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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2023
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2023
  3. Haplodiploidy and paternal genome elimination (HD/PGE) are common in invertebrates, having evolved at least two dozen times, all from male heterogamety (i.e., systems with X chromosomes). However, why X chromosomes are important for the evolution of HD/PGE remains debated. The Haploid Viability Hypothesis posits that X-linked genes promote the evolution of male haploidy by facilitating purging recessive deleterious mutations. The Intragenomic Conflict Hypothesis holds that conflict between genes drives genetic system turnover; under this model, X-linked genes could promote the evolution of male haploidy due to conflicts with autosomes over sex ratios and genetic transmission. We studied lineages where we can distinguish these hypotheses: species with germline PGE that retain an XX/X0 sex determination system (gPGE+X). Because evolving PGE in these cases involves changes in transmission without increases in male hemizygosity, a high degree of X linkage in these systems is predicted by the Intragenomic Conflict Hypothesis but not the Haploid Viability Hypothesis. To quantify the degree of X linkage, we sequenced and compared 7 gPGE+X species’ genomes with 11 related species with typical XX/XY or XX/X0 genetic systems, representing three transitions to gPGE. We find highly increased X linkage in both modern and ancestral genomes of gPGE+X species comparedmore »to non-gPGE relatives and recover a significant positive correlation between percent X linkage and the evolution of gPGE. These empirical results substantiate longstanding proposals for a role for intragenomic conflict in the evolution of genetic systems such as HD/PGE.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 7, 2023
  4. Ouangraoua, Aida (Ed.)
    Abstract Previous evolutionary reconstructions have concluded that early eukaryotic ancestors including both the last common ancestor of eukaryotes and of all fungi had intron-rich genomes. By contrast, some extant eukaryotes have few introns, underscoring the complex histories of intron–exon structures, and raising the question as to why these few introns are retained. Here, we have used recently available fungal genomes to address a variety of questions related to intron evolution. Evolutionary reconstruction of intron presence and absence using 263 diverse fungal species supports the idea that massive intron reduction through intron loss has occurred in multiple clades. The intron densities estimated in various fungal ancestors differ from zero to 7.6 introns per 1 kb of protein-coding sequence. Massive intron loss has occurred not only in microsporidian parasites and saccharomycetous yeasts, but also in diverse smuts and allies. To investigate the roles of the remaining introns in highly-reduced species, we have searched for their special characteristics in eight intron-poor fungi. Notably, the introns of ribosome-associated genes RPL7 and NOG2 have conserved positions; both intron-containing genes encoding snoRNAs. Furthermore, both the proteins and snoRNAs are involved in ribosome biogenesis, suggesting that the expression of the protein-coding genes and noncoding snoRNAs may be functionallymore »coordinated. Indeed, these introns are also conserved in three-quarters of fungi species. Our study shows that fungal introns have a complex evolutionary history and underappreciated roles in gene expression.« less
  5. Abstract During nuclear maturation of most eukaryotic pre-messenger RNAs and long non-coding RNAs, introns are removed through the process of RNA splicing. Different classes of introns are excised by the U2-type or the U12-type spliceosomes, large complexes of small nuclear ribonucleoprotein particles and associated proteins. We created intronIC, a program for assigning intron class to all introns in a given genome, and used it on 24 eukaryotic genomes to create the Intron Annotation and Orthology Database (IAOD). We then used the data in the IAOD to revisit several hypotheses concerning the evolution of the two classes of spliceosomal introns, finding support for the class conversion model explaining the low abundance of U12-type introns in modern genomes.