Robustness of Transposable Element Regulation but No Genomic Shock Observed in Interspecific Arabidopsis Hybrids.
ABSTRACT: The merging of two divergent genomes in a hybrid is believed to trigger a "genomic shock", disrupting gene regulation and transposable element (TE) silencing. Here, we tested this expectation by comparing the pattern of expression of transposable elements in their native and hybrid genomic context. For this, we sequenced the transcriptome of the Arabidopsis thaliana genotype Col-0, the A. lyrata genotype MN47 and their F1 hybrid. Contrary to expectations, we observe that the level of TE expression in the hybrid is strongly correlated to levels in the parental species. We detect that at most 1.1% of expressed transposable elements belonging to two specific subfamilies change their expression level upon hybridization. Most of these changes, however, are of small magnitude. We observe that the few hybrid-specific modifications in TE expression are more likely to occur when TE insertions are close to genes. In addition, changes in epigenetic histone marks H3K9me2 and H3K27me3 following hybridization do not coincide with TEs with changed expression. Finally, we further examined TE expression in parents and hybrids exposed to severe dehydration stress. Despite the major reorganization of gene and TE expression by stress, we observe that hybridization does not lead to increased disorganization of TE expression in the hybrid. Although our study did not examine TE transposition activity in hybrids, the examination of the transcriptome shows that TE expression is globally robust to hybridization. The term "genomic shock" is perhaps not appropriate to describe transcriptional modification in a viable hybrid merging divergent genomes.
Project description:Transposable elements (TEs) are mobile genetic elements that can profoundly impact the evolution of genomes and species. A long-standing hypothesis suggests that hybridization could deregulate TEs and trigger their accumulation, although it received mixed support from studies mostly in plants and animals. Here, we tested this hypothesis in fungi using incipient species of the undomesticated yeast <i>Saccharomyces paradoxus</i>. Population genomic data revealed no signature of higher transposition in natural hybrids. As we could not rule out the elimination of past transposition increase signatures by natural selection, we performed a laboratory evolution experiment on a panel of artificial hybrids to measure TE accumulation in the near absence of selection. Changes in TE copy numbers were not predicted by the level of evolutionary divergence between the parents of a hybrid genotype. Rather, they were highly dependent on the individual hybrid genotypes, showing that strong genotype-specific deterministic factors govern TE accumulation in yeast hybrids.
Project description:Interspecific hybridization is a genomic stress condition that leads to the activation of transposable elements (TEs) in both animals and plants. In hybrids between Drosophila buzzatii and Drosophila koepferae, mobilization of at least 28 TEs has been described. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying this TE release remain poorly understood. To give insight on the causes of this TE activation, we performed a TE transcriptomic analysis in ovaries (notorious for playing a major role in TE silencing) of parental species and their F1 and backcrossed (BC) hybrids. We find that 15.2% and 10.6% of the expressed TEs are deregulated in F1 and BC1 ovaries, respectively, with a bias toward overexpression in both cases. Although differences between parental piRNA (Piwi-interacting RNA) populations explain only partially these results, we demonstrate that piRNA pathway proteins have divergent sequences and are differentially expressed between parental species. Thus, a functional divergence of the piRNA pathway between parental species, together with some differences between their piRNA pools, might be at the origin of hybrid instabilities and ultimately cause TE misregulation in ovaries. These analyses were complemented with the study of F1 testes, where TEs tend to be less expressed than in D. buzzatii. This can be explained by an increase in piRNA production, which probably acts as a defence mechanism against TE instability in the male germline. Hence, we describe a differential impact of interspecific hybridization in testes and ovaries, which reveals that TE expression and regulation are sex-biased.
Project description:Interspecific hybridization leads to new interactions among divergent genomes, revealing the nature of genetic incompatibilities having accumulated during and after the origin of species. Conflicts associated with misregulation of transposable elements (TEs) in hybrids expectedly result in their activation and genome-wide changes that may be key to species boundaries. Repetitive genomes of wild wheats have diverged under differential dynamics of specific long terminal repeat retrotransposons (LTR-RTs), offering unparalleled opportunities to address the underpinnings of plant genome reorganization by selfish sequences. Using reciprocal F1 hybrids between three Aegilops species, restructuring and epigenetic repatterning was assessed at random and LTR-RT sequences with amplified fragment length polymorphism and sequence-specific amplified polymorphisms as well as their methylation-sensitive counterparts, respectively. Asymmetrical reorganization of LTR-RT families predicted to cause conflicting interactions matched differential survival of F1 hybrids. Consistent with the genome shock model, increasing divergence of merged LTR-RTs yielded higher levels of changes in corresponding genome fractions and lead to repeated reorganization of LTR-RT sequences in F1 hybrids. Such non-random reorganization of hybrid genomes is coherent with the necessary repression of incompatible TE loci in support of hybrid viability and indicates that TE-driven genomic conflicts may represent an overlooked factor supporting reproductive isolation.
