The molecular characterization of fixed inversions breakpoints unveils the ancestral character of the Drosophila guanche chromosomal arrangements.
ABSTRACT: Cytological studies revealed that the number of chromosomes and their organization varies across species. The increasing availability of whole genome sequences of multiple species across specific phylogenies has confirmed and greatly extended these cytological observations. In the Drosophila genus, the ancestral karyotype consists of five rod-like acrocentric chromosomes (Muller elements A to E) and one dot-like chromosome (element F), each exhibiting a generally conserved gene content. Chromosomal fusions and paracentric inversions are thus the major contributors, respectively, to chromosome number variation among species and to gene order variation within chromosomal element. The subobscura cluster of Drosophila consists in three species that retain the genus ancestral karyotype and differ by a reduced number of fixed inversions. Here, we have used cytological information and the D. guanche genome sequence to identify and molecularly characterize the breakpoints of inversions that became fixed since the D. guanche-D. subobscura split. Our results have led us to propose a modified version of the D. guanche cytological map of its X chromosome, and to establish that (i) most inversions became fixed in the D. subobscura lineage and (ii) the order in which the four X chromosome overlapping inversions occurred and became fixed.
Project description:In Drosophila guanche, P-homologous sequences were found to be located in a tandem repetitive array (copy number: 20-50) at a single genomic site. The cytological position on the polytene chromosomes was determined by in situ hybridization (chromosome O: 85C). Sequencing of one complete repeat unit (3.25 kilobases) revealed high sequence similarity between the central coding region comprising exons 0 to 2 and the corresponding section of the Drosophila melanogaster P element. The rest of the sequence has diverged considerably. Exon 3 has no coding function and the inverted repeats have disappeared. The P homologues of D. guanche apparently have lost their mobility but have retained the coding capacity for a protein similar to the 66-kDa P-element repressor of D. melanogaster. Divergence between different repeat units indicates early amplification of the sequence at this particular genomic site. The presence of a common P-element site at 85C in Drosophila subobscura, Drosophila madeirensis, and D. guanche suggests that clustering of the sequence at this location took place before the phylogenetic radiation of the three species.
Project description:Drosophila guanche is a member of the obscura group that originated in the Canary Islands archipelago upon its colonization by D. subobscura. It evolved into a new species in the laurisilva, a laurel forest present in wet regions that in the islands have only minor long-term weather fluctuations. Oceanic island endemic species such as D. guanche can become model species to investigate not only the relative role of drift and adaptation in speciation processes but also how population size affects nucleotide variation. Moreover, the previous identification of two satellite DNAs in D. guanche makes this species attractive for studying how centromeric DNA evolves. As a prerequisite for its establishment as a model species suitable to address all these questions, we generated a high-quality D. guanche genome sequence composed of 42 cytologically mapped scaffolds, which are assembled into six super-scaffolds (one per chromosome). The comparative analysis of the D. guanche proteome with that of twelve other Drosophila species identified 151 genes that were subject to adaptive evolution in the D. guanche lineage, with a subset of them being involved in flight and genome stability. For example, the Centromere Identifier (CID) protein, directly interacting with centromeric satellite DNA, shows signals of adaptation in this species. Both genomic analyses and FISH of the two satellites would support an ongoing replacement of centromeric satellite DNA in D. guanche.
Project description:Species hybridization, and thus the potential for gene flow, was once viewed as reproductive mistake. However, recent analysis based on large datasets and newly developed models suggest that gene exchange is not as rare as originally suspected. To investigate the history and speciation of the closely related species Drosophila subobscura, D. madeirensis, and D. guanche, we obtained polymorphism and divergence data for 26 regions throughout the genome, including the Y chromosome and mitochondrial DNA. We found that the D. subobscura X/autosome ratio of silent nucleotide diversity is significantly smaller than the 0.75 expected under neutrality. This pattern, if held genomewide, may reflect a faster accumulation of beneficial mutations on the X chromosome than on autosomes. We also detected evidence of gene flow in autosomal regions, while sex chromosomes remain distinct. This is consistent with the large X effect on hybrid male sterility seen in this system and the presence of two X chromosome inversions fixed between species. Overall, our data conform to chromosomal speciation models in which rearrangements are proposed to serve as gene flow barriers. Contrary to other observations in Drosophila, the mitochondrial genome appears resilient to gene flow in the presence of nuclear exchange.
