Codon usage bias and effective population sizes on the X chromosome versus the autosomes in Drosophila melanogaster.
ABSTRACT: Codon usage bias (CUB) in Drosophila is higher for X-linked genes than for autosomal genes. One possible explanation is that the higher effective recombination rate for genes on the X chromosome compared with the autosomes reduces their susceptibility to Hill-Robertson effects, and thus enhances the efficacy of selection on codon usage. The genome sequence of D. melanogaster was used to test this hypothesis. Contrary to expectation, it was found that, after correcting for the effective recombination rate, CUB remained higher on the X than on the autosomes. In contrast, an analysis of polymorphism data from a Rwandan population showed that mean nucleotide site diversity at 4-fold degenerate sites for genes on the X is approximately three-quarters of the autosomal value after correcting for the effective recombination rate, compared with approximate equality before correction. In addition, these data show that selection for preferred versus unpreferred synonymous variants is stronger on the X than the autosomes, which accounts for the higher CUB of genes on the X chromosome. This difference in the strength of selection does not appear to reflect the effects of dominance of mutations affecting codon usage, differences in gene expression levels between X and autosomes, or differences in mutational bias. Its cause therefore remains unexplained. The stronger selection on CUB on the X chromosome leads to a lower rate of synonymous site divergence compared with the autosomes; this will cause a stronger upward bias for X than A in estimates of the proportion of nonsynonymous mutations fixed by positive selection, for methods based on the McDonald-Kreitman test.
Project description:Synonymous codons are not used at equal frequency throughout the genome, a phenomenon termed codon usage bias (CUB). It is often assumed that interspecific variation in the intensity of CUB is related to species differences in effective population sizes (N e), with selection on CUB operating less efficiently in species with small N e. Here, we specifically ask whether variation in N e predicts differences in CUB in mammals and report two main findings. First, across 41 mammalian genomes, CUB was not correlated with two indirect proxies of N e (body mass and generation time), even though there was statistically significant evidence of selection shaping CUB across all species. Interestingly, autosomal genes showed higher codon usage bias compared to X-linked genes, and high-recombination genes showed higher codon usage bias compared to low recombination genes, suggesting intraspecific variation in N e predicts variation in CUB. Second, across six mammalian species with genetic estimates of N e (human, chimpanzee, rabbit, and three mouse species: Mus musculus, M. domesticus, and M. castaneus), N e and CUB were weakly and inconsistently correlated. At least in mammals, interspecific divergence in N e does not strongly predict variation in CUB. One hypothesis is that each species responds to a unique distribution of selection coefficients, confounding any straightforward link between N e and CUB.
Project description:Codon usage bias (CUB), the uneven use of synonymous codons, is a ubiquitous observation in virtually all organisms examined. The pattern of codon usage is generally similar among closely related species, but differs significantly among distantly related organisms, e.g., bacteria, yeast, and Drosophila. Several explanations for CUB have been offered and some have been supported by observations and experiments, although a thorough understanding of the evolutionary forces (random drift, mutation bias, and selection) and their relative importance remains to be determined. The recently available complete genome DNA sequences of twelve phylogenetically defined species of Drosophila offer a hitherto unprecedented opportunity to examine these problems. We report here the patterns of codon usage in the twelve species and offer insights on possible evolutionary forces involved.(1) Codon usage is quite stable across 11/12 of the species: G- and especially C-ending codons are used most frequently, thus defining the preferred codons. (2) The only amino acid that changes in preferred codon is Serine with six species of the melanogaster group favoring TCC while the other species, particularly subgenus Drosophila species, favor AGC. (3) D. willistoni is an exception to these generalizations in having a shifted codon usage for seven amino acids toward A/T in the wobble position. (4) Amino acids differ in their contribution to overall CUB, Leu having the greatest and Asp the least. (5) Among two-fold degenerate amino acids, A/G ending amino acids have more selection on codon usage than T/C ending amino acids. (6) Among the different chromosome arms or elements, genes on the non-recombining element F (dot chromosome) have the least CUB, while genes on the element A (X chromosome) have the most. (7) Introns indicate that mutation bias in all species is approximately 2:1, AT:GC, the opposite of codon usage bias. (8) There is also evidence for some overall regional bias in base composition that may influence codon usage.Overall, these results suggest that natural selection has acted on codon usage in the genus Drosophila, at least often enough to leave a footprint of selection in modern genomes. However, there is evidence in the data that random forces (drift and mutation) have also left patterns in the data, especially in genes under weak selection for codon usage for example genes in regions of low recombination. The documentation of codon usage patterns in each of these twelve genomes also aids in ongoing annotation efforts.
