neglect two prominent phyla, the molluscs and annelids, that together account for nearly one-third of known marine species and are important both ecologically and as experimental systems in classical embryology. Here we describe the draft genomes of the owl limpet (Lottia gigantea), a marine polychaete (Capitella teleta) and a freshwater leech (Helobdella robusta), and compare them with other animal genomes to investigate the origin and diversification of bilaterians from a genomic perspective. We find that the genome organization, gene structure and functional content of these species are more similar to those of some invertebrate deuterostome genomes (for example, amphioxus and sea urchin) than those of other protostomes that have been sequenced to date (flies, nematodes and flatworms). The conservation of these genomic features enables us to expand the inventory of genes present in the last common bilaterian ancestor, establish the tripartite diversification of bilaterians using multiple genomic characteristics and identify ancient conserved long- and short-range genetic linkages across metazoans. Superimposed on this broadly conserved pan-bilaterian background we find examples of lineage-specific genome evolution, including varying rates of rearrangement, intron gain and loss, expansions and contractions of gene families, and the evolution of clade-specific genes that produce the unique content of each genome.
Cryptophyte and chlorarachniophyte algae are transitional forms in the widespread secondary endosymbiotic acquisition of photosynthesis by engulfment of eukaryotic algae. Unlike most secondary plastid-bearing algae, miniaturized versions of the endosymbiont nuclei (nucleomorphs) persist in cryptophytes and chlorarachniophytes. To determine why, and to address other fundamental questions about eukaryote-eukaryote endosymbiosis, we sequenced the nuclear genomes of the cryptophyte Guillardia theta and the chlorarachniophyte Bigelowiella natans. Both genomes have >21,000?protein genes and are intron rich, and B. natans exhibits unprecedented alternative splicing for a single-celled organism. Phylogenomic analyses and subcellular targeting predictions reveal extensive genetic and biochemical mosaicism, with both host- and endosymbiont-derived genes servicing the mitochondrion, the host cell cytosol, the plastid and the remnant endosymbiont cytosol of both algae. Mitochondrion-to-nucleus gene transfer still occurs in both organisms but plastid-to-nucleus and nucleomorph-to-nucleus transfers do not, which explains why a small residue of essential genes remains locked in each nucleomorph.
Agaricus bisporus is the model fungus for the adaptation, persistence, and growth in the humic-rich leaf-litter environment. Aside from its ecological role, A. bisporus has been an important component of the human diet for over 200 y and worldwide cultivation of the "button mushroom" forms a multibillion dollar industry. We present two A. bisporus genomes, their gene repertoires and transcript profiles on compost and during mushroom formation. The genomes encode a full repertoire of polysaccharide-degrading enzymes similar to that of wood-decayers. Comparative transcriptomics of mycelium grown on defined medium, casing-soil, and compost revealed genes encoding enzymes involved in xylan, cellulose, pectin, and protein degradation are more highly expressed in compost. The striking expansion of heme-thiolate peroxidases and ?-etherases is distinctive from Agaricomycotina wood-decayers and suggests a broad attack on decaying lignin and related metabolites found in humic acid-rich environment. Similarly, up-regulation of these genes together with a lignolytic manganese peroxidase, multiple copper radical oxidases, and cytochrome P450s is consistent with challenges posed by complex humic-rich substrates. The gene repertoire and expression of hydrolytic enzymes in A. bisporus is substantially different from the taxonomically related ectomycorrhizal symbiont Laccaria bicolor. A common promoter motif was also identified in genes very highly expressed in humic-rich substrates. These observations reveal genetic and enzymatic mechanisms governing adaptation to the humic-rich ecological niche formed during plant degradation, further defining the critical role such fungi contribute to soil structure and carbon sequestration in terrestrial ecosystems. Genome sequence will expedite mushroom breeding for improved agronomic characteristics.
Vertebrate sensory systems have evolved remarkable diversity, but little is known about the underlying genetic mechanisms. The lateral line sensory system of aquatic vertebrates is a promising model for genetic investigations of sensory evolution because there is extensive variation within and between species, and this variation is easily quantified. In the present study, we compare the lateral line sensory system of threespine sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus) from an ancestral marine and a derived benthic lake population. We show that lab-raised individuals from these populations display differences in sensory neuromast number, neuromast patterning, and groove morphology. Using genetic linkage mapping, we identify regions of the genome that influence different aspects of lateral line morphology. Distinct loci independently affect neuromast number on different body regions, suggesting that a modular genetic structure underlies the evolution of peripheral receptor number in this sensory system. Pleiotropy and/or tight linkage are also important, as we identify a region on linkage group 21 that affects multiple aspects of lateral line morphology. Finally, we detect epistasis between a locus on linkage group 4 and a locus on linkage group 21; interactions between these loci contribute to variation in neuromast pattern. Our results reveal a complex genetic architecture underlying the evolution of the stickleback lateral line sensory system. This study further uncovers a genetic relationship between sensory morphology and non-neural traits (bony lateral plates), creating an opportunity to investigate morphological constraints on sensory evolution in a vertebrate model system.
