Weak selection revealed by the whole-genome comparison of the X chromosome and autosomes of human and chimpanzee.
ABSTRACT: The effect of weak selection driving genome evolution has attracted much attention in the last decade, but the task of measuring the strength of such selection is particularly difficult. A useful approach is to contrast the evolution of X-linked and autosomal genes in two closely related species in a whole-genome analysis. If the fitness effect of mutations is recessive, X-linked genes should evolve more rapidly than autosomal genes when the mutations are advantageous, and they should evolve more slowly than autosomal genes when the mutations are deleterious. We found synonymous substitutions on the X chromosome of human and chimpanzee to be less frequent than those on the autosomes. When calibrated against substitutions in the intergenic regions and pseudogenes to filter out the differences in the mutation rate and ancestral population size between X chromosomes and autosomes, X-linked synonymous substitutions are still 10% less frequent. At least 90% of the synonymous substitutions in human and chimpanzee are estimated to be deleterious, but the fitness effect is weaker than the effect of genetic drift. However, X-linked nonsynonymous substitutions are approximately 30% more frequent than autosomal ones, suggesting the fixation of advantageous mutations that are recessive.
Project description:Surveying genome-wide coding variation within and among species gives unprecedented power to study the genetics of adaptation, in particular the proportion of amino acid substitutions fixed by positive selection. Additionally, contrasting the autosomes and the X chromosome holds information on the dominance of beneficial (adaptive) and deleterious mutations. Here we capture and sequence the complete exomes of 12 chimpanzees and present the largest set of protein-coding polymorphism to date. We report extensive adaptive evolution specifically targeting the X chromosome of chimpanzees with as much as 30% of all amino acid replacements being adaptive. Adaptive evolution is barely detectable on the autosomes except for a few striking cases of recent selective sweeps associated with immunity gene clusters. We also find much stronger purifying selection than observed in humans, and in contrast to humans, we find that purifying selection is stronger on the X chromosome than on the autosomes in chimpanzees. We therefore conclude that most adaptive mutations are recessive. We also document dramatically reduced synonymous diversity in the chimpanzee X chromosome relative to autosomes and stronger purifying selection than for the human X chromosome. If similar processes were operating in the human-chimpanzee ancestor as in central chimpanzees today, our results therefore provide an explanation for the much-discussed reduction in the human-chimpanzee divergence at the X chromosome.
Project description:A faster rate of adaptive evolution of X-linked genes compared with autosomal genes may be caused by the fixation of new recessive or partially recessive advantageous mutations (the Faster-X effect). This effect is expected to be largest for mutations that affect only male fitness and absent for mutations that affect only female fitness. We tested these predictions in Drosophila melanogaster by using genes with different levels of sex-biased expression and by estimating the extent of adaptive evolution of non-synonymous mutations from polymorphism and divergence data. We detected both a Faster-X effect and an effect of male-biased gene expression. There was no evidence for a strong association between the two effects--modest levels of male-biased gene expression increased the rate of adaptive evolution on both the autosomes and the X chromosome, but a Faster-X effect occurred for both unbiased genes and female-biased genes. The rate of genetic recombination did not influence the magnitude of the Faster-X effect, ruling out the possibility that it reflects less Hill-Robertson interference for X-linked genes.
Project description: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:Sex chromosomes can evolve gene contents that differ from the rest of the genome, as well as larger sex differences in gene expression compared with autosomes. This probably occurs because fully sex-linked beneficial mutations substitute at different rates from autosomal ones, especially when fitness effects are sexually antagonistic (SA). The evolutionary properties of genes located in the recombining pseudoautosomal region (PAR) of a sex chromosome have not previously been modeled in detail. Such PAR genes differ from classical sex-linked genes by having two alleles at a locus in both sexes; in contrast to autosomal genes, however, variants can become associated with gender. The evolutionary fates of PAR genes may therefore differ from those of either autosomal or fully sex-linked genes. Here, we model their evolutionary dynamics by deriving expressions for the selective advantages of PAR gene mutations under different conditions. We show that, unless selection is very strong, the probability of invasion of a population by an SA mutation is usually similar to that of an autosomal mutation, unless there is close linkage to the sex-determining region. Most PAR genes should thus evolve similarly to autosomal rather than sex-linked genes, unless recombination is very rare in the PAR.
Project description:After a brief review of the most recent findings in the study of human evolution, an extensive comparison of the complete genomes of our nearest relative, the chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes), of extant Homo sapiens, archaic Homo neanderthalensis and the Denisova specimen were made. The focus was on non-synonymous mutations, which consequently had an impact on protein levels and these changes were classified according to degree of effect. A total of 10,447 non-synonymous substitutions were found in which the derived allele is fixed or nearly fixed in humans as compared to chimpanzee. Their most frequent location was on chromosome 21. Their presence was then searched in the two archaic genomes. Mutations in 381 genes would imply radical amino acid changes, with a fraction of these related to olfaction and other important physiological processes. Eight new alleles were identified in the Neanderthal and/or Denisova genetic pools. Four others, possibly affecting cognition, occured both in the sapiens and two other archaic genomes. The selective sweep that gave rise to Homo sapiens could, therefore, have initiated before the modern/archaic human divergence.