Project description:UNLABELLED: It is well known that an amino acid can be encoded by more than one codon, called synonymous codons. The preferential use of one particular codon for coding an amino acid is referred to as codon usage bias (CUB). A quantitative analytical method, CUB and a related tool, Codon Adaptative Index have been applied to comparatively study whole genomes of a few pathogenic Trypanosomatid species. This quantitative attempt is of direct help in the comparison of qualitative features like mutational and translational selection. Pathogens of the Leishmania and Trypanosoma genus cause debilitating disease and suffering in human beings and animals. Of these, whole genome sequences are available for only five species. The complete coding sequences (CDS), highly expressed, essential and low expressed genes have all been studied for their CUB signature. The codon usage bias of essential genes and highly expressed genes show distribution similar to codon usage bias of all CDSs in Trypanosomatids. Translational selection is the dominant force selecting the preferred codon, and selection due to mutation is negligible. In contrast to an earlier study done on these pathogens, it is found in this work that CUB and CAI may be used to distinguish the Trypanosomatid genomes at the sub-genus level. Further, CUB may effectively be used as a signature of the species differentiation by using Principal Component Analysis (PCA). ABBREVIATIONS: CUB - Codon Usage Bias, CAI - Codon Adaptative Index, CDS - Coding sequences, t-RNA - Transfer RNA, PCA - Principal Component Analysis.
Project description:Codon usage bias (CUB)-preferential use of one of the synonymous codons, has been described in a wide range of organisms from bacteria to mammals, but it has not yet been studied in marine phytoplankton. CUB is thought to be caused by weak selection for translational accuracy and efficiency. Weak selection can overpower genetic drift only in species with large effective population sizes, such as Drosophila that has relatively strong CUB, while organisms with smaller population sizes (e.g., mammals) have weak CUB. Marine plankton species tend to have extremely large populations, suggesting that CUB should be very strong. Here we test this prediction and describe the patterns of codon usage in a wide range of diatom species belonging to 35 genera from 4 classes. We report that most of the diatom species studied have surprisingly modest CUB (mean Effective Number of Codons, ENC = 56), with some exceptions showing stronger codon bias (ENC = 44). Modest codon bias in most studied diatom species may reflect extreme disparity between astronomically large census and modest effective population size (Ne), with fluctuations in population size and linked selection limiting long-term Ne and rendering selection for optimal codons less efficient. For example, genetic diversity (pi ~0.02 at silent sites) in Skeletonema marinoi corresponds to Ne of about 10 million individuals, which is likely many orders of magnitude lower than its census size. Still, Ne ~107 should be large enough to make selection for optimal codons efficient. Thus, we propose that an alternative process-frequent changes of preferred codons, may be a more plausible reason for low CUB despite highly efficient selection for preferred codons in diatom populations. The shifts in the set of optimal codons should result in the changes of the direction of selection for codon usage, so the actual codon usage never catches up with the moving target of the optimal set of codons and the species never develop strong CUB. Indeed, we detected strong shifts in preferential codon usage within some diatom genera, with switches between preferentially GC-rich and AT-rich 3rd codon positions (GC3). For example, GC3 ranges from 0.6 to 1 in most Chaetoceros species, while for Chaetoceros dichaeta GC3 = 0.1. Both variation in selection intensity and mutation spectrum may drive such shifts in codon usage and limit the observed CUB. Our study represents the first genome-wide analysis of CUB in diatoms and the first such analysis for a major phytoplankton group.
