Dataset Information


Gene expression and epigenetic sexual dimorphism in two jewel wasp species Nasonia vitripennis and Nasonia giraulti [Bisulfite-Seq]

ABSTRACT: The extraordinary range in the degree of sexual dimorphism (SD) among animal species is widely perceived to be caused in part by differences in patterns of sexual selection, but sex-specific adaptations and sex chromosome differences also play a role. Studies in insects have discovered a substantial number of sex-biased genes, but little is known about the epigenetic basis of SD. The degree and genome-wide distribution of sex-biased expression become interesting questions in hymenoptera species with haplodiploid sex-determination. To study the genetic and epigenetic architecture of SD and understand the conservation and evolution of sex-biased expression in a haplodiploid system that lacks sex chromosomes, we performed RNA-seq and whole-genome bisulfite sequencing in female and male adult samples of two parasitoid wasp species, Nasonia vitripennis and Nasonia giraulti. More than 75% of the expressed genes displayed significantly sex-biased expression. Both the number and the degree of sex-biased genes are higher than insects like Drosophila melanogaster, which have sex-chromosome mediated sex determination. Females from the two Nasonia species have far more similar expression profiles than does the contrast between the two sexes within either species. Interestingly, the extremely male- and female-biased genes are enriched for totally different functional categories: male-biased genes are highly enriched for key enzymes in sex-pheromone synthesis; female-biased genes are enriched for nuclear-located genes that are responsible for epigenetic regulation of gene expression. Unlike gene expression profiles, DNA methylomes are more similar within species, and no stable differentially methylated genes have been found between the two sexes, suggesting that DNA methylation is not directly responsible for the molecular basis of SD. However, methylation status does influence sex-biased expression: 80% of female-biased genes are methylated, which is more than two-fold higher than the genome average (30%); almost all male-biased and sex-specific genes are non-methylated, which is consistent with the fact that methylated genes have house-keeping functions and a broader expression breadth. Evolutionarily, male-biased genes have greater sequence divergence between the two species, and they are more likely to have a functional paralog in the Nasonia genome. Sex-specific genes have significantly higher non-synonymous substitution rates and dN/dS ratios. In addition, local clusters of sex-biased genes in the genome may have epigenetic properties similar to the sex chromosome. In summary, Nasonia accomplish a striking degree of sex-differential expression through a difference in ploidy along with associated differences in methylations status. Whole-genome bisulfite sequencing of 24-hour adult whole body samples of Nasonia vitripennis and Nasonia giraulti using Iilumina sequencing.

SUBMITTER: Xu Wang   Andrew G Clark  John H Werren  Andrew Clark 

PROVIDER: E-GEOD-61158 | ArrayExpress | 2015-06-08



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