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TitleGene copy number evolution during tetraploid cotton radiation
AuthorsJ Rong, FA Feltus, L Liu, L Lin and AH Paterson
PublicationHeredity (2010), 1-10
AbstractAfter polyploid formation, retention or loss of duplicated genes is not random. Genes with some functional domains are convergently restored to 'singleton' state after many independent genome duplications, and have been referred to as 'duplication-resistant' (DR) genes. To further explore the timeframe for their restoration to the singleton state, 27 cotton homologs of genes found to be 'DR' in Arabidopsis were selected based on diagnostic Pfam domains. Their copy numbers were studied using southern hybridization and sequence analysis in five tetraploid species and their ancestral A and D genome diploids. DR genes had significantly lower copy number than gene families hybridizing to randomly selected cotton ESTs. Three DR genes showed complete loss of D genome-derived homoeologs in some or all tetraploid species. Prior analysis has shown gene loss in polyploid cotton to be rare, and herein only one randomly selected gene showed loss of a homoeolog in onlyone of the five tetraploid species (Gossypium mustelinum). BAC sequencing confirmed two cases of gene loss in tetraploid cotton. Divergence among 50 sequences of DR genes amplified from G. arboreum, G. raimondii, and Gossypioides kirkii was correlated with gene copy number. These results show that genes containing Pfam domains associated with duplication resistance in Arabidopsis have also been preferentially restored to low copy number after a more recent polyploidization event in cotton. In tetraploid cotton, genes from the progenitor D genome seem to experience more gene copy number divergence than genes from the A genome. Together with D subgenome-biased alterations in gene expression, perhaps gene loss may contribute to the relatively larger portion of quantitative trait variation attributable to D than A subgenome chromosomes of tetraploid cotton.

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