Chromosomal inversion polymorphism leads to extensive genetic structure: a multilocus survey in Drosophila subobscura.
ABSTRACT: The adaptive character of inversion polymorphism in Drosophila subobscura is well established. The O(ST) and O(3+4) chromosomal arrangements of this species differ by two overlapping inversions that arose independently on O(3) chromosomes. Nucleotide variation in eight gene regions distributed along inversion O(3) was analyzed in 14 O(ST) and 14 O(3+4) lines. Levels of variation within arrangements were quite similar along the inversion. In addition, we detected (i) extensive genetic differentiation between arrangements in all regions, regardless of their distance to the inversion breakpoints; (ii) strong association between nucleotide variants and chromosomal arrangements; and (iii) high levels of linkage disequilibrium in intralocus and also in interlocus comparisons, extending over distances as great as approximately 4 Mb. These results are not consistent with the higher genetic exchange between chromosomal arrangements expected in the central part of an inversion from double-crossover events. Hence, double crossovers were not produced or, alternatively, recombinant chromosomes were eliminated by natural selection to maintain coadapted gene complexes. If the strong genetic differentiation detected along O(3) extends to other inversions, nucleotide variation would be highly structured not only in D. subobscura, but also in the genome of other species with a rich chromosomal polymorphism.
Project description:Nucleotide variation at the ribosomal protein 49 (rp49) gene region has been studied in 75 lines of Drosophila subobscura belonging to four chromosomal arrangements (Ost, O3+4, O3+4+8, and O3+4+23). The location of the rp49 gene region within the inversion loop differs among heterokaryotypes: it is very close to one of the breakpoints in heterozygotes involving Ost chromosomes, while it is in a more central position in all other heterokaryotypes. The distribution of nucleotide polymorphism in the different arrangements is consistent with a monophyletic origin of the inversions. The data also provide evidence that gene conversion and possibly double crossover are involved in shuffling nucleotide variation among gene arrangements. The analyses reveal that the level of genetic exchange is higher when the region is located in a more central position of the inverted fragment than when it is close to the breakpoints. The pairwise difference distributions as well as the negative values of Tajima's and Fu and Li's statistics further support the hypothesis that nucleotide variation within chromosomal arrangements still reflects expansion after the origin of the inversions. Under the expansion model, we have estimated the time of origin of the studied inversions.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The role of chromosomal arrangements in adaptation is supported by the repeatable clinal variation in inversion frequencies across continents in colonizing species such as Drosophila subobscura. However, there is a lack of knowledge on the genetic variation in genes within inversions, possibly targets of climatic selection, across a geographic latitudinal gradient. In the present study we analysed four candidate loci for thermal adaptation, located close to the breakpoints, in two chromosomal arrangements of the sex (A) chromosome of Drosophila subobscura with different thermal preferences. Individual chromosomes with A2 (the inverted arrangement considered warm adapted) or AST (the standard ancestral arrangement considered cold adapted) were sequenced across four European localities at varying latitudes, up to ~?2500 Kms apart. RESULTS:Importantly, we found very low differentiation for each specific arrangement across populations as well as no clinal patterns of genomic variation. This suggests wide gene exchange along the cline. Differentiation between the sex chromosome arrangements was significant in the two more proximal regions relative to the AST orientation but not in the distal ones, independently of their location inside or outside the inversion. This can be possibly due to variation in the levels of gene flux and/or selection acting in these regions. CONCLUSIONS:Gene flow appears to have homogenized the genetic content within-arrangement at a wide geographical scale, despite the expected diverse selective pressures in the specific natural environments of the different populations sampled. It is thus likely that the inversion frequency clines in this species are being maintained by local adaptation in face of gene flow. The differences between arrangements at non-coding regions might be associated with the previously observed differential gene expression in different thermal regimes. Higher resolution genomic scans for individual chromosomal arrangements performed over a large environmental gradient are needed to find the targets of selection and further elucidate the adaptive mechanisms maintaining chromosomal inversion polymorphisms.
Project description:Nucleotide variation in the region including the ribosomal protein 49 (rp49) gene was investigated by direct sequencing of 10 alleles of Drosophila subobscura from chromosomes differing in gene arrangements. Fifty-six nucleotide and seven length polymorphisms were detected over a 1.5-kb region. Of the 20 nucleotide polymorphisms present more than once in the sample, 13 were segregating in O[3 + 4], 9 in O[3 + 4 + 8], and 4 in O[st] chromosomal classes. Several of these polymorphisms were segregating in more than one chromosomal class, a strong indication of genetic transfer between different chromosomal gene arrangements either by double crossover or gene conversion. Given the probable role played by gene conversion in the history of the rp49 region in D. subobscura, estimates of nucleotide diversity within chromosomal class indicate that the O[3 + 4] chromosomal gene arrangement is older than the O[st] arrangement.
