The predictability of evolution is debatable, with recent evidence suggesting that outcomes may be constrained by gene interaction networks ( 1 ). Whole-genome duplication (WGD; polyploidization—ubiquitous in plant evolution ( 2 )) provides the opportunity to evaluate the predictability of genome reduction, a pervasive feature of evolution ( 3, 4 ). Repeated patterns of genome reduction appear to have occurred via duplicated gene (homeolog) loss in divergent species following ancient WGD ( 5–9 ), with evidence for preferential retention of duplicates in certain gene classes ( 8–10 ). The speed at which these patterns arise is unknown. We examined presence/absence of 70 homeologous loci in 59 Tragopogon miscellus plants from five natural populations of independent origin; this allotetraploid arose ∼80 years ago via hybridization between diploid parents and WGD ( 11 ). Genes were repeatedly retained or lost in clusters, and the gene ontology categories of the missing genes correspond to those lost after ancient WGD in the same family (Asteraceae; sunflower family) ( 6 ) and with gene dosage sensitivity ( 8 ). These results provide evidence that the outcomes of WGD are predictable, even in 40 generations, perhaps due to the connectivity of gene products ( 8, 10, 12 ). The high frequency of single-allele losses detected and low frequency of changes fixed within populations provide evidence for ongoing evolution.
Current Biology – Elsevier
Published: Feb 7, 2012
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