Distinct Trajectories of Massive Recent Gene Gains and Losses in Populations of a Microbial Eukaryotic Pathogen
Hartmann, Fanny E.
- Journal Article
Rights / licenseCreative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International
Differences in gene content are a significant source of variability within species and have an impact on phenotypic traits. However, little is known about the mechanisms responsible for the most recent gene gains and losses. We screened the genomes of 123 worldwide isolates of the major pathogen of wheat Zymoseptoria tritici for robust evidence of gene copy number variation. Based on orthology relationships in three closely related fungi, we identified 599 gene gains and 1,024 gene losses that have not yet reached fixation within the focal species. Our analyses of gene gains and losses segregating in populations showed that gene copy number variation arose preferentially in subtelomeres and in proximity to transposable elements. Recently lost genes were enriched in virulence factors and secondary metabolite gene clusters. In contrast, recently gained genes encoded mostly secreted protein lacking a conserved domain. We analyzed the frequency spectrum at loci segregating a gene presence–absence polymorphism in four worldwide populations. Recent gene losses showed a significant excess in low-frequency variants compared with genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism, which is indicative of strong negative selection against gene losses. Recent gene gains were either under weak negative selection or neutral. We found evidence for strong divergent selection among populations at individual loci segregating a gene presence–absence polymorphism. Hence, gene gains and losses likely contributed to local adaptation. Our study shows that microbial eukaryotes harbor extensive copy number variation within populations and that functional differences among recently gained and lost genes led to distinct evolutionary trajectories. Show more
Journal / seriesMolecular Biology and Evolution
Pages / Article No.
PublisherOxford University Press
Subjectcopy number variation; evolutionary genomics; fungi
Organisational unit03516 - McDonald, Bruce / McDonald, Bruce
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