skip to main content

This content will become publicly available on December 1, 2024

Title: Genomics of cold adaptations in the Antarctic notothenioid fish radiation
Abstract Numerous novel adaptations characterise the radiation of notothenioids, the dominant fish group in the freezing seas of the Southern Ocean. To improve understanding of the evolution of this iconic fish group, here we generate and analyse new genome assemblies for 24 species covering all major subgroups of the radiation, including five long-read assemblies. We present a new estimate for the onset of the radiation at 10.7 million years ago, based on a time-calibrated phylogeny derived from genome-wide sequence data. We identify a two-fold variation in genome size, driven by expansion of multiple transposable element families, and use the long-read data to reconstruct two evolutionarily important, highly repetitive gene family loci. First, we present the most complete reconstruction to date of the antifreeze glycoprotein gene family, whose emergence enabled survival in sub-zero temperatures, showing the expansion of the antifreeze gene locus from the ancestral to the derived state. Second, we trace the loss of haemoglobin genes in icefishes, the only vertebrates lacking functional haemoglobins, through complete reconstruction of the two haemoglobin gene clusters across notothenioid families. Both the haemoglobin and antifreeze genomic loci are characterised by multiple transposon expansions that may have driven the evolutionary history of these genes.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; more » ; « less
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract

    Long‐read sequencing is driving a new reality for genome science in which highly contiguous assemblies can be produced efficiently with modest resources. Genome assemblies from long‐read sequences are particularly exciting for understanding the evolution of complex genomic regions that are often difficult to assemble. In this study, we utilized long‐read sequencing data to generate a high‐quality genome assembly for an Antarctic eelpout,Ophthalmolycus amberensis, the first for the globally distributed family Zoarcidae. We used this assembly to understand howO. amberensishas adapted to the harsh Southern Ocean and compared it to another group of Antarctic fishes: the notothenioids. We showed that selection has largely acted on different targets in eelpouts relative to notothenioids. However, we did find some overlap; in both groups, genes involved in membrane structure, thermal tolerance and vision have evidence of positive selection. We found evidence for historical shifts of transposable element activity inO. amberensisand other polar fishes, perhaps reflecting a response to environmental change. We were specifically interested in the evolution of two complex genomic loci known to underlie key adaptations to polar seas: haemoglobin and antifreeze proteins (AFPs). We observed unique evolution of the haemoglobin MN cluster in eelpouts and related fishes in the suborder Zoarcoidei relative to other Perciformes. For AFPs, we identified the first species in the suborder with no evidence ofafpIIIsequences (Cebidichthys violaceus) in the genomic region where they are found in all other Zoarcoidei, potentially reflecting a lineage‐specific loss of this cluster. Beyond polar fishes, our results highlight the power of long‐read sequencing to understand genome evolution.

    more » « less
  2. INTRODUCTION Transposable elements (TEs), repeat expansions, and repeat-mediated structural rearrangements play key roles in chromosome structure and species evolution, contribute to human genetic variation, and substantially influence human health through copy number variants, structural variants, insertions, deletions, and alterations to gene transcription and splicing. Despite their formative role in genome stability, repetitive regions have been relegated to gaps and collapsed regions in human genome reference GRCh38 owing to the technological limitations during its development. The lack of linear sequence in these regions, particularly in centromeres, resulted in the inability to fully explore the repeat content of the human genome in the context of both local and regional chromosomal environments. RATIONALE Long-read sequencing supported the complete, telomere-to-telomere (T2T) assembly of the pseudo-haploid human cell line CHM13. This resource affords a genome-scale assessment of all human repetitive sequences, including TEs and previously unknown repeats and satellites, both within and outside of gaps and collapsed regions. Additionally, a complete genome enables the opportunity to explore the epigenetic and transcriptional profiles of these elements that are fundamental to our understanding of chromosome structure, function, and evolution. Comparative analyses reveal modes of repeat divergence, evolution, and expansion or contraction with locus-level resolution. RESULTS We implemented a comprehensive repeat annotation workflow using previously known human repeats and de novo repeat modeling followed by manual curation, including assessing overlaps with gene annotations, segmental duplications, tandem repeats, and annotated repeats. Using this method, we developed an updated catalog of human repetitive sequences and refined previous repeat annotations. We discovered 43 previously unknown repeats and repeat variants and characterized 19 complex, composite repetitive structures, which often carry genes, across T2T-CHM13. Using precision nuclear run-on sequencing (PRO-seq) and CpG methylated sites generated from Oxford Nanopore Technologies long-read sequencing data, we assessed RNA polymerase engagement across retroelements genome-wide, revealing correlations between nascent transcription, sequence divergence, CpG density, and methylation. These analyses were extended to evaluate RNA polymerase occupancy for all repeats, including high-density satellite repeats that reside in previously inaccessible centromeric regions of all human chromosomes. Moreover, using both mapping-dependent and mapping-independent approaches across early developmental stages and a complete cell cycle time series, we found that engaged RNA polymerase across satellites is low; in contrast, TE transcription is abundant and serves as a boundary for changes in CpG methylation and centromere substructure. Together, these data reveal the dynamic relationship between transcriptionally active retroelement subclasses and DNA methylation, as well as potential mechanisms for the derivation and evolution of new repeat families and composite elements. Focusing on the emerging T2T-level assembly of the HG002 X chromosome, we reveal that a high level of repeat variation likely exists across the human population, including composite element copy numbers that affect gene copy number. Additionally, we highlight the impact of repeats on the structural diversity of the genome, revealing repeat expansions with extreme copy number differences between humans and primates while also providing high-confidence annotations of retroelement transduction events. CONCLUSION The comprehensive repeat annotations and updated repeat models described herein serve as a resource for expanding the compendium of human genome sequences and reveal the impact of specific repeats on the human genome. In developing this resource, we provide a methodological framework for assessing repeat variation within and between human genomes. The exhaustive assessment of the transcriptional landscape of repeats, at both the genome scale and locally, such as within centromeres, sets the stage for functional studies to disentangle the role transcription plays in the mechanisms essential for genome stability and chromosome segregation. Finally, our work demonstrates the need to increase efforts toward achieving T2T-level assemblies for nonhuman primates and other species to fully understand the complexity and impact of repeat-derived genomic innovations that define primate lineages, including humans. Telomere-to-telomere assembly of CHM13 supports repeat annotations and discoveries. The human reference T2T-CHM13 filled gaps and corrected collapsed regions (triangles) in GRCh38. Combining long read–based methylation calls, PRO-seq, and multilevel computational methods, we provide a compendium of human repeats, define retroelement expression and methylation profiles, and delineate locus-specific sites of nascent transcription genome-wide, including previously inaccessible centromeres. SINE, short interspersed element; SVA, SINE–variable number tandem repeat– Alu ; LINE, long interspersed element; LTR, long terminal repeat; TSS, transcription start site; pA, xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. 
    more » « less
  3. Abstract

