Whole-genome sequence of the Tibetan frog Nanorana parkeri and the comparative evolution of tetrapod genomes.
ABSTRACT: The development of efficient sequencing techniques has resulted in large numbers of genomes being available for evolutionary studies. However, only one genome is available for all amphibians, that of Xenopus tropicalis, which is distantly related from the majority of frogs. More than 96% of frogs belong to the Neobatrachia, and no genome exists for this group. This dearth of amphibian genomes greatly restricts genomic studies of amphibians and, more generally, our understanding of tetrapod genome evolution. To fill this gap, we provide the de novo genome of a Tibetan Plateau frog, Nanorana parkeri, and compare it to that of X. tropicalis and other vertebrates. This genome encodes more than 20,000 protein-coding genes, a number similar to that of Xenopus. Although the genome size of Nanorana is considerably larger than that of Xenopus (2.3 vs. 1.5 Gb), most of the difference is due to the respective number of transposable elements in the two genomes. The two frogs exhibit considerable conserved whole-genome synteny despite having diverged approximately 266 Ma, indicating a slow rate of DNA structural evolution in anurans. Multigenome synteny blocks further show that amphibians have fewer interchromosomal rearrangements than mammals but have a comparable rate of intrachromosomal rearrangements. Our analysis also identifies 11 Mb of anuran-specific highly conserved elements that will be useful for comparative genomic analyses of frogs. The Nanorana genome offers an improved understanding of evolution of tetrapod genomes and also provides a genomic reference for other evolutionary studies.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>hes genes are chordate homologs of Drosophila genes, hairy and enhancer of split, which encode a basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcriptional repressor with a WRPW motif. Various developmental functions of hes genes, including early embryogenesis and neurogenesis, have been elucidated in vertebrates. However, their orthologous relationships remain unclear partly because of less conservation of relatively short amino acid sequences, the fact that the genome was not analyzed as it is today, and species-specific genome duplication. This results in complicated gene names in vertebrates, which are not consistent in orthologs. We previously revealed that Xenopus frogs have two clusters of hes5, named "the hes5.1 cluster" and "the hes5.3 cluster", but the origin and the conservation have not yet been revealed.<h4>Results</h4>Here, we elucidated the orthologous and paralogous relationships of all hes genes of human, mouse, chicken, gecko, zebrafish, medaka, coelacanth, spotted gar, elephant shark and three species of frogs, Xenopus tropicalis (X. tropicalis), X. laevis, Nanorana parkeri, by phylogenetic and synteny analyses. Any duplicated hes5 were not found in mammals, whereas hes5 clusters in teleost were conserved although not as many genes as the three frog species. In addition, hes5 cluster-like structure was found in the elephant shark genome, but not found in cyclostomata.<h4>Conclusion</h4>These data suggest that the hes5 cluster existed in the gnathostome ancestor but became a single gene in mammals. The number of hes5 cluster genes were specifically large in frogs.
Project description:Sex chromosome divergence has been documented across phylogenetically diverse species, with amphibians typically having cytologically nondiverged ("homomorphic") sex chromosomes. With an aim of further characterizing sex chromosome divergence of an amphibian, we used "RAD-tags" and Sanger sequencing to examine sex specificity and heterozygosity in the Western clawed frog Silurana tropicalis (also known as Xenopus tropicalis). Our findings based on approximately 20 million genotype calls and approximately 200 polymerase chain reaction-amplified regions across multiple male and female genomes failed to identify a substantially sized genomic region with genotypic hallmarks of sex chromosome divergence, including in regions known to be tightly linked to the sex-determining region. We also found that expression and molecular evolution of genes linked to the sex-determining region did not differ substantially from genes in other parts of the genome. This suggests that the pseudoautosomal region, where recombination occurs, comprises a large portion of the sex chromosomes of S. tropicalis. These results may in part explain why African clawed frogs have such a high incidence of polyploidization, shed light on why amphibians have a high rate of sex chromosome turnover, and raise questions about why homomorphic sex chromosomes are so prevalent in amphibians.