Project description:Almost all eukaryotes have transposable elements (TEs) against which they have developed defense mechanisms. In the Drosophila germline, the main transposable element (TE) regulation pathway is mediated by specific Piwi-interacting small RNAs (piRNAs). Nonetheless, for unknown reasons, TEs sometimes escape cellular control during interspecific hybridization processes. Because the piRNA pathway genes are involved in piRNA biogenesis and TE control, we sequenced and characterized nine key genes from this pathway in Drosophila buzzatii and Drosophila koepferae species and studied their expression pattern in ovaries of both species and their F1 hybrids. We found that gene structure is, in general, maintained between both species and that two genes-armitage and aubergine-are under positive selection. Three genes-krimper, methyltransferase 2, and zucchini-displayed higher expression values in hybrids than both parental species, while others had RNA levels similar to the parental species with the highest expression. This suggests that the overexpression of some piRNA pathway genes can be a primary response to hybrid stress. Therefore, these results reinforce the hypothesis that TE deregulation may be due to the protein incompatibility caused by the rapid evolution of these genes, leading to a TE silencing failure, rather than to an underexpression of piRNA pathway genes.
Project description:Transposable elements (TEs), repeated mobile sequences, are ubiquitous in the eukaryotic kingdom. Their mobilizing capacity confers on them a high mutagenic potential, which must be strongly regulated to guarantee genome stability. In the Drosophila germline, a small RNA-mediated silencing system, the piRNA (Piwi-interacting RNA) pathway, is the main responsible TE regulating mechanism, but some stressful conditions can destabilize it. For instance, during interspecific hybridization, genomic stress caused by the shock of two different genomes can lead, in both animals and plants, to higher transposition rates. A recent study in D. buzatii-D. koepferae hybrids detected mobilization of 28 TEs, yet little is known about the molecular mechanisms explaining this transposition release. We have characterized one of the mobilized TEs, the retrotransposon Helena, and used quantitative expression to assess whether its high transposition rates in hybrids are preceded by increased expression. We have also localized Helena expression in the gonads to see if cellular expression patterns have changed in the hybrids. To give more insight into changes in TE regulation in hybrids, we analysed Helena-specific piRNA populations of hybrids and parental species. Helena expression is not globally altered in somatic tissues, but male and female gonads have different patterns of deregulation. In testes, Helena is repressed in F1, increasing then its expression up to parental values. This is linked with a mislocation of Helena transcripts along with an increase of their specific piRNA levels. Ovaries have additive levels of Helena expression, but the ping-pong cycle efficiency seems to be reduced in F1 hybrids. This could be at the origin of new Helena insertions in hybrids, which would be transmitted to F1 hybrid female progeny.
Project description:Transposable Elements (TEs) are mobile elements that contribute the majority of DNA sequences in the maize genome. Due to their repetitive nature, genomic studies of TEs are complicated by the difficulty of properly attributing multi-mapped short reads to specific genomic loci. Here, we utilize a method to attribute RNA-seq reads to TE families rather than particular loci in order to characterize transcript abundance for TE families in the maize genome. We applied this method to assess per-family expression of transposable elements in >800 published RNA-seq libraries representing a range of maize development, genotypes, and hybrids. While a relatively small proportion of TE families are transcribed, expression is highly dynamic with most families exhibiting tissue-specific expression. A large number of TE families were specifically detected in pollen and endosperm, consistent with reproductive dynamics that maintain silencing of TEs in the germ line. We find that B73 transcript abundance is a poor predictor of TE expression in other genotypes and that transcript levels can differ even for shared TEs. Finally, by assessing recombinant inbred line and hybrid transcriptomes, complex patterns of TE transcript abundance across genotypes emerged. Taken together, this study reveals a dynamic contribution of TEs to maize transcriptomes.