    Digestion is driven by digestive enzymes and digestive enzyme gene copy number can provide insights on the genomic underpinnings of dietary specialization. The “Adaptive Modulation Hypothesis” (AMH) proposes that digestive enzyme activity, which increases with increased gene copy number, should correlate with substrate quantity in the diet. To test the AMH and reveal some of the genetics of herbivory vs carnivory, we sequenced, assembled, and annotated the genome ofAnoplarchus purpurescens, a carnivorous prickleback fish in the family Stichaeidae, and compared the gene copy number for key digestive enzymes to that ofCebidichthys violaceus, a herbivorous fish from the same family. A highly contiguous genome assembly of high quality (N50 = 10.6 Mb) was produced forA. purpurescens, using combined long-read and short-read technology, with an estimated 33,842 protein-coding genes. The digestive enzymes that we examined include pancreatic α-amylase, carboxyl ester lipase, alanyl aminopeptidase, trypsin, and chymotrypsin.Anoplarchus purpurescenshad fewer copies of pancreatic α-amylase (carbohydrate digestion) thanC. violaceus(1 vs. 3 copies). Moreover, A. purpurescenshad one fewer copy of carboxyl ester lipase (plant lipid digestion) thanC. violaceus(4 vs. 5). We observed an expansion in copy number for several protein digestion genes inA. purpurescenscompared toC. violaceus, including trypsin (5 vs. 3) and total aminopeptidases (6 vs. 5). Collectively, these genomic differences coincide with measured digestive enzyme activities (phenotypes) in the two species and they support the AMH. Moreover, this genomic resource is now available to better understand fish biology and dietary specialization.

    more » « less
  4. Kelley, Joanna (Ed.)

    White-blooded Antarctic icefishes, a family within the adaptive radiation of Antarctic notothenioid fishes, are an example of extreme biological specialization to both the chronic cold of the Southern Ocean and life without hemoglobin. As a result, icefishes display derived physiology that limits them to the cold and highly oxygenated Antarctic waters. Against these constraints, remarkably one species, the pike icefish Champsocephalus esox, successfully colonized temperate South American waters. To study the genetic mechanisms underlying secondarily temperate adaptation in icefishes, we generated chromosome-level genome assemblies of both C. esox and its Antarctic sister species, Champsocephalus gunnari. The C. esox genome is similar in structure and organization to that of its Antarctic congener; however, we observe evidence of chromosomal rearrangements coinciding with regions of elevated genetic divergence in pike icefish populations. We also find several key biological pathways under selection, including genes related to mitochondria and vision, highlighting candidates behind temperate adaptation in C. esox. Substantial antifreeze glycoprotein (AFGP) pseudogenization has occurred in the pike icefish, likely due to relaxed selection following ancestral escape from Antarctica. The canonical AFGP locus organization is conserved in C. esox and C. gunnari, but both show a translocation of two AFGP copies to a separate locus, previously unobserved in cryonotothenioids. Altogether, the study of this secondarily temperate species provides an insight into the mechanisms underlying adaptation to ecologically disparate environments in this otherwise highly specialized group.

    more » « less
  5. null (Ed.)
    Abstract Setaria viridis (green foxtail) is an important model system for improving cereal crops due to its diploid genome, ease of cultivation, and use of C4 photosynthesis. The S. viridis accession ME034V is exceptionally transformable, but the lack of a sequenced genome for this accession has limited its utility. We present a 397 Mb highly contiguous de novo assembly of ME034V using ultra-long nanopore sequencing technology (read N50 = 41kb). We estimate that this genome is largely complete based on our updated k-mer based genome size estimate of 401 Mb for S. viridis. Genome annotation identified 37,908 protein-coding genes and >300k repetitive elements comprising 46% of the genome. We compared the ME034V assembly with two other previously sequenced Setaria genomes as well as to a diversity panel of 235 S. viridis accessions. We found the genome assemblies to be largely syntenic, but numerous unique polymorphic structural variants were discovered. Several ME034V deletions may be associated with recent retrotransposition of copia and gypsy LTR repeat families, as evidenced by their low genotype frequencies in the sampled population. Lastly, we performed a phylogenomic analysis to identify gene families that have expanded in Setaria, including those involved in specialized metabolism and plant defense response. The high continuity of the ME034V genome assembly validates the utility of ultra-long DNA sequencing to improve genetic resources for emerging model organisms. Structural variation present in Setaria illustrates the importance of obtaining the proper genome reference for genetic experiments. Thus, we anticipate that the ME034V genome will be of significant utility for the Setaria research community. 
    more » « less