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>The X and Y sex chromosomes are conspicuous features of placental mammal genomes. Mammalian sex chromosomes arose from an ordinary pair of autosomes after the proto-Y acquired a male-determining gene and degenerated due to suppression of X-Y recombination. Analysis of earlier steps in X chromosome evolution has been hampered by the long interval between the origins of teleost and amniote lineages as well as scarcity of X chromosome orthologs in incomplete avian genome assemblies.<h4>Results</h4>This study clarifies the genesis and remodelling of the Eutherian X chromosome by using a combination of sequence analysis, meiotic map information, and cytogenetic localization to compare amniote genome organization with that of the amphibian Xenopus tropicalis. Nearly all orthologs of human X genes localize to X. tropicalis chromosomes 2 and 8, consistent with an ancestral X-conserved region and a single X-added region precursor. This finding contradicts a previous hypothesis of three evolutionary strata in this region. Homologies between human, opossum, chicken and frog chromosomes suggest a single X-added region predecessor in therian mammals, corresponding to opossum chromosomes 4 and 7. A more ancient X-added ancestral region, currently extant as a major part of chicken chromosome 1, is likely to have been present in the progenitor of synapsids and sauropsids. Analysis of X chromosome gene content emphasizes conservation of single protein coding genes and the role of tandem arrays in formation of novel genes.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Chromosomal regions orthologous to Therian X chromosomes have been located in the genome of the frog X. tropicalis. These X chromosome ancestral components experienced a series of fusion and breakage events to give rise to avian autosomes and mammalian sex chromosomes. The early branching tetrapod X. tropicalis' simple diploid genome and robust synteny to amniotes greatly enhances studies of vertebrate chromosome evolution.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) gene family uniquely illustrates the concept of enzymogenesis. In vertebrates, tandem duplications gave rise to a multiplicity of forms that have been classified in eight enzyme classes, according to primary structure and function. Some of these classes appear to be exclusive of particular organisms, such as the frog ADH8, a unique NADP+-dependent ADH enzyme. This work describes the ADH system of Xenopus, as a model organism, and explores the first amphibian and reptilian genomes released in order to contribute towards a better knowledge of the vertebrate ADH gene family. RESULTS:Xenopus cDNA and genomic sequences along with expressed sequence tags (ESTs) were used in phylogenetic analyses and structure-function correlations of amphibian ADHs. Novel ADH sequences identified in the genomes of Anolis carolinensis (anole lizard) and Pelodiscus sinensis (turtle) were also included in these studies. Tissue and stage-specific libraries provided expression data, which has been supported by mRNA detection in Xenopus laevis tissues and regulatory elements in promoter regions. Exon-intron boundaries, position and orientation of ADH genes were deduced from the amphibian and reptilian genome assemblies, thus revealing syntenic regions and gene rearrangements with respect to the human genome. Our results reveal the high complexity of the ADH system in amphibians, with eleven genes, coding for seven enzyme classes in Xenopus tropicalis. Frogs possess the amphibian-specific ADH8 and the novel ADH1-derived forms ADH9 and ADH10. In addition, they exhibit ADH1, ADH2, ADH3 and ADH7, also present in reptiles and birds. Class-specific signatures have been assigned to ADH7, and ancestral ADH2 is predicted to be a mixed-class as the ostrich enzyme, structurally close to mammalian ADH2 but with class-I kinetic properties. Remarkably, many ADH1 and ADH7 forms are observed in the lizard, probably due to lineage-specific duplications. ADH4 is not present in amphibians and reptiles. CONCLUSIONS:The study of the ancient forms of ADH2 and ADH7 sheds new light on the evolution of the vertebrate ADH system, whereas the special features showed by the novel forms point to the acquisition of new functions following the ADH gene family expansion which occurred in amphibians.