Project description:Inversion polymorphism is widespread in the Drosophila genus as well as in other dipteran genera. The presence of polytene chromosomes in some insect organs and, thus, the possibility to observe the different arrangements generated by inversions through a microscope enhanced the cytological study of this structural polymorphism. In several Drosophila species, these studies provided evidence for the adaptive character of this polymorphism, which together with the standing interest to uncover targets of natural selection has led to a renewed interest for inversion polymorphism. Our recent molecular characterization of the breakpoint regions of five inversions of the E chromosome of D. subobscura has allowed us to design a PCR-based strategy to molecularly identify the different chromosomal arrangements and, most importantly, to determine the E chromosome karyotype of medium- and large-sized samples from natural populations. Individuals of a test sample that were both cytologically and molecularly karyotyped were used to establish the strategy that was subsequently applied to karyotype a larger sample. Our strategy has proved to be robust and time efficient, and it lays therefore the groundwork for future studies of the E chromosome structural polymorphism through space and time, and of its putative contribution to adaptation.
Project description:Cytological and molecular studies have revealed that inversion chromosomal polymorphism is widespread across taxa and that inversions are among the most common structural changes fixed between species. Two major mechanisms have been proposed for the origin of inversions considering that breaks occur at either repetitive or non-homologous sequences. While inversions originating through the first mechanism might have a multiple origin, those originating through the latter mechanism would have a unique origin. Variation at regions flanking inversion breakpoints can be informative on the origin and history of inversions given the reduced recombination in heterokaryotypes. Here, we have analyzed nucleotide variation at a fragment flanking the most centromere-proximal shared breakpoint of several sequential overlapping inversions of the E chromosome of Drosophila subobscura -inversions E<sub>1</sub>, E<sub>2</sub>, E<sub>9</sub> and E<sub>3</sub>. The molecular genealogy inferred from variation at this shared fragment does not exhibit the branching pattern expected according to the sequential origin of inversions. The detected discordance between the molecular and cytological genealogies has led us to consider a novel possibility for the origin of an inversion, and more specifically that one of these inversions originated on a heterokaryotype for chromosomal arrangements. Based on this premise, we propose three new models for inversions origin.
Project description:Chromosomal inversions are structural changes that alter gene order but generally not gene content in the affected region. In Drosophila, extensive cytological studies revealed the widespread character of inversion polymorphism, with evidence for its adaptive character. In Drosophila subobscura, polymorphism affects both its four large autosomal elements and its X (A) chromosome. The characterization of eight of these autosomal inversions breakpoints revealed that most of them originated through the staggered-breaks mechanism. Here, we have performed chromosomal walks to identify the breakpoints of two X-chromosome widely distributed inversions -A2 and A1- of D. subobscura. Inversion A2 is considered a warm-adapted arrangement that exhibits parallel latitudinal clines in the species ancestral distribution area and in both American subcontinents, whereas inversion A1 is only present in the Palearctic region where it presents an east-west cline. The duplication detected at the A2 inversion breakpoints is consistent with its origin by the staggered-breaks mechanism. Inversion A1 breakpoints could not be molecularly identified even though they could be narrowly delimited. This result points to chromosome walking limitations when using as a guide the genome of other species. Limitations stem from the rate of evolution by paracentric inversions, which in Drosophila is highest for the X chromosome.
