Rapid Y degeneration and dosage compensation in plant sex chromosomes

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DOI

  • Alexander S T Papadopulos
    Department of Plant Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3RB, United Kingdom.
  • Michael Chester
    Department of Plant Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3RB, United Kingdom.
  • Kate Ridout
    Department of Plant Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3RB, United Kingdom.
  • Dmitry A Filatov
    Department of Plant Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3RB, United Kingdom dmitry.filatov@plants.ox.ac.uk.

The nonrecombining regions of animal Y chromosomes are known to undergo genetic degeneration, but previous work has failed to reveal large-scale gene degeneration on plant Y chromosomes. Here, we uncover rapid and extensive degeneration of Y-linked genes in a plant species, Silene latifolia, that evolved sex chromosomes de novo in the last 10 million years. Previous transcriptome-based studies of this species missed unexpressed, degenerate Y-linked genes. To identify sex-linked genes, regardless of their expression, we sequenced male and female genomes of S. latifolia and integrated the genomic contigs with a high-density genetic map. This revealed that 45% of Y-linked genes are not expressed, and 23% are interrupted by premature stop codons. This contrasts with X-linked genes, in which only 1.3% of genes contained stop codons and 4.3% of genes were not expressed in males. Loss of functional Y-linked genes is partly compensated for by gene-specific up-regulation of X-linked genes. Our results demonstrate that the rate of genetic degeneration of Y-linked genes in S. latifolia is as fast as in animals, and that the evolutionary trajectories of sex chromosomes are similar in the two kingdoms.

Keywords

  • Chromosomes, Plant, Dosage Compensation, Genetic, Genetic Linkage, Plants, Sex Chromosomes, Silene, Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13021-6
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume112
Issue number42
Early online date5 Oct 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2015
Externally publishedYes
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