New hybrid species might be expected to show patterns of gene expression intermediate to those shown by parental species ( 1, 2 ). “Transcriptomic shock” may also occur, in which gene expression is disrupted; this may be further modified by whole genome duplication (causing allopolyploidy) ( 3–16 ). “Shock” can include instantaneous partitioning of gene expression between parental copies of genes among tissues ( 16–19 ). These effects have not previously been studied at a population level in a natural allopolyploid plant species. Here, we survey tissue-specific expression of 144 duplicated gene pairs derived from different parental species (homeologs) in two natural populations of 40-generation-old allotetraploid Tragopogon miscellus (Asteraceae) plants. We compare these results with patterns of allelic expression in both in vitro “hybrids” and hand-crossed F 1 hybrids between the parental diploids T. dubius and T. pratensis , and with patterns of homeolog expression in synthetic (S 1 ) allotetraploids. Partitioning of expression was frequent in natural allopolyploids, but F 1 hybrids and S 1 allopolyploids showed less partitioning of expression than the natural allopolyploids and the in vitro “hybrids” of diploid parents. Our results suggest that regulation of gene expression is relaxed in a concerted manner upon hybridization, and new patterns of partitioned expression subsequently emerge over the generations following allopolyploidization.
Current Biology – Elsevier
Published: Apr 12, 2011
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