Project description:Chromosomal inversion polymorphism play a major role in the evolutionary dynamics of populations and species because of their effects on the patterns of genetic variability in the genomic regions within inversions. Though there is compelling evidence for the adaptive character of chromosomal polymorphisms, the mechanisms responsible for their maintenance in natural populations is not fully understood. For this type of analysis, Drosophila subobscura is a good model species as it has a rich and extensively studied chromosomal inversion polymorphism system. Here, we examine the patterns of DNA variation in two natural populations segregating for chromosomal arrangements that differentially affect the surveyed genomic region; in particular, we analyse both nucleotide substitutions and insertion/deletion variations in the genomic region encompassing the odorant-binding protein genes Obp83a and Obp83b (Obp83 region). We show that the two main gene arrangements are genetically differentiated, but are consistent with a monophyletic origin of inversions. Nevertheless, these arrangements interchange some genetic information, likely by gene conversion. We also find that the frequency spectrum-based tests indicate that the pattern of nucleotide variation is not at equilibrium; this feature probably reflects the rapid increase in the frequency of the new gene arrangement promoted by positive selection (that is an adaptive change). Furthermore, a comparative analysis of polymorphism and divergence patterns reveals a relaxation of the functional constraints at the Obp83b gene, which might be associated with particular ecological or demographic features of the Canary island endemic species D. guanche.
Project description:Gene flow (defined as allele exchange between populations) and gene flux (defined as allele exchange during meiosis in heterokaryotypic females) are important factors decreasing genetic differentiation between populations and inversions. Many chromosomal inversions are under strong selection and their role in recombination reduction enhances the maintenance of their genetic distinctness. Here we analyze levels and patterns of nucleotide diversity, selection and demographic history, using 37 individuals of Drosophila subobscura from Mount Parnes (Greece) and Barcelona (Spain). Our sampling focused on two frequent O-chromosome arrangements that differ by two overlapping inversions (OST and O(3+4)), which are differentially adapted to the environment as observed by their opposing latitudinal clines in inversion frequencies. The six analyzed genes (Pif1A, Abi, Sqd, Yrt, Atp? and Fmr1) were selected for their location across the O-chromosome and their implication in thermal adaptation. Despite the extensive gene flux detected outside the inverted region, significant genetic differentiation between both arrangements was found inside it. However, high levels of gene flow were detected for all six genes when comparing the same arrangement among populations. These results suggest that the adaptive value of inversions is maintained, regardless of the lack of genetic differentiation within arrangements from different populations, and thus favors the Local Adaptation hypothesis over the Coadapted Genome hypothesis as the basis of the selection acting on inversions in these populations.
Project description:Cytological and molecular studies have revealed that inversion chromosomal polymorphism is widespread across taxa and that inversions are among the most common structural changes fixed between species. Two major mechanisms have been proposed for the origin of inversions considering that breaks occur at either repetitive or non-homologous sequences. While inversions originating through the first mechanism might have a multiple origin, those originating through the latter mechanism would have a unique origin. Variation at regions flanking inversion breakpoints can be informative on the origin and history of inversions given the reduced recombination in heterokaryotypes. Here, we have analyzed nucleotide variation at a fragment flanking the most centromere-proximal shared breakpoint of several sequential overlapping inversions of the E chromosome of Drosophila subobscura -inversions E<sub>1</sub>, E<sub>2</sub>, E<sub>9</sub> and E<sub>3</sub>. The molecular genealogy inferred from variation at this shared fragment does not exhibit the branching pattern expected according to the sequential origin of inversions. The detected discordance between the molecular and cytological genealogies has led us to consider a novel possibility for the origin of an inversion, and more specifically that one of these inversions originated on a heterokaryotype for chromosomal arrangements. Based on this premise, we propose three new models for inversions origin.