Project description:Interspecific hybridization may lead to sterility and/or inviability through differential expression of genes and transposable elements (TEs). In <i>Drosophila</i>, studies have reported massive TE mobilization in hybrids from interspecific crosses of species presenting high divergence times. However, few studies have examined the consequences of TE mobilization upon hybridization in recently diverged species, such as <i>Drosophila arizonae</i> and <i>D. mojavensis.</i> We have sequenced transcriptomes of <i>D. arizonae</i> and the subspecies <i>D. m. wrigleyi</i> and their reciprocal hybrids, as well as piRNAs, to analyze the impact of genomic stress on TE regulation. Our results revealed that the differential expression in both gonadal tissues of parental species was similar. Globally, ovaries and testes showed few deregulated TEs compared with both parental lines. Analyses of small RNA data showed that in ovaries, the TE upregulation is likely due to divergence of copies inherited from parental genomes and lack of piRNAs mapping to them. Nevertheless, in testes, the divergent expression of genes associated with chromatin state and piRNA pathway potentially indicates that TE differential expression is related to the divergence of regulatory genes that play a role in modulating transcriptional and post-transcriptional mechanisms.
Project description:Crosses between close species can lead to genomic disorders, often considered to be the cause of hybrid incompatibility, one of the initial steps in the speciation process. How these incompatibilities are established and what are their causes remain unclear. To understand the initiation of hybrid incompatibility, we performed reciprocal crosses between two species of Drosophila (D. mojavensis and D. arizonae) that diverged less than 1 Mya. We performed a genome-wide transcriptomic analysis on ovaries from parental lines and on hybrids from reciprocal crosses. Using an innovative procedure of co-assembling transcriptomes, we show that parental lines differ in the expression of their genes and transposable elements. Reciprocal hybrids presented specific gene categories and few transposable element families misexpressed relative to the parental lines. Because TEs are mainly silenced by piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs), we hypothesize that in hybrids the deregulation of specific TE families is due to the absence of such small RNAs. Small RNA sequencing confirmed our hypothesis and we therefore propose that TEs can indeed be major players of genome differentiation and be implicated in the first steps of genomic incompatibilities through small RNA regulation.
Project description:Hybridization is thought to play an important role in plant evolution by introducing novel genetic combinations and promoting genome restructuring. However, surprisingly little is known about the impact of hybridization on transposable element (TE) proliferation and the genomic response to TE activity. In this paper, we first review the mechanisms by which homoploid hybrid species may arise in nature. We then present hybrid sunflowers as a case study to examine transcriptional activity of long terminal repeat retrotransposons in the annual sunflowers Helianthus annuus, Helianthus petiolaris and their homoploid hybrid derivatives (H. paradoxus, H. anomalus and H. deserticola) using high-throughput transcriptome sequencing technologies (RNAseq). Sampling homoploid hybrid sunflower taxa revealed abundant variation in TE transcript accumulation. In addition, genetic diversity for several candidate genes hypothesized to regulate TE activity was characterized. Specifically, we highlight one candidate chromatin remodelling factor gene with a direct role in repressing TE activity in a hybrid species. This paper shows that TE amplification in hybrid lineages is more idiosyncratic than previously believed and provides a first step towards identifying the mechanisms responsible for regulating and repressing TE expansions.
Project description:Speciation via interspecific or intergeneric hybridization and polyploidization triggers genomic responses involving genetic and epigenetic alterations. Such modifications may be induced by small RNAs, which affect key cellular processes, including gene expression, chromatin structure, cytosine methylation and transposable element (TE) activity. To date, the role of small RNAs in the context of wide hybridization and polyploidization has received little attention. In this work, we performed high-throughput sequencing of small RNAs of parental, intergeneric hybrid, and allopolyploid plants that mimic the genomic changes occurring during bread wheat speciation. We found that the percentage of small RNAs corresponding to miRNAs increased with ploidy level, while the percentage of siRNAs corresponding to TEs decreased. The abundance of most miRNA species was similar to midparent values in the hybrid, with some deviations, as seen in overrepresentation of miR168, in the allopolyploid. In contrast, the number of siRNAs corresponding to TEs strongly decreased upon allopolyploidization, but not upon hybridization. The reduction in corresponding siRNAs, together with decreased CpG methylation, as shown here for the Veju element, represent hallmarks of TE activation. TE-siRNA downregulation in the allopolyploid may contribute to genome destabilization at the initial stages of speciation. This phenomenon is reminiscent of hybrid dysgenesis in Drosophila.