The mammalian Dlx3 and Dlx4 genes are configured as a bigene cluster, and their respective expression patterns are controlled temporally and spatially by cis-elements that largely reside within the intergenic region of the cluster. Previous work revealed that there are conspicuously conserved elements within the intergenic region of the Dlx3-4 bigene clusters of mouse and human. In this paper we have extended these analyses to include 12 additional mammalian taxa (including a marsupial and a monotreme) in order to better define the nature and molecular evolutionary trends of the coding and non-coding functional elements among morphologically divergent mammals. Dlx3-4 regions were fully sequenced from 12 divergent taxa of interest. We identified three theria-specific amino acid replacements in homeodomain of Dlx4 gene that functions in placenta. Sequence analyses of constrained nucleotide sites in the intergenic non-coding region showed that many of the intergenic conserved elements are highly conserved and have evolved slowly within the mammals. In contrast, a branchial arch/craniofacial enhancer I37-2 exhibited accelerated evolution at the branch between the monotreme and therian common ancestor despite being highly conserved among therian species. Functional analysis of I37-2 in transgenic mice has shown that the equivalent region of the platypus fails to drive transcriptional activity in branchial arches. These observations, taken together with our molecular evolutionary data, suggest that theria-specific episodic changes in the I37-2 element may have contributed to craniofacial innovation at the base of the mammalian lineage.
Little is known about the mechanisms of adaptation of life to the extreme environmental conditions encountered in polar regions. Here we present the genome sequence of a unicellular green alga from the division chlorophyta, Coccomyxa subellipsoidea C-169, which we will hereafter refer to as C-169. This is the first eukaryotic microorganism from a polar environment to have its genome sequenced.
We generated a high-quality reference genome sequence for foxtail millet (Setaria italica). The ?400-Mb assembly covers ?80% of the genome and >95% of the gene space. The assembly was anchored to a 992-locus genetic map and was annotated by comparison with >1.3 million expressed sequence tag reads. We produced more than 580 million RNA-Seq reads to facilitate expression analyses. We also sequenced Setaria viridis, the ancestral wild relative of S. italica, and identified regions of differential single-nucleotide polymorphism density, distribution of transposable elements, small RNA content, chromosomal rearrangement and segregation distortion. The genus Setaria includes natural and cultivated species that demonstrate a wide capacity for adaptation. The genetic basis of this adaptation was investigated by comparing five sequenced grass genomes. We also used the diploid Setaria genome to evaluate the ongoing genome assembly of a related polyploid, switchgrass (Panicum virgatum).
The perennial grass, switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.), is a promising bioenergy crop and the target of whole genome sequencing. We constructed two bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) libraries from the AP13 clone of switchgrass to gain insight into the genome structure and organization, initiate functional and comparative genomic studies, and assist with genome assembly. Together representing 16 haploid genome equivalents of switchgrass, each library comprises 101,376 clones with average insert sizes of 144 (HindIII-generated) and 110 kb (BstYI-generated). A total of 330,297 high quality BAC-end sequences (BES) were generated, accounting for 263.2 Mbp (16.4%) of the switchgrass genome. Analysis of the BES identified 279,099 known repetitive elements, >50,000 SSRs, and 2,528 novel repeat elements, named switchgrass repetitive elements (SREs). Comparative mapping of 47 full-length BAC sequences and 330K BES revealed high levels of synteny with the grass genomes sorghum, rice, maize, and Brachypodium. Our data indicate that the sorghum genome has retained larger microsyntenous regions with switchgrass besides high gene order conservation with rice. The resources generated in this effort will be useful for a broad range of applications.
Marine stickleback fish have colonized and adapted to thousands of streams and lakes formed since the last ice age, providing an exceptional opportunity to characterize genomic mechanisms underlying repeated ecological adaptation in nature. Here we develop a high-quality reference genome assembly for threespine sticklebacks. By sequencing the genomes of twenty additional individuals from a global set of marine and freshwater populations, we identify a genome-wide set of loci that are consistently associated with marine-freshwater divergence. Our results indicate that reuse of globally shared standing genetic variation, including chromosomal inversions, has an important role in repeated evolution of distinct marine and freshwater sticklebacks, and in the maintenance of divergent ecotypes during early stages of reproductive isolation. Both coding and regulatory changes occur in the set of loci underlying marine-freshwater evolution, but regulatory changes appear to predominate in this well known example of repeated adaptive evolution in nature.
Parasitism and saprotrophic wood decay are two fungal strategies fundamental for succession and nutrient cycling in forest ecosystems. An opportunity to assess the trade-off between these strategies is provided by the forest pathogen and wood decayer Heterobasidion annosum sensu lato. We report the annotated genome sequence and transcript profiling, as well as the quantitative trait loci mapping, of one member of the species complex: H. irregulare. Quantitative trait loci critical for pathogenicity, and rich in transposable elements, orphan and secreted genes, were identified. A wide range of cellulose-degrading enzymes are expressed during wood decay. By contrast, pathogenic interaction between H. irregulare and pine engages fewer carbohydrate-active enzymes, but involves an increase in pectinolytic enzymes, transcription modules for oxidative stress and secondary metabolite production. Our results show a trade-off in terms of constrained carbohydrate decomposition and membrane transport capacity during interaction with living hosts. Our findings establish that saprotrophic wood decay and necrotrophic parasitism involve two distinct, yet overlapping, processes.
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