Project description:Mitochondrial genomes comprise a small but critical component of the total DNA in eukaryotic organisms. They encode several key proteins for the cell's major energy producing apparatus, the mitochondrial respiratory chain. Additionally, their nucleotide and amino acid sequences are of great utility as markers for systematics, molecular ecology and forensics. Their characterization through nucleotide sequencing is a fundamental starting point in mitogenomics. Methods to amplify complete mitochondrial genomes rapidly and efficiently from microgram quantities of tissue of single individuals are, however, not always available. Here we validate two approaches, which combine long-PCR with Roche 454 pyrosequencing technology, to obtain two complete mitochondrial genomes from individual amphibian species.We obtained two new xenopus frogs (Xenopus borealis and X. victorianus) complete mitochondrial genome sequences by means of long-PCR followed by 454 of individual genomes (approach 1) or of multiple pooled genomes (approach 2), the mean depth of coverage per nucleotide was 9823 and 186, respectively. We also characterised and compared the new mitogenomes against their sister taxa; X. laevis and Silurana tropicalis, two of the most intensely studied amphibians. Our results demonstrate how our approaches can be used to obtain complete amphibian mitogenomes with depths of coverage that far surpass traditional primer-walking strategies, at either the same cost or less. Our results also demonstrate: that the size, gene content and order are the same among xenopus mitogenomes and that S. tropicalis form a separate clade to the other xenopus, among which X. laevis and X. victorianus were most closely related. Nucleotide and amino acid diversity was found to vary across the xenopus mitogenomes, with the greatest diversity observed in the Complex 1 gene nad4l and the least diversity observed in Complex 4 genes (cox1-3). All protein-coding genes were shown to be under strong negative (purifying selection), with genes under the strongest pressure (Complex 4) also being the most highly expressed, highlighting their potentially crucial functions in the mitochondrial respiratory chain.Next generation sequencing of long-PCR amplicons using single taxon or multi-taxon approaches enabled two new species of Xenopus mtDNA to be fully characterized. We anticipate our complete mitochondrial genome amplification methods to be applicable to other amphibians, helpful for identifying the most appropriate markers for differentiating species, populations and resolving phylogenies, a pressing need since amphibians are undergoing drastic global decline. Our mtDNAs also provide templates for conserved primer design and the assembly of RNA and DNA reads following high throughput "omic" techniques such as RNA- and ChIP-seq. These could help us better understand how processes such mitochondrial replication and gene expression influence xenopus growth and development, as well as how they evolved and are regulated.
Project description:Western Palearctic tree frogs (Hyla arborea group) represent a strong potential for evolutionary and conservation genetic research, so far underexploited due to limited molecular resources. New microsatellite markers have recently been developed for Hyla arborea, with high cross-species utility across the entire circum-Mediterranean radiation. Here we conduct sibship analyses to map available markers for use in future population genetic applications.We characterized eight linkage groups, including one sex-linked, all showing drastically reduced recombination in males compared to females, as previously documented in this species. Mapping of the new 15 markers to the ~200 My diverged Xenopus tropicalis genome suggests a generally conserved synteny with only one confirmed major chromosome rearrangement.The new microsatellites are representative of several chromosomes of H. arborea that are likely to be conserved across closely-related species. Our linkage map provides an important resource for genetic research in European Hylids, notably for studies of speciation, genome evolution and conservation.
Project description:Comparative genome analysis of non-avian reptiles and amphibians provides important clues about the process of genome evolution in tetrapods. However, there is still only limited information available on the genome structures of these organisms. Consequently, the protokaryotypes of amniotes and tetrapods and the evolutionary processes of microchromosomes in tetrapods remain poorly understood. We constructed chromosome maps of functional genes for the Chinese soft-shelled turtle (Pelodiscus sinensis), the Siamese crocodile (Crocodylus siamensis), and the Western clawed frog (Xenopus tropicalis) and compared them with genome and/or chromosome maps of other tetrapod species (salamander, lizard, snake, chicken, and human). This is the first report on the protokaryotypes of amniotes and tetrapods and the evolutionary processes of microchromosomes inferred from comparative genomic analysis of vertebrates, which cover all major non-avian reptilian taxa (Squamata, Crocodilia, Testudines). The eight largest macrochromosomes of the turtle and chicken were equivalent, and 11 linkage groups had also remained intact in the crocodile. Linkage groups of the chicken macrochromosomes were also highly conserved in X. tropicalis, two squamates, and the salamander, but not in human. Chicken microchromosomal linkages were conserved in the squamates, which have fewer microchromosomes than chicken, and also in Xenopus and the salamander, which both lack microchromosomes; in the latter, the chicken microchromosomal segments have been integrated into macrochromosomes. Our present findings open up the possibility that the ancestral amniotes and tetrapods had at least 10 large genetic linkage groups and many microchromosomes, which corresponded to the chicken macro- and microchromosomes, respectively. The turtle and chicken might retain the microchromosomes of the amniote protokaryotype almost intact. The decrease in number and/or disappearance of microchromosomes by repeated chromosomal fusions probably occurred independently in the amphibian, squamate, crocodilian, and mammalian lineages.