Project description:Codon usage bias (CUB) refers to the observation that synonymous codons are not used equally frequently in a genome. CUB is stronger in more highly expressed genes, a phenomenon commonly explained by stronger natural selection on translational accuracy and/or efficiency among these genes. Nevertheless, this phenomenon could also occur if CUB regulates gene expression at the mRNA level, a hypothesis that has not been tested until recently. Here, we attempt to quantify the impact of synonymous mutations on mRNA level in yeast using 3,556 synonymous variants of a heterologous gene encoding green fluorescent protein (GFP) and 523 synonymous variants of an endogenous gene TDH3. We found that mRNA level was positively correlated with CUB among these synonymous variants, demonstrating a direct role of CUB in regulating transcript concentration, likely via regulating mRNA degradation rate, as our additional experiments suggested. More importantly, we quantified the effects of individual synonymous mutations on mRNA level and found them dependent on 1) CUB and 2) mRNA secondary structure, both in proximal sequence contexts. Our study reveals the pleiotropic effects of synonymous codon usage and provides an additional explanation for the well-known correlation between CUB and gene expression level.
Project description:SPANX (sperm protein coupled with the nucleus in the X chromosome) genes play a crucial role in human spermatogenesis. Codon usage bias (CUB) is a well-known phenomenon that exists in many genomes and mainly determined by mutation and selection. CUB is species specific and a unique characteristic of a genome. Analysis of compositional features and codon usage pattern of SPANX genes in human has contributed to explore the molecular biology of this gene. In our current study, we have retrieved the sequences of different variants of SPANX gene from NCBI using accession number and a perl script was used to analyze the nucleotide composition and the parameters for codon usage bias.Our results showed that codon usage bias is low as measured by codon bias index (CBI) and most of the GC ending codons were positively correlated with GC bias as indicated by GC3. That mutation pressure and natural selection affect the codon usage pattern were revealed by correspondence analysis (COA) and neutrality plot. Moreover, the neutrality plot further suggested that the role of natural selection is higher than mutation pressure on SPANX genes.The codon usage bias in SPANX genes is not very high and the role of natural selection dominates over mutation pressure in the codon usage of human SPANX genes.
Project description:Codon usage bias (CUB) is a unique property of genomes and has contributed to the better understanding of the molecular features and the evolution processes of particular gene. In this study, genetic indices associated with CUB, including relative synonymous codon usage and effective numbers of codons, as well as the nucleotide composition, were investigated in the Clonorchis sinensis tyrosinase genes and their platyhelminth orthologs, which play an important role in the eggshell formation. The relative synonymous codon usage patterns substantially differed among tyrosinase genes examined. In a neutrality analysis, the correlation between GC12 and GC3 was statistically significant, and the regression line had a relatively gradual slope (0.218). NC-plot, i.e., GC3 vs effective number of codons (ENC), showed that most of the tyrosinase genes were below the expected curve. The codon adaptation index (CAI) values of the platyhelminth tyrosinases had a narrow distribution between 0.685/0.714 and 0.797/0.837, and were negatively correlated with their ENC. Taken together, these results suggested that CUB in the tyrosinase genes seemed to be basically governed by selection pressures rather than mutational bias, although the latter factor provided an additional force in shaping CUB of the C. sinensis and Opisthorchis viverrini genes. It was also apparent that the equilibrium point between selection pressure and mutational bias is much more inclined to selection pressure in highly expressed C. sinensis genes, than in poorly expressed genes.