Genomics of Natural Populations: How Differentially Expressed Genes Shape the Evolution of Chromosomal Inversions in Drosophila pseudoobscura.
ABSTRACT: Chromosomal rearrangements can shape the structure of genetic variation in the genome directly through alteration of genes at breakpoints or indirectly by holding combinations of genetic variants together due to reduced recombination. The third chromosome of Drosophila pseudoobscura is a model system to test hypotheses about how rearrangements are established in populations because its third chromosome is polymorphic for >30 gene arrangements that were generated by a series of overlapping inversion mutations. Circumstantial evidence has suggested that these gene arrangements are selected. Despite the expected homogenizing effects of extensive gene flow, the frequencies of arrangements form gradients or clines in nature, which have been stable since the system was first described >80 years ago. Furthermore, multiple arrangements exist at appreciable frequencies across several ecological niches providing the opportunity for heterokaryotypes to form. In this study, we tested whether genes are differentially expressed among chromosome arrangements in first instar larvae, adult females and males. In addition, we asked whether transcriptional patterns in heterokaryotypes are dominant, semidominant, overdominant, or underdominant. We find evidence for a significant abundance of differentially expressed genes across the inverted regions of the third chromosome, including an enrichment of genes involved in sensory perception for males. We find the majority of loci show additivity in heterokaryotypes. Our results suggest that multiple genes have expression differences among arrangements that were either captured by the original inversion mutation or accumulated after it reached polymorphic frequencies, providing a potential source of genetic variation for selection to act upon. These data suggest that the inversions are favored because of their indirect effect of recombination suppression that has held different combinations of differentially expressed genes together in the various gene arrangement backgrounds.
Project description:In the malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae polymorphic chromosomal inversions may play an important role in adaptation to environmental variation. Recently, we used microarray-based divergence mapping combined with targeted resequencing to map nucleotide differentiation between alternative arrangements of the 2La inversion. Here, we applied the same technique to four different polymorphic inversions on the 2R chromosome of An. gambiae. Surprisingly, divergence was much lower between alternative arrangements for all 2R inversions when compared to the 2La inversion. For one of the rearrangements, 2Ru, we successfully mapped a very small region (approximately 100 kb) of elevated divergence. For the other three rearrangements, we did not identify any regions of significantly high divergence, despite ample independent evidence from natural populations of geographic clines and seasonal cycling, and stable heterotic polymorphisms in laboratory populations. If these inversions are the targets of selection as hypothesized, we suggest that divergence between rearrangements may have escaped detection due to retained ancestral polymorphism in the case of the youngest 2R rearrangements and to extensive gene flux in the older 2R inversion systems that segregate in both An. gambiae and its sibling species An. arabiensis.
Project description:Drosophila pseudoobscura harbors a rich polymorphism for paracentric inversions on the third chromosome, and the clines in the inversion frequencies across the southwestern United States indicate that strong natural selection operates on them. Isogenic inversion strains were made from isofemale lines collected from four localities, and eight molecular markers were mapped on the third chromosome. Nucleotide diversity was measured for these loci and formed the basis of an evolutionary genomic analysis. The loci were differentiated among inversions. The inversions did not show significant differences among populations, however, likely the result of extensive gene flow among populations. Some loci had significant reductions in nucleotide diversity within inversions compared with interspecies divergence, suggesting that these loci are near inversion breakpoints or are near targets of directional selection. Linkage disequilibrium (LD) levels tended to decrease with distance between loci, indicating that some genetic exchange occurs among gene arrangements despite the presence of inversions. In some cases, however, adjacent genes had low levels of interlocus LD and loosely linked genes had high levels of interlocus LD, suggesting strong epistatic selection. Our results support the hypothesis that the inversions of D. pseudoobscura have emerged as suppressors of recombination to maintain positive epistatic relationships among loci within gene arrangements that developed as the species adapted to a heterogeneous environment.
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, Atpα 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:Nonrandom distribution of rearrangements is a common feature of eukaryotic chromosomes that is not well understood in terms of genome organization and evolution. In the major African malaria vector Anopheles gambiae, polymorphic inversions are highly nonuniformly distributed among five chromosomal arms and are associated with epidemiologically important adaptations. However, it is not clear whether the genomic content of the chromosomal arms is associated with inversion polymorphism and fixation rates.To better understand the evolutionary dynamics of chromosomal inversions, we created a physical map for an Asian malaria mosquito, Anopheles stephensi, and compared it with the genome of An. gambiae. We also developed and deployed novel Bayesian statistical models to analyze genome landscapes in individual chromosomal arms An. gambiae. Here, we demonstrate that, despite the paucity of inversion polymorphisms on the X chromosome, this chromosome has the fastest rate of inversion fixation and the highest density of transposable elements, simple DNA repeats, and GC content. The highly polymorphic and rapidly evolving autosomal 2R arm had overrepresentation of genes involved in cellular response to stress supporting the role of natural selection in maintaining adaptive polymorphic inversions. In addition, the 2R arm had the highest density of regions involved in segmental duplications that clustered in the breakpoint-rich zone of the arm. In contrast, the slower evolving 2L, 3R, and 3L, arms were enriched with matrix-attachment regions that potentially contribute to chromosome stability in the cell nucleus.These results highlight fundamental differences in evolutionary dynamics of the sex chromosome and autosomes and revealed the strong association between characteristics of the genome landscape and rates of chromosomal evolution. We conclude that a unique combination of various classes of genes and repetitive DNA in each arm, rather than a single type of repetitive element, is likely responsible for arm-specific rates of rearrangements.