Project description:Many previous estimates of the mutation rate in humans have relied on screens of visible mutants. We investigated the rate and pattern of mutations at the nucleotide level by comparing pseudogenes in humans and chimpanzees to (i) provide an estimate of the average mutation rate per nucleotide, (ii) assess heterogeneity of mutation rate at different sites and for different types of mutations, (iii) test the hypothesis that the X chromosome has a lower mutation rate than autosomes, and (iv) estimate the deleterious mutation rate. Eighteen processed pseudogenes were sequenced, including 12 on autosomes and 6 on the X chromosome. The average mutation rate was estimated to be approximately 2.5 x 10(-8) mutations per nucleotide site or 175 mutations per diploid genome per generation. Rates of mutation for both transitions and transversions at CpG dinucleotides are one order of magnitude higher than mutation rates at other sites. Single nucleotide substitutions are 10 times more frequent than length mutations. Comparison of rates of evolution for X-linked and autosomal pseudogenes suggests that the male mutation rate is 4 times the female mutation rate, but provides no evidence for a reduction in mutation rate that is specific to the X chromosome. Using conservative calculations of the proportion of the genome subject to purifying selection, we estimate that the genomic deleterious mutation rate (U) is at least 3. This high rate is difficult to reconcile with multiplicative fitness effects of individual mutations and suggests that synergistic epistasis among harmful mutations may be common.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Single nucleotide substitutions in protein-coding genes can be divided into synonymous (S), with little fitness effect, and non-synonymous (N) ones that alter amino acids and thus generally have a greater effect. Most of the N substitutions are affected by purifying selection that eliminates them from evolving populations. However, additional mutations of nearby bases potentially could alleviate the deleterious effect of single substitutions, making them subject to positive selection. To elucidate the effects of selection on double substitutions in all codons, it is critical to differentiate selection from mutational biases.<h4>Results</h4>We addressed the evolutionary regimes of within-codon double substitutions in 37 groups of closely related prokaryotic genomes from diverse phyla by comparing the fractions of double substitutions within codons to those of the equivalent double S substitutions in adjacent codons. Under the assumption that substitutions occur one at a time, all within-codon double substitutions can be represented as "ancestral-intermediate-final" sequences (where "intermediate" refers to the first single substitution and "final" refers to the second substitution) and can be partitioned into four classes: (1) SS, S intermediate-S final; (2) SN, S intermediate-N final; (3) NS, N intermediate-S final; and (4) NN, N intermediate-N final. We found that the selective pressure on the second substitution markedly differs among these classes of double substitutions. Analogous to single S (synonymous) substitutions, SS double substitutions evolve neutrally, whereas analogous to single N (non-synonymous) substitutions, SN double substitutions are subject to purifying selection. In contrast, NS show positive selection on the second step because the original amino acid is recovered. The NN double substitutions are heterogeneous and can be subject to either purifying or positive selection, or evolve neutrally, depending on the amino acid similarity between the final or intermediate and the ancestral states.<h4>Conclusions</h4>The results of the present, comprehensive analysis of the evolutionary landscape of within-codon double substitutions reaffirm the largely conservative regime of protein evolution. However, the second step of a double substitution can be subject to positive selection when the first step is deleterious. Such positive selection can result in frequent crossing of valleys on the fitness landscape.
Project description:The faster evolution of X chromosomes has been documented in several species, and results from the increased efficiency of selection on recessive alleles in hemizygous males and/or from increased drift due to the smaller effective population size of X chromosomes. Aphids are excellent models for evaluating the importance of selection in faster-X evolution because their peculiar life cycle and unusual inheritance of sex chromosomes should generally lead to equivalent effective population sizes for X and autosomes. Because we lack a high-density genetic map for the pea aphid, whose complete genome has been sequenced, we first assigned its entire genome to the X or autosomes based on ratios of sequencing depth in males (X0) to females (XX). Then, we computed nonsynonymous to synonymous substitutions ratios (dN/dS) for the pea aphid gene set and found faster evolution of X-linked genes. Our analyses of substitution rates, together with polymorphism and expression data, showed that relaxed selection is likely to be the greatest contributor to faster-X because a large fraction of X-linked genes are expressed at low rates and thus escape selection. Yet, a minor role for positive selection is also suggested by the difference between substitution rates for X and autosomes for male-biased genes (but not for asexual female-biased genes) and by lower Tajima's D for X-linked compared with autosomal genes with highly male-biased expression patterns. This study highlights the relevance of organisms displaying alternative chromosomal inheritance to the understanding of forces shaping genome evolution.
Project description:The causes of the large effect of the X chromosome in reproductive isolation and speciation have long been debated. The faster-X hypothesis predicts that X-linked loci are expected to have higher rates of adaptive evolution than autosomal loci if new beneficial mutations are on average recessive. Reproductive isolation should therefore evolve faster when contributing loci are located on the X chromosome. In this study, we have analyzed genome-wide nucleotide polymorphism data from the house mouse subspecies Mus musculus castaneus and nucleotide divergence from Mus famulus and Rattus norvegicus to compare rates of adaptive evolution for autosomal and X-linked protein-coding genes. We found significantly faster adaptive evolution for X-linked loci, particularly for genes with expression in male-specific tissues, but autosomal and X-linked genes with expression in female-specific tissues evolve at similar rates. We also estimated rates of adaptive evolution for genes expressed during spermatogenesis and found that X-linked genes that escape meiotic sex chromosome inactivation (MSCI) show rapid adaptive evolution. Our results suggest that faster-X adaptive evolution is either due to net recessivity of new advantageous mutations or due to a special gene content of the X chromosome, which regulates male function and spermatogenesis. We discuss how our results help to explain the large effect of the X chromosome in speciation.
Project description:The higher rate of non-synonymous over synonymous substitutions (dN/dS) of the X chromosome compared with autosomes is often interpreted as a consequence of X hemizygosity. However, other factors, such as gene expression, are also known to vary between X and autosomes. Analysing 4800 orthologues in six mammals, we found that gene expression levels, associated with GC content, fully account for the variation in dN/dS between X and autosomes with no detectable effect of hemizygosity. We also report an extensive variance in dN/dS and gene expression between autosomes.