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Codon usage bias (CUB) is an important evolutionary feature in genomes that has been widely observed in many organisms. However, the synonymous codon usage pattern in the genome of T. multiceps remains to be clarified. In this study, we analyzed the codon usage of T. multiceps based on the transcriptome data to reveal the constraint factors and to gain an improved understanding of the mechanisms that shape synonymous CUB. RESULTS:Analysis of a total of 8,620 annotated mRNA sequences from T. multiceps indicated only a weak codon bias, with mean GC and GC3 content values of 49.29% and 51.43%, respectively. Our analysis indicated that nucleotide composition, mutational pressure, natural selection, gene expression level, amino acids with grand average of hydropathicity (GRAVY) and aromaticity (Aromo) and the effective selection of amino-acids all contributed to the codon usage in T. multiceps. Among these factors, natural selection was implicated as the major factor affecting the codon usage variation in T. multiceps. The codon usage of ribosome genes was affected mainly by mutations, while the essential genes were affected mainly by selection. In addition, 21codons were identified as "optimal codons". Overall, the optimal codons were GC-rich (GC:AU, 41:22), and ended with G or C (except CGU). Furthermore, different degrees of variation in codon usage were found between T. multiceps and Escherichia coli, yeast, Homo sapiens. However, little difference was found between T. multiceps and Taenia pisiformis. CONCLUSIONS:In this study, the codon usage pattern of T. multiceps was analyzed systematically and factors affected CUB were also identified. This is the first study of codon biology in T. multiceps. Understanding the codon usage pattern in T. multiceps can be helpful for the discovery of new genes, molecular genetic engineering and evolutionary studies.
Project description:Codon usage bias (CUB) is an important evolutionary feature in a genome which provides important information for studying organism evolution, gene function and exogenous gene expression. The CUB and its shaping factors in the nuclear genomes of four sequenced cotton species, G. arboreum (A2), G. raimondii (D5), G. hirsutum (AD1) and G. barbadense (AD2) were analyzed in the present study. The effective number of codons (ENC) analysis showed the CUB was weak in these four species and the four subgenomes of the two tetraploids. Codon composition analysis revealed these four species preferred to use pyrimidine-rich codons more frequently than purine-rich codons. Correlation analysis indicated that the base content at the third position of codons affect the degree of codon preference. PR2-bias plot and ENC-plot analyses revealed that the CUB patterns in these genomes and subgenomes were influenced by combined effects of translational selection, directional mutation and other factors. The translational selection (P2) analysis results, together with the non-significant correlation between GC12 and GC3, further revealed that translational selection played the dominant role over mutation pressure in the codon usage bias. Through relative synonymous codon usage (RSCU) analysis, we detected 25 high frequency codons preferred to end with T or A, and 31 low frequency codons inclined to end with C or G in these four species and four subgenomes. Finally, 19 to 26 optimal codons with 19 common ones were determined for each species and subgenomes, which preferred to end with A or T. We concluded that the codon usage bias was weak and the translation selection was the main shaping factor in nuclear genes of these four cotton genomes and four subgenomes.
Project description:Escherichia coli has long been regarded as a model organism in the study of codon usage bias (CUB). However, most studies in this organism regarding this topic have been computational or, when experimental, restricted to small datasets; particularly poor attention has been given to genes with low CUB. In this work, correspondence analysis on codon usage is used to classify E.coli genes into three groups, and the relationship between them and expression levels from microarray experiments is studied. These groups are: group 1, highly biased genes; group 2, moderately biased genes; and group 3, AT-rich genes with low CUB. It is shown that, surprisingly, there is a negative correlation between codon bias and expression levels for group 3 genes, i.e. genes with extremely low codon adaptation index (CAI) values are highly expressed, while group 2 show the lowest average expression levels and group 1 show the usual expected positive correlation between CAI and expression. This trend is maintained over all functional gene groups, seeming to contradict the E.coli-yeast paradigm on CUB. It is argued that these findings are still compatible with the mutation-selection balance hypothesis of codon usage and that E.coli genes form a dynamic system shaped by these factors.