Project description:Chromosomal inversion polymorphism play a major role in the evolutionary dynamics of populations and species because of their effects on the patterns of genetic variability in the genomic regions within inversions. Though there is compelling evidence for the adaptive character of chromosomal polymorphisms, the mechanisms responsible for their maintenance in natural populations is not fully understood. For this type of analysis, Drosophila subobscura is a good model species as it has a rich and extensively studied chromosomal inversion polymorphism system. Here, we examine the patterns of DNA variation in two natural populations segregating for chromosomal arrangements that differentially affect the surveyed genomic region; in particular, we analyse both nucleotide substitutions and insertion/deletion variations in the genomic region encompassing the odorant-binding protein genes Obp83a and Obp83b (Obp83 region). We show that the two main gene arrangements are genetically differentiated, but are consistent with a monophyletic origin of inversions. Nevertheless, these arrangements interchange some genetic information, likely by gene conversion. We also find that the frequency spectrum-based tests indicate that the pattern of nucleotide variation is not at equilibrium; this feature probably reflects the rapid increase in the frequency of the new gene arrangement promoted by positive selection (that is an adaptive change). Furthermore, a comparative analysis of polymorphism and divergence patterns reveals a relaxation of the functional constraints at the Obp83b gene, which might be associated with particular ecological or demographic features of the Canary island endemic species D. guanche.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Drosophila subobscura has long been a central model in evolutionary genetics. Presently, its use is hindered by the lack of a reference genome. To bridge this gap, here we used PacBio long-read technology, together with the available wealth of genetic marker information, to assemble and annotate a high-quality nuclear and complete mitochondrial genome for the species. With the obtained assembly, we performed the first synteny analysis of genome structure evolution in the subobscura subgroup.<h4>Results</h4>We generated a highly-contiguous ~ 129 Mb-long nuclear genome, consisting of six pseudochromosomes corresponding to the six chromosomes of a female haploid set, and a complete 15,764 bp-long mitogenome, and provide an account of their numbers and distributions of codifying and repetitive content. All 12 identified paracentric inversion differences in the subobscura subgroup would have originated by chromosomal breakage and repair, with some associated duplications, but no evidence of direct gene disruptions by the breakpoints. Between lineages, inversion fixation rates were 10 times higher in continental D. subobscura than in the two small oceanic-island endemics D. guanche and D. madeirensis. Within D. subobscura, we found contrasting ratios of chromosomal divergence to polymorphism between the A sex chromosome and the autosomes.<h4>Conclusions</h4>We present the first high-quality, long-read sequencing of a D. subobscura genome. Our findings generally support genome structure evolution in this species being driven indirectly, through the inversions' recombination-suppression effects in maintaining sets of adaptive alleles together in the face of gene flow. The resources developed will serve to further establish the subobscura subgroup as model for comparative genomics and evolutionary indicator of global change.
Project description:Genome sequence comparison across the Drosophila genus revealed that some fixed inversion breakpoints had been multiply reused at this long timescale. Cytological studies of Drosophila inversion polymorphism had previously shown that, also at this shorter timescale, some breakpoints had been multiply reused. The paucity of molecularly characterized polymorphic inversion breakpoints has so far precluded contrasting whether cytologically shared breakpoints of these relatively young inversions are actually reused at the molecular level. The E chromosome of Drosophila subobscura stands out because it presents several inversion complexes. This is the case of the E1+2+9+3 arrangement that originated from the ancestral Est arrangement through the sequential accumulation of four inversions (E1, E2, E9 and E3) sharing some breakpoints. We recently identified the breakpoints of inversions E1 and E2, which allowed establishing reuse at the molecular level of the cytologically shared breakpoint of these inversions. Here, we identified and sequenced the breakpoints of inversions E9 and E3, because they share breakpoints at sections 58D and 64C with those of inversions E1 and E2. This has allowed establishing that E9 and E3 originated through the staggered-break mechanism. Most importantly, sequence comparison has revealed the multiple reuse at the molecular level of the proximal breakpoint (section 58D), which would have been used at least by inversions E2, E9 and E3. In contrast, the distal breakpoint (section 64C) might have been only reused once by inversions E1 and E2, because the distal E3 breakpoint is displaced >70 kb from the other breakpoint limits.
Project description:The region encompassing the RpII215 gene that encodes the largest component of the RNA polymerase II complex (1889 amino acids) has been sequenced in Drosophila subobscura, D. madeirensis, D. guanche, and D. pseudoobscura. Nonsynonymous divergence estimates (Ka) indicate that this gene has a very low rate of amino acid replacements. Given its low Ka and constitutive expression, synonymous substitution rates are, however, unexpectedly high. Sequence comparisons have allowed the molecular clock hypothesis to be tested. D. guanche is an insular species and it is therefore expected to have a reduced effective size relative to D. subobscura. The significantly higher rate of synonymous substitutions detected in the D. guanche lineage could be explained if synonymous mutations behave as nearly neutral. Significant departure from the molecular clock hypothesis for synonymous and nonsynonymous substitutions was detected when comparing the D. subobscura, D. pseudoobscura, and D. melanogaster lineages. Codon bias and synonymous divergence between D. subobscura and D. melanogaster were negatively correlated across the RpII215 coding region, which indicates that selection coefficients for synonymous mutations vary across the gene. The C-terminal domain (CTD) of the RpII215 protein is structurally and functionally differentiated from the rest of the protein. Synonymous substitution rates were significantly different in both regions, which strongly indicates that synonymous mutations in the CTD and in the non-CTD regions are under detectably different selection coefficients.