Project description:Adaptation is defined as an evolutionary process allowing organisms to succeed in certain habitats or conditions. Chromosomal inversions have the potential to be key in the adaptation processes, since they can contribute to the maintenance of favoured combinations of adaptive alleles through reduced recombination between individuals carrying different inversions. We have analysed six genes (Pif1A, Abi, Sqd, Yrt, Atp? and Fmr1), located inside and outside three inversions of the O chromosome in European populations of Drosophila subobscura. Genetic differentiation was significant between inversions despite extensive recombination inside inverted regions, irrespective of gene distance to the inversion breakpoints. Surprisingly, the highest level of genetic differentiation between arrangements was found for the Atp? gene, which is located outside the O1 and O7 inversions. Two derived unrelated arrangements (O3+4+1 and O3+4+7) are nearly fixed for several amino acid substitutions at the Atp? gene that have been described to confer resistance in other species to the cardenolide ouabain, a plant toxin capable of blocking ATPases. Similarities in the Atp? variants, conferring ouabain resistance in both arrangements, may be the result of convergent substitution and be favoured in response to selective pressures presumably related to the presence of plants containing ouabain in the geographic locations where both inversions are present.
Project description:Chromosomal polymorphism is widespread in the Drosophila genus, with extensive evidence supporting its adaptive character in diverse species. Moreover, inversions are the major contributors to the genus chromosomal evolution. The molecular characterization of a reduced number of polymorphic inversion breakpoints in Drosophila melanogaster and Drosophila subobscura supports that their inversions would have mostly originated through a mechanism that generates duplications -staggered double-strand breaks- and has thus the potential to contribute to their adaptive character. There is also evidence for inversion breakpoint reuse at different time scales. Here, we have characterized the breakpoints of two inversions of D. subobscura -O4 and O8- involved in complex arrangements that are frequent in the warm parts of the species distribution area. The duplications detected at their breakpoints are consistent with their origin through the staggered-break mechanism, which further supports it as the prevalent mechanism in D. subobscura. The comparative analysis of inversions breakpoint regions across the Drosophila genus has revealed several genes affected by multiple disruptions due not only to inversions but also to single-gene transpositions and duplications.
Project description:Chromosomal inversions can contribute to the adaptation of organisms to their environment by capturing particular advantageous allelic combinations of a set of genes included in the inverted fragment and also by advantageous functional changes due to the inversion process itself that might affect not only the expression of flanking genes but also their dose and structure. Of the two mechanisms originating inversions -ectopic recombination, and staggered double-strand breaks and subsequent repair- only the latter confers the inversion the potential to have dosage effects and/or to generate advantageous chimeric genes. In Drosophila subobscura, there is ample evidence for the adaptive character of its chromosomal polymorphism, with an important contribution of some warm-climate arrangements such as E1+2+9+12. Here, we have characterized the breakpoints of inversion E12 and established that it originated through the staggered-break mechanism like four of the five inversions of D. subobscura previously studied. This mechanism that also predominates in the D. melanogaster lineage might be prevalent in the Sophophora subgenus and contribute to the adaptive character of the polymorphic and fixed inversions of its species. Finally, we have shown that the D. subobscura inversion breakpoint regions have generally been disrupted by additional structural changes occurred at different time scales.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Drosophila subobscura exhibits a rich inversion polymorphism, with some adaptive inversions showing repeatable spatiotemporal patterns in frequencies related to temperature. Previous studies reported increased basal HSP70 protein levels in homokaryotypic strains for a warm-climate arrangement compared to a cold-climate one. These findings do not match the similar hsp70 genomic organization between arrangements, where gene expression levels are expected to be similar. In order to test this hypothesis and understand the molecular basis for hsp70 expression, we compared basal hsp70 mRNA levels in males and females, and analysed the 5' and 3' regulatory regions of hsp70 genes in warm- and cold-climate isochromosomal O3?+?4?+?7 and OST lines of D. subobscura. RESULTS:We observed comparable mRNA levels between the two arrangements and a sex-biased hsp70 gene expression. The number of heat-shock elements (HSEs) and GAGA sites on the promoters were identical amongst the OST and O3?+?4?+?7 lines analysed. This is also true for 3' AU-rich elements where most A and B copies of hsp70 have, respectively, two and one element in both arrangements. Beyond the regulatory elements, the only notable difference between both arrangements is the presence in 3' UTR of a 14?bp additional fragment after the stop codon in the hsp70A copy in five O3?+?4?+?7 lines, which was not found in any of the six OST lines. CONCLUSIONS:The equivalent hsp70 mRNA amounts in OST and O3?+?4?+?7 arrangements provide the first evidence of a parallelism between gene expression and genetic organization in D. subobscura lines having these arrangements. This is reinforced by the lack of important differential features in the number and structure of regulatory elements between both arrangements, despite the genetic differentiation observed when the complete 5' and 3' regulatory regions were considered. Therefore, the basal levels of hsp70 mRNA cannot account, in principle, for the adaptive variation of the two arrangements studied. Consequently, further studies are necessary to understand the intricate molecular mechanisms of hsp70 gene regulation in D. subobscura.