Sex chromosomes have evolved from a pair of homologous autosomes which differentiated into sex determination systems, such as XY or ZW system, as a consequence of successive recombination suppression between the gametologous chromosomes. Identifying the regions of recombination suppression, namely, the “evolutionary strata”, is central to understanding the history and dynamics of sex chromosome evolution. Evolution of sex chromosomes as a consequence of serial recombination suppressions is well-studied for mammals and birds, but not for plants, although 48 dioecious plants have already been reported. Only two plants Silene latifolia and papaya have been studied until now for the presence of evolutionary strata on their X chromosomes, made possible by the sequencing of sex-linked genes on both the X and Y chromosomes, which is a requirement of all current methods that determine stratum structure based on the comparison of gametologous sex chromosomes. To circumvent this limitation and detect strata even if only the sequence of sex chromosome in the homogametic sex (i.e. X or Z chromosome) is available, we have developed an integrated segmentation and clustering method. In application to gene sequences on the papaya X chromosome and protein-coding sequences on the S. latifolia X chromosome, our method could decipher all known evolutionary strata, as reported by previous studies. Our method, after validating on known strata on the papaya and S. latifolia X chromosome, was applied to the chromosome 19 of Populus trichocarpa, an incipient sex chromosome, deciphering two, yet unknown, evolutionary strata. In addition, we applied this approach to the recently sequenced sex chromosome V of the brown alga Ectocarpus sp. that has a haploid sex determination system (UV system) recovering the sex determining and pseudoautosomal regions, and then to the mating-type chromosomes of an anther-smut fungus Microbotryum lychnidis-dioicae predicting five strata in the non-recombining region of both the chromosomes.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 22, 2015
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