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Creators/Authors contains: "Cheng, C.-H. Christina"

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  1. Abstract

    Mitochondrial genomes are known for their compact size and conserved gene order, however, recent studies employing long-read sequencing technologies have revealed the presence of atypical mitogenomes in some species. In this study, we assembled and annotated the mitogenomes of five Antarctic notothenioids, including four icefishes (Champsocephalus gunnari,C. esox,Chaenocephalus aceratus, andPseudochaenichthys georgianus) and the cold-specializedTrematomus borchgrevinki. Antarctic notothenioids are known to harbor some rearrangements in their mt genomes, however the extensive duplications in icefishes observed in our study have never been reported before. In the icefishes, we observed duplications of the protein coding geneND6, two transfer RNAs,and the control region with different copy number variants present within the same individuals and with someND6duplications appearing to follow the canonical Duplication-Degeneration-Complementation (DDC) model inC. esoxandC. gunnari. In addition, using long-read sequencing and k-mer analysis, we were able to detect extensive heteroplasmy inC. aceratusandC. esox. We also observed a large inversion in the mitogenome ofT. borchgrevinki, along with the presence of tandem repeats in its control region. This study is the first in using long-read sequencing to assemble and identify structural variants and heteroplasmy in notothenioid mitogenomes and signifies the importance of long-reads in resolving complex mitochondrial architectures. Identification of such wide-ranging structural variants in the mitogenomes of these fishes could provide insight into the genetic basis of the atypical icefish mitochondrial physiology and more generally may provide insights about their potential role in cold adaptation.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2024
  2. null (Ed.)
  3. A fundamental question in evolutionary biology is how genetic novelty arises. De novo gene birth is a recently recognized mechanism, but the evolutionary process and function of putative de novo genes remain largely obscure. With a clear life-saving function, the diverse antifreeze proteins of polar fishes are exemplary adaptive innovations and models for investigating new gene evolution. Here, we report clear evidence and a detailed molecular mechanism for the de novo formation of the northern gadid (codfish) antifreeze glycoprotein (AFGP) gene from a minimal noncoding sequence. We constructed genomic DNA libraries for AFGP-bearing and AFGP-lacking species across the gadid phylogeny and performed fine-scale comparative analyses of theAFGPgenomic loci and homologs. We identified the noncoding founder region and a nine-nucleotide (9-nt) element therein that supplied the codons for one Thr-Ala-Ala unit from which the extant repetitive AFGP-coding sequence (cds) arose through tandem duplications. The latent signal peptide (SP)-coding exons were fortuitous noncoding DNA sequence immediately upstream of the 9-nt element, which, when spliced, supplied a typical secretory signal. Through a 1-nt frameshift mutation, these two parts formed a single read-through open reading frame (ORF). It became functionalized when a putative translocation event conferred the essentialcispromoter for transcriptional initiation. We experimentally proved that all genic components of the extant gadidAFGPoriginated from entirely nongenic DNA. The gadidAFGPevolutionary process also represents a rare example of the proto-ORF model of de novo gene birth where a fully formed ORF existed before the regulatory element to activate transcription was acquired.

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