Project description:By combining 7077 SNPs and 61 microsatellites, we present the first linkage map for some of the early diverged lineages of the common frog, <i>Rana temporaria</i>, and the densest linkage map to date for this species. We found high homology with the published linkage maps of the Eastern and Western lineages but with differences in the order of some markers. Homology was also strong with the genome of the Tibetan frog <i>Nanorana parkeri</i> and we found high synteny with the clawed frog <i>Xenopus tropicalis</i> We confirmed marked heterochiasmy between sexes and detected nonrecombining regions in several groups of the male linkage map. Contrary to the expectations set by the male heterogamety of the common frog, we did not find male heterozygosity excess in the chromosome previously shown to be linked to sex determination. Finally, we found blocks of loci showing strong transmission ratio distortion. These distorted genomic regions might be related to genetic incompatibilities between the parental populations, and are promising candidates for further investigation into the genetic basis of speciation and adaptation in the common frog.
Project description:Members of the disintegrin metalloproteinase (ADAM) family play important roles in cellular and developmental processes through their functions as proteases and/or binding partners for other proteins. The amphibian Xenopus has long been used as a model for early vertebrate development, but genome-wide analyses for large gene families were not possible until the recent completion of the X. tropicalis genome sequence and the availability of large scale expression sequence tag (EST) databases. In this study we carried out a systematic analysis of the X. tropicalis genome and uncovered several interesting features of ADAM genes in this species.Based on the X. tropicalis genome sequence and EST databases, we identified Xenopus orthologues of mammalian ADAMs and obtained full-length cDNA clones for these genes. The deduced protein sequences, synteny and exon-intron boundaries are conserved between most human and X. tropicalis orthologues. The alternative splicing patterns of certain Xenopus ADAM genes, such as adams 22 and 28, are similar to those of their mammalian orthologues. However, we were unable to identify an orthologue for ADAM7 or 8. The Xenopus orthologue of ADAM15, an active metalloproteinase in mammals, does not contain the conserved zinc-binding motif and is hence considered proteolytically inactive. We also found evidence for gain of ADAM genes in Xenopus as compared to other species. There is a homologue of ADAM10 in Xenopus that is missing in most mammals. Furthermore, a single scaffold of X. tropicalis genome contains four genes encoding ADAM28 homologues, suggesting genome duplication in this region.Our genome-wide analysis of ADAM genes in X. tropicalis revealed both conservation and evolutionary divergence of these genes in this amphibian species. On the one hand, all ADAMs implicated in normal development and health in other species are conserved in X. tropicalis. On the other hand, some ADAM genes and ADAM protease activities are absent, while other novel ADAM proteins in this species are predicted by this study. The conservation and unique divergence of ADAM genes in Xenopus probably reflect the particular selective pressures these amphibian species faced during evolution.
Project description:Sequencing of full-insert clones from full-length cDNA libraries from both Xenopus laevis and Xenopus tropicalis has been ongoing as part of the Xenopus Gene Collection Initiative. Here we present 10,967 full ORF verified cDNA clones (8049 from X. laevis and 2918 from X. tropicalis) as a community resource. Because the genome of X. laevis, but not X. tropicalis, has undergone allotetraploidization, comparison of coding sequences from these two clawed (pipid) frogs provides a unique angle for exploring the molecular evolution of duplicate genes. Within our clone set, we have identified 445 gene trios, each comprised of an allotetraploidization-derived X. laevis gene pair and their shared X. tropicalis ortholog. Pairwise dN/dS, comparisons within trios show strong evidence for purifying selection acting on all three members. However, dN/dS ratios between X. laevis gene pairs are elevated relative to their X. tropicalis ortholog. This difference is highly significant and indicates an overall relaxation of selective pressures on duplicated gene pairs. We have found that the paralogs that have been lost since the tetraploidization event are enriched for several molecular functions, but have found no such enrichment in the extant paralogs. Approximately 14% of the paralogous pairs analyzed here also show differential expression indicative of subfunctionalization.