Project description:Both classical and recent studies suggest that chromosomal inversion polymorphisms are important in adaptation and speciation. However, biases in discovery and reporting of inversions make it difficult to assess their prevalence and biological importance. Here, we use an approach based on linkage disequilibrium among markers genotyped for samples collected across a transect between contrasting habitats to detect chromosomal rearrangements de novo. We report 17 polymorphic rearrangements in a single locality for the coastal marine snail, Littorina saxatilis. Patterns of diversity in the field and of recombination in controlled crosses provide strong evidence that at least the majority of these rearrangements are inversions. Most show clinal changes in frequency between habitats, suggestive of divergent selection, but only one appears to be fixed for different arrangements in the two habitats. Consistent with widespread evidence for balancing selection on inversion polymorphisms, we argue that a combination of heterosis and divergent selection can explain the observed patterns and should be considered in other systems spanning environmental gradients.
Project description:Comparisons of gene orders between species permit estimation of the rate of chromosomal evolution since their divergence from a common ancestor. We have compared gene orders on three chromosomes of Drosophila pseudoobscura with its close relative, D. miranda, and the distant outgroup species, D. melanogaster, by using the public genome sequences of D. pseudoobscura and D. melanogaster and approximately 50 in situ hybridizations of gene probes in D. miranda. We find no evidence for extensive transfer of genes among chromosomes in D. miranda. The rates of chromosomal rearrangements between D. miranda and D. pseudoobscura are far higher than those found before in Drosophila and approach those for nematodes, the fastest rates among higher eukaryotes. In addition, we find that the D. pseudoobscura chromosome with the highest level of inversion polymorphism (Muller's element C) does not show an unusually fast rate of evolution with respect to chromosome structure, suggesting that this classic case of inversion polymorphism reflects selection rather than mutational processes. On the basis of our results, we propose possible ancestral arrangements for the D. pseudoobscura C chromosome, which are different from those in the current literature. We also describe a new method for correcting for rearrangements that are not detected with a limited set of markers.
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:Inversion polymorphisms are responsible for many ecologically important phenotypes and are often found under balancing selection. However, the same features that ensure their large role in local adaptation-especially reduced recombination between alternate arrangements-mean that uncovering the precise loci within inversions that control these phenotypes is unachievable using standard mapping approaches. Here, we take advantage of long-term balancing selection on a pair of inversions in the mosquito Anopheles gambiae to map desiccation tolerance via pool-GWAS. Two polymorphic inversions on chromosome 2 of this species (denoted 2La and 2Rb) are associated with arid and hot conditions in Africa and are maintained in spatially and temporally heterogeneous environments. After measuring thousands of wild-caught individuals for survival under desiccation stress, we used phenotypically extreme individuals homozygous for alternative arrangements at the 2La inversion to construct pools for whole-genome sequencing. Genomewide association mapping using these pools revealed dozens of significant SNPs within both 2La and 2Rb, many of which neighboured genes controlling ion channels or related functions. Our results point to the promise of similar approaches in systems with inversions maintained by balancing selection and provide a list of candidate genes underlying the specific phenotypes controlled by the two inversions studied here.
Project description:Drosophila pseudoobscura harbors a rich gene arrangement polymorphism on the third chromosome generated by a series of overlapping paracentric inversions. The arrangements suppress recombination in heterokaryotypic individuals, which allows for the selective maintenance of coadapted gene complexes. Previous mapping experiments used to determine the degree to which recombination is suppressed in gene arrangement heterozygotes produced non-recombinant progeny in non-Mendelian ratios. The deviations from Mendelian expectations could be the result of viability differences between wild and mutant chromosomes, meiotic drive because of achiasmate pairing of homologues in heterokaryotypic females during meiosis, or a combination of both mechanisms. The possibility that the frequencies of the chromosomal arrangements in natural populations are affected by mechanisms other than adaptive selection led us to consider these hypotheses. We performed reciprocal crosses involving both heterozygous males and females to determine if the frequency of the non-recombinant progeny deviates significantly from Mendelian expectations and if the frequencies deviate between reciprocal crosses. We failed to observe non-Mendelian ratios in multiple crosses, and the frequency of the non-recombinant classes differed in only one of five pairs of reciprocal crosses despite sufficient power to detect these differences in all crosses. Our results indicate that deviations from Mendelian expectations in recombination experiments involving the D. pseudoobscura inversion system are most likely due to fitness differences of gene arrangement karyotypes in different environments.
Project description:Chromosomal inversions are important drivers of genome evolution. The Eurasian malaria vector Anopheles messeae has five polymorphic inversions. A cryptic species, An. daciae, has been discriminated from An. messeae based on five fixed nucleotide substitutions in the internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) of ribosomal DNA. However, the inversion polymorphism in An. daciae and the genome divergence between these species remain unexplored. In this study, we sequenced the ITS2 region and analyzed the inversion frequencies of 289 Anopheles larvae specimens collected from three locations in the Moscow region. Five individual genomes for each of the two species were sequenced. We determined that An. messeae and An. daciae differ from each other by the frequency of polymorphic inversions. Inversion X1 was fixed in An. messeae but polymorphic in An. daciae populations. The genome sequence comparison demonstrated genome-wide divergence between the species, especially pronounced on the inversion-rich X chromosome (mean Fst = 0.331). The frequency of polymorphic autosomal inversions was higher in An. messeae than in An. daciae. We conclude that the X chromosome inversions play an important role in the genomic differentiation between the species. Our study determined that An. messeae and An. daciae are closely related species with incomplete reproductive isolation.